Training & Feedin’ Time! Day 28 (June 23)

Saturday I went to a somewhat popular Thai spot for brunch.  My friend and I were able to get a few dishes before they were totally sold out.

Chiang Mai has too many temples to count…there’s practically one on every corner.  But I had only been to the one atop of Diu Suthep.  So we went to one in the city, Wat Phrasingh.  What people need to remember when they visit these holy shrines, is that they are still active places of worship for Buddhists…therefore you will see people praying and what not.  It’s important to be respectful of this.

The first thing we did was go to the area on the side that sells candles, flowers and gift baskets.  These are for donations, ie. for the monks.  Then we went to the golden statue shrine, said a prayer, then lit the candles and laid down the flowers.

Once inside the temple, we went to a monk to get blessed.  We knelt down in front of him, offered up the donation basket and he then said some prayers…some water was thrown on us, and lastly a piece of string tied around our wrists.  This is for good luck ie. money J

We walked to the back area which has an orange sheet that you write on…I wrote asking for health & happiness for my friends & family.  Next to it is a big gong that I hit, haha.  There’s a tent selling candles so we bought some again.  But this time you put down your name and birth date and the actual day you were born on.  You light it at the altar and it’s for good luck.

Yesterday’s training went well so decided to go for the Saturday 4 PM session.

  • Only 5-6 guys were in class today
  • Warmed up and stretched
  • Did 3 rounds of pad work with either Kru Joe or Kru Gen (sorry guys, still can’t tell you apart haha)
  • Same combos as yesterday
  • Last 30 sec were burnout punches
  • Bag work
  • Kru Joe & Gen are really good with elbows.  They helped correct the movement of my arms and where to place my feet when executing them.
  • Practiced left elbow with spinning elbow
  • Elbow into solar plex (center of chest, which must really hurt)
  • Jab, jab, Jumping elbow (winding your arm like a windmill stretch)
  • Did clinching with Jasper – basic getting arms on inside position
  • Make sure to stand up straight
  • Worked in some knees
  • Getting out of bear-hug clinch
  • Avoiding knees, by spinning hip or using knee to block
  • Kru Joe & Gen showed us how to throw opponent, using bus driving analogy (ie. left hand pulls,  while right hand pushes away)
  • Then it looked like they did a teaching lecture
  • Flying knees on bags, group drill with knees & hand-weights around mats

One of the guys who helped me plan my Chiang Mai trip was Bill Forestell .   He runs the website http://fightpassport.com and helped setup the Team Quest gym.  This site has numerous articles and reviews on Thailand…an excellent source of information.  Bill has been living here for 4 years and has trained at dozens of different camps, even ones outside of Thailand, ie. Cambodia.  He’s documented a lot of his travels and experiences which are invaluable to anyone considering a trip.  I’ve been meaning to meet Bill in person to thank him for all the assistance he gave me.  Today he finally stopped by Team Quest and we chatted for a bit.  We were emailing each other back and forth since March about my Chiang Mai trip…it’s nice to finally get a face to match a name.  Thanks Bill!

Before leaving, I talked with Ian and Adrien who fought the other night.  I found out he’s only 24 years old and has been doing Muay Thai for just a year and a half, but already has 18 fights.

Review of TQ:

One of the main reasons for visiting Chiang Mai (originally scheduled for 10 days) was to get in some solid training at Team Quest.  Because I stayed in Phuket an extra week, this only gave me a week in Chiang Mai…coupled with my injuries and sickness, I only got to train twice there.  However, my overall impression of Team Quest is positive.  When I come back to Thailand, I will definitely stop back here for a longer term to train.  Some highlights:

  • As with most gyms, you will feel a “vibe” as to the students and kru’s.  If you’re not comfortable, then you probably won’t train well.  With Team Quest, I liked the atmosphere.   The other students I met there were international and friendly.  People helped me out with my technique.
  • The trainers: Kru Joe, Gen, Hut and Ping spoke good English, which is important when trying to teach you form and technique.  They had a good sense of humor as well and were laidback.
  • As I mentioned before, Kru Joe & Gen were really good with elbows.  When they demonstrate technique, they look graceful and badass at the same time.  I wish I had more time to work on my elbows with them.
  • The gym was only opened last year (Oct/ Nov I think) so everything is clean and new.
  • I met one of the owners, Ian Cartright (Canadian).  He explained to me he wants to expand the gym…he obviously cares about the facilities and has done a good job so far at maintaining its quality.
  • They have a very useful website ( http://teamquestthailand.com/ )which has tons of information, ie. which hotel to stay, activities to do, etc.
  • When I went, the classes did not seem crowded.  About 15 students and 4 trainers.
  • Good prices…350 baht per class.  Cheaper than Phuket, 500 baht.
  • Oh yeah, this is the same Team Quest brand that some famous UFC fighters have been training at.

For dinner, we went to Chiang Mai’s best BBQ buffet.  I don’t know the name but it’s towards Doi Suthep and Chiang Mai University.  It’s gianormous with hundreds of tables.  They had a nice ambience going with a live singer / acoustic guitar performing both Thai and foreign songs.  The food selection was huge (all kinds of meat , seafood, apps, desserts and drinks included) and only costs 200 baht per person.

Here’s a Youtube video of the place: http://youtu.be/f1xD_Y2ifZQ

And one of the drive home…Chiang Mai at night:  http://youtu.be/W2ZatABurlU

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