Training smart and Kru Ni

Been a while since I updated this thing and I am sorry. It’s just that I have hit that period in training where you realize that a fighters life is not exciting. It’s monotonous, it’s painful, it’s tiring and repetitive. I am not saying I would like to do anything else. I feel most at peace when my world revolves around focusing on my skills and getting to be the best that I can be.  But, that being said, there is not much to write about. Train, sleep, eat, train, sleep eat. To think about other things (including this blog) seems like an unnecessary chore, which is not good since I happen to also be pursuing a graduate degree at the moment.

However, I do manage to get the time in to complete all the tasks I need to do because as I have gotten older I have learned truly, what training smarter and not harder is. Training smarter and not harder is not about training less. It’s about not being compulsive in your training and having to have every single session be so exhausting it hurts to pee.

MMA is a complicated sport with many factors and so one needs to put in A LOT of hours of work if you want to get better fast. However the good news is that not everything has to be to the point of near death. That’s what conditioning is for, and hard, make you wanna puke conditioning need not be done every single day. If your training 6 days a week and twice a day as I am, that means you have 12 sessions per week to train, if you include conditioning in that, you have 9 sessions of technique to work on. Yes for the out of shape person those technical sessions might be kind of hard but we’re not talking about the slug who peeled himself off the coach. We’re talking about people who have already made the commitment.

I am lucky in that the trainers here at Team Quest Thailand the instructors respect my training choices and treat me like an adult. I have been at other camps before where my own ignorance and more so, the guilt and pressure the trainers put on me to make every single session on the pads a high intensity cardio session. I always wondered why after months of training my cardio didn’t seem to improve and that’s because technique was an after thought, blasting the pads with 1000 kicks EACH AND EVERY SESSION was the point. This is often done because the trainers are used to the Thai style of training where their training partners have been there since they were 6 years old and retire at age 25. Or it is done because people come to train Muay Thai to get fit and so they assume just pushing everyone to the extreme is the only way to make farang happy.

Here at Team Quest Thailand the trainers each have their individual nuances and styles but one trainer I went with today and whom I go with most regularly probably is a guy named Ni. Ni, doesn’t seem like a good trainer at first glance to be honest with you. He is so goofy and random you don’t expect him to take training seriously or put any thought into the pad rounds but so far he has been the most technical with me on the pads. He knows I am in shape and he knows I work hard so he has no need to push me. Every time I am on the pads with him I tell him what I want to work on and we do that for the entire session, he doesn’t just ignore me and have me do only punch kick combos. The pads are used not as a tool to exhaust me but as a teaching tool so that I can strike a person without him having to get hurt.

Kru Joe is the Captain of the training team. And He is the captain for a reason, he LOVES Muay Thai, loves to break down the game and loves explaining things, he sets the tone for the week and sets aside six techniques that he drills over and over again every morning which are to be used on pads rounds during that week. This is something I have not seen anywhere else and something that Kru Joe’s leadership has helped set Team Quest apart from other gyms across Thailand.

I was actually going to write some more about some of my training partners at the gym but the post has already become far longer than I originally anticipated!

Til next time.




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