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Training Muay Thai in Thailand 2018 (Part 21)

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Training Muay Thai in Thailand 2018 (Part 21)

Whew…It has been a journey! I haven’t written in a bit, because frankly I haven’t had the energy. I have pushed myself beyond anything I have ever done. I have achieved some next level stuff that I never thought possible. It will be hard to explain, but here goes;

Fatigue was something I wrote about a lot in this blog. I referenced it as a handicap, or as something that was a destination. I have come to the point that fatigue is nothing more than a motivator. I feel it begin to set in, and I step on the gas. That is something I have never been able to do before. I still get just as tired as I did before, but now, it just pisses me off, and makes me want to kick it’s ass.

My trainer, Sawat, has really amped up the pressure in our Thai pad rounds. He is relentlessly aggressive for 3 solid minutes, and for 5 rounds. Today, he said…Aaaaah…like Buakaw. For those who do not know, that is perhaps the biggest compliment he could have ever given me. Buakaw is a famously ferocious fighter from Thailand that fights people from all different styles that are much larger than he, but destroys them with his relentless energy. He is 5th gear all the way, and just pressures opponents into submission.

By no means do I think I am anywhere near that level, but I have been able to maintain his energy levels for 5 rounds, and THAT is beyond anything I had ever hoped for when I came here.

I used to try to pace myself…get into a groove, and get to the end of the round. Now, I am attacking from start to finish, and it feels amazing.

I quit doing class at Tiger two weeks ago. I just do not like the negative atmosphere that exists in the advanced group. I’m not sure what happened, but they really do seem like they are trying to run you out of there. It worked. I started doing class at Dragon Muay Thai in the morning, sparring at Dragon in the afternoon, and training with Sawat in private sessions in the evening at Tiger.

I should clarify that I have made some lifelong friends at Tiger, and totally love the gym overall. I think many of the trainers in the beginner and intermediate areas are amazing. I think they are trying too hard to be a hardcore group in the advanced area that it just doesn’t suit me. I totally get it, and this is no slight on them, because that atmosphere is probably what most young ‘FIGHTERS’ are looking for. I am not. I despise negativity these days with a passion, and avoid it at all cost.

I watch the beginner and intermediate groups, and it looks like people are having fun. In the advanced group, if you dare smile or indicate you are having fun, a trainer will put a stop to it immediately. I can do without that vibe. I will always call Tiger home, and will do privates with 90% of the trainers there, but would rather do class elsewhere.

That said, I have had the pleasure of training with some amazing trainers this go-round. I worked with some guys I had never met before, and some that I knew, but just never trained with, and I am super happy for that experience.

The mood at Dragon is totally different. They seem to appreciate your presence. Every trainer personally greets you before class, and every one of them has complimented me on my Muay Thai before I leave. Perhaps it is my ego talking here, but it was nice to have some positive feedback after putting in the work…and I have put in the work.

Today, I had the three best training sessions I have ever had, and it felt magical. I no longer drag my ass back to my hotel. I hop, skip, and practically do backflips afterward. I have more energy after class than before. That is, of course, until I get back to my room and cool down. Than my old ass has a hard time even moving. I have to stop and laugh at myself sometimes. I literally look like a cripple when I walk down the street. Most of the time, I don’t know which leg to limp on…they BOTH hurt! I actually look like I have a diaper on sometimes, because I am trying to walk without limping on both legs. Once I get warmed up though, I am hell on wheels.

Outside of training, I haven’t done a ton of stuff, other than hang out at Hahn’s new restaurant. She treats me so well when I am there, and always makes me the most amazing food. I am truly grateful for her friendship. Bubble always runs up and hugs me like she hasn’t seen me in years…every day. We don’t communicate in words, but I know that beautiful little girl loves me as much as I do her.

I am off the Bangkok next week, but might have some business to take care of before I go…stay tuned.

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. Learn more at www.UltimateCombat.com

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