Week 10

Posted: 7th November 2010 by glyn.roberts in Thailand

This week I continued with my normal schedule with Muay Thai classes, weights and running but also I added in some Thai Massages after my training to see if there was any notable differences.

Firstly I need to clear up massages in Thailand. There are two types:
One is the professional massage that helps improve your flexibility and loosen your muscles after training.
Second are the more sexual massages that have a “Happy ending” if you know what I mean.

All the spa’s around Tiger Muay Thai are the professional ones that help athletes recover from training. There are hundreds of massage places in Phuket alone (especially in Patong) where the majority of them are more towards my second description. I believe that you aim for the massage spa’s that look newer and cleaner as there is no other way to identify between the two.

The massage itself (professional Thai Massage) is an interesting experience. They use their elbows, knee’s and soles of their feet to dig into your muscles on your back, arms and legs. Some times it is a bit painful as they get the knots out so don’t expect to sleep during the massage. It is amazing how these little Thai women can inflict so much pain but it is good for you and you come out at the end feeling great.
I did notice some difference training after as I felt I could move easier than before so it must be working.

Patong Stadium

Posted: 4th November 2010 by glyn.roberts in Places, Thailand

One of the best parts of training at Tiger is that they fully support you if you want to fight in any of the stadiums in Patong.
The two main stadiums in Phuket are Patong Stadium and Bangla Stadium and each event has about 8 fights for the evening.

To really improve your ability as a Muay Thai fighter you do need to nut-up (a phrase I heard) and fight in a competition. There are the smoker fights at tiger but to really get the full experience you need to go to one of the main stadiums.
You get paid to fight at the stadiums win or lose (more if you win), and a percentage of that goes to Tiger for organising everything for you and being in your corner. They will match you up to someone of a similar standard if you decide to fight so its not going to be clear who will win.

You can buy the ticket for the fight and transport to and from the stadium from the Tiger office. Prices vary.

Patong stadium is sort of what I expected. Seats all round the ring, bar in the corner and the changing room is an open area behind the supporters. In the changing room the fighters are split into 2 areas so you are not sitting next to the person you are fighting. They wrap your hands and cover you in vaseline to reduce cuts. You have to wear gloves supplied by the stadium to stop fighters cheating and putting knuckle dusters in the gloves (it has happened before) but the way your hands a wrapped it is like wearing knuckle dusters anyway.

When entering the ring you have the traditional Thai music which does get on your nerves a bit by the time you leave and all fighters wear a mongkhon (cotton headband).

Some fighters will run through the wai khru ritual in which the fighter pays homage to his teachers, past and present before the fight. Not all fighters go through this ritual and just walk to each corner of the ring praying 3 times in each corner.

The fight itself does not allow shin pads or head guards and the gloves are usually only 8oz so the fights are brutal.

Once the fight is over both fighters will pay respects to each other no matter the outcome which shows great humility.

You can’t visit Thailand without going to watch a fight at one of the stadiums as this is part of their heritage.

Week 9

Posted: 31st October 2010 by glyn.roberts in Thailand

This week is the BBQ beatdown again. You can read my previous post about the BBQ Beatdown here.
In the run up to the BBQ, the training does become a bit harder. All the fighters in the smoker fights want to push themselves that bit further to give them the edge in the ring which means that the sparing is heavier hitting. Of course if your ability is not at that level yet they will lighten up but those that have been there for a while are expected to help those fighters by going harder than normal in these classes.

My training continued as always with Muay Thai classes, weights, running with a few PT’s (Private Training) as well.

Patong – Night

Posted: 30th October 2010 by glyn.roberts in Places, Thailand

Patong at night is an interesting place. Think stag weekend and all the things you’d ask your partner not to do on their last free day before marriage, and you’d have patong.

Patong is about a 500baht taxi ride but is cheaper if you go during the day.
You have the main street with all the bars and clubs lined down the road. The street is always packed at night with westerners, touts for the clubs and people selling items.
Some of the pubs are good like the live music bar at the top of the road. Other bars go more towards the seedy underbelly of Phuket with girls dancing on the tables and approaching men at the bar. Some of the bars have games available like Connect 4 and Jenga to keep you entertained and stay at that bar but beware playing against the bar staff. They have probably played that game everyday for the last 10 years and can easily beat most people.
The clubs are good but are sometimes expensive if you go at the wrong time. Keep an eye out of happy hours and free entry times to reduce your cost on the night out.
Finally there are Ping Pong shows. I’m too embarrassed to go into too much detail about these but lets say it is an experience you’d only do once. Technically it is very impressive but not for the feint hearted.

And that is the description of Patong. Not for the family but a good laugh on a night out.

Week 8

Posted: 24th October 2010 by glyn.roberts in Thailand

This week I have decided to start some private training sessions to speed up the progress in my Muay Thai form.
I still continued with the running, weights and Muay Thai group classes as always but the extra attention from a one on one with an instructor should really help me improve.

The group classes give you a chance to have 15mins with an instructor and after a couple of weeks, I have trained will all of them.
The way I decided which trainer to go with was by selecting the one that improves me the most.
Some trainers just run through the motions of kicks and punches on the pads which does improve your cardio, but they miss mistakes in your form. A few times I have done a combination of punches and kicks and made mistakes with my stance and footing. If I am noticing my mistakes but not getting brought up by the trainer then you don’t know what else you are getting wrong.

The trainer I’ve decided to go with is Rit. He currently competes in Patong and Bangla Stadium and has an excellent record in the ring. I have found that training with him is best for me and if I make a mistake (no matter how small) he corrects me and makes me do it 10 times perfect.
I have found that this is the best method to ensure that I am getting everything correct and improve my fighting style in the long run. Of course it is still physically draining so I get the best of both worlds.

The end of the week was a Full Moon party at one of the hotels near Rawai followed by a trip to Patong.