Goodbye Thailand, hello Phillipines

I am currently in Malaysia but technically, I am not in any country, as I am on the airport waiting out a 3 hour stop over before leaving for Manila. Last night was my last night in Phuket and I left the gym this morning at 7:00 AM to catch my flight at 10:25 AM.

I will arrive in Manila, Philippines tonight at 9:00 PM and then fly to Boracay tomorrow afternoon sometime. I have not yet booked a flight as I have to get yet another rabies shot tomorrow, so once I have done that I will leave Manila.

Thursday was Ryan’s fight in Patong, unfortunately he lost the fight but he put on a fantastic show. Ryan’s opponent was much taller than Ryan and also had a massive advantage due to having a much longer reach. It was extremely hard for Ryan to get any punches in and his opponent knew it. At one stage Ryan actually jumped up into the air and threw a nice jab.

Ryan is really muscular and his opponent was really skinny. He used his height advantage against Ryan, constantly clinching him and going for the easy elbows.

Ryan surprisingly lasted five rounds before the referee stopped the fight. With each round, Ryan came back full of heart and energy and there were a couple of times that I thought, “Woah, the comeback is real.” but it never happened. If Ryan’s opponent was only a couple of inches shorter, Ryan would have easily taken the fight.

Here are some post fight pictures.

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Ryan was not injured or even that tired after the fight. We all went to see him as soon as it was done. He said that the guy he was fighting was not really strong, so even though he landed solid punches, knees and elbows, Ryan walked away unscathed.

All respect to Ryan, lasting five rounds with an Thai fighter who has been doing Muay Thai since the age of four. It is a massive accomplishment for any Westerner to step into the ring with a Thai fighter.

Thursday morning training and fight night

This morning session I attempted to kick again, only to double down in pain after I got hit directly on my leg which was bruised from yesterdays afternoon session . The coach spent five minutes massaging my leg before we continued. After that I put on a shin guard and that allowed me to kick again without any discomfort or pain what so ever.

I honestly underestimated injuries, I was in my mindset that you can just push through the pain and carry on, “Mind over matter” as they say… But I have now discovered that this is in fact not possible. The human body can only endure so much pain.

Being stiff and sore from training is another story, that is the kind of pain which one can just push through and once you are warmed up , the pain feels good and you almost crave that soreness, but muscle injuries, bruises and joint pains are on a whole different level.

I now have officially three training sessions left before I leave for the Philippines. I am not sure whether I will attend tomorrows training as tonight it is going to be a late night. We are renting a van and all of us are going to support one of our fellow trainees with his first ever fight.

This fighter is Ryan from America, who has been training for almost five weeks, which is nothing really, but he was in the United States military for five years where he did some boxing among other things. He seems prepared and ready and we are all rooting for him, I have all the respect in the world for anybody willing to get into the ring in front of more than five hundred people and putting their life on the line .

I will try and video the whole event but regardless of what happens, I am sure it will be a great experience for Ryan and us all!

Week Four -Exhaustion, injuries and training coming to an end

My time at Suwit Gym is almost done, I have four more training sessions left before leaving for the Philippines. Unfortunately my last week has been plagued by both exhaustion and injuries.

The exhaustion is a common trend amongst the trainees, after a couple of weeks the body just seems to give up, it is as if the body had enough, especially since we are doing two very hard sessions a day. Some of the guys only do a single session per day but I have been trying to attend both.

I have also been focussing more on the sparring and boxing techniques with my coach which not only exerts you physically but mentally too. As if you are on full alert the whole time as you bounce around in the ring. Today and yesterdays training session were compromised entirely out of fighting. Without the stretching that comes to around a hour and forty minutes in the ring.

Due to the continues fighting I have also injured both my legs, my left foot has some serious bruising from kicks and my right shin is very swollen, also from kicks. I went for a massage last night but it only seemed to make the pain worst.

Apart from all the injuries, exhaustion and set backs the last few training session has been amazing, I have built a real connection with my coach and am very sad leave. I have also made some great friends and met some amazing people throughout my stay.

In all honesty I do not think that one month of training is enough. If you really want to learn the art of Muay Thai and develop some solid technique you need to commit to it at least three months of training but I can attest to one thing and that is the fitness.

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Week Three Round up

After a long silence, I return. All I can say is that time has ran away with me over the last couple of days as things have been really busy at the camp and we have also experienced some technical difficulties like power black outs and the internet was also down.

Let me start with training, the training has been exceptional the last couple of days, I have been making great strides with my boxing and my confidence in the ring has sky rocketed.

The last couple of sparring matches I have focused a lot more on technique, rather than running around like a headless chicken. Instead of constant attacking, I have slowed down my pace and would focus on the moves that my opponents make, learning from them and also looking to the coach to advice during the sparring matches.

This cool and calm approach has proven to be beneficial, as I have picked up several small techniques which I was oblivious to previously.

Otherwise the training has been going very well, I am still pushing myself to my limits and I am still rewarded with an aching body everyday. I must admit that the aches and pains have slightly reduced as my body and mind has gotten use to the twice daily training. This has inspired me to train even harder.

I have almost gotten the muscle up down, I would say that at the end of this week, I will be able to easily do a muscle up and if not at the end of this week, definitely at the end of my Philippines training as there I will be doing a strength and conditioning class.

Regarding the rest of the life at the gym, it has been a sad week, some of my very good friend have returned to Germany and my other good mate Tim has left for Boracay, who at least I will see next week.

Daniel from Germany on the left and Tim from the states on the right.
Daniel from Germany on the left and Tim from the states on the right.

We had a going away dinner for them at Ali’s BBQ followed up with some beers at the pool. The next day we saw them off at the pool as their taxi took them to the airport.

The rest of my time was spent exploring more of old town and Phuket, visiting the big weekend night market and getting a massage.

I had some real trouble sleeping this past week, I could not get my mind to shut down, this has not happened to me in  years and I did not think it would happen during training as I was exhausted every day… Luckily the last two days the sleep came easy as it really affected my training.

I also requested a breakdown of my medical bill which I actually should have done before paying it. What made it so expensive was the tetanus injections of which I received 5 at 6000 Baht per shot. If I had known, I would have doubled checked with the doctor if that was really necessary, I mean I am sure I could have gotten away with two…

On that note, it is time for me to go and get my third rabies shot.

Here are some photos from the last few days.

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