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.
Afternoon training at Petchrungruang yesterday was a pendulum swinging between, “hey, that’s not so bad,” to “holy hell, I’m never going to make it through this.” I didn’t feel well, mostly fatigued and feeling a little bit flu-ish in the sore muscle and fever department. So of course, of course, as I’m pushing my way through bagwork I get called in to the ring to do sparring with this kid who has been kicking my ass in clinch the last couple days. So I sucked it up and got in the ring, focusing on just having the right kind of
In the photo above are all cousins, at the center is Bam (6-7 years old, Den’s nephew); left is Den’s son Dtong (3 years old) and right is Badt (8-9 years old, Den’s nephew). As I strode into the gym this morning there was nothing unusual going on. It was largely empty, the trainers kind of milling around before any of the westerners were ready for padwork and the main thing of note being that the number of little gromit kids running around was about half of what it’s been the past month or so. The youngest of the kids,
[Update May 2015: Here is my account of the Backward Facing Tigers I received next] above video: my thoughts on just coming out from the 2 hrs of tattooing my sak yant. As one can see, I was significantly affected by the experience, but was in good spirits. It is a lot to digest. What This Sak Yant Meant to Me People may not realize it from the fact that I post online and blog, and even sometimes write about very personal things, but I’m an extremely private person. And even though I have probably put more out there about
I’ve only come back to training at WKO with Sakmongkol in the past few days because of the stitches I received after my fight last Wednesday. It feels so good to be back to hitting things after being careful to not break a sweat for a couple days after the fight when the stitches were new. I’m actually impressed that my trainers at both Petchrunruang and Sakmongkol and Kru Mutt at WKO were willing to train me on the pads even with the stitches still in, but I’m very grateful that everyone was on board. The first day back with
Day 21 – Low Kick In my fight on Friday I landed some low kicks, something that the Patriarch at Petchrungruang and Sakmongkol have had me working on previously and what Kru Mutt had asked for in my last fight. So today Sakmongkol strapped on an interesting belly-pad and thigh-guard contraption that is basically designed like a guarder belt. He basically wanted me to have leg kicks as an openly available option throughout padwork, so I could just throw them in whenever. He was actually pleased a few times when I threw them in as openings to something else or
Day 11 – Fight Energy Another difficult day today. Morning training at Petchrungruang was good and the trainer there, Kru Nu, has been trying to get me a fight. It’s proven remarkably difficult to book a fight in Pattaya, compared to the ease with which I’ve been spoiled in Chiang Mai thus far. There are fights every night of the week in Chiang Mai; there are four stadia in the direct area and festival fights or productions in areas outside of the city (literally just putting a ring in the middle of a field) all the time. So booking a
Yesterday was Sunday, so I tried something a little different and did a long run in the morning – got lost trying to do the loop I did last time but exploring is fun – and then only shadowboxing and conditioning at the gym, no bagwork. It felt a little strange leaving without whacking anything but it also felt nice, like the relaxed and fluid shadow was a cool-down of sorts. Then I took a nap and watched Channel 7 fights, which are always the best. We met Sakmongkol for training at 3:00 instead of 2:00 and, unfortunately, that meant