These are my thoughts and experiences as female Muay Thai fighter, covering as much of the sport and art from my vantage point as I can: techniques, issues of gender, sak yant, everything as I evolve as a fighter and a person.
I was sitting on the blue mats in the weight room of my gym, creating a pool of sweat around myself as I dripped from training. My thumbs slipped and smeared droplets of sweat on the surface of my phone as I tried to type notes from my conversation with Pi Nu, who was sitting with his back to the mirrored wall, facing me, taking the opportunity to stop his own workout in order to chat with me. I was trying to get the biography of one of his first trainers, a man I see everyday at the gym –
my vlog from yesterday, talking about my training, and the If/When difference in Mental Training Recently I’ve been listening to this podcast by former pro-NFL player Niyi Sobo. It’s an excellent mental training resource and I highly recommend you all start listening to it. He approaches the concepts and practices of “mental toughness” in a relate-able and easy to understand way, which makes his methods immediately practical. You can check out his entire podcast library at Sports Motivation Podcast, and the episode I reference in this vlog is #118: How to Prepare for Anything. Mr. Sobo doesn’t lay out this
above, 5 minutes of my 56 minute session with Andy Thomson. The full Muay Thai Library can be immediately accessed for a suggested pledge of $5. Andy Thomson is a legend in the North of Thailand. He and his partner Pom started the Lanna Muay Thai camp (Thai name Giatbusaba) over 20 years ago and are responsible for the first wave of western fighters having the Thailand training/fighting experience up in the North. They also brought up Thai boys, who have achieved titles and fame (Nong Toom, the “Beautiful Boxer” is from Giatbusaba) and a great number of the current
above is one round of The Burn, taken from the full session breakdown for Nak Muay Nation members, in the running series PhD Padwork When Pi Nu has a conditioning idea, it’s always going to be really difficult and, yes, I am often his Guinea Pig; he tests the routines out on me and then, when it inevitably passes that test, he brings it to the boys and tells them, “Sylvie did it, so you can do it.” I hate this burn routine. It’s actually a development off of his last invention, which was 50 kicks followed by 50 pushups
I am through and through a “country mouse.” Having grown up in Granolaville (Boulder, Colorado), moving to Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand wasn’t too far of a stretch for me. Yes, sure, lots of exotic and amazing differences between cultures and people and what I’m doing with my life with Muay Thai, but the number of barefooted, harem-pants-wearing backpackers and hippie ex-pat professors was very familiar, indeed. Chiang Mai is a University town, which gives it a kind of middle-class feel and there is always someone around who speaks some English to help you if, for whatever reason,
The Annual Wan Wai Nai Khanomtom festival takes place in Ayutthaya, amidst the beautiful ruins and chedis of the old capital of Siam. Nai Khanomtom is considered the “father of Muay Thai,” a legend who fought for his own freedom when he’d been captured by the invading Burmese army and defeated a number of their best fighters in Muay bouts for the Burmese king. He’s a historic hero and this event is a day to pay him respect and also just a huge cultural display of crafts, Yantra writing, Boran demonstrations, Wai Kru performances and, of course, Muay Thai fights.
a note: if you live in Thailand you will find that antibiotics are heavily prescribed, and because they are available over the counter they are also widely taken. I’ve found many Thais who don’t really understand how antibiotics work (i.e., in cycles), so off-hand advice, even from trainers, is probably best to question. Eventually, everyone gets sick. In some cases, you can (and should) stay away from the gym and get some rest, but in some cases you can’t (and don’t need to) refrain from training. I happen to be on antibiotics right now, for the second time in a
Team, a Thai boy who is my more or less regular clinch partner these days, is a good 3 inches shorter than I am, but he’s all muscle. When we clinch, I can use my reach to snuff him in the face and kind of spoil his entry, which is a rare treat because I’m not longer than anybody else who I train with or fight. He uses the same clinch entry all the time, which is reaching wide with his right arm, like a hook, and purposefully over-turning when he grabs so that he can wrench his arm back