Joey and I have both made it back to the USA. Joey lost 15lbs in two weeks of hard training and clean eating (well mostly clean eating). Like always the trip was far too short. After leaving Ao Nang we flew to Bangkok. That evening I took Joey to his Lumpinee Stadium to watch the fights. Lumpinee is one of the top stadiums in Thailand and is where some of the best in Thailand fight. We got to watch 8 very impressive bouts. The heart and courage some of the fighters displayed was amazing.
We met up briefly with Will on Sunday. He won his fight in Bangkok on Sunday by KO. So he is going to be fighting again on December 18th. He introduced me to Fabio Pinca who is fighting Buakaw in march at Lumpinee. It is amazing the level of talent you can find just hanging around in Bangkok.
In Thailand the guys train every day and most train twice a day six days per week. Their entire life revolves around being a martial artist. They very literally eat, breath, and sleep Muay Thai. Here we have 8-12 week “fight camps” where we train like this to get ready to fight and cut weight. There they are ready to fight on a few days notice. They live at close to their fight weight. Since someone at the camp is always preparing to fight soon there is never a lull time. It really makes training more enjoyable with the guys fighting so often. We take fighting so seriously here that it takes much of the fun out of it. Guys are so nervous about fighting that they sabotage their training to avoid it. In Thailand guys are fighting every few weeks or so until they work their way up to the big shows. This is not to say the guys are not serious about their fight careers and about winning. They are very serious about it but they also have a lot of fun with it. The training is intense but there is so much laughing and yelling during it that you would think it was a bunch of kids playing tag rather than professional fighters punching each other in the face.
Yves and Valentine were back to training twice a day within a few days of their fights last week and both will most likely be fighting again soon. Knowing Will he is back to training again today after his win Sunday preparing for his fight in December. I believe this is how it should be. I wish there were more opportunities for Muay Thai fighting in Georgia so that the guys here could experience this.
I love training at martial arts gyms around the world each year and learning from the best the world has to offer. The journey of learning martial arts never ends. Every time I learn from another master I discover an entire new way of looking at fighting. My concept of what Muay Thai is continues to evolve as a result. Even my belief in how to train to fight Muay Thai continues to evolve with one constant- you have to train hard every day to ever accomplish anything in this art.