In January I went to Thailand to train with a friend of mine named Barry. Barry and I have been Thaiboxing training partners for about a year and half. We have many similarities.....we are close in age, we have three daughters, and we are both devoted family men.
We also love the martial arts. Barry had competed in Thaiboxing when he lived in the southwest about seventeen years ago. Barry decided to immerse himself in the national sport of Thailand. He literally moved his family of five to Phuket to train at Tiger Muay Thai.
Thaiboxing is the kickboxing art that is know for its devastating knees, elbows, kicks. The training trip for me was equally intriguing as this was this first time I traveled to asia. It was a trip of a lifetime that this son of a factory worker from Michigan only dreamed about when I was young. I have to say that is was one of the most exciting trips I have ever been on. Once I got to Thailand, Barry shared with me his interest in competing before he left to come back to Seattle. This is a big deal, because the Professional Fights they use no headgear or body protection. Full power knees, and elbows was in store for my friend Barry. We had work to do. While I was there we tried to do "daily doubles", that is we would train once in the morning and once in the evening. The training in Muay Thai can be the most exhausting of all the martial arts I have studied. You have to be in great shape just to be able to make it through the training rounds. When you compete its a combination of adrenaline, fear, intense concentration all the while kicking, punch, kneeing, throwing and elbowing as hard as you can. All the while your opponent is dealing with all the same on their end.
Barry and I joked that our training was like Rocky 4 meets Cacoon becuase of our age. But we made it through......I trained 18 lessons with the trainers at Tiger Muay Thai over ten days. Barry continued his training after I left and had his competition last night. First round knockout!!!!!
Here is a video of Barry's bout.
Wed, February 29, 2012