Thursday, December 6, 2007


Ingram's gym is located a short distance away from the Asok BTS (sky strain) stop. After walking east past the sukumvit hospital with its advertisements for liposuction and the usual street side food venders you'll turn left down a short side street. The large metallic gate will be open and at 3 o'clock Bokpuu will be sweeping up the mats while Nine will be rolling the handwraps. To the immediate right is a mid sized raised ring. In front of me is three ring size sections. The first section is for heavy bag work. Three worn down bags hang off of a blue contraption. The frame for the heavy bags looks like it was homemade. Its base is made of a tire with concrete inside of it. The next area is bordered by shin pads and gloves. To the left of the 2nd area is a large mirror used to inspect facial blemishes and for shadow boxing. The third area has another set of heavy bags and more matted space. To the right of the three areas is the main building. There are several bedrooms, a washing machine, a kitchen area, a bathroom (with both thai and western facilities) and an office. My exploration of the building was pretty limited, as I thought it would be pretty impolite to go searching around. The initial entry area is lobby like and has pictures of the various Ingram star fighters. While Samkor, Buakaw, and Neungsiam have all been there I didn't see their pictures (but I also didn't really look). There is a small glass case that has a few different styles of Ingram shorts. The gym has an introductory cost of 900 baht, individual sessions after that are 300 baht (about $28, and about $9). A short form is filled out and then you're told to start jumping rope.

Since I didn't bring my running shoes I ended up skipping rope for twenty minutes. The rope is thai style, a little thicker and heavier than american boxing ropes that I'm used to at Pacific Ring Sports. Skipping rope for that long is tiring and boring. The rope weighs down the biceps. On monday I trained at both Ingram's and a falang camp called Jitti. Doing both trainings made my calves really sore so I walked funny for a few days. After twenty minutes of jumping rope I put on handwraps and shadow box for one round. The rounds are longer than in the states, four minutes instead of three. There is a one minute break between the rounds.

Bokpuu and I do three or four rounds of muay thai pad work and then one round of boxing/elbow work. The round will start off with ten alternating kicks, first a right kick (1), and then a left kick (2). All kicks and knees are down twice. So if Bokpuu holds the pads up for me to kick I kick twice, if he holds for the right knee I right knee twice. A common combination was: jab, cross, right knee, right knee, left knee, left knee, right elbow, right kick, right kick. The pad work felt similiar to doing pad work with Coke, or with another fighter at Pacific Ring Sports so I liked it. Interspersed with the combinations would be more singular activites. Four straight punches, left uppercut elbow, right elbow, jab followed by a spinning back elbow. Knowing a little thai helped when Bokpuu made corrections, knowing muay thai pretty well helped a lot. I was able to follow his body movements and do the corrections myself. In order to demonstrate my understanding I would usually do what I was doing wrong and say "mai tham" then do what I was supposed to followed by "tham dii." Like Coke Bokpuu told me to keep my chin down, unlike coke he seemed to want me to widen my stance and to point my foot downwards when blocking. The round would end with ten right kicks, and ten left kicks. During the one minute break I would drink water, pour a little on my head (which would make me shiver) and spit a mouthful of water all over my torso. The last round which was boxing orientated was a welcome relief. I'm a bit fat from a month of eating a lot, drinking a lot, and not training so I consider myself to be out of shape. We didn't do a lot of hooks, or uppercuts, mainly straight punches and elbows.

After the pad work was complete I would do three or four rounds of bag work. Bag work is the same everywhere. Kick, punch, kick, blah blah blah. Next came sparring. Unlike in the states sparring in thailand is done very lightly. The point isn't to bang but to work on timing, technique, and accuracy. I assume that a lot of the reason for the hard sparring in the states is the egos of many of the people who train out there. That or they just don't know. I've sparred with a handful of people. I sparred with Nine once. It was both fun and fustrating. He toyed with me a lot. He would hold out his glove for me to knock it and then would kick me right away, pretty dirty. It reminded me of Coke sparring with Kenyan at the gym. I sparred with three or four novice falang. All of them were bigger than me, and less skilled, so it was light hearted fun. Sparring with the two young thai guys was more of a learning experience. Both of them were younger than me by 9 or 10 years but weren't out of sight better than me. They also took sparring a little more seriously than Nine. After sparring would be four rounds of knee sparring. Again knee sparring with the falang was fun, although usually they would just use their weight to out muscle me while knee sparring with the thai guys was more of a learning experience. Their technique was better than mine. They also used slightly different locks which was both interesting and fustrating.

Immediately after sparring would be twenty right kicks and twenty left kicks then some calethenstics. I only had to do 50 sit ups and 20 push ups, light fare. I was lazy so I acquiesced to the low repetitions. The whole training from start to finish would take a little over two hours, sometimes two and a half hours. After training I would go behind the building to shower. The shower was ghetto thai style. There was a bug waste bucket full of water. A hose would go into the bucket to put more water in it. A large bowl was used to dump water on oneself then you would use a bar of soap to clean yourself off.

I like going to ingram's the three times I did. If I was staying in bangkok I would consider going to Ingrams. I'd probably get a place off the BTS somewhere down the line and would go there twice a day. I'm going to pattaya tomorrow to check out sityodtong. Its the camp that Mike Regnier went to and he recommended it. I'm excited to go there and settle down into a pattern of life. Bangkok can be pretty distracting. There are bars, and friends. I suppose that's just like anywhere else. Its up to me to stay focused. I'm pretty sure that I'll be able to.

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