It was about 10:00 pm. I was standing on the street when he drove up on his bike.
“Lolah! He says he knows you.”
Beer in hand, he silenced the ignition. I walked over to meet him and one of the ladymen I was hanging with.
“You’re a boxer, I’ve seen you at fights.”
A conversation ensued. The details, I currently forget prior to being told he was a trainer. This interested me, as I was still looking for one.
The following is paraphrased, best to my recollection.
“I’ll train you. I train my son.” He motioned with his hands as though he was holding pads. He then looked over my body.
“Have you been running every day?”
“I’ve been building a website, but I’m ready to start training full time again.”
“You’re supposed to run every day even if you’re not training.”
“I know, but I have to ease into it. If I run every day now, it’s going to to damage my knees.”
“You’re supposed to run every day.”
He grabbed one of my arms. His face contorted.
“I know. It’s because I haven’t been training.”
Disgusted, he looked at my denim clad thighs. He then lifted the sleeve of his right arm, flexed his bicep which was smaller than mine, and grabbed his own flesh.
“Look! Look at me! I’m strong! A nak muay is supposed to be strong.”
Again, his face contorted when he looked at my body, my face.
“Look at your nose. It’s easy to break. You can’t fight.”
“Maybe you can fight in your own country but not here.”
“Because Thai women are too strong for Farang. You can’t fight Thai.”
“That’s not true.”
And this is where everything drifts off into mental greyness, each passing moment becoming more pixilated, not for any other reason than this was typical. I knew what he was going to say before he said it. Why? Because this seems to be the puppet dialogue of almost every wannabe kru I’ve met here.
Nak muays, if someone, no matter if it’s in a gym or outside talks to you in this manner, I suggest walking away. Go find another trainer, if you have to, another gym. Why? Because the Thailand I’ve experienced seems to reflect what I consider a lifetime truth, meaning I’ve yet to see an exception – the real don’t preen, boast and put someone down to prove they’ve got power.
I sat here for a long time before I wrote this piece trying to come up with an accomplished native fighter in this country who has spoken to me or anyone I’ve been around in that manner, and I can’t remember one and this includes some hardcore divas.
Did I doubt he trains his own son? No, but did he confirm my suspicion that he wasn’t a kru, just a loud mouthed pad holder? Of course, because like most people with something to prove, he didn’t know when to stop. He jumped off the bike and showed me his fight stance. And as he kept rambling, I picked out his lack of balance, rhythm and the fact he kept dropping his hands. Two years ago, I can’t say I would have been able to suss a guy like this out and I wasted a lot of time, effort and money as a result.
I was hit up on the street, but beware, guys like this can be found in the occasional gym as well.
Good luck out there.