I am into my second week of training at Team Quest Thailand and things could not be better. If you read my last post I had set up a training program that I was hoping to follow and so far I have done pretty good and have stuck to about 90% of it, but one thing is for sure, in terms of hours, I have not trained any less. I may have not trained a certain class one day or come later for another but I made it up by doing a class I had not planned on doing and staying after training and doing a few drills of my own for a little while.
The trainers here are great and though Team Quest Thailand is a Muay Thai camp they have full understanding that it’s also an MMA gym and they are altering my pad work accordingly. I have been at MMA gyms where the Muay Thai trainers do not seem to understand that people training for MMA can learn Muay Thai but must tweak it a bit to fit MMA. For example yesterday, one of the trainers, Kru Joe, did my pad rounds using only boxing while he also kicked me. I did no kicks but only did boxing and had to defend his kicks and counter with punches. In a Muay Thai fight that would be a sure way to lose a decision but in MMA punches are equal points and are rank higher in how many KO’s have come about in MMA, so punching a kicker may be a desperation strategy in Muay Thai for round number 5 or when you are outclassed but in MMA it is a path to victory. Training this way has also made me motivated to train even harder because the training has not become stale. I have many times ended up getting sick of the repetitive nature of Muay Thai, hitting the pads the same way day in and day out. I love Muay Thai, but the variety of MMA is more appealing to me in the end when you weight the two side by side.
When I started this post I was going to focus more on a particularly topic and that being of me REALLY not wanting to come back to Pakistan. I do not look forward to not having people around me pushing ME, I do not look forward to having to teach new guys of whom 90% will quit within 3 months cuz they didn’t become a ninja with magical powers and a body like Alistair Overeem within that time period ( One of the most common questions I get as a gym owner in Pakistan is “How long does it take to learn?” You dumbf&*!, how about a lifetime?) I will save that rant for later.
Right now I will leave you with a fascinating story that one of the trainers Ping was telling me over lunch about Team Quest Thailand‘s top fighter Adrien “Kaew” Rubrin. Ping is one the trainers here and also an MMA fighter, he looks much younger than his age of 29 and like many Thai people is constantly smiling and has a youthful demeanor about him and when he talks he looks a lot like Japanese cartoon the way his eyes light up. I really like the guy, and we’re becoming pretty good friends. Anyway, he was telling me that he was still at his old gym Thai Muay Thai, here in Chiang Mai, when Adrien walked in to train. Adrien had left France to just travel as many people do in their early twenties, he had no real plan just wanted to bum around and have fun. Trained Muay Thai for fun and Ping saw that he had some potential. He took him too some fights, all of which he won via knockout and started pushing him go for better and better competition. The people all around him called him crazy and said that Adrien didn;t know how to fight and had only won because he was fighting scrubs, and though he was still winning people did not take him seriously. The big breaks came when Adrien moved to Team Quest. Team Quest although a new gym has some EXCELLENT contacts in Bangkok and get people some top notch fights in Lumpinee if they show potential. Well, apparently on two occasions other fighters who were supposed to compete had to pull out due to injury or inability to make weight and they through Adrien in there just to make sure the fight still happened. Both times he won against people he was supposed to lose against and then people really started to notice. It’s been a little over a year since Adrien started training and he has exploded onto the Muay Thai scene. I will definitely keep everyone up to date with what is going on with him but his story is something that one could make a movie out of and I wish him the best and I wish that Ping and all those around Adrien who have supported his journey get some good for themselves for believing in someone people thought was just getting lucky.
Adrien will be fighting in the Toyota Muay Thai Maraton on November 1st. 3 Muay Thai fights in one day (Equals BRUTAL), this is one of the most prestigious belts one can win in Thailand so if you have access to Thai TV you can’t miss this one.