Thursday Day 19 – June 14
I was still feeling like garbage, but wanted to have one more private lesson with Kru Joy before I leave Phuket. Plus Mike and Suhaila said they’d take photos of me. Suhaila actually has a professional photography business so check out: http://www.suhailamatherphotography.com/
Her pics of me came out awesome, thanks Suhaila.
Also, Mike run’s the website which I used for tons of planning. Check it out here: http://www.muaythaitrainingcamps.com/
During today’s training, we worked on:
- Jumping knee
- spinning elbow
- sparring: catch opponent’s kick, then counter with a low-kick/ sweep and throw him down
- clinching with knees
- finished with 100 knees and 200 sit-ups
Later in the afternoon, some of us drove out towards Nai Harn beach to get our sugar fix at Spoonful of Sugar Cafe. It reminded me of a cute, country-side bed and breakfast place you’d see in the states. I got a green tea latte and blue-berry cheesecake….fat-kid, YES!
At night, I took a stroll over to Bamboo Tattoo shop down the road from Fern House. Nick had gotten his sak yant from Kru Oh and recommended him. I also knew of him from this YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1_TwYTFlig
He gave me a portfolio of his work to flip through..very detailed stuff and I could see he was definitely talented. Before I came to Thailand, I did my own research on the various sak yants and what there meanings were. One that I really liked was of Hanuman (the monkey god) holding a victory flag and different weapons, riding on top of Singha (a lion, which is my birth sign as well). These sak yants were for courage and strength, and as an aspiring Muay Thai fighter, thought would be good to have. More importantly though, Hanuman also represents the values of wisdom/ intelligence, humility and community-service…ideals I try to practice daily and hold dear to. I told Kru Oh this was the one I wanted, but this particular drawing was not in the portfolio…he went back inside and came back out with his own version…IT SURPASSED THE ONE I HAD BACK IN MY HOTEL ROOM! He asked if I still wanted this one and told him YES 🙂 Next we went over where I wanted it on my body and how big. The next step was for him to draw up a final version tonight that was the correct size…then I can come back Friday morning around 8AM to make sure it looks good. Then we can schedule a time later in the day, which will take about 6 hours. I was glad the process would take long…I wanted to use the time to just think and reflect.
Friday Day 20 – June 15
I drove over to Bamboo Tattoo around 8AM but Kru Oh was at Tiger Muay Thai teaching Muay Boran. His friend said he must’ve forgotten about me. So went back to the hotel and tried to go back to sleep, which was unsuccessful. I then bought my plane ticket to Bangkok, 2,880 baht or $96 US via Thai Airways.
1:45pm I drove back over but Kru Oh was busy so he said half hour. Finally at around 2:30pm we started the sak yant process. He prayed, then started tapping with the long bamboo stick dipped in ink. The reason he prays before-hand is to make sure “his energy levels” are okay during the sak yant process. He started around my hip-bone area and it hurt a lot. I had a moment where I questioned myself “what did I just sign up for…6 hours of this?!”..so I closed my eyes and did meditation for the first half hour, which helped with the pain.
After about an hour or two, my friends started to drop in and out to keep me company. Ryan, Nick, Nathalie, Zaheer, Mike, Suhaila and Jason all came to support me and made the time go by fast. Also, the guy who made this video ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1_TwYTFlig ) stopped by with his friend for a bit. I didn’t know who he was ‘til after. Kru Oh also took breaks in-between…during these short sessions, I found out more about who he is:
- He belongs to a family lineage of weapons master (for king/ military?). In his house, he has swords, knives and other kewl looking weapons around the walls.
- He used to actively fight, until something happened…he broke another fighter’s jaw and the man later died. I guess Kru Oh felt really bad afterwards and thus refrains from fighting.
- Kru Oh teaches both Muay Boran and Krabi Krabong. Once he stops doing sak yant, he wants to use the time to teach these ancient martial arts at a temple to whoever wants to learn.
- The short, skinny older man you see in the background, that’s his house mate. He was a Western Boxer and Muay Thai fighter at the famous stadiums Lumpinee & Rajadamnern.
At the end (around 8:30pm), Kru Oh blessed my sak yant by blowing on it and saying some words/ prayers. Then we snapped some pics of his beautiful artwork. The lighting wasn’t good so he told me to come by in the AM before I leave Phuket. I wanted to ask him what the ancient writing (Khmer Sanskrit) was at the bottom, the inscription across Hanuman, and the 5 spiral drawings meant…but it was getting late and didn’t want to keep him, so decided to wait ‘til tomorrow when I come back.
Besides the sacred meanings associated with my sak yant, it also symbolized my trip to Thailand. These 3 weeks in Phuket have been an eye-opening experience about life, my inner-self and for emotional/ mental growth. I wanted a permanent reminder to symbolize this journey and the memories along the way.
Afterwards, I went out for my final dinner with the Fern House crew to Mexicala restaurant. Then drove out towards Kata/ Karon beach for drinks at Ska Bar.
Later that night when I was in sleeping in bed, I could still feel the needle tapping on my hip…crazy!