Day 1 of Training at Chiang Mai
Finally! After 4 months of planning and three days of traveling I finally made it to Hongthong gym, home of trainers and twin brothers Gen and Joe.
We (my wife Claudia and I) woke at 5:30 after about 4-5 hours of sleep. I was groggy but excited to go, and a lack of sleep was not going to stop me. Besides, caffeine and a bike ride is enough to wake me up! We quickly ate a quick breakfast of croissants and amino acids at the ubiquitous 7-11 then rode our motorbikes about 30 minutes south and arrived at 6:40am, 20 minutes before training started. We were greeted by Christian, a friendly and experienced New Zealander (who now trains/lives in Sydney), who took us through a quick run down of how our 2 hour session was going to go. I have trained here (Thailand) before and know the basics of Thai style training, but I just let him take us through the basics and try to learn and absorb as much of that as possible. I am a big believer in mastering fundamentals so I would rather focus on that then act like I know it all and miss out on some simpler but effective stuff. And I am glad I did!
He took us through some simple drills with a focus on elbows, stance and defense (all of which I need!) before we started our bag and pad work with the twins.
For those who do not know how it works here it goes something like this:
Skip or run (I opted to skip with a HEAVY rope today)
Pad Work (4 minutes work, 1 minute rest, 3 Rounds)
Clinch or Spar
100 Teeps (front/puch kicks)
I will get into the details of each later but the Pad Rounds - man, that was tough but fun! Learned some cool elbows techniques (involving the body, if you're reading this Tom - I'll show you when I get back) and lots of knees and kicks. Nothing to technical or new, but I don't expect them to show a brand new guy off the street all the cool stuff right away. That needs to be earned, which I plan on doing! Probably by training from 3-5 in 42*C heat when "it's more fun" according to my pad holder, Gen. I don't think I have ever wanted to do something so much while at the same time dread it more than this.
Dan Slobodin -