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Training Muay Thai in Thailand 2018 (Part 20)

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Training Muay Thai in Thailand 2018 (Part 20)

It’s been a few days since I have checked in. I have been training my little butt off this past week! Nothing too exciting to report, this past week is pretty much a blur.

I had some ups and downs, and have been dealing with a lot of little injuries. Nothing too serious, but I cannot think of a part of my body that isn’t at least somewhat injured. This just gives me that much more respect and appreciation for what these Thai trainers deal with day in and day out, month after month, year after year. You just learn to accept the fact that you are inured, and adapt your fight style to accommodate it.

The problem with that approach in training, is that it is hard to communicate to your trainers why you are doing something incorrectly. Frankly, they don’t want to hear about your little boo-boo, and demand that you do things correctly regardless of your situation.

I have had a few shining moments this week. On two separate occasions, I felt power in my striking that I have never felt before. This happened with two different trainers, and they both were blown away by what I was able to do. I was in a groove, and answered every call for a strike with a fight-stopping strike that was on the money, and with tremendous power. I can honestly say that at 51 years of age, those were the best two sessions of Muay Thai I have ever had. I was in a proverbial ZONE, and nothing has ever felt better.
Conversely, I had two of my shittiest days at the gym this week as well. It wasn’t that my Muay Thai was sub-par, but I just felt like shit, and did not perform up to my standards. I walked away form both of those days feeling like I was wasting my time here.

I am still training with Sawat in the afternoons, but am doing class in the mornings. I’m not really sure what is up with the trainers, but they are surly as hell. They yell at you for nothing. If you ask them a question, they are rude as hell. They seem like they don’t want you there. It’s not just me…they are acting that way to everyone (except the girls of course). They have told a handful of guys that have pretty decent Muay Thai, ‘Tomorrow you go to intermediate class.

The classes are small right now since the Chinese left, and busy season hasn’t gotten fully under way just yet. Maybe if they make everyone leave, they get the day off. (I say that sarcastically…it is not true, I have been the only one in class a few times in years past).

Sawat and I were preparing him for a fight he had coming up, but I hurt his back while we were doing clinching sparring. I toss him around like a rag-doll, but he is super aggressive in clinching sparring. I feel really badly about it, but he was the one pushing the tempo. His fight has been canceled but he still wants to train me.

Sawat is a genuinely GOOD GUY! I really like him a lot on a personal level. He is a loyal family man that doesn’t drink or hit on chicks at the gym. He is Muslim, so he doesn’t do the ‘prayer hands’ greeting that other Thai trainers do. I think a lot of people are surprised to learn that the ‘prayer hands’ gesture is not a Muay Thai thing. It is a Buddhist thing. Muslim
Muay Thai trainers do not do it. In fact, I see people greet Sawat that way, and he always smiles and nods his head, but does not return the gesture. It makes me laugh when I watch all the Christian Muay Thai practitioners do it, yet I doubt most of them even know they are making a Buddhist gesture akin to the sign of the cross to Catholics.

Hahn, the other day, told me I should not do the prayer gesture to her. I asked her why, and she said it was because I was older than her, and I should allow her to give that gesture to me unreturned. It wasn’t disrespectful toward her that I do, but in a sense it was, because it wasn’t allowing her to demonstrate the respect she should toward an older person. I told her to ‘F’ off (Only in my head), but explained to her that I am not old…I just look old.

I went deep sea fishing the other day, but ended up on a boat with a bunch of other people because the guy I was supposed to go with had to cancel at the last minute. We got skunked…nobody caught ANYTHING. But, I met a guy named Hans, a German fellow that has traveled around the world, but lives much of the year in Phuket. He usually charters a boat for himself, personally. He offered to let me tag along the next time he does. He, too, had a guy cancel on him last minute, so he ended up on our boat. The chartered boats always take him where there are fish, and PLENTY of them. He had a phone full of pictures that he shared with me of past trips he had been on. All the deck hands on our boat knew him, as he is a regular fisherman. He had all his own gear and everything. He was able to point out where we should have gone if we wanted to catch fish, but said that the large group boats never go there.

I am looking forward to our fishing trip, but for mow, I Muay Thai!


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