Yesterday we woke up and took a cab to the TV 7 station in Bangkok. TV 7 is a major television broadcasting station here in Thailand. Every Sunday they broadcast free Muay Thai fights and of course they allow people on set to watch. Think of it like showing up at 5AM to get on “The Price is Right” on CBS. We showed up at the TV 7 broadcasting station around Noon, grabbed a couple of ice coffee drinks, which were amazing, and began the queue into the station.
As soon as we stepped through the gate, we were handed surgical masks. From this I could tell we were going to be packed in tight in the boxing stadium. The way they loaded us into the stadium was very methodical and would NEVER work back in the States.
We sat down in the boxing stadium in the bleachers at around 12:30 PM, the fights didn’t start until 2 PM. This wouldn’t be a problem but of course the stadium is packed to capacity and you are pretty much stuck in the same place until about 5:00-5:30 PM. I was definitely regretting the ice coffee that whole 5 hours. After two hours of being packed in like sardines, the fights finally began and I forgot all about being packed into from all sides. These were some of the best fights I’ve ever seen, on video and in person, and the whole experience of being packed in like that inside the betting pit made it all worthwhile. One of the fighters from Sasiprapa was fighting as well, he was one of the last fights and he won by a Technical Knockout from too many unanswered blows. It just furthered my assumption that we were at one of the better gyms to be training at here in Bangkok.
Today I woke up feeling completely drained, my body was in starvation mode, partially due to me not paying attention to my diet and being stuck in a boxing stadium for 5 hours straight. I walked to the bathroom half-asleep and was surprised mid-stream with a brown spider the size of my fist crawling across the floor, was better than a cup of coffee. I dragged my butt to the gym and managed to pump out a 6 kilometer run and luckily my pad holder, Kru Sit, went very slow with me as he could tell I was drained. I was then pushed into clinching, Remy just grabbed me and I went limp haha. I felt like my battery was completely drained and welcomed our nice morning meal.
We went to a place that Shawn dubbed, “Hot Pot”, because they give you this ceramic bowl with coals burning under it and you put your choice of meats and veggies into the pot and let it cook at your table. This is all done in a little shack-like setting with a sewer drain running next to it, very Bangkok. The food was awesome though, very spicy and it was making us all look like we just went for another round of pad work, just completely drenched in sweat.
Roy and I decided it would be in our best interest for training to relax until the afternoon session, and that we did. I woke up from a nap feeling like a champ, my body definitely just needed some food. We headed out to afternoon training and were welcomed with the words, “sparring” and them pointing at my sparring partner for the day. They only spar with hands here to avoid injury and they use 18 oz gloves, I’m assuming since they don’t wear headgear. I felt fairly strong during sparring and just played my game for the 4 rounds of sparring. Jong-one from Cambodia was my sparring partner, he is very fast and we both worked each other.
After sparring I hit the bags for a while, and got a little pad work from one of the boxing trainers. A lot of Muay Thai gyms have a couple Western style boxers who train as well. After a few more rounds of bag work, I finally got up on the pads with One. I was still feeling good at this point and got in a good amount of work on the pads, Roy just finished his up and looked beat. Everyone else we were with was already gone by this point. 300 sit-ups and some other calisthenics later, we finally left to go shower up and get a bite to eat.
I’m going to take this time to talk about how cool this Hotel we are staying at is. The Vaboir Lodge is a nice place here just outside of Bangkok near the airport and is a little walk away from Sasiprapa Gym. It has a fully restaurant downstairs along with a beer garden and awesome staff. The manager even speaks excellent English. There is also wireless internet that you can buy by the day/week or you can use the pay-by-hour computers downstairs in the cyber-cafe. I highly recommend Vaboir Lodge to anyone looking to stay around Bangkok in style. Also the food is awesome here and very affordable.
A side note, Roy and I are staying here in Bangkok for the rest of our trip due to financial reasons and the awesome training we stumbled on here at Sasiprapa. Armen is heading back early, this next friday and I believe Remy, Rick, Shawn and Julius are heading back to Fairtex in Pattaya for the rest of the stay. I can’t say I blame them because the beach there is so nice and close to the Fairtex facility.
Time for some more, “Hot Pot”, then off to catch some sleep. Hope everyone is doing great back home!
Sawasdee, from Thailand