Thursday, January 15, 2009

Lanna Muay Thai - First thoughts

I was pretty much sure I'd be brilliant at Muay Thai straight off the bat but surprisingly its very hard. Normally this is where I'd give up and do something which required less effort, like watch TV or play my Xbox, perhaps smoke some crack and explore the world wide web for interesting and stimulating home made erotica. Unfortunately this avenue is no longer available and must content myself life with at the camp.

Going to the camp was intimidating at first. It was as if John Goodman accidentally turned up on the set of 300 instead of the big Lebowski. So I ran through a mental checklist qualifying my being there.

1. Fight experience - CHECK
2. Skinhead and/or Facial hair combo - CHECK
3. Large tattoo - CHECK
4. Body of a greek God - Ermmm I'll get back to you on that.


Short jab

Life at the camp is sweet. Its hard work we train for around seven hours a day. A 6.30am rise for a run then train through to 10 am. We then start again at 4 and work through to about 7.30. It breaks down like this.

1) Morning run
2) Skipping warm up
3) Shadow boxing
4) Bag work
5) Trainer work
6) Warm down

The morning run is fantastic, we always go out to some beautiful spot in the mountains with waterfalls or to a nearby lake. At dawn as the sun rises its just magical. I forgot my camera this morning but next time I'm out at the lake I'll take a few pics.

There are fighters from all over the world. Obviously Thais, but quite a few Canadians, Irish (Eire Abu!), ozzies, Americans and Scandanvians. Some of them have been here for up to two years and regularly fight. I'm going to my first fight at the main stadium in Chiang Mai tomorrow. An Irish dude from Cork is fighting so I'll be there to give him some rabid support.

Smiling victor

More even sparring
Clinch work

At the moment its getting used to the differences in stances and kicking styles. Andy the owner and main trainer here is really helpful and helping me work on my technique. The Thai kick is totally different to Tae Kwon do and Krav Maga. You throw your leg from the hip while rising up on the ball of the grounded foot to the point you turn 180 when practicing. Also the stance is much narrower than a boxing stance. Its easy to see why as when I drop into a traditional boxing stance I get a playful kick in the leg and ribs and cackles of laughter from one of the Thai trainers Nook. The reason being I can't defend in a wide stance.

For those of you that are still reading after that. Doing pad work with Nook is funny as hell, he just spends his time laughing at me while he twats about the head and face with focus mitts if I drop my guard.

"You wide load ha ha"
"thanks Nook"
"ha ha, In one month you loose 10 kilo"

If he keeps pushing me as he did today I've no doubt that's true. After three five minute rounds I was ready to keel over. I was literally giving off steam.

Apart from training I don't really do much. I have a restaurant I go to everyday for Lunch and dinner. I'm working my way through the menu and picking up some Thai phrases along the way. I still sound like a some kind of spastic cat when speaking Thai and have only finally cracked saying Hello properly.

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