July 3, 2015 – Grand Thai Boxing Stadium, Hua Hin (video – part 1 above, part 2 below) I got a message from this promoter a short while before this fight. We were aiming to head up to Chiang Mai for a string of fights (three scheduled in a week) and figured we could just rent the car a day early and make this fight, too. Which is what we did. More is more. My last fight in Hua Hin a month before, where Kaensak cornered for me, was actually when I first met Kradaitong, who I’d be fighting tonight.
In Sam Sheridan’s 2008 book exploring various fighting arts, titled “A Fighter’s Heart: One Man’s Journey Through the World of Fighting,” he spends a little time on the upsetting subject of dog fighting. While there’s not much about that chapter that I enjoyed reading, there was one concept that has stuck with me for years: scratching. There are dogs that want to fight and dogs that don’t. At some point in a fight the dogs will be separated across the fighting pit and held, a grotesque version of going to one’s corner between rounds. The dogs are held behind the
Any westerner fighting in Thailand has an interest in portraying their Thai opponents as being the best and fighting at the top of their capabilities. And, to be fair, we assume and hope that this is true in our own minds. We come here to train hard and fight hard, and from our understanding of fighting in the west we assume quite fairly that our opponents are doing the same. But in Thailand, things are very often not what they seem; perhaps especially when gazing with western expectations. My experience of fighting in Thailand started over 5 years ago now
The Idea of duu-lae There is a two word phrase that my trainer at Kru Nu uses in English quite often, “take care.” It’s a meaningful phrase, possibly one of the most important Thai concepts for a long-term fighter in a Thai gym. In Thai you would say duu-lae rak-saa (ดูแล รักษา), meaning to “watch and take care of,” although colloquially you’d shorten it to just the first part, meaning to “look after” and “protect.”, duu-lae. My understanding of this phrase and how Nu uses it have deepened in my time training with him at Petchrungruang here in Pattaya. It’s
Winning and Mental Consequences It’s three days after my fight and I feel totally bummed out. Thing is, I won my fight. By all accounts it was one of my best and I felt really good about it in nearly every way. I was uninjured, so I came back to training the following morning and have had some excellent training in these few days following. My padwork feels really on-balance, my strikes are powerful and decisive, and my energy is good. And when you roll back into the gym after a big win (especially one that your Kru didn’t actually
I was writing to female Muay Thai fighter Dalia Hosny, a veteran of fighting in Thailand (35 fights here), who was offering me very positive support and it made me think about how in some quarters people who aren’t too informed have taken to attacking me, my record and even my passion. No big deal, it comes with the territory, but as December has arrived and I’m closing in on 100 overall fights (and eventually my goal of 109 overall, which will be 100 fights in Thailand), it seems like a good moment to reflect on how much I’m
the above photo is of my mother and me laying on a mat for hours in the middle of Isaan, under the stars, waiting for my fight to come up on the card For two weeks at the end of October and beginning of November, my parents came out to Thailand for their second visit since I moved here. The first visit was up in Chiang Mai last year and now they came to Pattaya, where we’ve lived since June of this year. My parents loved Chiang Mai. They had mixed feelings about Pattaya. Part of the timing of this
I’m writing about something that in the West might feel or seem “impossible” to some, but quite honestly it’s not even extraordinary here in Thailand. Fighting twice in a single night isn’t common, but it barely causes a quiver of the eyelid to Thai trainers and fighters who are willing to and sometimes experienced in fighting at a moment’s notice, many times over a short period of days, against bigger and better opponents, etc. I’ve come to see that the only thing that’s really impossible is the thing you’ve said “no” to. “Yes” is a skeleton key that opens endless