The New Throw I Learned Today
This afternoon I headed over to the O. Meekhun gym after my regular afternoon session. It’s literally across the highway and takes maybe 5 minutes to get to by motorbike, so I get to be the luckiest person in the world and head over to clinch with Phetjee Jaa – a real life superhero and my favorite fighter – and her brother Mawin. Both are massively experienced: Mawin with over 200 fights at 13 years old and Jee Jaa has somewhere near 160 fights at 12 years. It’s crazy.
Mawin weighs about 35 kg and Phetjee Jaa is 32 kg with her shoes on, so I’ve got a definite size advantage on both of them since I walk around at 47 kg or so. And Jee Jaa is just incredibly strong – like, scary strong. When she first grabbed me for the clinch my actual internal response was “oh shit!” They both can throw me pretty easily, although I’ve gotten better with immense speed over the past month of training with the boys at Petchrungruang and a few evenings here at O. Meekhun. Playing with kids who have serious technical and experience advantage on me but I have the size advantage really, really helps me. Prior to clinching with kids I was just getting thrown around and muscled by bigger boys and men and pretty much learning to be afraid of being thrown. Now I laugh.
As the sun was setting behind us and the softest, coolest breeze blew threw the ring, I was clinching with Mawin after the first 10 minutes with Jee Jaa. He tripped me in a way he’s tripped me probably a few dozen times and I asked him to teach it to me. Mawin grinned and slowed the move down for me. I clarified, gaew mai? (“step, right?”) and planted my right foot in a wide step around his left leg before stepping my right leg far behind me and pulling his head in that same direction. He caught himself as I pulled him and he nodded, saying that yes I should step, but showed me the turn again and I could feel he was pushing my arm and tugging my neck at the same time, making the whole move like a wheel. I did it again and he spun wide… still didn’t fall – I don’t know if I can trip these kids – but it was how the move is done. Then he showed me how to use my left leg (the one that would be stepping back behind me) to cross over the shins of the opponent while I turn and guaranteeing the trip. This one is his favorite; he does it to me all the time.
I was super excited to learn a turn/throw. I don’t really know many and am good at only one, so adding another to my arsenal that was working was just really encouraging. And Mawin is a very sweet kid. He was happy to show me the move and was patient while I worked it out, then let me use it on him a few times before we resumed normal clinching. Not everyone will let you throw them, even to practice. It will forever be the “Mawin throw” in my mind. Maybe I can start punishing the Petchrungruang boys tomorrow. Mwaaahahahahahaha.