This will be my last post from Thailand for a while. After leaving the United States in May of last year, 16 months ago I am set to go to the United States tomorrow.
I am in Chiang Mai now and tomorrow I fly to Bangkok from which I fly to London and then Washington DC. I saw my last live Muay Thai fight (authentic one at least, least for the next few months) and spent the end of my night sitting down next to the Ancient Chiang Mai gate of Tha Pae having a long conversation in basic Thai with my last opponent and his brother who was also an opponent of mine in the past (1-1 with those two). It was a really a good simple way to end this adventure (there will be many more).
It doesn’t feel like I am leaving to be quite honest with you, I don’t know when it will truly dawn on me. Maybe its being secure with the knowledge that I will be back here, and back many times over. Maybe because I am excited with all the new developments with Mixed Martial Arts Pakistan which is beginning to really find it’s legs. It’s with this great looming opportunity that I head out to put the rubber to the road and start getting ready for the big things to happen. My time spent in America will be committed to my return to Pakistan this winter where some real concrete changes are going to take place in Pakistan’s Martial Arts scene.
I’ve learned a lot in the past year, I have been gone so long that I can’t really tell you how I have changed as a person and a fighter from over a year ago. I guess I will find out from the reactions and changes people see when I return to the gym. It’s funny, despite saying good bye to “Land of Smiles”, its great people and great sport of Muay Thai this doesn’t feel like the end. It feels like things are just getting started. I leave you with a video appropriately titled Muay Thai’s Greatest Hits in honor of all my teachers who have taught me so much of this very effective, practical and honorable art.
See you on the other side…