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Hi Sylvie, I have two questions for you and if you have time, it would be great to hear your opinion on my situation. Firstly, I am currently training at a gym in Chiang Mai area and my original plan was only to train here for 1 month and then go to Bangkok to a gym owned by a famous fighter in October for 1 month, however, after checking out that gym for a morning session I really did not like the area that it is located in (I'm not sure that I would feel safe going for a run there by myself), and I am questioning if I would be taken seriously there, whether I would get the kind of training that would help me get to the next level rather than treating me like a beginner, so I am now contemplating whether I should extend my stay at my current gym to two months or should I still go to another gym so that I get some variety of technique...To be honest, I like how detailed oriented the trainers at my current gym are and that they are picking up on the small things that I didn't know I was doing wrong (although everything I thought I knew has been corrected so many times that it left me wondering if I actually know anything at all and what it was that I was learning/doing for the last 2.5 years, lol), but I feel like I am not learning any new techniques and only get corrected on the techniques that I already have, so I started paying for private sessions (I've done 2 so far and don't know if I should keep going with that) so that I can learn some clinch, since the group clinch sessions are pretty short (maybe 15 minutes at the end of the afternoon session), and to also do some sparring since there doesn't seem to be much sparring happening and the one session that they called boxing sparring was pretty short too and I got put in a ring with a bunch of complete beginners who didn't know how to control their punches and so it was just me trying to avoid any of the wild haymaker punches, while the trainer that was in our ring was jus watching and not saying anything, so I don't know if this is the norm in Thai gyms and this is how they conduct their sparring sessions so would going to another gym be really that different? Do you think it would be a good idea for me to train at another gym after my 1 month at my current gym or do you think I would be making it worse since the other gym would spend time to teach me "their way" of doing things and I would be basically unlearning again what I thought I knew? Or should I stay here at my current gym so that I can put in enough time to learn one style the right way and continue to do private sessions to fill in the gaps from the group sessions? Secondly, I also wanted to try fighting in Thailand but I have never been in a fight that had the use of elbows allowed (I've only done 2 in house fights so I doubt that it counts for much) and I am wondering if these kind of basic sparring sessions at my current gym would prepare me for the use of elbows in a real fight, or would actually help me prepare for any fight at all. When you do sparring at the gym where you train, do you ever practice throwing elbows (in a controlled way) during sparring or is it something that only gets practiced on the pads? I also don't know if I should bring up the fact that I was hoping to be able to get a fight towards the end of my training at this gym or if I am expected to wait to be asked whether it is something I want to do? I feel almost embarrassed now to ask for a fight after having received so many corrections of my technique which up until now I thought was decent (I certainly didn't think that it was perfect but I didn't think that I needed so many corrections), and it actually left me feeling pretty disappointed in myself since I work hard when I train back home, but it almost now seems like it was all wasted effort and that the training that I was getting at home and thought of as being quiet good is not good enough. Do you think if I mention that I want to fight I would get better/different training or would I be laughed at for even asking? Also, do you know if you might be getting any fights in Chiang Mai? I would love to come and watch at least one of your fights Cheers
Gemma has a great blog on her experiences of over a year training and fighting on Phuket. She was at Sinbi and recently changed gyms to AKA. Phuket is an island and so it's no surprise you run into your old gym a lot, both on purpose and by accident. Here's Gemma's blog post on both the expected and unexpected of those circumstances, something many of us experience to varying degrees given the "small world" of Muay Thai both in Thailand and in the west: Moving on Without Moving "There is something to be said about changing gyms within a small province. In my imagination, at the very least, if you were to change gyms somewhere bigger, say in Bangkok, the pressures that come with the move might not be as noticeable – but again – I could be totally wrong having never lived in […]"