Sor King Star

So I woke up today at about 6:45. It was great to get out of the waking up at noon habit. I headed over to Sor King Star from my hotel at 8 and got there 10 minutes later. The camp looked way more busted up from what I last remember. I like it. I personally like the gritty camps, no glitz, no glamor, just hard work. Camps like this scream it at you.

The camp manager was out in front and gave me the weird, awkward smile that I sometimes get when everyone knows there’s about to be a really awkward conversation in a mix of terrible Thai and English. I wai’d him and he pointed me towards the back of the camp where the fighters stayed.

Last time I was here I came around noon or so, and everyone was having their mid day nap. This time however I saw a whole bunch of people running around, some of the meanest looking Thais I have ever seen. Among the crowd was the head trainer whom I had met last time. I asked him if he remembered me and I think he said he did (we spoke Thai) but I think he was being polite. He asked me if I wanted to fight (I said not right now) and how long I had been training Muay Thai (around two and a half years) and how many fights I had had (seven, six of them in Thailand). Here started to explain something about training and that is where I started losing him. I held up my hand to motion, “just a sec” and brought out my phone. “Put kub puen Khon Thai pom” I said, or “Speak to my Thai friend” and he smiled and nodded. Much easier then the pantomime we were playing before. After getting off the phone he then clearly remembered who I was and that I had com to the camp four months before. He also told me that there was another foreigner at the camp as well. “Si Dam…Nikro.” What he said was there was a black guy at the camp, (the Thais call black people “nikro“, my guess is that it came from the vocab of U.S soldiers during the Vietnam war who came here for RnR, it’s not meant to be offensive, they don’t know any better). I asked him where he was from and he said he was from France. I also found out that I would have to come back in the afternoon for training since morning training was already done. This made sense to me since I knew that Thai camps trained early, 530 in the morning or so. I was confused when I was told to come to the camp at 8 am. So I said thank you and started walking back to my hotel room and kill time until 4 pm when they would have afternoon training.

I returned at 4 pm and everyone was getting ready to go for their run. I forgot to bring my running shoes so instead I skipped rope for about 20-25 minutes. I saw the black guy they were talking about coming back from the run. Really tall and very jovial looking guy, fooling around with all the kid fighters, I went up to him and introduced myself. His name was “serge” or something similar, he had a very thick French accent. He was a pro fighter back at home and had 67 fights, one of them just last week, which he won by knockout in the first round. I figured this guy was a Thailand vet coming here to Sor King Star but I was wrong, this was his first time in Thailand. I asked him how he ended up here. Most, if not all newcomers to the country go to camps with a website (I know I did, Rawai Muay Thai). I asked him how he ended up at Sor King Star and it turns out that his trainer back in France is from this gym and arranged for him to come to Khon Kaen. He was even staying at the home of a friend of his trainer. I told him he was very lucky to get this experience for his time. That he got to see the real Thailand on his first trip. As much fun, and as unique as Phuket, Patayya and Chiang Mai and a couple other tourist spots are, they are not the real Thailand. Yes they do show you a glimpse of this place, but they in no way shape or form can give you an honest and full perspective of what this country is like.

On to the training. After warming up with skipping rope and shadow boxing I was told to go do some drills with a trainer wearing spandex tights and a wife beater (what we Americans call sleeveless shirts). Pretty funny looking dude actually. Very good stuff. After that I was asked to spar with the boxer for two rounds. One of the guys at the camp was a western style boxer (Muay Saakhun) and he is the pacific champion. He is fighting on Thai TV on the 16th. He fights at 112 pounds. I was hesitant at first but I said I would do one round. After settling in and seeing that this guy was a good sparring partner (kept his punches crisp but controlled his power) I ended up doing three rounds with the guy. I then did some work on the bag (filled with wet sand, may as well be cement) and some knees. Finished off the day with some clinching. The trainer said he would do pads for me and “serge” tomorrow. So I will write some more on how that went. He also asked me if I wanted to fight on the 10th. The day after tomorrow. I politely declined.

Basic overview of things I noticed. The kids at the camp are very self motivated. They hold pads for each other without the trainer telling them what they need to do or they practice different tricks or techniques with each other or spar. They basically play around very constructively the whole time with the trainer observing and correcting any major flaws. I definitely see where the Thais get much of their creativity from in the ring.

On the Mixed Martial Arts Pakistan front, I already have received emails from people wanting to know if there was somewhere in Lahore where one could train MMA. I told them right now no, and to be careful of anyone offering any training of the sort. One downside of this blog is that it gets noticed enough there is going to be some fraud trying to cash in on the work I am doing. So to anyone reading this, please be careful. My friend and partner over in India, Danial Isaac was telling me that they already have losers popping up saying that they are black belts in MMA. It’s unfortunate but in the end when it comes down to it, MMA is the kind of sport where frauds like these get exposed. To anyone wanting to try the same thing in Pakistan, remember MMA is a combat SPORT. You play it, and you play full contact. The real MMA in Pakistan can and will only come from here through myself and others whom I have verified are knowledgeable about the sport, what it entails and what it is about. Accept no substitute.

I will write some more about my time here in a few days time. I am going to try and keep my Internet use to a minimum the next few days. Thanks for the support guys, its already growing.




  • <cite class="fn">Rawai</cite>

    Rawai är ett helt fantastiskt, inte så turistigt såsom tex Patong Beach utan väldigt lugnt och stilla. Närheten till Nai Harn stranden gör det inte heller helt fel.

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