I landed in Bangkok only few days ago, haven’t really suffered from jet lag, YAY.
Bangkok was short, I spent there enough time on my last trip. I told myself I wouldn’t try again a Motorbike taxi ride again, but when I left the Muay Thai shops with 2 bags, gloves, ropes, shorts etc, within 5 secondes, one stopped to give me ride for a good price. Right away I remembered why it was a BAD idea. I probably lost 17 years of live expectancy in 20 minutes. Pollution. Zig zagging between cars, often wondering if we were not going the wrong way (why are we in the middle of the road with a truck facing us ???). However, I managed to look calm and collected by NOT holding the driver (but the handle on the back of the seat). 5 more minutes and I would have gotten a tendinite, I’m pretty sure.
The next day, I was back at the airport with brand new Fairfax gloves hanging to my backpack, flying to Ko Samui. Bangkok Airlines has a free lounge that even Economy class can use, SCORE.
An hour later, I was in Ko Samui, then a short boat ride (LOTS of wind) to Koh Pha Ngan. I went to bed at 9pm, sleeping till 6:30, ready for a sweaty first day of training.
Everybody was super friendly at Namsaknoi. I got there quite early, I was the first one and it hit me : I was back to Thailand to train. I got a bit emotional, so happy to be doing it again. 8am, we are only 6 students, some Brits with some accent I can barely understand, one guy from Edmonton (”You’re the first Canadian I see in a long time !”), one chick from Spain, who kicked my ass.
Rounds of shadow boxing, rounds on the bag, push ups between each round. And then some drills to work on kicks (low fade, high fade, block, and then kick). You miss it, you do 20 push ups. And that’s how I did 40. Saturday morning, it’s different, So we did some boxing sparring. ”No power”. I blocked good part of the punches, but I guess ”no power” doesn’t mean the same thing to everybody : I ended up with a nice bruise on my eye lid, and a bruised cheek. THANKS. Each training ends with 200 knees (OUCH), 100 alt. push kicks and 50 push kicks on each leg (OUCH x 2).
Trainers welcomed me and introduced me to the students, which was very nice.
In the afternoon, Namsaknoi was there, I was quite impressed. Saturday afternoon is regular training, meaning pad work (I still have a hard time to understand their English, need to get use to it again). As expected, my defence sucks, so he had me working a lot on defending kicks (fades etc) and kicking back. Then, it’s clinching time and after 2 minutes, I just wanted to go home and cry. In the first 3 minutes, I was thrown to the ground about 20 times, like a garbage bag, and I had NO idea how it was even happening. My face was squiched by the other girl hands, my jaw was pushed, smatched, my neck was pulled, pushed. After what seemed to be long minutes of embarrassment and frustration, I finally started to be able to analyze what she was doing and trying to fight back. One of the trainers would stop us to explain me how to fight the clinch, resist, be stronger… I fell like I was a full beginner, and I have to admit, it was overwhelming, brutal, but also very humbling. No ego, just learn. If we do that everyday, I’m expecting long hours of more embarrassing and humbling moments, but, eh, thats the learning process that matters. As Namsaknoi posted today on his Instagram : Muay Thai is a sport, not personal vendetta. Practice it with a free heart and no fear”.
Once the pad work and clinching done, there is a Q&A with Namsaknoi about clinching (and mostly actually about throws) on one of the ring with everybody. I couldn’t even come up with one question, I had 48274 in my head, such as : Where do I start?
After that, NO you don’t go home. You hit the bag for 5 rounds, and you finish with the 200 knees+200 push kicks (OUCH). And THEN, you can go home and collapse.
So, I went home. Well, first, I had to start the scooter that I had just rented. And I had forgotten, you don’t have to just turn the key, but you also have to press the starter button. So I thought my scooter’s battery was dead. Namsaknoi came and showed me : This is the starter, now it works, you see ? And I thought the embarrassing day was over.
Thank God today is Sunday and maybe by tomorrow morning, he will have forgotten about it.
PS On my way to Koh Pha Ngan, the inside of my thigh got super itchy, I finally had a look, a fucking tiny red ant!! I just HATE them.