Thursday, April 21, 2011

Big Pay Day

I got up at quarter to seven this morning. I'd sent my alarm for 6:25am then snoozed for a while. It takes will power to get out of bed, luckily I found it, somewhere. I put on my shoes and went running. My run takes me through the business district of Sathon to and through Lumpini park and then back into the capitalist quagmire of Silom. My run took about 50 minutes. I bought some water and walked into the gym.

I've been going to fighting spirit gym for about a month and a half. The pros: close to my house, nice clean facilities (that goes a long way in Thailand), inexpensive (in comparison to other muay thai gyms), and the head trainer, along with the owner are good at what they do. Another pro is the animals there. The owner has three dogs of his own, two pit pulls and one little weiner looking dog, a bird that doesn't fly (its species are unable) and two large iguana looking things. Having animals around is nice, especially when the animals are taken care of. The beasts are given a fair amount of room to run around in and are given the care and affection that they deserve. I think having pets is difficult, and its even more difficult to adequately care for them. Its nice to see an owner that cares about their pets.

The cons: no free water, not a lot of other fighters, and a little difficulty getting fights. The gym is geared towards recreational and fitness use, not necessarily to fighters so the last two items are not super surprising. That said the trainers are pretty active in sparring, clinching, and boxing with me so its almost better than having a fighter who doesn't have as much experience.

While obtaining a fight has been a little bit of a run around I have one on the 4th of May. It will be at MBK a huge tourist mall that sells tons of discount, pirated, and generally cheap goods. Need some souvenoirs for family, MBK. Need some pirated dvds or software, MBK. Need some electronics and or cell phones, MBK. The mall is located in downtown BKK and has free fights every wednesday night. The fights are generally low caliber and for tourists passing by to gawk at, and hopefully it ushers people into the shopping center to spend their dollars there.

Fighting on the 4th means extending my stay about a week and a half. I'm pretty happy about that as things are going well out here, although of course I'm accruing more expenses than I'd like.

This morning I did pad work with Max, a 28 year old Thai who studied at Abac and got a degree in law. He decided to return to the sport of Muay Thai which he engaged in during his childhood. He is a tricky fighter and has a few simple but effective combinations that we went through. One of them was a very basic right push kick, right body punch. The other which was giving me a bit more problem was a double right kick into a jumping body kick. This series requires a fair amount of momentum and retreat on the part of one's opponent. Ideally the opponent backs up to the ropes and is stuck there for a moment.

After my morning training session I came home, slept, ate and read. The exciting life of a boxer. My afternoon session I worked with Tak the head trainer, and one of the better trainers I've had in Thailand. Tak has a simplistic style that is smooth and effective. He is particularly keen on left kicks. He has had me do some simple counters as well. When an opponent hooks I crash in with my opposite knee or I elbow. Today he told me to especially use my hips and to make space when kneeing. Despite having been told that in the past by other trainers I forgot.

A neat trick that I learned during knee sparring was when Num, the third trainer at the gym lifted his knee under my knee and pushed me forward when I went to side knee him. His knee lifted my leg up and unbalanced me and his push forward made me fall over onto my ass.

I got back up after falling down and had Num teach me the trick a few times. It reminded me of this video.

I'll be sure to write up about my fight, and it will probably makes its way on the internets somehow.

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