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Everything posted by emma

  1. I add chia seeds to my muesli and whatever else I can, but I find the texture of them in water to be too much for me. Bleh. Like frogspawn.
  2. Wow, I was just about to write a reply to this, but I think Sylvie nailed it! I'll just add a little from my personal experience. I definitely know how you feel. As my record currently stands, I've lost more fights than I've won and I've been through some losing streaks, during one of which someone told me to give up fighting altogether, but I've never told myself that. That's only been an external thing. Even at times when the thought has briefly crossed my mind, it couldn't be further away when I'm training. Everything I do in there is in preparation to fight, that's what I'm working for. It would be an awful shame to take that away. All that passion and hard work needn't go down the drain because of a lack of self confidence. You have to work on your confidence the same way you work on your physical training. I can also relate to what you said about being a slow starter and coming out of fights feeling like you haven't done enough. In every single one of my losses (also all by decision, as you said), I've felt that way. People have told me that most of the people I've lost to had no business beating me and it was only that I wasn't confident enough in my mental game, that I hesitated and let them fight their fight. I've been trying to combat that with mental training, which has really helped me in the past. I wrote a blog post about that here: Letting Go but Staying in Control: How Mental Training Enhanced my Confidence. ^ I could quote a ton of things from what Sylvie just said, but this is fucking perfect ^
  3. I'm not a vegan, but I try to keep a plant-based diet as much as possible (for both health and ethical reasons) and eat fish, seafood, eggs and cheese from time to time. I don't like to put myself in a box, but want to keep my diet as healthy and responsible as I can while reducing my impact on other animals. So, if I had to put a label on it, as much as I dislike to do so, I guess I would call myself a 'pescetarian'. This has been a fairly recent change for me, I've only had this diet for the last year or so and am still tweaking it for my training. Also, I'm currently studying modules in Nutrition for Sports and Exercise and Nutrition for Weight Loss as part of a diploma I'm doing, so I'll share a bit about what I do and how it works for me as well as what I'm learning at the moment. I'm by no means claiming to be an authority on this, so if anyone has any corrections to make to some of the information here, please share :smile: Protein (Plants vs. Animals) Of course, there's the misconception that vegan/vegetarian diets lack sufficient amounts of protein, but that doesn't need to be the case. I eat a lot of lentils, chickpeas, beans, nuts and sometimes tofu for protein. This does mean that I have to cook for myself most of the time and take total control of my diet, though. The difference between animal protein and plant protein is that animal proteins are 'complete proteins', which means that they contain the full range of amino acids. They're also much higher in fat. Plant proteins are 'incomplete proteins', which means that you have to consume a range of them in order to have the correct amino acid intake. I see this as a bonus, it means I have to make my food more interesting. I try to keep my diet as colourful as possible, but also take an amino acid powder supplement which also contains a good amount of BCAAs (essential amino acids, not synthesised by the body but needed in our diets, make up a third of muscle protein and can be used directly as fuel by muscles) to make sure I'm getting everything I need. Plant proteins are obviously much lower in fat and higher in fibre than animal proteins, so that's a bonus. Occasionally, I also use Sun Warrior Vegan Protein powder, but it's rather pricey and I'm not entirely sure that I need it. Just a top-up from time to time. Generally, most people need 1g of protein per kg of body weight per day, although those doing resistance training can require double that. Carbohydrates My diet used to be a lot like what Freddy described. I would eat as few carbs as possible, but the ones I did eat were wholewheat versions and low GI options like sweet potatoes, oats, wholewheat pasta and brown rice. I'm now experimenting with my carb intake. I think we're often led to believe that carbs are the devil and should be kept to a minimum, but when you're training a lot, I don't think you can afford to think that way. When training sessions last for an hour or more, a high-carb diet maximises your energy stores and improves your endurance. I find myself crashing when I don't eat carbs in the correct amount or at the right times, so I'm trying to incorporate the following strategies from my studies now (although this is focusing on fueling my training for optimum performance, not weight loss): Carbs Before Training Apparently, anything consumed 30-60 mins before training has no benefit on muscle glycogen (readily available energy stores). It is said that during the 2-4 hours before a high-intensity training session, we should consume an amount of carbs equal to 2.5g per kilogram of our body weight, in a low GI, slow-releasing form. When I do morning sessions, this poses a problem for me because I pretty much roll straight out of bed and into the gym at 7am and find it difficult to eat anything that early. Carbs During Training If you're training for over an hour, consuming carbs during your session can postpone fatigue by 15-30mins. Good sources for this include sports drinks (you can make them yourself if you're worried about all the nasty stuff in the store-bought ones), energy bars and dried fruit. If you do choose to have carbs during training, timing is important because they may not be absorbed into the bloodstream until 30 mins after consumption. Recommended amounts are 70g of carbs per hour or 1-2g of carbs per minute. Anything higher than that will have no benefit during the session. Carbs After Training In the 2-hour window after training, consume 1g of carbs per kilogram of body weight, in a form that is easily digestible and high-moderate GI to get glucose into the bloodstream as quickly as possible. During that window, energy stores can be replenished at a rate three times faster than normal, so consuming carbs then will avoid fatigue later on and optimise recovery. Apparently, a further 50g of carbs should be consumed 2-4 hours after training (although I usually find this difficult if I'm still full from before). Carbs Between Training Sessions Recommended recovery rates are as follows: - For low-moderate intensity training: 5-7g carbs per kg body weight per day - For high intensity training: 7-12g carbs per kg body weight per day -For extreme intensity training (4-6+ hrs a day): 10-12g carbs per kg body weight per day The carbs I eat are still the same sources that I listed above, but I'm playing around with the amounts and times to see what works best. Weighing out my food is definitely a pain, but I'm trying to make myself do that now! As far as my general diet goes, I agree with what Missmuaythai said:
  4. I'm also interested as to how some of you guys handle fighting and working. I almost always have to go into work the day after a fight, which I don't mind too much. However, I do have to turn down a lot of fight opportunities because they don't fit into my work schedule. My co-workers are pretty understanding and supportive of my situation and help me to get days off for fights if I can, which is nice, but I'm sure that there are lots of people who struggle with this. I'm currently working with a band-aid on my face to cover up a cut and some bruising, which doesn't look too professional. No complaints, though - just lots of questions and concerned looks! I did get sent home once on the day after a fight for having a huge black eye. I think it was more for my boss' benefit than mine, it didn't look great having a beaten-up teacher on the job!
  5. This was exactly my experience. I got my first cut on Friday, but it was only a tiny one. We were pretty sure didn't need any stitches at all, but some lady at the stadium kept urging me to go to the hospital, saying 'I think it's not beautiful for you'. I went there just to get it checked out, thinking I'd just get a dressing, and came out with eleven stitches. I'm pretty certain that if I'd been a male, they wouldn't have bothered. It was pretty annoying having to go through the whole process (and to pay for it!), when I didn't need to, but having a minimal scar is a bonus, I guess.
  6. I enjoyed this article, thanks for posting it! I particularly liked this part: "I have met a lot of people who are serious about training. I have met a lot fewer people who are serious about recovery" I think a lot of people are really quick to diagnose themselves as overtrained and say 'well, I'd better take a week off!' A lot of the time, those people aren't overtrained at all, but even if they were, a week of doing nothing wouldn't actually do much for their recovery. Active recovery is key. Personally, I try to invest a lot of time getting massages, foam rolling, using a sauna (thanks to Sylvie for that one!) and getting good-quality sleep, because I believe that they are just as important to my training as the time I spend in the gym. If I trained at the rate I do without doing any kind of active recovery, I would almost certainly hit a wall eventually. I don't think that 'day off' is a swear word, I definitely do take them if I really think I need them, but I don't think it is always the best thing to do. I've had one training partner in particular tell me things like 'you're always so committed to training. I wish I could be like that, but I can't. I have to take breaks sometimes in order to keep enjoying it and stay motivated'. I can't speak on anyone else's mental or physical capacity to train, only they know their bodies and everyone is different, but I think that there is a lot to be said for pushing through and developing mental toughness, which Freddy mentioned above.
  7. Glad to hear that, Micc! :wink: I'd love to have you here, if you do decide to come! Getting to the beach wouldn't be out of the question if you're in Bangkok, but you would have to make it a weekend trip if you don't want to miss any training. You could easily go to Hua Hin, Cha-Am, Pattaya or Koh Samet. Last month, I went to Koh Chang, which is further, for just a couple of days and it was a really easy (and cheap) trip. I left BKK at 11pm on a bus and arrived at my hotel at 7am the next day, it was only around 400B altogether. A lot of people who come here tend to tag a beach trip on to the end of their stay, so they train with us for a while and then shoot off to somewhere else, usually Phuket, as a kind of reward before they go home. You could always do that! Having trained at my gym for over three years now, I can't really say much for other places because I don't have first-hand experience, but if you want to know anything about training in BKK, do let me know!
  8. Thanks, Sylvie. It's a difficult topic to talk about without offending people who've won these titles, but it's not a criticism of them at all - just the whole process! I'm really confused by the interim titles as well. Do fighters who win those even get to keep the belts?
  9. Sylvie, you have the worst luck, haha! You've had to put up with men in Speedos AND dudes with their bare balls out? That is just too much. One of the guys from our gym actually asked me to untie his cup for him after his fight a couple of weeks ago. I realised that he was just desperate to get it off and asked the nearest person to him, but I still wasn't going to dig in his ass crack. I asked one of the other guys instead. A girl actually trained at my gym in a bikini top once. I wasn't there at the time, but I found out when one of the trainers put up a photo of her on his Facebook page!
  10. It's also just impractical for them to be able to get in and out of your corner quickly if they have to keep crawling under the ropes! It must be awesome to have females there, though. When say say they're 'hiring' them, how do you mean? Are they just asking any girls they can find at the venue?
  11. I have my own personal mongkol, but have shared it with male fighters at times and it hasn't been a problem so far. Of course, I train at a very Western-friendly gym, so my experiences in this case are probably very influenced by that, but when other fighters from my gym are fighting, I often find myself taking care of the mongkol for them, carrying it over my shoulder to and from the ring. This is often something that the trainers have me do, not just something I do of my own accord, so I'm glad to see that it's not a problem. I sometimes expect people to come up to me and say 'no, no!' and take it off me, but that hasn't happened so far. When it's a female fighter, there has sometimes been some kind of assumed responsibility for me that as the other female present, that I should be doing all that stuff for them. At one of Katy's fights, the promoter told me that I should put her mongkol on for her because I'm a woman and it would be 'good'. I was never going to do that, though! At her last fight, her cornermen accidentally left it at the ring and the same promoter guy had me go and collect it instead of them. I'd never heard of 'Sitzpinkler' before! German words are amazing :laugh: .
  12. This looks great! It's bed time for me now, but I will get stuck into this blog tomorrow. Thanks for posting. :smile:
  13. That sounds very sweet. Master Toddy taught me my wai kru ram muay before my first fight, but it's not unique to me - he just has his own style that he teaches all of the fighters. Thanks to Micc for raising this topic, I'm interested to hear how different Western gyms use and teach the wai kru!
  14. I'm lucky enough to work for a company that has allowed me to play around with my work schedule over the last few years. At first I was working long days 5 times a week, then it was half days six times per week. Both ways meant finishing at 9pm, so I've always just done all my training in the morning. Now, I'm working part-time, so I no longer struggle with a work/training balance, which is a luxury. On work days, when I can't join an afternoon session, I usually try to make up for it by staying late to do another hour or two by myself. I have always thought that it would be really difficult to juggle training and work at home, since I've only ever done it in Thailand. I'm lucky that I'm able to train first and work afterwards every day, rather than having to squeeze it in during the evenings after work, when I'm already tired. I'm curious to hear how everyone else does it!
  15. I used to have difficulty eating on fight day. I guess it was nervousness, but I just didn't have an appetite. I now just make sure I eat little and often. Nothing too heavy, only stuff that is easily digestible. Vegetables, eggs, granola bars and stuff like that.
  16. I wrote this post for my blog this week: What Does 'World Title' Really Mean in Thailand's Pro-Am World Championships? It was a difficult one to write because while I have some rather strong feelings about these tournaments and the authenticity of some of the 'world champions' they produce, I really didn't want to attack anyone. Instead, I just wanted to raise an issue that is rarely spoken about. There are multiple pro-am world championship tournaments each year by a handful of different organisatons, and some have shown themselves to be conducted under rather questionable terms. "In theory, there is nothing wrong with the idea of tournaments like these. They promote Muay Thai on a worldwide scale and bring fighters, instructors and fans from around the world together. However, it’s integral that they be carried out in an ethical way. That is, a way that upholds integrity and safety for all those involved. This is where they start to lose me". What do you guys think? Whether you agree or disagree, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one.
  17. I was actually using Pink Himalayan salt at one stage, but for a different reason. Last year, I started having allergic reactions whenever I was in air-con, out of nowhere. Obviously, air-con is pretty hard to avoid here so it really started to bother me because I was constantly congested, sneezing and generally gross. I read about using the Himalayan rock salt in a drink every morning to counter that. I wasn't sure if it was total quackery, but tried it out anyway and somehow, my symptoms disappeared pretty much immediately. I'm still not sure if it's quackery - I haven't read any scientific information to back it up, which pretty much goes against everything I believe in, haha. It was very strange, though!
  18. You're coming to Master Toddy's?! Awesome! So I'll be seeing and training with you soon :bunny:
  19. Hey, Minu. Welcome to the forum! It is SUPER HOT in Bangkok at the moment, although May- August should be a little cooler. Still, this is a good question. Of course, you have to make sure you drink lots of water, but it's a good idea to put electrolyte powder in it to help with rehydration, because you will be sweating a lot. You can buy little electrolyte packets in the 7/11 for around 7 baht each, they generally look something like this: At our gym, we have a fruit vendor who comes at the end of training every day and I always make sure to grab a coconut from him. Coconut water is full of good stuff and is actually more efficient at replacing body fluids than H20, so they say! Also, coconuts are delicious, so I recommend those. It's really important to remember not only to keep yourself hydrated during training, but before and after. Admittedly, I struggle with this. In the gym, I'm chugging water all the time, but as soon as I go back to my room or to work, I forget and then end up with a headache a few hours later (this actually happens to me more often that I'd like to admit, because I'm silly). Your required water intake is likely to shoot up and it sometimes feels weird having to be reminding yourself to drink all the time, but personally, I pay for it if I don't. I've actually taken to using infused water as a way of making myself drink more often. I put stuff like lime, ginger, mint and cucumber in my water bottle to make it more interesting, then I'm far less likely to forget. You will feel your performance suffering as a result of the humidity when you first arrive. That's normal, so don't worry about that. It's fine to ease yourself into it for that reason and not go crazy on the first couple of days. Do you know which gym(s) you're planning on going to? :smile:
  20. Hello, everyone! Welcome to Muay Thai Roundtable. This forum is Sylvie's brainchild, I am here to help moderate. For those of you who aren't familiar with either of us, I want to offer an introduction, so you know who we are, where we come from, what we're trying to do, and all that jazz. The quick, easy to digest version is in the picture below, which breaks it down pretty succinctly. You can scroll down to see a more detailed explanation. Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu This forum is a part of Sylvie's site and blog, 8limbs.us. She's been running the site for 3 years now, starting at the very beginning of her Muay Thai journey since moving to Thailand and sharing its most intricate details along the way. She's from Colorado, US and first discovered Muay Thai while living in New York after her husband, Kevin, urged her to watch Ong Bak with him. From there, she started training with Master K in 2008. She trained with him in his basement and started filming her private sessions with him as a way to study and track her progress as well as to preserve and share Master K's teaching. There, her Youtube channel was born, which now has more than 2,000 videos! The following year, she went to Thailand for the first time to train, with Kevin in tow. After returning, she went on to train at Chok Sabai gym and also with Kaensak while saving and planning to make her way back. The original plan was to be here for a year if possible, but hoping to stay long enough to have fifty fights, but she's still here, has been for three years now, has had more than one hundred fights and is planning to keep going for as long as she possibly can. Her and Kevin sustain their stay here with a combination of income from Kevin's work, personal savings and a Go Fund Me campaign, by which lots of generous supports donated money to help keep her here after following her journey. This allows her to maintain a full-time training schedule. You can see what a day of her training looks like in the video below: Sylvie spent the first part of her Thailand fight journey in Chiang Mai fighting out of Lanna gym, but now lives in Pattaya, training at two gyms, Petchrungruang and O. Meekun, which are both very Thai. O. Meekun is also the home of PhetJee Jaa, who is quite possibly the greatest female fighter on the planet. To say that Sylvie fights regularly would be a massive understatement. She not only takes fights whenever and wherever she can get them, but is constantly seeking opportunities to fight more, with the best competition she can face. She has already gone up against some of the best women in her weight class in the world, often with a big weight disadvantage. Her huge wealth of experience in fighting along with her insight into Thai culture and social dynamics and her desire to build and share as much as she possibly can makes her invaluable, and I'm grateful that she has created this forum as a way to share more of that. Emma Thomas I'm a 26-year-old Brit, who first dove into the world of Muay Thai at the age of 22 while on a solo backpacking trip through Thailand after graduating from university, having absolutely no previous athletic experience or knowledge of combat sports but a huge passion and desire to get into it, which emerged almost out of nowhere. I was hooked from the start, not only on the sport but on the country, and after a month of full-time training in Chiang Mai, immediately changed my plans, cancelling the last leg of my trip so that I could stay in Thailand long-term and commit to Muay Thai. I then took the steps to be able to work in Thailand as a teacher, getting qualified while training in Chiang Mai before being sent to Bangkok for work. There, I found Master Toddy, the man who turned me into a fighter. I stumbled upon his gym never having heard of him before (which shows how out of touch with the Muay Thai world I was at the time) and planning to leave after two weeks, but have now been living and training at his gym for three and a half years (living in Thailand for over four years in total so far) with no plans to leave as of yet. This is my home now. Meeting him was a huge turning point for me, as he instilled the confidence I needed in myself in order to believe that I could fight. Since then, he's continued to be a wonderful teacher to me and a driving force in my life. I had my first fight after eight weeks of training with him and have now had twenty. Halfway between those two places, I set up my blog, Under the Ropes, which was born as a way to create more Muay Thai content for women as well as to share my experiences. I continue to work as an English teacher, which is something that I really love as well as something that provides a visa and a continued source of income. It means that I constantly have to balance my training and fighting with my work schedule, but it's wonderful. Where our paths cross - Similarities and differences I met Sylvie for the first time via her blog in 2011 and later on, as mine started to grow and we both shared our stories, we noticed similarities. as well as the obvious factor of both being women carving our places out in a male-dominated space, we both have rather introverted personalities and are feminists who are passionate about sharing and creating as much as we can for the benefit of other women. Sylvie and I have rather different lifestyles, and for that reason, our collective stories and experiences here can give a broad view of what it's like here. We also have rather different training experiences, as I train in a very Western-friendly gym which is just generally a very different setting to the one she trains in. We have been able to meet up and train together a few times in the last year and intend to keep doing so. Our difference in schedules means that for the most part, we maintain our friendship and collaborations online (and what better way for a pair of introverts?) Here, we hope to make it possible for others to make similar connections as they continue to share and discover. We thank you all for signing up to the forum and look forward to meeting everyone in it.
  21. Hi! I first came on a tourist visa and did visa runs. The second time, I got an ED visa from my gym (Master Toddy's). I'm now on a working visa. So, I've had experience with all three ways. If you get a tourist visa, you have two options. The first is to get a visa on arrival, which will be valid for 30 days and can be renewed at any border on a visa run. I'm not sure just how many times you can renew it, though. I did it three or four times in a row with no problems. The second is to can apply in advance at your local Thai consulate/embassy for a 60 day double entry tourist visa. During that time, you just need to report to the immigration office every 30 days while you're here. When you reach then end of your second 60-day stay, the visa can be further extended by 30 days at the end on a border run, making it valid for a total of 180 days. I'm not sure if you would have an issue getting a brand new tourist visa to cover the rest of your trip after you're done with that one. Can anyone else help with that? It seems that with a tourist visa, you will need proof of a return flight This wasn't the case when I had mine (a few years ago), but there has been a recent visa crackdown. My experiences of border runs were always pretty easy - just take a van, cross the border, get a stamp and come back. They're just a hassle if you're a grump like me. They can be a fun way to meet people, though. There are plenty of companies here which arrange the trips and take care of all the paperwork for you, which is good. I used http://www.thaivisaservice.com/ As Sylvie said, you can do the education (ED) visa for a long-term stay by going through a Thai language school or training at a gym that offers one (although there are not many). Master Toddy is currently working with the Ministry of Education to be able to provide 5 year visas in the future, which I am really excited about! It requires a lot of paperwork, though. You have to build a curriculum for them to assess. We've also had the immigration people come to the gym during training to check up on us a few times, taking photos of us training and stuff. If there's anything else I can help with here, please let me know! :smile:
  22. I second what Tu said. It's not to say that you won't get an 'authentic Thai experience', but it's definitely an advantage that Master Toddy spend so much time in the UK and US and is very familiar with teaching foreigners. It means that he can break down instructions clearly and precisely in English so that you can fully understand not only how to perform them but WHY, which is really handy. Like Tu said, that also helps when you're being cornered if you can't speak any Thai.
  23. Matt - My friend who's with Sinbi at the moment generally enjoys it, but I'm not sure of the details. I'll ask her for you! There's a new post from Kay Khanomthom on her experience there, which you can read here: http://8limbs.us/muay-thai-forum/topic/12-sinbi-muay-thai-globo-gym-of-phuket/?do=findComment&comment=20 I think that will be pretty helpful for you. I can't speak much for other gyms, but I'll tell you about my experience at Master Toddy's: Almost every session starts with sparring, which I really enjoy. I haven't been to many other gyms, but the other places that I have spent time in only did sparring sessions a couple of times a week, which made it really difficult to progress quickly. Since we're sparring all the time, we keep it controlled and technical and the trainers and Master Toddy are constantly monitoring to make sure nothing gets out of hand and also to give guidance and instruction. Master Toddy oversees and teaches the classes. He's always by the ring watching closely, instructing both you and the trainer and during sparring, he watches for what you need to work on and when it's time for padwork afterwards, he'll pass that onto the trainer who's holding for you and have them work on that with you. His general rule is that you take whatever you were practicing in the ring and then drill it on the bag afterwards to solidify it in your mind. So, what I enjoy the most is the individual attention and technical instruction we get. He teaches everyone the way they need to be taught rather than addressing the entire class in the same way. While he'll teach you his particular style, you'll also get a mix of styles from each of the trainers here, which means you can work on different things with each of them. I've always felt like the people here have been investing in ME to get better, rather than giving me generic, boring padwork and then leaving me to kick a bag by myself, which is certainly not what you'll get at every gym, but was my experience before I came here.
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