Mon. Feb. 11, 2013
- Woke up to Chinese New Year firecrackers http://youtu.be/8ebX1SZGnls
- Nick & I took Jersey and Mary on a tour of the island stopping at Nai Harn, Patong and Karon beaches. BTW, if you don’t know what Patong is, look it up on Youtube for some “cultural education” lol…it’s basically an adult Disneyland. The place is so much tamer during the day-time then at night-time.
- I had planned on going to Muay Thai training today, but being out in the sun just drains your energy. When we got back to the hotel, I passed out for about half an hour by the pool. When I woke up, I felt guilty and drove down the road to Phuket Top Team to observe about 40 minutes of class and just talk to some people. During my last trip here, I trained there and did a few private sessions as well.
- Did my first 20 minute meditation at night. 🙂 It was a guided video on Youtube that Nick sent over. The last time I did meditation was months ago, probably October or November. This was one of the skills I wanted to practice while here in Thailand. I still had a bit of anxiety/ NYC in me and just trying to adjust to my new lifestyle, ie. taking it down a notch…so figured it’d be a good-time to start getting into a routine of daily practice. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vgKzXdwtRE&feature=share&list=PLPJaKdyArXYudicZYjrtyPiuxxdp6ztIg
Tues. Feb.12, 2013
- Woke up and first thing I did to start my day was another YouTube guided meditation video (14 min). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CDZGXlHYp8&feature=share&list=PLPJaKdyArXYudicZYjrtyPiuxxdp6ztIg
- My firm disabled my US sim card so finally went with Nick and picked up a Thai sim card/ phone number. He suggested the phone carrier AIS for dependability and quality so went with that one. It costs 100 baht for the card and 200 baht for minutes (not sure how many that equals too). Also exchanged some US currency that I had brought over (look for a small booth with “Currency Exchange” sign and a window with lady inside it). Both of these places are right across from Tiger Muay Thai, next to each other.
- Today was the big-day I start up Muay Thai training so went to the front office Phuket Top Team and paid 300 baht for the afternoon session. Also picked up a fancy new Fairtex duffle bag. I had meant to buy one last time but I found it hard to find Fairtex equipment after I left Phuket. The bag was 1700 baht which is reasonable, about $56 US.
- When I came back around 5pm for my training session, the class had already begun…WTF!!! The front office guy I paid earlier was there and said he was looking for me. Apparently the schedule changes daily – 4pm-6pm on Tues/ Thurs/Sat and 5pm-7pm on Mon/Wed/Fri….ARGH!!! I was a bit frustrated, but as in Thailand, you have to learn to just sit back and not stress out about it – or as the Thai’s say: mai pen rai. This attitude is one of the things I learned during my first trip out here – to have patience and not lose my temper so easy. It’s also one of the reasons for returning 🙂 In Thai culture, it’s frowned upon to raise your voice in anger at someone or to disrupt social harmony…”losing face” which is big in Chinese culture also has it’s place in Thai culture as well. Check out this link for a quick explanation on Thai values – http://www.thaifoodandtravel.com/features/heart.html
- Drove to Chalong gym instead and did a back workout.
- Later that night went out for Indian food with Mike, Suhaila, Nick and Natcha…had my favorite dishes – chicken tikka masala, garlic naan and samosas 🙂
Wed. Feb.13, 2013
- Went to Tesco to pickup my staples – Thai chocolates, iced-coffee in a can and yogurt.
- Picked up lunch from fried chicken cart and found my favorite food cart – FRIED BANANAS!
- Did meditation video again.
- Trained at Phuket Top Team (finally!)
Phuket Top Team Training Session #1 (5pm – 7pm)
- Got there early for my own stretching.
- The trainers remembered me from last time…but this time they called me Saenchai (a very well known Muay Thai legend that currently competes), lol. This is not the first time it’s happened. Here are some pics: https://www.google.com/search?q=saenchai&hl=en&rlz=1C1LENN_enUS480US480&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=WkgyUaXkKczHrQeX7oGQDA&ved=0CE8QsAQ&biw=1517&bih=714
- Jump roped for 15-20 min…was really hot but still bearable. About 5 min into it, the time-keeper yells 15 MORE MIN!!!! WTF I thought, lol.
- Made it to the end and was surprised at my stamina and endurance.
- Group stretching/ warm-up exercises.
- Jump in place, box in place, teeps, knees, leg blocks, shadowbox in circle, carried partner on back (some guy from Cali who was about 200 lbs. !)
- Hand wrapped by trainer
- Shadowbox with Kru Neung (from Isan and he knows Kru Lucky, my favorite trainer from last trip but no longer there since he went home).
- 3 rounds on pads in ring with Kru Neung…told him it was my first day so we went slow and went over lots of technique which was perfect.
- Jab, cross, left elbow, then step right and do right elbow.
- Right leg check, step back away from kick, then right kick
- Worked on knees….for right knee, left hand up to block, but right hand down.
- On left switch knee, I need to have left knee land in same spot (lead leg position) that way I can right kick if I want to.
- On left switch kick, I do a quick foot switch then kick with left.
- Worked on combo incorporating all the moves mentioned above.
- I really liked Kru Neung because he stressed technique rather than trying to get me outta breath. That’s one of my training goals here, to get proper form in everything I do. He also spoke good English.
- After 3 rounds, I did 3 rounds on the bag with pushups in between.
- After was 3 rounds of clinching…worked with a big Aussie Ralph, then German guy Chris. Then another German. My neck was sooo sore.
- 200 knees on bag
- Ab exercises
- I’ve never seen this in Thailand, but one of the guys training had one of the kru’s kick him 10x’s in the ribs on the right-side…then again on the left-side. The dude didn’t look happy…but then I gave it try to see how bad it was. Let me just say it was definitely painful! lol
- Cool down stretches and just hung around to talk to other people.
- The crowd training tonight (about 20-25 people) was a diverse one with beginner and intermediate people. It was a good way for me to transition back into training since I’m just getting over my torn MCL. Plus I’m familiar with the gym/ trainers so a bit more comfortable with the environment.
- I felt really good after class…wasn’t totally wiped out like previous classes/ training I’ve done…nothing was sore or hurting. 🙂
Thurs. Feb.14, 2013
- I tried to goto sleep early Wednesday night so I could do the 7:15am fighters run at Phuket Top Team but couldn’t fall asleep..maybe because I was anxious to train again. Didn’t sleep much so passed on the morning training session.
- Instead went to the beach with a girl who’s training at PTT. I suffered my first injury by banging my ankle and foot on the rocks at the bottom of ocean…it’s already bleeding. Ehhhh…be careful of Ya Nui beach.
- Before training, had to stop by the pharmacy to pickup bandage tape to wrap up both of my big toes…they got blisters already. Usually the blue carpets gives this to me.
Phuket Top Team Training Session #2 (4-6pm)
- The hour difference in start time (4pm vs 5pm) made it a lot hotter to train in and was definitely noticeable.
- Did 15-20 min of jump rope.
- Group exercises: jog in circle, side step, stretches
- Hand-wrapped by trainers
- Shadow box – on knees, push hip forward more. Worked on over-hand right cross with Kru Robert Lek.
- 3 rounds of bag work – first round did kicks on wide bag, 2nd round uppercut, hook wall mount, 3rd round on egg-shaped bag.
- 4 rounds of pads with Kru Neung
- Worked on same combos as yesterday..however, today we really worked on balance and foot work. After jab, cross, left elbow, right elbow, I need to get my right leg back to starting point after the right-step. Otherwise I can’t counter kick or knee.
- On switch knee, I need to land my left knee into the same starting position, which is leading.
- Same thing with switch kick.
- We also did 10 kicks on each side.
- Was outta breath and cramped up a few times.
- 3 rounds of sparring. We put on shin guards, gloves and mouth guard (first time using my new shock doctor one). Previously, I’ve only sparred with Thai’s who are more technique orientated and only go about 50 % power…and everything is slowed down so we can work on proper form.
- However, today I sparred with 3 foreigners…first was Nicholas from Sweden…at first it was really light…then he stopped and told me to punch him in the chin….he said “see, no problem..no hurt”…then he had me teep him in the belly and same thing…Then I asked him to do the same to me…Revelation #1 – wow, it really doesn’t hurt that bad! So now we went a little bit harder in sparring…I wasn’t that scarred to get hit 🙂
- Next round was Cooper…not sure where he was from.
- Last was a big Aussie, Phil….he definitely had height, reach and size advantage. Whenever our jabs met, I could feel his power. I tried to work on my foot work and dodge him…also threw in teeps, jabs to keep him at distance. I was able to do some fake kicks then work a cross or jab at him…that caught him a few times. He got me with a couple of kicks I didn’t check and got caught on the outside of my quad…even with shinguards, that sh1t hurt! lol The round seemed longest…when it was over, I felt really good about the 3 sparring sessions..that was definitely the hardest and most realistic fighting I’ve done and didn’t get totally dominated either..these guys all had more experience than me.
- Next up was 30 kicks on each side of a heavy bag with a partner…I partnered up with Nicholas…he threw a right kick, then I a left one…then we started again…all the way up to 30 with the kru counting. I wanted to puke after this!!!
- After, we got in line for the other bag to do the alternate side. Again, wanted to puke after…But Nicholas said I threw good kicks with power, so was happy…other people I watched were pretty gassed and just throw up light-kicks with not much force.
- The last part was sit-ups in the ring…after I chugged a 3rd bottle of water….damn this weather is no joke!!! 90+ degrees.
- My calves and rest of my legs are pretty sore, along with my abs…just breathing out hurts. My right ankle that I banged on the ocean rock is swollen now. Definitely taking off on Friday, maybe just weight training at Chalong gym and the Buddha walk. Saturday I might do an AM session so I can take my friend Mary before she leaves for Chiang Mai…she’s from NYC and never tried Muay Thai before.
- It was Valentine’s day, but Nick and Natcha insisted Mary and myself accompany them to dinner…glad we did, because we went to a local Isan place towards Central mall. After we went to Wine Connection (a Western styled resto) for drinks and desert.
Fri. Feb.15, 2013
- Chalong gym – shoulders workout
- Meditation video
- Did the Buddha walk
- Went out to Old Phuket town for dinner to Tung Ka Cafe Restaurant, which is atop a mountain and has a beautiful view of the city. Definitely recommend it to anyone visiting. The food was really good and surprisingly reasonably priced. After had a few drinks at a HiSo bar.
Sat. Feb.16, 2013
- Didn’t sleep well..tired and have heart palpitations
- Did meditation video.
- Drove down to Wat Luang Pu Supha. This was the first temple I ever got to see in Thailand last year. It’s in a remote area and very quit, very peaceful. Across the street monks live there and you can hear them chanting, praying and bang on the bells. Here’s a video http://youtu.be/iOo7dRBVYtY After, I found a dirt road in the back and decided to do some exploring. The area that was cleared out was huge and looked like an excavation site for dinosaur fossils or something. Found elephants roaming around. Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MseVHKaNgXg
- Later that night, went to Phuket Top Team BBQ. Had dinner and checked out the live band there. People were going to Patong afterwards but I didn’t feel like having a crazy/ boozey night so instead went to check out Wat Chalong for the annual Chinese New Year festival. On the way there, I saw fireworks. It was a carnival / night-market atmosphere with rides, games, shopping, food and live music. Tons of people too. I tried was a bit adventurous and tried some new dishes from the food carts. The fish ones I didn’t care for as they were way to salty for my liking. Here’s a video I shot of the festival http://youtu.be/8FW0mnCh-7o
Sun. Feb.17, 2013
- Had a late lunch with Nick & Natcha in Old Phuket town. Stopped off at some small spot for spring rolls. Then went to a noodle house (Me Ton Poe) Nick found on a blog. Good cheap food, but service was really slow.
- After went to a coffee-bike shop across from the night markets..came home and took a quick nap.
- Then off to a view point near Kata beach and the tidal-surf pool. The line was too long so Nick just skipped it this time. I’d like to try it but abstaining since I don’t want to risk any injuries that may prevent me from training/ fighting.
- On the way home, we ate dinner at a little side outside restaurant that was setup in the parking lot. The kitchen was a small booth/ cart and the tables/ chairs were setup outside. For 200 baht each, we had enjoyed a delicious Sunday night dinner 🙂 BTW, check out the “facebook” sign they had, lol.