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Everything posted by LengLeng

  1. I am also surprised, but maybe they do not market heavily as they focus on their thai fighters? I also heard something about 24000/month for training and accommodation (and food at the gym if I am not mistaken). I haven't heard from anyone who has been there long-term though. I have never been to yokkao but the image they send out on social media is not really what I am looking for. And I feel a lot of thai gyms do not get the reach what they deserve, but maybe that is why they are so nice haha. For example, there is one gym in Saphan kwai (Punrith) I used to go to when I first started out. Only girls working there including admin, PT and two tomboy trainers, one of them a member of the thai national western boxing team who also became a friend. Sadly both trainers left and I have not been there to try it out since. Back then I did not understand how great that was for me to have women as trainers. It is not a camp though and currently targeting Thai middle/upper class.
  2. Have not tried it myself but a friend has and yes, seems open to foreigners. Apparently very nice and clean. If you look at their instagram there are some westerners training, but I do not know whether there are certain conditions attached.
  3. Hi there. There are quite a few options in Bangkok, as you mentioned most cost around 8000-12000 month for 2 sessions/day. My advice is to check gyms you are interested in on facebook or instagram to get an impression of what kind of people train there at the moment. It is so hard to recommend a place as trainers change, students change and so on. Organize accommodation for the first few days in Bangkok and visit a couple of gyms to get the feel for it. And then pick the one you prefer. If you want to fight, ask other foreigners at the gym if the gym helps you arrange fights and how well they prep you. Some gyms let their students wait forever, promising them fights that never happen... Also at the moment it rains quite heavily now and then in BKK and some places get flooded easily. Might be worth to keep in mind when looking for a place to stay. Some gyms in the city that might be of interest to visit are: FA Group in Chatuchak (thai fighters and foreigners, they sometimes have quite a few larger guys) Attachai (Onnut) Muay thai academy/Rompo (Klong Thoey) Superbon trains there Numponthep (also in Klong Thoey. Mix Thai fighters, Japanese/Chinese and some westerners. Currently no one heavier than 65-70 kilo training there) PK Saenchai gym (Thawanchay, Rodlek and others train there) Sathian gym (Sangmanee trains there if I am not mistaken) ...and then all the camps found here: https://muaythaicampsthailand.com/category/bangkok/ You can also ask here: https://www.facebook.com/MuayThaiCampsThailand/ Good luck!
  4. I have a colleague who recently spent two weeks at a temple as a monk. I asked him if he could help me and he sent me a pic of three monks and told me to pick and choose . My advice would be do the same, ask a thai person you know (maybe use google translate?)to help you. Or simply bring your mongkol, visit a temple and ask. My experience is that most thai people are incredibly helpful about these things.
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  8. No worries I feel more educated than before :). Thank you for this elaboration. I think I grasp the concept the way you do. I say grasp because i is more the feeling of having them on the tip of my tongue. I remember this post very well. I am not sure to what degree Vipassana, yoga philosophy and art of sak yant overlap, but to me it all seem to stem from the same idea of accepting what is, instead of trying to escape from it. Surrender to the now. Most of my yoga teachers have emphasized the necessity of stop trying to escape from the present (the difficult, uncomfortable pose) and simply breathe into it and just accept what is. By pointing out how, when being told to stay in a difficult pose, our minds keep trying to convince us to think about other things or trying to calculate how long the teacher will hold us in that pose, we discover how we all try to escape from the now (what is). Adding the physical experience to the mental thought process is very effective for understanding. The same teacher I paraphrased also once told me that the most skilled martial artists are not the ones who can endure the pain, but the ones who choose not to absorb it. Sort of pain is inevitable, suffering is voluntary kind of thought.
  9. It always takes a while for me to get through your texts. There are many expressions used you leave undefined. And many references (although I speak German fluently 555) I'm not familiar with and I have to ask myself whether this is an English word I don't know or another reference I'm not familiar with(555×2). This text I read backwards and then uh the normal way (forward?). And it was so worth the effort. I can somewhat grasp it, the space, the dramatic pause and how well the fighters can endure it and manage it. Maybe I'm interpreting what you wrote differently than how it was intended, but it reminds me of a yoga teacher I had some years back. Who would keep us in poses forever encouraging us to feel and fully embrace the discomfort and later in shavasana repeating how we now are comfortable, we feel pleasure ONLY because "there was discomfort before and without discomfort there can be no pleasure. Everything is two. They come together. Except yoga. Yoga is one" (imagine an Indian accent). Obviously you can understand this intellectually, but feeling the contrast between discomfort and pleasure and resisting the urge to run away from the discomfort makes you understand it in a different way. And to me this how I can see great fighters (after having read this). Not only the unreal body control and fluidity. But who can endure and manage the uncertainty + extreme discomfort (=fear) caused by what you call the gap.
  10. I agree. Which I off topic think is so fascinating as it stands in stark contrast to how muay thai is taught/learnt in Thailand (referring to your thread discussing the western preferred structural approach to learning). The Asian region has some of the smartest people in the world, yet China for example is in need of engineers from the west and international companies in India hire graphic designers from the west, both these phenomenons because although a craft or profession can be mastered perfectly, the creative problem-solving aspect and holistic approach are many times not there. Perhaps due to more authoritarian teaching systems in school. (really not trying to be offensive here). Anyhow drifting off. Eager to hear more about this as it progresses, I think it sounds really awesome.
  11. Thanks a lot for this elaboration. It sounds extremely exciting and I hope you get the right ears to talk to. I assume this would also involve non-thai female fighters fighting in Thailand? From my personal experience in the bangkok fitness community, there seems to be a lot of excitement for female strength and women starting to like the idea of having a muscular body beyond ab definition. that in combination with muay thai fitness being popular among the thai middle and upper classes might be helpful driving factors. From an international perspective I think the issues of sexism, the bottom rope, women not being able to fight at national stadiums combined with the child labour issue might be problematic. But that might not matter in this case anyway.
  12. I'm following this with interest. So your aim is to create financial incentives in Thailand for gyms to invest in female fighters? And your strategy would be a fight promotion that a)involves prize money and b) gives these fighters exposure? Who do you need to convince here? Companies/sponsors who see the potential? Or the current stakeholders in the fight scene? Is there a regulatory body that needs to get involved as well? Meaning the pushback or reluctance to invest in female fighters, where does it stem from in your view? Traditions? Limited opportunities? Rules and regulations? I feel that Thai people are always supportive of things that make them internationally recognized, that if a thai athlete gets fame overseas they welcome him/her with open arms. So having a thai female superstar fighter abroad might change things at home? (...like Stamp). Imagine a female Buakaw I mean.. Also what about int muay thai federation? Do they have any driving power in Thailand?
  13. In my humble opinion, that you take the time to ask for advice and that you reflect on this task like you've done here, really shows how dedicated you are as a teacher. It makes me really happy. I'm pretty sure it goes well and I'm very curious to hear how it pans out. I have no experience whatsoever in teaching and I would look forward to hearing your perspective on this experience.
  14. Not sure what you mean with mentally challenged (I think a more preferred term is intellectual disability, when I worked with issues related to disabilities, we called it 'people living with disabilities' in policy documents and legal texts) but I have a brother with a developmental disability which makes non-verbal communication and social interaction for him difficult. He also has problems with coordination and balance etc. Sports together with other people living with disabilities has been a great blessing for him through which he found friends and even his fiancee. He always calls his teachers by their first name. For him it's hard to get several instructions at once, a more first A then B then C-approach is better. But he can practice one thing for hours and hours and hours without getting bored. My advice. Just be open and friendly and curious and patient.
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  16. Do you want to train mainly or are you looking at fighting as well? If you haven't fought yet, but want to, you might want to look at Phuket. From what I've heard training might not the greatest everywhere, but quite easy to get fights as beginners. Bangkok has many good gyms, but getting a fight as beginner can get tricky. I heard great stuff about PK Saenchai gym where Tawanchay, Rodlek and many others train and you also see them there regularly. There's also FA Group (very clinch focused) in Chatuchak which is not far from Ari a very nice neighborhood sort of hipster area of Bangkok. They have many great fighters such as Yothin. Mixed thai fighters and foreigners with a higher skill level. For a "true" thai experience there's Numponthep gym in Klong Toey (sort of regarded as the slum of Bangkok, but not bad at all and close to Sukumvit) very simple facilities but good training. Nonsai who many westerners know come there to teach now and then. Sitjaopho in Hua Hin I also heard should be really great. And there's Lionheart on Koh Samui run by a nice Irish fighter and his family. Bit touristy and many beginners but still very nice. But I want to make you aware that if you want a true Thai experience the way I understand it, this means you won't be important. The Thai fighter is the focus and foreigners a side business. That doesn't mean you won't get good training, just that focus is not on you. At gyms where the foreigner is main figure well...it won't be the most thai experience I guess you would be looking for. Most gyms regardless of what they are will have great teachers that take pride in teaching their art. But also, they see thousands and thousands of foreigners of all skill levels come and go and that's just the way it is... It's difficult to build relationships in a short time. My advice would be to find a nice gym in a nice area/town you also like. Not pay in advance. Get a room close-by and make sure you are comfortable and happy so you can enjoy and learn as much as possible.
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  18. Oh nice to hear hope that's more representative :). About secrets not shared was told to me by a male fighter friend who explained certain clinch moves to me. He sort of expressed that actually he's not supposed to tell me all this, I'm supposed to figure out by myself. In the context of not being good sportsmanship. And this why even his western fighter friends wouldn't share (you learn the hard way sort of thing). Which led me to realise I've done so much thinking abt how it is for women in gym and sort of assumed all boys have this lovely bromance oiling each other up and all that, even though I've seen what's happening in sparring, I havent really contemplated too much about their internal politics.
  19. Thank you! I've met most very lovely women (actually my favorite had just been training with Sylvie for a week and I can tell why Sylvie liked her) and then those who sort of directly want to dominate or compete with me or simply ignoring me only want to spar with the guys. It's annoying but also interesting to see what strategies are applied (Haha yes Realpolitik indeed).
  20. Uuuh that sounds hectic. I feel that level of respect for each other has to go up in parallel to the hardness of sparring otherwise it gets so ugly and emotional affecting everyone.
  21. ...and in terms of difference between men and women from a student perspective I feel the biggest difference is how women and men are treated not the way they act. I might be wrong, but there are all these kind of student types and in my experience both women and men display these types. The hardest sparring I always get from women (or uncontrolled newbie guys) probably as a consequence from women sparring mainly (bigger) men and used to go hard. I've been told though by western guys, they feel women have it easier in Thailand because we get taught more tricks (perhaps because of flirting or we're not seen as threats) whereas guys are supposed to figure themselves out on their own. Even among western fighter guy friends secrets are not shared. Which was a surprise to me and threw me out off this "it's so unfair because I'm a woman"-loop a bit (although it definitely still sucks being read as a woman in many ways).
  22. Apologies this might be slightly off topic. Not a coach, but a woman in a male space, and I reacted to this by Sylvie: and disgusted with myself for having an automatic sense of competitiveness. Not competitiveness in the sporting sense, like how men might get to enjoy having a spar to see who's slicker, but competitiveness in the "there are limited social resources here and I now have to protect my hard-earned position" kind of competitiveness.Which is shit. Which is why you get women throwing each other under the bus to be teacher's-pet, or creating cliques when there are only 3 of us, or not being supportive despite there only being fucking 2 of us. I completely understand where this is coming from, usually spots for women are limited and we all have to compete for that one spot above the glass ceiling. But I also find it unfair. I'm sorry to say, but not all women in a muay thai gyms are cool. There are various types, the hard worker, the one who flirts to get some teaching from the male trainer (no judgement it's an effective strategy), the super hard tough girl who talks to no one and will kick the shit out of your shins (understanding her too) or the "know it all" etc etc. The point is, usually guys have the luxury of having ten other guys as training partners to relate to and train with. Finding their favorite or the asshole they cannot stand. But as a woman you're expected to instantly connect with that other woman who shows up and if she's not cool, you're not being a good "sister". And that sucks. And it's simply the result from having too few other women to train with. And to me that's the most limiting factor being a woman training muay thai. The longing for a female partner to compete with and learn from and then handling the disappointment when she turns out to be not so cool. And that whole pressure of having to get along with a fellow muay ying and to not appear like that woman who likes to be the only woman in a male space.
  23. Thanks so much for sharing your views. I was not aware of the development in Chiang Mai. I guess it is a positive thing, however, if space is made for women but on the condition it is to also please the male gaze I guess well it is a half victory. Peuh. I fought against a Thai girl who had exactly that kind of top you mention, no sleeves and shows part of the stomach. I find it very pretty J. I do not necessarily need to train without a shirt, especially considering my gym is not the cleanest ever, but the annoying thing is wearing a sweat-soaked shirt so I have to bring several and so on. But it is mainly the feeling of not being free to do what guys can do that annoys me. There is also this thing where different body types are being sexualised to different degrees. A skinny, non-curvy body might not catch much attention whereas the a bit chubbier busty ones will do. I am pretty muscular and although definitely female in West not so much in Thailand and probably the guys won’t care that much. But I am already hyper aware of all the other things that makes me different that it just feels unnecessary to add to it. But I feel that this is definitely a case of self-censoring. So I would therefore never advise a visitor who is only temporary there about how her outfit might be perceived as it would probably only feel like shaming, she would get annoyed, and if she is only at the gym for a brief period of time she would not notice anything either. But at the same time I would hate for thai men in these more conservative gyms to start thinking all western (because it is mainly western) gir;s are easy or skimpy or whatever, when they do not even consider their outfit or why it would be inappropriate. I have noticed that most Japanese, Korean and Chinese women will wear tights but always shorts on top of tights. It took me a while to figure out why, but I guess to make them less revealing…(this is all very anecdotal of course).
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