So, today was my first day in Ubon. It felt good to wake up in Thailand. It felt even better to eat breakfast. Som Tum, Koy Kung and Tom Plaa. That’s Papaya salad, baby shrimp salad and fish soup. A wonderful break from the ghee, red meat and naan (bread product) I had been eating on a daily basis. I love Pakistani food but it’s not always the best for training. Thai food is not only delicious but it doesn’t make your arteries scream as the morsel enters your mouth.
Like I may have mentioned I have come to Ubon to visit a friend of mine from long ago. His name is Niran and we used to go to school together in Malaysia (International School). I have not seen him in ten years. He lives in a forest monastery outside of the city. It is a very tranquil place and definitely resonates a very peaceful vibe. We met each other as if we had seen each other a week ago and conversation was not awkward at all. After talking to him for a bit he asked if I would like to stay at the monastery for a few days. Anyone who stays under three days is not obliged to shave their head :). I agreed and so I will be a guest in the forest monastery after Saturday morning training.
Speaking of which, I did my camp search today and it turns out that a 15 minute walk from Niran’s family house is a very well known Muay Thai and MMA camp called Legacy Gym (www.legacygym.com). This is quite lucky for me as this is one of the foremost gyms in Thailand that caters to foreigners and also the only other major gym in Thailand that has a reputable MMA program. Oddly enough this fits in very nicely with my whole journey to Mixed Martial Arts Pakistan.
A crucial component to setting up MMA Pakistan is the success of MMA in India and my relationship with the pioneers of the sport there, Danial Isaac and his team at Tigers Gym. Tigers Gym sends it’s fighters quite often over here to Legacy so it’s nice how things worked themselves out on their own. By the way, I will also include an entry later on about my experience at Tigers Gyms India, which was amazing.
I did my first training session there today but I don’t want to give a full review because I haven’t trained in so long and I wouldn’t be able to give a fair assessment of the pad work considering I wanted to die after about a minute. However, I have been here before (meaning, fresh in Thailand) and my stamina will be decent in about a week and I can give a full review. I will give you my first impressions though.
First of all, it seems to me in the 3 hours I was there that this is a serious camp and most of the guys here, are not here for a Muay Thai holiday that involves drinking and partying with an hour of training a day. Guy’s are preparing for fights and there is not alot of lounging around at the water cooler talking about crap. The camp is smaller then i expected but has plenty of different bags and pieces of equipment to work with. They have a full size ring and also a full size cage.
I did some time on the pads and I was so out of gas that I can’t tell you how the pad work is as I said before. One, two kick was all I needed at this point. I also did some grappling in the cage. The main instructor was not there as I beleive he is cornering one of their fighters for the upcoming Art of War show in China (MMACHINA.COM) but the substitute instructor went over the basic armbar, triangle and a sweep and then we rolled. I don’t want to make too many comments until i spend some more time training there. I’ll include photos as well. I think it should be up in about a week or so.