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’d love to be the person who genuinely only thinks that whether I do the best I can in a fight is what’s important, and winning or losing is secondary to that. That if I fight well, fight hard and with heart, and do what I’m able, that this is all that should matter to me. But, the fact is, losing sucks. And winning even when you haven’t done your best feels better than just not having done your best. Last night was the fourth fight I’ve lost in a row. There are tons of little things that kind of
In my recent fights I’ve felt disappointed afterward for performing in a way that could be described as “low energy.” I’m not tired, I’m just kind of slow in that I’m lacking urgency in my approach. This is almost entirely mental and, while I’ve always been a “slow starter,” for my whole fight career, meaning the later rounds are my stronger rounds, I’m certain that this can be changed through practice. It’s quite possible that the way I train, which is very long and very hard hours of work and always swimming in fatigue, is playing a big part in
I’ve joined Patreon, a website that allows readers and viewers to support content producers on a monthly basis; a kind of voluntary subscription for people who believe in and benefit from the creative work of others. I’m excited about it – it opens up a dialogue. I’ll be honest about it. When I first heard of Patreon I just didn’t get it. Okay, it’s like Kickstarter or GoFundMe, but month by month instead of a single push. Yeah. But now that I’ve begun it, I see what it is. It’s a means for readers and authors to come in contact,
The Land of Gossip Thailand’s moniker, the Land of Smiles, is an earned one. But part of that is because smiling is the only “saving face” response to a myriad of situations taking place publicly: someone nearly caused an accident by cutting you off in traffic? Smile. You’re being criticized in front of people you admire and respect? Smile. Someone is speaking to you in a language you can’t understand and you have no idea what’s going on at all: Smile. It’s the catch-all, regardless of how you really feel. Given the importance of “Face” and surface appearances in Thai
Most mornings I wake up before the sun. The room is dark, although there’s a kind of charge, almost a glow, to the darkness as the light of morning becomes imminent. I sit up and look over at the twin sofa-chairs between the window and the balcony of our one-room apartment. Jai Dee is asleep on the second chair most mornings, his chin on the arm of the chair and his nose pointed toward me. He opens his eyes to look at me, blinks and closes them again – letting me know he’s not down for a run this morning.
Muay Thai gyms are living, changing things. I’ve written before that they go through phases and cycles, both good and bad. I experienced this at Lanna Muay Thai, over the course of the 2 years I trained there; and I’m experiencing it in a very different way now at two gyms here in Pattaya, simultaneously. How can things not change? The fighters in the gym are people, whose lives and circumstances won’t always be the same. What’s more, they’re often children or teenagers and their growing pains are felt by the entire gym. When I first started training at Petchrungruang
This is about the story that helps explain why Thais believe women should not enter (or even touch) the famed rings of Bangkok. There are actually two stories, one of which I had never heard and which may be an older version. Both stories are about how a female presence weakened the protective magic that surrounds the ring, and that is worn by male fighters, resulting in a night of bloody TKOs. It is part of the lore of modern Muay Thai, as traditional Thai beliefs have come in contact with contemporary views of womanhood. In the west the story
I’ve always had an internal objection to this phrase, “train smarter, not harder.” On the front of it, I think people should train however makes them feel the best and that can be from minimal to excessive; whatever moves you toward your target. Behind it, however, I think I take issue with the phrase because it implies that there’s something “stupid” about training hard, as well as something shortcut-y about training “smart.” I don’t like either of those things. My husband wrote something along these lines a bit ago in the Slow Cook vs the Hack, but these are today’s