Hello from sunny and often humid Thailand!
My fellow trainees and I have gotten to calling this place "The Constant Land of the
Why? Because we are always sweating.. really.. constantly sweating. We sweat when we train, when we eat, when we walk, even in the cool evenings, when we train, we walk, we eat... you get the general idea. Lol.
First things first, I did say Sawadee Krap to you at the start of the post didn't I? So I was being polite. Well, beautiful people of Thailand are almost always polite. Everywhere we go, we get a smile back in return. Really! I love it here. Well, maybe its because us farangs (foreigners) have money.. but mostly because they are simply just.. NICE :P
Nice is one thing oh.. their national pride OTHER than their King and Queen is Muay Thai. And boooooy is it Muay Thai. If you get the right person to discuss Muay Thai with you, be prepared for a short demo and lengthy discussion on the art of boxing and Muay Chaiya.
I am currently over in Khao Lak, Thailand in Rawi Muay Thai Camp for a personal retreat. I wanted to experience first hand what Muay Thai is in its native and unadulterated form. I am also intrigued by Muay Boran (Chaiya). The krus' (trainers) here are friendly, as down to earth as can be and simply talented in what they do. Fighters all of them! Local and regional champions who have fought in stadiums all over Bangkok, Lupine, Khao Lak..
I live on the campus. Its a very small maybe 3 football fields big camp which comprises of a training area with 4 rings and a big padded open space, a heated pool, a yoga rest area (currently under construction), a score of bungalows, a nice double storey apartment, and a nice quaint lil cafe (which was unfortunately closed while I was there.. oh well). They also rent out cars, motor scooters and bicycles. Taxis are easy to call and hire here so travel to the nearest town is easy, I took the easy way out and rented myself a sccccccooooooottterrrrr!!!! *GRIN
First day I walked a few kilometres out from camp just to get a feel of my surroundings.. and boy did I regret it. Not only did I find nothing of particular interest, other than the fact that I discovered a small village of refurbished houses meant for the victims of the Tsunami, I was soaked from head to toe and hurt all over.
Second day, I hired a scooter. From then on, it was like I was given a free pass to go anywhere! :P
I scooted to town which only took me a few mins this time.. lol.. WOW the wind blowing in the your face.. shiok!
I came across souvenir stores and also ...yes.. 1 miserable MacD's... Back home we have 3 /4 MacD's serving the same size area. Meh, things we take for granted back home.
On my 2nd week, I finally found.. YES a supermarket and got myself some healthy food.. like cereals and milk. And also cheese and ham! yum! I also got wholewheat bread, just in case I got so hungry and decide to dine-in with carbs.
Brb, 2nd cup of coffee....
So.. my thoughts on Muay Thai and Boran so far? Decidedly violent yet refined. I think I am only qualify to speak my thoughts on Karate... but based on what I have seen, Karate has a certain refinement and character steeped in traditions and discipline. Muay Thai on the other hand, in the eyes of this newly convert, it is beautiful in its execution and so much is based on its long history of warfare and culture.
The wai-kru for instance is beautiful war dance paying tribute to its past and opponent. So much so, its like a peacock strutting its feathers.. almost as if, the fight has already been won or lost just based on the wai-kru. Then there is the Muay Thai Boxing itself. For the competition aspect of Muay Thai, gloves are a must and sometimes shin guards (most of the time is without). Speed and brute force. Enough said. It must be my poor understanding of the art because it cannot be just these 2 elements, so I will investigate further in the course of my study and journey to learn the art of Muay Thai Boxing. Muay Boran, however, is a different animal. You fight without gloves, but with hand wraps only. The stances are much much lower like, traditional karate. The movements are cat-like but yet stable with wide stances alternating either left or right lead. Hand guard positions resembles combats of old, front hand low, back high. (Karate?)
Ooo, I did my own laundry here as well, the sun dries up my wet stuff really quick so nothing really stinks atm.. ATM.
My weight is going down, stamina is going up, so is strength training.. I am hitting the gym here every other day. Today I am taking a day off training as I am beginning to feel the effects of training 4 hours of Muay Thai. My ankle was injured somehow... don't know how, but now its really sore and hard to put weight on it.
Mai Jap, Mai Jai Muay Thai...
No Pain, No Muay Thai.