Approximately one week after my post Muay Thai In Limbo, I found out that Gai, my trainer was getting married within two weeks. One of his oldest friends mentioned it to me and they had just found out that day. If what I've been told is correct, Gai had recently found out. Perhaps a few weeks prior, possibly a few months, no one I spoke to really knew. This, from what I've been told by a number of people is normal. Families and/or monks often deem that people are to marry and when, not the people dating. In addition, the people who are getting married aren't obligated to tell their friends. Many don't. I've learned to stop … [Read more...]
Muay Thai training information, fight videos and fighter interviews with an emphasis on traditional Muay Thai. Read about Muay Thai in Thailand with a focus on Isaan and Bangkok. This is the real deal. Not kickboxing with elbows and knees. Don't know the difference? Read on.
When I first started training with Gai a year ago, I called up one of my friends and shouted, 'He treats me like a chicken!'. This translates as - I was being taken care of. Chicken fights can be big business out here and I've seen men treat their fowl with more respect and care than I've seen nak muays receive at a gym. Nothing like looking at a bird and thinking, "Wow, one day I want what you've got" (minus having a feather shoved up my rectum then down my throat to make weight). That being said, Thailand is a random place where the majority of the population lives in the present. Great while vacationing, a bit to get used to when you're … [Read more...]
Femi Akinade, aka Femii Thai, is a singer/songwriter/thai boxer hailing from London, England. I met Femi in Bangkok in early 2009 while training at Chuwattana Gym. As that was over two years ago, my mind scrambles when I try to recall how long we trained together, I can't remember if it was for a few weeks, or over a month. Nonetheless, what I do remember is Femi's dedication to the art and the respect he extended to everyone around him. Femi also brought home a win from Rajadamnern Stadium that year. Since skipping back to England, Femi continues to train but has switched his focus to music, his most recent single being released without a … [Read more...]
Sometimes I follow that which I can't explain and that which makes absolutely no sense to the people around me. Often, those are the moves that I benefit from the most. I'm not saying my life becomes easier, I just grow. Meeting Gai and deciding to train with him was one of those moves. The general protocol at a muay thai gym in Thailand is as follows: Mornings - a 10 km run followed by bag work and three to five, five minute rounds on pads Afternoons - a 5 - 10 km run (or 30 minutes skipping), bag work, five, five minute rounds on pads, clinching and/or sparring. An average day of training may be approximately five to six … [Read more...]
This is the only video I've been able to find of my trainer/kru. He comes in at 1.46 and at 1.54 gets KO'd. When I saw this, it wasn't the KO that I took great note of, it was how hard he tried to get up. His fight name is Sataban Tor Ratonakiet, nickname Gai and he never won a belt. Belts are cool, but not having one doesn't define you as a less than great fighter in my opinion. Neither does getting knocked out on YouTube. I equate it to assuming all the smartest kids got the best grades in school. Granted, some of them did, but not all of them. And realistically, fighting is like anything else, we all get knocked out eventually. But do we … [Read more...]
The Buriram I live, may not be the Buriram you know. More often than not, when I tell Thai nationals who aren't born of this region that I live in Buriram, my statement elicits a variety of mixed reactions - confusion, shock, and disdain generally being the top three. Adding that I train muay thai doesn't work in my favour. The region of Isaan, situated in the North East, is Thailand's poorest. Buriram, in the southern hemisphere is one of the poorest provinces of the region - it's also one of the major suppliers of sex trade workers to Pattaya and Bangkok. Among the lower classes, a proportionate number of females work the bars and … [Read more...]
The Thailand I live, may not be the Thailand you know. I haven't been able to find a reference point for it in any literature I've found. I know few people who relate to it. I train Muay Thai or Thai boxing, fulltime. Tourist attractions and most things status quo rarely interest me. As a result, I've tried to follow my own path in this country, as well as within the culture of Muay Thai. At the time of this writing, Thailand has been my base in Asia for approximately two years. Thailand has changed me. At times I feel as though there is a Western me and an Eastern me, neither really fitting into either stereotyped … [Read more...]