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Training Muay Thai in Thailand 2018 (Part 14)

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Training Muay Thai in Thailand 2018 (Part 14)


When I woke up this morning, and got out of bed, I could hardly put any weight on my foot. It was really sore, and had actually gotten a little bit MORE swollen than it was yesterday. I had dim hopes of being able to train today, but I sat in a hot shower, and rotated my ankle for about 20 minutes. When I got out, it was still sore, and a lot looser. I took an ibuprofen, put some anti-inflam cream on it, wrapped it, and headed out the door to train. 
I wouldn’t exactly call what I did today ‘running’, but I did go on the run, as is required by the trainers. It was more of a trot with swinging arms. I usually make it around the complex 4-5 times in 20 minutes. Today, I made it three. When I got back, everyone was already inside and shadow sparring, so I don’t know how long I was out there after they went in. 

I got paired with a guy who was there for his first day in drilling. He’s a pretty big guy, and has good Muay Thai, but day one, you are so amped up, and you want everyone to see how awesome your Muay Thai is, so he drilled a bit over-zealously. We were working on catch kicks, and counters. He had to be sure and catch and tug on my foot extra hard EVERY TIME. Oh well, Karma got him back in the end. 

It was a gathering of GIANTS in class today. There is a large group of Australians that are all at least 6’ 4”, and WELL over 300 lbs. There are relatively fit, and they can move. They actually have some really nice Muay Thai for as big as they are. Well, my drilling partner was just big enough to have to go with them during sparring (As I said, Karma got him).
I, on the other hand, was down on the floor for the first time since coming here, and it didn’t hurt my feelings one bit. 
The funny thing was that I could sense the vultures circling. All the guys I have been beating up on, saw my foot was wrapped, and that I was limping. It had them chomping at the bit to spar with me. 

Rather than do pads for three rounds, then spar for three rounds, we just did 5 rounds of sparring. I think it is awesome how they change things up a bit these days. You used to could set your watch by what we did in class EVERY DAY. 
-20 minutes running
-10 minutes stretching & Shadow Spar
-20 minutes instruction and drilling
-3 Rounds heavy bags
-3 Rounds Muay Thai pads w/ Trainer
-3 5 minute Rounds sparring (Or 2 ten minute rounds of sparring on clinching days)
-20-30 minutes conditioning

Now, it’s been a little bit different every day…and I like it. I was nervous about having to kick pads with my foot, so I dodged a bullet there. Now I had to deal with all the vultures waiting to pounce on me. 

First off was one of the ‘Stans’. He came at me full bore. What he doesn’t realize is that his Muay Thai actually isn’t that bad, but when he swings for the fences, he is so easy to defend against. He was bombing away, and I countered him all day. It was the easiest match I have had in a long time. If he would have just taken it down a little bit, he could have picked me apart. I have no mobility, and he is actually pretty good. 

My toughest opponent of the day was a girl from Australia. She is with the group of GIANTS. I don’t think she is dating on of them though, as I saw her hanging out with one of the trainers at Hahn’s Grand Opening yesterday. She is really sweet, and has good Muay Thai. The trainers kept telling me I could go harder on her, because she is tough. I didn’t. We had a good spar.

Next I went with this Russian dude who was about as big as my wife. Chok Chai was watching us spar to make sure I didn’t hurt him. (They yelled at me at the start of class for hurting the Chinese dude two days ago. I was going to tell them that I didn’t kick him hard, it was just on the button, but they would never have understood what I was saying, and it would have just come off as I was arguing with them, so I just said OK, and apologized.)

I let the mini-Russian do whatever he wanted. He was like a little gnat, running all over the place. Any time I stepped forward, he would run behind another pair of people sparring. Chok Chai yelled at him a few times. He kicked me once, and I caught his kick. I was going to just set it down, but he did a backwards somber-sault to get away. Chok Chai and I just looked at each other and laughed. 

I went with my favorite German kid next. He is here with his girlfriend, who is also in class. He is a really nice kid. He has good-looking technique on pads, but lacks confidence in sparring. He just doesn’t step on the gas ever. You can see he wants to do things, but just won’t let it go. Today, I told him to let it go, and I wasn’t going to hit him back. He did, and strung some really nice combos together, that frankly, I probably would not have been able to defend if he had just thrown them before. We ended up having a pretty fun round of sparring, and he thanked me afterward.

My final round was with the Chinese dude I ko’d the other day. You could tell he wanted his revenge, which just made him easier to hit for me. I just played defense, and didn’t get caught too many times. I didn’t throw any sidekicks at him…although THEY WERE THERE, and I wanted to so bad. :)

After cooling down on the way back to the hotel, my foot got really sore again, and it was difficult to put any weight on it. Our hotel gives us two free bottles of water every day. I have thrown mine in the freezer, and use them to ice my foot while I am back in the room. (SEE PHOTO)

Afternoon session went about the same, with the exception of the fact that none of the Giants were there, so I was back in the Shark Tank. It was the same old cast of characters, with the exception of a new guy, Kukman, from Kazikstan. He was really aggressive, but not that skilled. He kicked me on the head a couple times, but I swept him probably a half dozen times. His aggression bought him a few sidekicks, and didn’t really garner him much. It made for an exhausting 5thround, but it was a ton of fun. 

I did get paired with the Chinese dude I KO’d the other day for drilling. He and I hit it off really well. He doesn’t speak a word of English, and I not a word of Chinese, but we corrected each other a few times on our drills, and I could tell he and I would be buddies if we could communicate. 

I feel a lot better today. In part, because of the day of rest yesterday, and in part because the weather was sort of cool today. The heat makes such a huge difference. I never thought I would say this...but I now pray for cloudy days. 

The Author, Mike Stidham, owns and operates the Ultimate Combat Training Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. UCTC offers classes in Boxing, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, MMA, as well as a wide range of Fitness classes to Men, Women, Children, groups, and private lessons.


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