A few months ago, I spent some time doing volunteer work in Kenya through the volunteer agency International Volunteer HQ. I stayed with a Kenyan family and volunteered at an orphanage, Internally Displaced Persons camps, and with the Masai (warrior tribes in Kenya). It was an extremely moving experience. Read more.

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    First Few Days at Sinbi Muay Thai

    Sunday Oct 2, 2011
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    I’m at Sinbi Muay Thai camp in Phuket, Thailand.

    There’s a rhythm here in terms of how the days flow. I get up at 6am and go for a run. Morning training starts at 7:30am and lasts until 9:30 or 10. Then I stretch. Afternoon session begins at 4pm, but I like to get there a little earlier to do some of my own conditioning (push-ups, sit-ups, weights, etc). It runs 2- 2.5 hours, and then I stretch again. I start private lessons this week as well. The training is excellent and very intense. The trainers are all top notch, former or current fighters, and have their specialties, although it seems like they’re all good at everything!

    Training begins with skipping or running, followed by stretching, always led by one of the students under the watchful eye of our trainers, putting on hand wraps, and shadow boxing. Then rounds of pad work with a trainer, rounds of bag work, and drills.

    The trainers want you to go full speed and full power for the entire session, which is part of what makes it so intense. If you lighten up even for an instant, they tell you to do it again, and harder. Even during shadow boxing and bag work, they don’t leave you to your own devices, they walk around and correct technique.

    During the breaks between rounds, some people do sit-ups or push-ups, but during the afternon sessions I like to watch Saenchai spar with the students and learn what I can from observing him.

    Everything lasts longer here than at home as well. Shadowboxing is three rounds with push-ups in between, but once I move on to pad work, I’m working with a trainer for 20-25 minutes, full speed and full power. They work basic technique and combos, and throw in additional twists as we go. I see myself making slight improvements, which is cool.

    After bag work, we always do two rounds of one minute each, where we do either just jabs then just crosses, or 1-2′s on the bag, full power and full speed. I was surprised at how tiring this exercise is, but it’s a great one to work on at home. They want you punching FAST (and of course STRONG, as mentioned above). Then extra conditioning. We do jacknives, core work, leg raises, push-ups, squats, etc. I find the conditioning a little light, but that’s because they expect you to do a lot of it on your own. So I come in early and do 100 push-ups, 100 Thai sit-ups, another 150-200 pieces of core work, some planking and plank walk-outs, squats with weights, and whatever else I’m inclined to do that day. I plan to start adding burpees tomorrow- specifically because I hate them :)

    After the conditioning we move on to sparring, sparring drills and clinching. This is my favourite part of course, and the drills change regularly. They want clean muay thai technique and watch for execution.

    We went to a Fight Night on Wednesday where we had three fighters on the card, two of them foreigners- one from Toronto who’s been here six months. Most people are here at least three months. Aside from two Brits, I’m definitely staying the shortest.

    It’s the end of monsoon season here, and seems to pour in the middle of the day. It’s nothing like the rain we get at home- I thought we got heavy rain periodically- I take it back. We don’t get anything other than a light drizzle! However, you prefer the rain here, because if it doesn’t rain it’s incredibly hot and humid, too much so.

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    2 Comments »

    neil:

    Thank you for sharing your adventure! Aside from all the training / hitting / pad work …. how are the accomodations? Food? Others in the group?

    October 2nd, 2011 | 10:38 pm

    [...] was away for most of the Fall.  If you read my blog regularly you’ll know all about my adventures at the muay thai training camp Sinbi in Phuket, Thailand, which were so helpful in improving my [...]

    March 2nd, 2012 | 10:52 am
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