Morning training begins with run and shadow. Today it is back to the normal run which is fine by me. After shadow boxing Pee Pa ties hand wraps across the boxing ring and we do 3 rounds of bobbing with punches. The bobbing is slightly different then the boxing style one we use in the states.
After this I work pads with Pee Pa. We do free flow style pad work that simulates a fight. It is good and I feel very relaxed. He repeats the relax (Sabai) and slow heart mantra at me as we move around the ring. His philosophy is to stay relaxed, use the jab often, and when one actually throws a punch to make it count. He continually has me moving, bobbing, and evading his attacks then launching counter attacks.
After this I work 12 rounds on the heavy bag. He wants me to work on the movement while maintaining a “slow heart”.
After this I spar with Joey. He has gotten vastly better while training here. He spars like a totally new fighter. We have a good time. After we do 4 rounds or so he spars will Will and I spar with Pee Pa. Sparring with Pee Pa is great. Many of the “rules” that I have believed about Muay Thai he tosses out the window. He does not move at all like what I used to believe a fighter should move like. He melts away from my punches and reappears upper cutting me in the face. In the end he hits me with a left punch I have never seen before. I walk right into it and it damn near drops me. We laugh for a while about this. He then shows the technique to me and the others that had been watching.
We finish the day with moving while jab/crossing and upper cutting, stretching, then 50 push ups. Awesome way to start the day!
I have been going to the same massage place each day. Since the massage people saw me last Saturday night with the Muay Thai coaches they now treat me differently. My massage today was with Naman Muay (Thai oil) and was much more intense than normal. After massage they have even started giving me larger portions of fruit. This place rocks!
Evening training starts with 15 minutes of rope, 5 minutes of dynamic stretching, and then 10 minutes of shadow boxing.
Will calls me up for a kicking drill.
- Will kick, I check, I kick back with same leg, Will check, Will kick, I check.
- I kick, Will check, Will kick back with same leg, I catch kick, back up and throw, then return with other leg kick, which Will catches, throws and kicks, and I check
Rounds 3, 4
- We just kick back and forth checking and catching kicks keeping the pace as fast as possible.
The drill is amazing and it is something that I want to continue once I get back to Atlanta. Will and I spoke about it and he tells me that he will often test opponents in the ring like this. If they do not train this way they gas very quickly assuring him a win.
Pee Pa and I work pads today. He seems to be in a very good mood. I can tell because he keeps hitting me and laughing about it. I take this to mean that I am getting better.
After pads I do hand sparring with a fighter from France. He has an interesting unorthodox style and we have a nice time punching each other in the face. I then work clinch with Joey. He is getting much better but still relies on his (considerable) strength too much. I then work clinch techniques with Itt. He shows me some ways to block elbows and simultaneously execute a knees. He has some great tricks that I hope to one day be able to put to good use!
We finish with several hundred knees, disco knees, 100 push ups, 60 back extensions – 20 second hold – 60 back extensions, then finally 320 neck exercises.