The training at Sor King Star varies every day and in my opinion it is very smart training, I think it develops a lot of creativity in the younger fighters. Other the the usual bread and butter warm up of running, skipping and shadowboxing there are lots of different things going on at the gym. It is very self motivated. Kids get into the ring and spar, or drill one technique in a pair over and over again. No on tells them to do anything, they just do it. That doesn’t mean the trainers don’t play a very active role. They do. The guy in the tights will gather up a couple of the young kids and do some drill with them. Or the head trainer “Dahlee” (not sure but this is what I think) will get the Thai pads and have whoever is in his vicinity do 50 kicks on each leg on the pad. There is no rigid structure and it really reminds me of open mat training at gyms back in the states.
It might not be for everyone and I don’t know if this is how the gym was run while Saenchai was here. The head trainer actually grew up with Saenchai in the camp and the two are friends. I avoid bringing up Saenchai myself because I am not sure on what terms he left the camp and awkward topics in Thailand are best avoided. But if people view Saenchai as a creative fighter (which I think they do, I just started reading up on the guy before coming here, I didn’t know who he really was before) and the gym was run the way it is now, I can see how it helped him develop into the fighter he is now.
All the sparring partners I have had here have been excellent. I wrote earlier that Thais don’t spar, that they spar in the ring. I take that back, or rather let me rephrase. Thais don’t spar hard, they play. From what I have seen here they play spar every single session for at least a little bit. No one is ever getting hurt, no ones going psycho. They are just trying to out “trick” the other guy, the whole time making faces or funny sounds as they like to do here (ohwaiiiii!). There’s no need to wear pads or 16 ounce gloves. Not once in the time I have spent in Thailand (its been a total time of one year now with about 4 more months to go) have I ever been hesitant to spar with a Thai despite the fact that there shins, in fact there whole bodies, are made of concrete and are the equivalents of grandmasters in their sport. I am always nervous getting into the ring with a foreign student. Sometimes when they are new they like to go crazy to cover their inexperience and sometimes even when they are very experienced and know this, they use the time to show off and blast the new guy. This isn’t everyone, but it is some people. I’ve just never met a single Thai exhibiting these character traits.
That’s all for now. I’ll give another post detailing the village festival and the fights that went on there. In other news, I am starting to get a lot more feed back from the Mixed Martial Arts website. It seems that there are quite a few people wanting to train in MMA but don’t have a chance. To all of those who have contacted me so far, be patient I have a feeling things are gonna start kicking up even sooner then I had anticipated. I even got word from one my students that he has got 9 more kids join up in the class he is running in my hometown. hearing news like this just gives me more energy to get this started, but all in due time.