Week 3

Posted: 20th September 2010 by glyn.roberts in Thailand

Third week of training consisted of BJJ (Brazilian Jui Jitsu) and Muay Thai. This gave me a chance to start my introduction into MMA as this incorporates allot of ground work (BJJ)

I continued my intermediate Muay Thai classes as usual. These classes are improving my technique and giving me more of a challenge in the sparing sessions. You still do 3 rounds with the trainers, then 3 rounds on the bags followed by 3 rounds sparing.
Often you have to kick the punchbags 200 times before the last 100 push-ups and 200 sit-ups to end the session.

The BJJ (Brazilian Jui Jitsu) classes are now running 5 days a week with the new instructor. This is traditionally ground fighting learning locks and other tapout techniques to use against your opponent. You may train with Gi’s if you brought them and those without can train no-gi style. Personally I prefer no-gi as a fight in the street is unlikely to be against someone with a strong collar coat on (and also it is a pain to wash you Gi after every training session). There are still good reasons to train with a Gi as it does open up many more moves to learn, so if you are interested in learning everything about BJJ then bring a Gi with you.
I found these classes difficult as those taking part were experienced in BJJ previously. The drills we ran though were excellent and helped bring my standard up quickly. I was getting defeated easily in the sparing sessions but its a price I pay when my experience is limited in BJJ. Each sparing session was useful though as you learn allot when training against someone more skilled than you.

Saturday night spent in Patong at a live music pub which sold alcohol at a reasonable price followed by a club called Seduction. Great end to a tough week 🙂

Ya-uni Beach

Posted: 17th September 2010 by glyn.roberts in Places, Thailand

This is a secluded little beach between Rawi and Nai Harn Beach. I only found it while trecking between the two locations.

To get to it you follow the coast by road where you will find a restaurant on the shore line. It is secluded so keep an eye out for it. I would recommend getting their by car or moped though as the walk is tough with several sharp inclines and on the main road.

The beach itself isn’t kept as tidy as other beaches in Thailand but the attraction is that it is usually very quite. You have to option to rent beach chairs as usual but there is little else around.

Worth a visit if you can find the place.

Week 2

Posted: 12th September 2010 by glyn.roberts in Thailand

Second week of training complete. This week I split my training into 2 parts. The morning I did the Krabi Krabong and in the afternoon was the Muay Thai. This gave me a chance to try something different during the morning to mix up my training a bit.

Krabi Krabong

This incorporates weapons like sticks (swords traditionally) and knives. A very interesting class. You usually start the class with how to hold sticks (swords) followed by different striking methods. After that you learn the defensive moves followed by light sparing between the other students.
The knives get a bit messy. You are given a practice knife that looks real but is blunt on all sides. You go through a few moves of how to attack and defend with a knife then onto some more light sparing between other students.
It is an eye opener as you see quickly how easy it is to get stabbed if this situation was real.

Muay Thai

Started the first half of the week continuing in the beginner class. On Wednesday I got upgraded to the Intermediate Muay Thai classes which is great. These classes focus more on the technique rather than the fitness as much. The warmup is easier than the beginner classes though more is expected of you in the one to one sessions with the trainers and the sparing rounds. The lads in these classes as you would expect are stronger and faster so it is a big step up from what I was doing previously. Now looking to improve enough to move up to the advance classes, though that may be quite a few weeks till I do 🙂

The weekend was spent looking round Patong and Nai Harn Beach which was a relaxing break.

Nai Harn Beach

Posted: 12th September 2010 by glyn.roberts in Places, Thailand

Nai Harn beach is on the very south of Phuket.
About a 15min drive from Tiger Muay Thai so a taxi is about 300 Baht and a scooter is about 120Baht.

There is not as much going on in the area as there are only a few restaurants and shops along the sea front. None of the sleazy aspects of thailand are present so a nice wholesome place for the family.
Taxi rank on the end of the beach so getting home is easy also.

The beach itself is clean and with your usual sunbed rental for 100Baht.
There are signs saying that you shouldn’t swim but this is for certain parts of the beach only. There are some rocks under water in a section of the beach which are highlighted by red and yellow flags and this is the area to avoid when swimming. You will have whistles blown at you if you do try to swim in these areas by the life guards.

There are several people walking around selling ice-creams, towels and other items on the beach and a few stalls just behind the beach selling cold drinks.

Traveling around Phuket

Posted: 11th September 2010 by glyn.roberts in Thailand

This is just a quick guide of how to travel around Phuket during your stay

Moped Taxi

These are the cheapest way to get round the area though safety is sometimes an issue.
If you are walking on a road you will regularly have mopeds beep at you asking if you want a taxi (if they are not beeping at you to get out of the way). You can tell them where you are going then haggle the to the price you are looking for. By law you have to wear a helmet if you are on a moped in Thailand. This is enforced by police and you will be charged an on the spot fine for 5000 Baht if caught. Most moped taxi’s have spares with them and ask you to wear them though there are a few that don’t so be prepared to walk away if you don’t want to take that risk. Also some drivers take little regard for your safety on the journey weaving in an out of traffic to your destination. As this is quicker it is a bit of a roller coaster that could lead up to you being hurt. This is still the method I use most as it’s the cheapest and the majority of drivers are safe(ish).

Hire a moped

You can hire your own moped throughout your stay though it is not as cheap as it seems. If you plan to travel to lots of destinations during your stay then it is worth it, but for me I mainly travel away from the camp only 2 times a week. The average moped hire for 1 month is 3000 Baht. You have to keep your petrol topped up which is easy with many restaurants and shops offering petrol bottles to buy (yes, you by petrol in glass bottles like vodka). Be sure to take a day to practice driving on quite roads if you have no experience on a moped as the main roads are hectic. You are likely to get stopped by the police to check credentials so be sure to take your details with you.

Taxi

Taxi’s are the safest way to travel but also the most expensive. Haggling is important to keep your costs down. They will regularly offer over the normal price of travel so if possible ask someone that has done a similar trip what they paid so you know what price you are expecting. You are also likely to be offered other services inside these taxi’s like day trips and boat rides or anything else you need. They get commission for any business they bring so they are more than happy to find you a place for your activity.

Tok Tok

These are available at most tourist hotspots. Usually larger than taxi’s so if there is a large group of you it will turn out to be allot cheaper. Don’t pay more than the same price that you normally would of a taxi though. I’ve heard stories that all the tok tok’s are ran by the mob. Saying that you are unlikely to have any trouble as long as you pay what you agreed to for the price of the journey.

Other means

I’ve traveled in the back of a pick-up truck, what seemed to be a milk cart and many other vehicles. If you are not happy with what they plan to take you in you can always walk away. There are always other taxi’s around so if you think something is unsafe, don’t take the risk.

Haggling

It is custom to haggle in Thailand and if you are western then you are more likely to be charged a higher price. Don’t be offended by this as tourism is their main industry and they try to over charge with everyone that is not Thai.
Be strong and be prepared to walk away if they do not come down to the price you are happy with. There are always other taxi’s around. Saying that, also be realistic with the price you are willing to accept. Ask other people how much they paid to get somewhere so you know a price range to work to.
Most of all be safe, if something does not seem right like the driver is drunk or the vehicle looks like it is going to fall apart, walk away.