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Isaan Training Log - Udon Thani, TH - Siriluck Gym


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Background: 31, Male, USA, 185cm, 70kgs - I've been in Thailand for approx. 5-months solo on an open-ended trip through Southeast Asia. Arriving Bangkok early October 2022, I proceeded to spend 2-weeks in Chiang Mai (did not train during this time), 3-months in Pai, 2-weeks in Chiang Mai, and now writing from Udon Thani where I've been for 2-weeks and plan to stay till end of February 2023 when my visa extension expires. On average, I've trained 6x per week at 4 different gyms during this time. It really wasn't until I left Pai and trained at two gyms in Chiang Mai for 1-week each (Santai + Boon Lanna) that I began taking training more seriously. I'm currently training at Siriluck Muay Thai Gym in Udon Thani, a quiet gym in Isaan. My collective training amounts to 35-40 sessions, so I'm still still very much a beginner, but feel like I'm starting to turn the corner. Feeling more competent and capable on the bags, pads and with the general flow of a training session.

This gym doesn't have a web presence beyond a few photos on google maps, so I had to go in person to get information. When I rolled up around 3pm on a Monday there were two unassuming men, out front smoking cigarettes watching tiktok videos on a phone attached to an eye level tripod. One of them spoke a little english and told me the other guy is the trainer. A few students trickled in from their run and I introduced myself to everyone. In total there appears to be maximum 5-6 people, all thai, training out of this gym right now, 1 of which is training for a televised fight in Bangkok on February 12th. The main focus and priority at the gym is on this fighter, which the trainer is pushing very hard in preparation and that has been fun to watch. I got the impression that foreigners don't often drop into this gym as they were quite surprised to see me, and very interested in who I am, in addition to being extremely friendly. People in this region are some of the nicest I've ever met. It can actually be a bit startling when you're not used to it. The facility is clean and quite big, resembling a car repair shop type layout with office in the front next to large roll-up door and long open space with mats, 4 heavy bags and weights on one wall, mirrors and more exercise equipment on the other. There are two rings, but only one of them is used currently. In the back there are him/hers changing rooms/toilets. We talked price, $500 full-day or $8,000/month unlimited training. I agreed and we got to training. 

I'm writing this on Sunday February 5th after training there 5 times last week. The head trainer is very animated, loud, hilarious, and fun to be around. His general vibe is playful and relaxed, but he's stern with instruction/correction and strong holding the pads. We're friends on Facebook now and his page suggests he had a successful fighting career, now retired in his 30's/40's. He doesn't speak much english beyond the basic 'kick, punch, jab', so I never know what he is saying, but he gets me laughing hysterically. It's never clear if I'm 'in on' the joke or if 'I am' the joke, but it doesn't matter, I enjoy it and laugh anyways. If I deliver a bad punch or kick and he corrects me with a light counter jab to the stomach or head and has been challenging me in ways other trainers haven't. My comfort with being hit and hitting back has improved along with the strength and technique of my punches and kicks.

I've began experiencing the common small injuries such as knuckle abrasions, bruised shins, knee to knee impacts, blistered feet, battered ankles.. easing off the gas as these things pop up, but going forward I'm going to push through them more than usual. I've found myself placing a lot of pressure to train and perform well, and get disappointed when I slack or am slow to learn or recover. Getting better has become my daily purpose and I feel good about having something to focus on, even though it can be a painful, lonely and isolating process. My goal is to train 10-12 per week for the next 3-weeks, fully committing myself to improving as much as possible in that time. 

This log serves to keep me accountable and I plan to update regularly.

 

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February 06-2023 - Monday Morning 07:00 - 09:00

Good start to the week. Awake and out of the door at 06:50a, and at the gym by 07:00a. I really should be arriving to the gym by 06:30 to start the day with 30-minute run, but I'll admit, recently have been neglecting this. Instead, I began with my usual warmup of 15-minutes skipping + 10-minute full body stretch.  There were 4 of us training this morning with the 1 instructor.

After warmup, I sparred for 3-rounds with same person who I had only met briefly sometime last week. Not knowing much about him or his skill level, we felt each other out with light kicks and punch combinations. His idea of light sparring was a bid harder than what I had in mind, which became clear when he landed a roundhouse kick to my temple with a bit of force. I reeled back smiling with a hand gesture pushing to the floor while saying 'Sabai', reminding him to go easy, to which he responded by rolling his eyes. In general, he wasn't very warm to me throughout class. We went 2-rounds with gloves and shin guards, followed by 1-round boxing with gloves only, no kicking. He landed some good combinations on me with a bit more power than I'm used to receiving, which is helping increase my confidence and comfort with standing in a guarded position taking shots. I'm becoming less timid/afraid of being hit and hitting back. Landing a clean jab to his chin felt good in response to a hook he got me with.

After sparring, I went 5, 3-minutes rounds on the pads throwing simple combinations. Kik seems to enjoy having me do jump knees. With my hands locked at his neck/traps, he counts to 50, switching pads every 10, shouting suun, nueng, saawng, saam, sii, haa, hok, jet, bpaaet, gao, sib... 1-10 in thai. He has a pleasant high-pitched voice and the melodic rhythm of the counting helps distract from fatigue and soreness as knee/quad become increasingly battered from repetitive smacking against the pad. My leg muscles have become noticeably harder, stronger and thicker from all the kicking/kneeing. Immediately after the jump knees, he'll point at one of the boys standing against the ropes to have him come in and clinch. This is tough for me right now because I'll be gassed from hitting pads and a stronger, more rested person will come manhandle me in the clinch for a minute followed by more kicks and punches on the pads and ending with 10 punching sit-ups with trainer stepping on tops of feet. I'm being pushed pretty close to my limit with each training session and have found the bar moves higher with each session. The rapid improvement from near daily training has been fun to experience, but it's clear I have a long road ahead to reach the skill and conditioning level of my peers.

After padwork, I moved to the heavy bag for 3-rounds; push kicks, low/high kicks, hand combinations. Finished session with neck conditioning, pullups, bodyweight squats, cooldown, stretch.

Paid 3,000baht for another week unlimited training. My goal for this week is to not miss a session, train 2x/day Monday-Saturday, 12 sessions total.

For those wondering about cost of living here, training works out to 250baht/session or 500baht/day, motorbike rental is 250baht/day, and apartment is 432baht/day. I'm eating a lot right now trying to gain a bit of weight, so my food cost is approx. 500baht/day. I don't drink alcohol, but do smoke weed. Main expenses total ~1700-2000baht/day or ~$50-65/day. Therefore, a realistic budget for me is $1,500-2,000 USD/month to live the comfortable, but not excessive lifestyle I have here. If someone was willing to eat less, live at the gym, borrow a bike from the gym, not smoke weed or alcohol, you could train here for much much cheaper. I'm just not willing to make those sacrifices.

I'm vegetarian and struggle at times to find good food options in Thailand. They like to eat their meat with a side of seafood here, so it can be challenging at times to add diversity to my diet despite being able to explain myself in thai. Fortunately, there are three buffet style thai-chinese vegan restaurants near each other here in Udon Thani. After every training session I go to one of the three for a meal. I've become a regular at all of them. The food is delicious and people all very friendly. There's also a few western chains like Burger King who has a plant-based burger that I've been a long time fan of as someone who has driven across the USA many times. My daily food budget is quite a bit higher on the days where I have western food. 

Afternoon training begins at 15:00 and I plan to start with a run with the rest of the crew. In the meantime, I'll do laundry, have lunch, and rest.

 

 

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February 06-2023 - Monday Afternoon 15:00 - 18:00

I'm realizing now that it won't be practical or necessary to post 2x or even 1x daily, so my updates won't be as frequent as originally planned. 

Before the afternoon session I was able to eat lunch, prepare dinner, do laundry, and found an hour to lay down/relax. My favorite snack right now is banana-egg-roti. I ordered two today, one to have with lunch, and another to be saved for after dinner. The roti shop shares a wall with one of the vegan buffets I like, so I can eat at both places at the same time and get takeaway for later. 

The weather in Udon has been very mild and pleasant up until yesterday when the humidity and temperature got turned up. Today was a bit tough for me because of that. Me and five others went out for a 2km walk and 2km run around the lake. There are several well maintained lakes/parks to run around in this town, and the air quality is quite good by Thai standards.

The gym was a bit busier this afternoon, with 8 training, and 4 holding pads. A good 2:1 ratio. After the run, I stretched, skipped rope for 10-minutes, 5 x 3-minute rounds on pads, 5 x 3-minute rounds on heavy bag (kicks and teeps), 15-minutes clinching, air squats, pullups, pushups, situps, neck curls, stretching. Today is the first day I didn't spar. Kik had me doing jump knees again and I about had to tap out from those as my right knee developed a tender lump, and my left quad has deep bruising. I'm learning to push through the pain. He's still not happy with my punch/jab motion, so fine-tuning that continues to be a top priority.

Since verbal communication is limited in the gym, I've started supplementing my learning by reading muay thai text books in the effort to pickup ideas to bring into the gym. Currently reading 'Muay Thai Unleashed' by Erich Krauss. and have found it helpful. Anyone have other book suggestions? 

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Thank you Kevin. 

Siriluck Gym - 183 28 Soi Nongbua, Nong Bua Sub-district, Mueang Udon Thani District, Udon Thani 41000 https://goo.gl/maps/GdJZsq84cjS6UJab6

I've fallen in love with this gym and the town of Udon. Life is good for me here so I've decided to stay to continue training at Siriluck. The 4-5 fighters training out of this gym right now all compete at the big name stadiums in Bangkok. Yokkao Jitmuangnon Stadium, Lumpinee, Raj, etc... and they're all winning. They're very good. The past two weekends I've flown and taken train to Bangkok with trainer and fighter for their matches. I've been able to get an up close and behind the scenes look at these televised fights. It's been fun and exciting. It appears they each fight monthly, training hard in between.

This past week the gym had someone fighting co-main-event at LWC Super Champ event at Lumpinee Stadium, and week before that, someone competing at Yokkao Jitmuangnon Stadium, both of them won by knockout. Lumpinee fight was pure entertainment while Yokkao was pure gambling fight. Both televised. I thought the Yokkao event was much more exciting. We'll be back to both of these places for more fights in March. I posted videos of these fights on my instagram page: audio.visual

My muay thai skills and overall training confidence are improving quickly. I'm making it to the gym twice/day most days, and have found my body getting used to the increased work load. It was honestly very tough on my body when I first ramped up the frequency, and I felt a little down about just lounging around constantly when not training, but now I see the extra rest was necessary and I'm now much more conditioned for the volume. 

However, I'm still not running much. My goal for this week is to start each training day with 2km run, with eventual goal of 5k daily morning run. My pre training warmup has been on stationary bike with 05.kg ankle weights. This warmup has been more gentle on my knees than running.

I've been practicing the thai language with a tutor and books, as I hope to better connect with my trainer, the fighters, and thai people in public. I feel like a toddler, learning how to walk (box) and speak all over again. 

My visa expires next weekend February 28, so I'll need to head up to Laos to get a new clock. I think I will continue training here in Udon for another 1-2 months then go to Japan. 

My 32nd birthday is the first week of March and I'm excited for how I'm starting my next trip around the sun. 

 

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February 23-2023 - Thursday Morning

Keeping to my word, I woke up at 06:00 this morning and ran 3-laps around the lake near the gym. I've been told each lap is approx. 2km, so this morning I ran 6k. Going forward, my daily goal is to run 3-5 laps (6-10km) every morning, excluding Sundays. For not having run too much, and for being a lifelong run-hater, the 6k felt surprisingly easy. My preference is to run alone, at my own pace, so that helped. No pressure. 

I was back at the gym by 07:30, but no one was training. I felt my phone vibrate and found an alert from my kru saying he wouldn't be there this morning and that we'd only train in the afternoon today. I didn't do any other exercises after my run, just a few stretches and went home to do laundry.

My trip to Bangkok this past weekend threw off my training rhythm and I'm just now getting back in the groove in time to leave again this weekend for a visa-run. I've been feeling slightly fatigued and sluggish all week, which I think is related to travel and poor rest. Now trying to hydrate, eat, and rest my way through it. 

 

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Awesome, thank you for the google map spotlight Kevin! I've never posted much on open forums so still learning about publishing tools. I will include that information next time I post about a new gym visit. 

What size are the fighters out there? 

Age range appears to be 12-28, 45-68kg fighting weight, ~6-8 fighters rotating in/out of the gym, 4-6 kru rotating in/out. I'm at the top end of size/weight and want to add another 5-7kg's. I feel like I'll benefit from a bit more size at~184cm. 77kg was a healthy weight for me in the past. 

Do you feel like your training with them is productive for you at 70 kg?

I think so. Then again I'm still a ~3-4month beginner with experience limited to training at 4 gyms in Thailand, so I don't know much. For the most part, all training has felt like good training to me, as I've consistently had a good workout every time I show up. I've learned that it's really up to me to ensure a good workout, kru can only guide you so much in a session. My goals are more general fitness based than fighting camp based, so that colors my experience a bit differently too... more recreational than business/work as it is for the Thai fighters. I'm slowly adopting this mindset of treating it like a job. The 68kg fighter walks around at 70-72kgs at 186cm, so he's big. In fact that's his nickname. Training with him has been great, I just try to mimic what he does. He is very good fighter, taking the victory at Lumpinee last weekend at LWC Super Champ event, where he fought an Algerian in the Co-Main Event. Although the fight was quick with not much action... it seemed like big's opponent didn't really want to fight. Here is The Fight - LWC Super Champ February 18, 2023 - Big is in the thumbnail far left. 

I see you mentioned 15 minutes of clinch, what is the clinch training like for you?

Honestly, clinching intimidates me and I'm still trying to get comfortable with being tightly intimate with others in this way. I've had to overcome quite a bit psychologically with my aversion to close human contact (mainly with strangers). Muay Thai has helped me greatly with this, as I have loosened up a lot. The fighters clinch most days for 1-2 hours. If I join them, I usually only go for 15-20 minutes. Just like my goal to run more (have run 6k both today and yesterday), I have a goal to clinch more. My plan is to clinch with Big as he has another LWC fight next month that he'll be training for. He's relaxing this week, but will be back in the gym next week and I fully plan to clinch with him most days for long sessions. His neck and clinch is insanely powerful so I'm looking forward to learning from him. My immediate goal is to become a strong clinching partner to help the fighters prepare for the bouts. In the mean time, I've been doing neck exercises at the end of every training sessions, preparing for the work ahead.

 

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I've doubled down on my commitment to continue training in Thailand by getting a fresh 45-day visa this past sunday, which takes me through April 11 with option for 30-day extension through May 11, 2023. I've also renewed my apartment and motorbike for one-month, all of March 2023. Previously I've been paying for everything on a weekly basis, as I like to keep a certain degree of flexibility, but now I'm confident I want to continue doing what I'm doing here in Udon for at least another 4-weeks, maybe longer. 

I spent the weekend in Vientiene, Laos and Bangkok to get new visa and see a friend. Returning to Udon late last night, I got started training again today after 2.5-days off. I asked the head kru if I can get one hour of one-on-one private training everyday in March (except Sundays) and we worked out a deal for 9k baht/month which includes 2 sessions per day, and the one hour private training every afternoon session.

Today before afternoon session head kru messaged me on facebook to say my trainer today wouldn't be him, but instead someone named Orono. He sent me a picture of the guy holding 7 belts so I knew he had been a successful fighter, but didn't know much else about him. I met with him at 16:30 and was happy to hear he spoke good english. He asked me a lot of training related questions I haven't been asked before, probably because of the language barrier. Veryyy little english is spoken at Siriluck Gym, so most of my learning is done through observation and expression of body language. Communicating and receiving verbal advice from Orono was refreshing to say the least. 

We focused on the absolute basics; breathing, footwork, stance, rhythm, jabs, cross, elbows, l/r kicks, etc.. he closely observed all of my movements like a scientist doing an experiment and gave me helpful tips. My mechanics are not so good, but by the end of the 1.5 hours together (we went 30-minutes longer), my kicks and punches felt more fluid and powerful. I'm trying my best to lock-in the muscle memory, but it's challenging as any reader here knows. So far I'm really liking Orono's teaching style and his overall personality- cool guy. 

There were 7 fighters training tonight and we all went for a 3km run to the lake and back, with head kru trailing behind on a motorbike. A few months ago, completing this run after 2+ hours of hard training would have been very tough for me. But tonight, I felt great and kept up with the fast pace the guys were moving at. The three 6k runs I did last week are already paying off.

When I got home from training/dinner, I began reading about Orono Wor Petchpun and watching his fight tapes. He's fought and defeated big names like Buakaw, Saenchai, Yodsanklai, Lerdsila, and many others. I'm feeling very excited and grateful for the opportunity to start learning from this legend everyday. I don't know why he is training out of this gym now, or what his relationship to the owner is, as he has previously been living in Singapore with Evolve MMA. 

There's a lot of high level talent drifting in and out of Siriluck Gym and I'm happy to be around it. All of the fighters have matches this month: 3 in Udon, 1 at BKK Raj Stadium, 1 at BKK Lumpinee Stadium, 1 at Yokkao Stadium. I'm planning to attend all of the fights, so I will continue to travel a lot this coming month. In fact, I've been in Bangkok for each of the past 3 weekends, 2 of which were for matches. Hated Bangkok first time I visited, but I fall in love with the city a bit more everytime I go. 

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Love your descriptions. You're telling a great story and having experiences lots of people just dream about. It's a very special relationship to Muay Thai to be in a small kaimuay that produces active stadium fighters. You get to feel how much of Muay Thai is handmade, and woven out of very local community. This stuff is the heartbeat of Thailand's Muay Thai, its real heartbeat.

How did you find your apartment, if you don't mind me asking? And what is your apartment like?

(Any photos of the gym, or your apartment?)

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FYI I’m now a $10/month Patreon member. In my search for different bits of Muay Thai information/advice online, I realized there probably isn’t a better archive to learn from than what Sylvie and Kevin have compiled. No need for me to reinvent the wheel or bounce around from site to site when there’s a enough information inside the Patreon to chew on for a lifetime.

Kevin- Thank you for the nice words and for continuing to follow along. I'm having a lot of fun as the line between work and play becomes blurred and the environment pulls me in more and more. I really like everyone at the gym. There's nothing negative I can say about the cast of characters there. They're warm, humble, passionate, hilarious, and playful. I read about Isaan people being friendly, but you don't really get it until you're on the IRL receiving end of it.

The system they have for scheduling and training for fights is really neat. Each fighter appears to average one fight per month. They will fight, take 5-10 days away from the gym to recover, come back to gym for three-weeks of training, fight again, repeat. Right now, the gym is in full swing with the energy feeling very positive. As I mentioned in previous post, 6-7 fighters have matches in March, so they are training hard. Depending on weigh-in date/time before fight, head kru and fighter will either take an 8-hour overnight train from Udon to Bangkok Don Mueng or fly one-hour, hangout, fight, then return to Udon to repeat process. All of them are fighting to support their families in different capacities. It is not recreation for them, this is a job. After they fight and money is received, their family is taken care of for at least one more month. Take a breathe Nak Muay. There's a few teenage fighers boys and girls who go to school full-time along side their full-time training. Watching him pull up to the gym (where he also lives) in his school uniform, then quickly do homework by himself on the table off to the side before dressing down to get to his real work. This sort of stuff really inspires me. It shows me I have the capacity to do more, like document this experience. 

I found my apartment on book.com, after staying at a different place during my first week in town while I was getting my bearings. I've been at my current place for one month, having booked it on book.com for a few days at first, I then arranged a weekly/monthly deal with the hotel directely. It's a good fit for me. I don't feel comfortable sharing my specific location on the forum, but if anyone wants to private message me here or on instagram: 'audio.visual' i will happily share that info. I can say that monthly rent is ~$350usd all-in. My cost of living/training here is quite cheap while still comfortable. I will post pictures of my unit and motorbike tomorrow when sun is back in the sky. 

Today's training was a bit frustrating for me as my kicks are not improving. kru ornono says i'm too stiff; my hips and shoulders too rigid during roundhouse. He's being patient with me, but also stern. Hitting me with pad, grunting, and looking disapprovingly when i do something wrong right after he showed me how to do the move properly. But he gets it, he's trained a lot of people. i'm not the first to have these technique problems, won't be the last. Being whacked in the head by a guy who has defeated Buakaw and Saenchai is now off my bucket list. To be training with such a legend is a real treat and I'm extremely grateful; trying not to waste the opportunity. 

However, the 7 of us did a lot of cardio today. Begining the session with tire jumping while 1 person pedaled on the stationary bike. Kru Gig was in one of his not uncommon funny moods and was sitting in the seat with his timer whacking the back of the person on the bike. Kind of like they were a horse. It was funny, but also painful. The whipping effect from slight flick of his wrist stung the back. I prefer to believe there's a practical reason to this punishment beyond his personal enjoyment haha. After 25 minutes of that we wrapped hands, shadowboxed, hit pads, heavy bags, sparred (I didn't), Clinch (I didn't); while they were doing the latter two I was working on punch/kick technique. Drilling on the basics. 

This sessions started at 16:00 and ended 19:15, so 3.25 hours as we ran 3km to the lake and back again tonight. My running continues to feel strong.

Lastly, this morning I listed to #42 Mental Training: How I Prepared For My Championship Fight - Sylvie's Technique Vlog (45 min) on the Patreon page. I picked this one as the first to dive into as I feel like my mental game needs ALOT of work. My main takeaways were: Mental Training is a Technique! Have mental training be part of your training all of the time, not just when you have a fight scheduled. Mental Training is not fun, it’s like doing cardio, it sucks but the more you do it, the further you can push yourself before gassing or psyching yourself out. It’s a vague concept, assign colors, tools, mental association- Grab a crayon with your mind and draw a tree with the green, draw a bench with the brown..etc.  Perfection robs you of flexibility and is not a good thing. When you become tired brain becomes lazy, over generalizes, negativity appears.
Confidence: It’s cultivated, it’s an act before it’s a feeling. Act confident first, then you’ll feel it. It’s something you can do without thinking much about it. Visualization is key. Walk through a familiar place like childhood home and visualize the sights, sounds, smells, feelings of the environment… put yourself there. Can do anywhere anytime, the closest thing to teleportation. Most visualizations don’t come true and that’s okay. Make personal Affirmations, ex: “I am Confident Under Pressure”, “I win Tough Exchanges”, “I always Bring Intensity to Every Training Session and Every Fight”. Act like you’ve been here before, you are always performing. Pressure and Stress are not the same thing. Nervous is good, flow it out, don’t bottle it in, keep it circulating. If this, then that… the world moves on. If the pressure is too big, make it small. No questions, only statements. Under pressure you will never do as good as you do in training. An Octopus can see good enough for what they need to sustain life... and so much more!

Thank you Sylvie, the $10 has already paid off after one video haha. There's a lot to thin about here, and I actually cried a bit when you suggested visualizing your grandmothers house... well I grew up in my grandmothers house and she jut died a few months ago while I was in Thailand just beginning my Muay Thai journey in Pai. In a way I feel like I'm training for here. With all of my senses I can visualize and experience my grandmothers house and my youth. I know I'm not one of the rare few that doesn't have the ability to create images in my mind, so I will begin  applying this to boxing. 

 

 

 

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FYI I’m now a $10/month Patreon member. In my search for different bits of Muay Thai information/advice online, I realized there probably isn’t a better archive to learn from than what Sylvie and Kevin have compiled. No need for me to reinvent the wheel or bounce around from site to site when there’s a enough information inside the Patreon to chew on for a lifetime.

It really is a bottomless archive. Many of these sessions, as they come from absolute legends of the sport who developed in kaimuay and circumstances that no longer exist, are just stuff with details. Some can be watched 10s of times, as each fighter has their muay, and things are being show and communicated beyond even what is being instructed. I'm glad you are getting so much out of the documentation.

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Damn, just looking at his record now. Very impressive. Some serious heavy hitters. Does he come and go as a trainer there?

All I know is he used to be instructor for Evolve MMA out of Singapore and most people recognize him from this series of videos Evolve University Fight Breakdown. From what I understand, he will be in Udon instructing at Siriluck for 2-months then move on to teach in China.

Unlike the other gyms I've been too (except Boon Lanna), Siriluck does not rely or even advertise training foreigners on a pure fitness plan. It's a fighters gym. I'm the only one not scheduled to fight right now. Therefore I don't think it would be a great place to train for a short vacation. It would be best to have a few months available for a place like this. That's just my feeling, I could be wrong. Kru is laser focused on preparing the fighters for upcoming matches. Muay Thai tourists are more of a distraction than anything I think. 

 

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It's Friday morning and my lower body feels worn out. Getting out of bed and flexing my legs to rise up was more challenging than usual. My eyes are now opening naturally every morning at 06:45, I'd like for it to become 06:00 soon.  The high impact activity this week has my knees and right ankle feeling cranky. Because it's so hot and humid here at 15:30 when afternoon training begins, Kru has been starting each session with agility training inside the gym; cone/footwork drills, jumping on, in, and around rubber tires, stationary pedaling, free-weight shadowing boxing, rope swinging and hanging, pullups, explosive bodyweight squats.. All of this has been tough on my knees and right ankle as I have previous sports injuries to those parts and I've discovered they're not nearly as strong as they were pre-injury. Yesterday was my birthday and I'm officially 32, so age creeping up. Certainly don't have the same recovery speed as in my 20's when I was also very active. When I think about it, I've been active in sports my whole life. Professionally I worked for a railroad, so that was active too with many miles per day being walked in steel toe boots. 

It feels like i'm teetering on the law of diminishing returns. It doesn't feel practical or necessary for me to train 12 sessions/week. The 7-9 sessions range feels more appropriate and better for my mind and body. Eventually I think I can kick it up another gear to 10-12 sessions, but I'm just not there yet. Since I didn't train this morning, I was able to catch up on birthday messages from friends and family back home in the states. It felt good to re-connect with them. I like having the morning free from training to focus my attention on writing, video editing, and listening to music. And then train from 15:30 to 19:30 for four hours every evening. I'm going to experiment with this routine plus daily solo morning running in the Wat complex near my apartment. I acknowledge the importance of pushing yourself, but where's the line? Injuring yourself then scaling back? I guess I'm still working on upping the limit of physical pain I'm willing to subject myself to before taking a breather. I really don't want to have any injury set backs. That would/will suck. 

I'm neither complaining nor moaning about the workload, I'm simply saying it's too much for me right now. But... one of the surprising benefits of training in Thailand at a gym where english is sparsely used, is that you can't make verbal excuses to anyone because they won't understand what you're saying. I've now realized that in playing sports in the past at times (especially when a beginner) I'd make excuses or try to explain my performance when I make mistakes. You can't really do that here. There's nothing to be said, you just try to do better. Show don't tell. 

The gym is a place to be other than your home that's not a park, bar or restaurant. So often as a new person in town you don't have any place were you can just hangout and commune with friends. The gym becomes that place where you feel welcome to come as you are. I also had this with my old job in Northern California... it was work, but it was a good place for you to be; an extension of your lifestyle. 

Lately Kru Gig has taken to beating everyone with whatever object is near him. It's usually pretty funny to me, and clearly is to him as he laughs hysterically while beating you with a selfie stick or sandal, but it also hurts haha. At other gyms the old timers walk around with their correction sticks and will give you a nice whack, but here, any object is fair game to come your way. Sometimes I need to stop what I'm doing because I can't hold my laughter from the pranks he pulls on the fighters. He's also very strong in the clinch from I can see.. someone mentioned that was his specialty during his fighting days. Watching him teach clinch technique to others, the fighters would try to push him but could not. He's like a tree rooted in the ground, impossible to budge from the base. 

I'm about to leave the house for afternoon training and will probably go for a massage tonight with 'Joy' from the shop down the road. She has given me 6-7 thai-sport-massages and knows my body now so I keep going back to her. My flexibility is improving from routine visits with her. She's like 4'11", all forearms and strong! 500 Baht / $15 USD for two-hours... money well spent!

 

 

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Thanks for a very interesting log: it sounds like a great experience. You seem to have lucked out with PTs from Orono, too; his record is amazing, he's fought (and won some) of the top 10 fighters in recent decades!

With regards to fatigue and (over)training, I recently watched this video from a sports scientist specialising in MT (he's very well-known and respected, I believe):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WHDs1SBxFM&ab_channel=HeatrickMuayThaiPerformance

Also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukcShX49-Q4&t=329s&ab_channel=HeatrickMuayThaiPerformance

Chok dee with it all!

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@Amateur_Hour It feels like i'm teetering on the law of diminishing returns. It doesn't feel practical or necessary for me to train 12 sessions/week. The 7-9 sessions range feels more appropriate and better for my mind and body. Eventually I think I can kick it up another gear to 10-12 sessions, but I'm just not there yet.

One of the things to notice when you are in the gym, and I know you are a keen observer, is how Thais train. They DO train very, very hard, but it is different from how Westerners train hard. Westerners when trying to imitate Thais or get on their beat "go hard", but sometimes they fail to see all the micro ways that they rest IN training. It's the states of relaxation they can achieve on the bag between strikes. It's the ease they fold into the patterns of padwork, or the ways in which very long bouts of clinching can contain lots of positions of relaxation. And there are other times of rest IN training. This is not only really important and good for fighting, but its also good for overall endurance when training frequently. Just as an idea, the next few times when in the gym don't just look at what the fighters are doing, actively, but look also for the ease they are able to achieve, the patterns with which they are able to pace themselves, recover, etc. That at least is one of the hidden aspects of "Thai style" training that Sylvie discovered, and it took her many years to really see it, and reach for it.

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Just as an idea, the next few times when in the gym don't just look at what the fighters are doing, actively, but look also for the ease they are able to achieve, the patterns with which they are able to pace themselves, recover, etc. That at least is one of the hidden aspects of "Thai style" training that Sylvie discovered, and it took her many years to really see it, and reach for it.

Kevin- Thank you... I spent time observing this during training last week and see what you're saying. I'll try to adopt the same behavior. 

I've noticed my breathing becomes erratic when flustered or tired, which only exacerbates the problem, whereas the best Thai fighters in my gym maintain a steady breathing cadence, seemingly never losing their rhythm as strikes are delivered in stride with sharp and deliberate inhale/exhales. I admire their ability to remain relaxed, yet powerful while entering in and out of active recovery. 

I've been doing controlled breathing exercises at home, and while running to bring more mindfulness to my breathing patterns/behavior. It's already improved my overall endurance. 

This 38-minute breathwork/pranayama routine is my favorite: Try It!

 

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A few days ago I wrote a very long update about what I've been up to this past month, but when I clicked "Submit Reply", I got an error message and lost everything I wrote... devastating as I spent a few hours drafting it. This website did not work for me for a few days after that. Did anyone else get the error message when coming to the forum?

Anyways, I will re-write an update in the coming days.

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This website did not work for me for a few days after that. Did anyone else get the error message when coming to the forum?

Anyways, I will re-write an update in the coming days.

I'm sorry about this! The host server was under maintenance and for about 12 hrs there was an issue. This should not happen again (we've taken added precautions), it was just a bad coincidence of things. But, anytime I write something really important of length, even on Facebook or whatever I always take the precaution of copying it before I hit submit. So many times I've lost inspired stuff just because connections go down. I'm very sorry you had to go through that though, as I'm really interested in what you had written.

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    • Hi guys! I was thinking about creating setups. What's your single biggest problem when it comes to using your hands (or boxing) to create setups and openings to land your knees, elbows or kicks?
    • #deleuze #muaythai #warfare #philosophy #chess #sociology #thailand TLTR: discussing the unique historical and cultural influences on Thailand's Muay Thai as a traditional martial art and sport. Highlighting the deep-rooted history of Muay Thai, its ties to state warfare, influences from various cultures, including its unwritten provincial history, a comparison between Muay Thai, the games of Chess and Go is drawn as to the different philosophies and strategies inherent in each form of gamed combat. Additionally, it delves into the concept of warfare, power dynamics, spiritual aspects, and societal hierarchies reflected in the practices of Muay Thai as they relate to the Deleuze and Guattari's theories of nomadology, smooth space and war. Overall, a contrast between centralized, advance-forward, territory capture and more fluid edge-control, labor-capture warfare provides insight into what has shaped Thailand's Muay Thai into a distinct and formidable fighting art. (if it's TLTR, you get this summation) This is an on-going draft that will be edited over time   As internationalizing pressures push Muay Thai toward Western-friendly viewership, its worth considering the fundamental ways in which Thai and Western perceptions of conflict differ, and the manor in which this difference is preserved and expressed as Thai, in Thailand's traditional Muay Thai, a sport which achieved its acme-form in it's Golden Age (1980-1994). It's the contention of this article that there are governing, different and possibly quite opposed Martial Logics that structure many Western combat sport perceptions and the art of Thailand's Muay Thai, and these can be seen in the two graphics above, showing the games of Chess and Go. Now combat sports are quite diverse, even in the West, and each has its own history and audience. Each is shaped by its rules. The discussion here is more about the dominant image of thought as might be traced in Western and Southeast Asian regions of the world, despite rich variance, and even cross-influences. Thailand's Muay Thai, despite its violence, more maybe even because of it, is noted for its defensive excellence. It historically has been a close-fought sport that unlike some Western ring aesthetics, actually gravitates toward the ropes and corners, which are notoriously more difficult topographic ground. Because fighting is draw to this edge and corner emphasis, it requires even higher levels of defensive prowess to thrive at these edges. While the dominant image of Western ring fighting is much more clash-conscious, force meeting force in the middle of the ring (like two knight champions meeting at the center of a battlefield), in Thailand's Muay Thai it is the dextrousness along the ropes, the escapability, which wins the highest esteem. 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In Thailand's Muay Thai it is the opposite. This fundamental criteria reversal leads to a lot of Western viewers being confused over how fights are scored. Just being very broad about it, when a Thai fighter takes the lead in a fight - something that they know because audience gambling odds have changed in their favor - they begin to retreat. The retreating, defensive fighter is seen as protecting their lead. Their defense becomes their path to victory, which is why historically Thai fighters became the best defensive fighters in the world. Defense takes the spotlight in almost any lead, all other things being equal. A fighter going to the ropes in the broad Western conception is a fighter who has been forced there. A fighter who goes to the ropes in Muay Thai is in the dominant picture of thought signalling that they are in the lead. It's an upside down world for the Westerner and leads to a lot of miscomprehension. It's best to continually return to the note that these are broad, image-of-thought pictures of aggression and ring space. Judging a fight is much more complex than this. Over the years there are pendulum swings in how aggressive or active the retreating fighter has to be, and this is something that has differed even between the National Stadia of the sport, each with their own scoring aesthetics. Broadly though, the way that the edges and corners are semiotically coded, what they signify, is areas of control where fights are won and lost. And, because fighters in the lead retreat and defend, a lot of fights head to the edges, especially in the traditional, high-scoring later rounds. If you want to see the highest levels of this edge-excellence, I recommend this fight between two legends of the sport. Somrak in red, Boonlai in blue. Noteworthy in this fight is that Somrak at this time was one of the best Western Boxers all of Thailand. In a few years he would go onto win Gold at the 1996 Olympics in Mayweather's division. In this fight he hardly throws a punch until the fight is well in hand. It's footwork, interception, movement and countering, a great deal of it at the edge. At the edge because he is winning, and he is signalling his superiority. watch Boonlai vs Somrak here Another classic example is this study of Samart Payakaroon, widely thought to be the GOAT of Muay Thai, fighting the forward knee-fighter Namphon Nongkipahayuth (below). Watch the entire fight, but also look at the study of how Samart, almost always on the ropes, command and controls Namphon's knee and clinch attack through interception and movement. In a manner different than much of Western symbology, Samart is signaling his dominance through rope work, interception and evasion. watch this study of Samart's defense along the ropes in his Golden Age rematch vs Namphon   In a general way, just at the level of style, watch this highlight compilation of the switching footwork of possibly the most artful fighter of Thailand's Golden Age, the great Karuhat Sor Supawan (below). You will see his deft switching in both attack and defense at the ropes featured here, but when in the lead and he performs his best magic, his back is to the rope. Back to the rope signals dominance. watch Muay Thai Scholar's study of the legend Karuhat's switching footwork   Dipping into Thai History and the Games of Go and Chess Thailand's Muay Thai is a fighting art and combat sport of extraordinary uniqueness. Fashioned as it has been from at least 100+ years of continuous provincial fighting deep in its countryside custom - something that may stretch back multiple centuries - fortified and shaped by Royal and State warfare, itself composed of worldwide mercenary influences, from Japanese & Javanese merchant pirates to Persian & Portuguese regimented manpower, it stands as both a cosmopolitan fighting art, and still one which has been richly woven together as wholly Buddhistic Siamese and then Thai continuity. Channeled and informed by British Boxing's colonialist, pressuring example in its modernizing period (1920-1950s), what remains most valuable in Muay Thai are the ways it is like no other fighting art. It's a purity of difference. Both lab-tested in 100,000s of full-contact ring fights multiplied by generations, and expressive of wool-dyed Buddhistic principles, this is a synergy of provincial and the Capital fight knowledge, both martial and sport, like no other in the world. They just fight differently...and have arguably been the best ring fighters in the world. The at-top diagram juxtaposing two combat inspired board games, Chess and the game of Go, aims to draw out some of the deeper philosophical and conceptual differences between Thailand's Southeast Asian fighting art and many of Western conceptions of combat, especially at the dominant image of thought level. Chess is a game of some disputed origin approximately 1,500 years ago. It was not a Western game. It's largely believed to have come from India by way of Persia. The Western Chess vocabulary is etymologically Persian, and the Persian version of the game is closest to the one adopted in Europe. Interestingly enough, the birth of Chess and its dissemination throughout the world across tradewinds corresponds roughly to the period, 3rd-6th century AD, during which Southeast Asia underwent Indianization. Indian culture became powerfully adopted throughout mainland Southeast Asia, and importantly in the history of Siam significantly informed Khmer Empire (today's Cambodia) royalty warfare and statecraft, much of which would be adopted by Siamese kings to the West. Royal, court and State culture was Indianized, bearing qualities (language, social forms, knowledges) which were not shared by the common populace. The Indianization of Southeast Asia has been culturally compared to the Roman Empire's Romanization in of Europe. And to this day Thai Royalty, its Brahmin customs and practices, the common worship of Hindu gods within a Buddhist context reflects this 1,500 years of influence of Indian culture. This is to say, when comparing Thailand's Muay Thai to the West via the game of Chess, we are speaking of a game that was of Indian and Persian origin, something quite closely braided within Siamese history. For instance, King Narai of Ayutthaya in 17th century had 200 Persian warriors as his personal guard. The influence of India and Persia is profound. What I want you to see is that Muay Thai's historical past is likely quite imbricated. There are layers upon layers of historical segmentation. Within this history the Royal form in particular had a distinctly Indianized history, and Thailand's Muay Thai has had a robust Royal history surrounding the raising of armies, large scale wars at times with armies (perhaps fancifully) rumored to approach 1,000,000 men. This Statecraft heritage is likely something we can see reflected in the game of Chess itself, the game of Kings, castles and queens. And, the history that we have of Thailand's Muay Thai is almost entirely composed of this Royal-State story, as royal record and foreign visitors to Siam's kingdoms comprises our written history. The possible story of Muay Thai that involves provincial, rural, village, regional martial and sport practices has vanished seemingly just as much as houses of wood or bamboo will not be preserved. Yet, in the nature of Southeast Asian and Siamese fighting arts we very well may see the martial contrastive martial logic of the Siamese people, especially when compared to the visions of the West. Chess, Go, Striated and Smooth Spaces In this we turn to the 4,000 year old Chinese and then Japanese game of Go (the game of surrounding). wikipedia: Japanese word igo (囲碁; いご), which derives from earlier wigo (ゐご), in turn from Middle Chinese ɦʉi gi (圍棋, Mandarin: wéiqí, lit. 'encirclement board game' or 'board game of surrounding'). I have written about the historical origins of Thailand's Muay Thai that particularly bring out its logic of surrounding and capture, a martial logic that is quite embodied in the game of Go (The Historical Foundations of Thailand's Retreating Style, or How They Became the Best Defensive Fighters In the World). In short, historians of Southeast Asia point out that unlike in Europe where land was scarce (and therefore the anchor of wealth), and manpower plentiful, conquering land and killing occupying enemies formed a basic martial logic in warfare. In Southeast Asia where fecund land was everywhere, but population sparse (especially in Siam which had been one of the least populated regions of Southasia), warfare was focused on capture and enslavement. Enemy land capture was at a minimum, and even in the case of the famed and ruinous sackings of the Siamese Capital of Ayutthaya by the Burmese, the captured territory was not held. These are just very different spatial and aim-oriented logics, in fact opposite logics. I'm using the game of Go, which expresses a fluid rationality of edge control and reversible enemy capture (captured stones add to your wealth, and don't only subtract from one's enemy), opposed to the more centric, land-control logic of Chess. A Chess of Indian-Persian statecraft which resonated with European political and warfare realities. This juxtaposition between games is not mine, though I'm probably the first to use it to illuminate combat sport perceptions in today's ring fighting. It comes from the sociologically oriented philosophers Deleuze and Guattari in their book A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. A notoriously difficult work due to its heavy reliance on invented vocabularies, and its opaque, keyed-in references to specific philosophical traditions, psychoanalysis and their theoretical problems, it still provides rich analysis of buried trends in Western social organization, and a metaphysics for thinking about the history of the world as a whole. What Deleuze and Guattari want to do in contrasting Go with Chess is to think about the different ways that Space is organized and traversed by political powers and regimes of meaning. They propose that Chess is a striated (divided, segmented, hierarchical) Space, And Go more of a smooth space. This blogged description is a good summary of the two kinds of Space: The much older game of Go is a strategy of surround and capture, wherein you turn an enemy's wealth - by our analogy labor-power - into your own. This is mirrored in Siamese warfare as reported in 1688 by an Iranian vistor, "...the struggle is wholly confined to trickery and deception. They have no intention of killing each other or of inflicting any great slaughter because if a general gained a real conquest, he would be shedding his own blood so to speak" (context, Ibrahim), full quote here. We have at surface a strong homology between foreign reports and the structural nature of the game of Go. More can be understood of my position and the role of evasion, surround-and-capture principles in this extended thread here. Diving down into the more philosophical ramifications I provide the extended Deleuze & Guattari quotation comparing the game of Chess vs the game of Go: Rather, he is like a pure and immeasurable multiplicity, the pack, an irruption of the ephemeral and the power of metamorphosis. He unties the bond just as he betrays the pact. He brings a furor to bear against sovereignty, a celerity against gravity, secrecy against the public, a power (puissance) against sovereignty, a machine against the apparatus. He bears witness to another kind of justice, one of incomprehensible cruelty at times, but at others of unequaled pity as well (because he unties bonds.. .). He bears witness, above all, to other relations with women, with animals, because he sees all things in relations of becoming, rather than implementing binary distributions between "states": a veritable becoming-animal of the warrior, a becoming-woman, which lies outside. Let us take a limited example and compare the war machine and the State apparatus in the context of the theory of games. Let us take chess and Go, from the standpoint of the game pieces, the relations between the pieces and the space involved. Chess is a game of State, or of the court: the emperor of China played it. Chess pieces are coded; they have an internal nature and intrinsic properties from which their movements, situations, and confrontations derive. They have qualities; a knight remains a knight, a pawn a pawn, a bishop a bishop. Each is like a subject of the statement endowed with a relative power, and these relative powers combine in a subject of enunciation, that is, the chess player or the game's form of interiority. Go pieces, in contrast, are pellets, disks, simple arithmetic units, and have only an anonymous, collective, or third-person function: Thus the relations are very different in the two cases. Within their milieu of interiority, chess pieces entertain biunivocal relations with one another, and with the adversary's pieces: their functioning is structural. On the other hand, a Go piece has only a milieu of exteriority, or extrinsic relations with nebulas or constellations, according to which it fulfills functions of insertion or situation, such as bordering, encircling, shattering. All by itself, a Go piece can destroy an entire constellation synchronically; a chess piece cannot (or can do so diachronically only). Chess is indeed a war, but an institutionalized, regulated, coded war, with a front, a rear, battles. But what is proper to Go is war without battle lines, with neither confrontation nor retreat, without battles even: pure strategy, whereas chess is a semiology. Finally, the space is not at all the same: in chess, it is a question of arranging a closed space for oneself, thus of going from one point to another, of occupying the maximum number of squares with the minimum number of pieces. In Go, it is a question of arraying oneself in an open space, of holding space, of maintaining the possibility of springing up at any point: the movement is not from one point to another, but becomes perpetual, without aim or destination, with out departure or arrival. The "smooth" space of Go, as against the "striated" space of chess. The nomos of Go against the State of chess, nomos against polis. The difference is that chess codes and decodes space, whereas Go proceeds altogether differently, territorializing or deterritorializing it (make the outside a territory in space; consolidate that territory by the construction of a second, adjacent territory; deterritorialize the enemy by shattering his territory from within; deterritorialize oneself by renouncing, by going elsewhere . ..). Another justice, another movement, another space-time. Deleuze & Guattari, "1227: TREATISE ON NOMADOLOGY—THE WAR MACHINE", A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism & Schizophrenia   Becoming and A Warfare of Capture What Deleuze and Guattari are invoking is a conception of warfare which is much more fully potentiated. Not locked into rigid hierarchies and roles of figures of power, it is a much more metaphysical battle that reflects aspects of what I have argued is the spiritual foundation of Thailand's Muay Thai, an animism of powers within the history of the culture that predates the arrival of Buddhism (Toward a Theory of the Spirituality of Thailand's Muay Thai). This logic of an animism of powers contains an essential aspect of captured power, the incorporated power of a captured enemy, founded on what historians of Southeast Asia have called "Soul Stuff", roughly equivalent of Hindu shakti (strength). This can be manifested in captured slave labor, or perhaps even in the prehistoric rites of cannibalism through which one consumed the soul stuff of an enemy. You can find a logic of Soul Stuff here, this graphic below helps represent the animism of contest. A primary source on soul stuff and a fusion of military and spiritual prowess can be found with historian O.W. Walters here. Thus, within the cultural origins of Siamese culture, even that which pre-dates the Indianization of the region, we have essential aspects of a smooth, tactical space in a Deleuze & Guattari sense, which potentially maps quite well into the game of Go, especially as it is contrasted to Chess.   Further in concordance with Deleuze & Guattari's philosophical concept of liberty is the way in which Thailand's Muay Thai can be understood as revolutionary in their terms. Deleuze & Guattari write of becoming-animal, becoming-child, becoming-woman, deterritorializing flights inimitable to human freedom. Thailand's Muay Thai (& broader Thai agonism) de-privileges these categories, along a continuous spectrum of thymotic struggle, which runs thru the social hierarchies of low to high, sewing them together. One could say a smooth thymotic space of trajectories. Thailand known for its (ethically criticized) child fighting, women have fought for 100+ yrs, and beetle fighting embodies much of the Muay Thai gambled form. In many important ways Thailand's Muay Thai avoids the stacked arboreal structure of Western Man (& its contrastive Others), favoring a continuity agonistic spectrum within its (Indianized) hierarchies. It has strongly weighted traditional hierarchies, but within this a thymotic line-of-becoming that runs between divinity and animality. see Beetle Fighting, Muay Thai and the Health of the Culture of Thailand - The Ecology of Fighting more on the division of divinity and animality by wicha here: Muay Thai Seen as a Rite: Sacrifice, Combat Sports, Loser as Sacred Victim Knowing-as-doing, the wicha of technical knowledge of how to do, runs between the axes of divinity and animality in a way that supports a mutuality of any figure's becoming, from the insect up to the heightened champion fighter, in a line of flight shared by others. Most Deleuzian becoming-animal, -child, -woman examples come from the arts (sometimes the bedroom), but instead in Thai, gambled agonism we have the becoming of actual animals, children, women & the projective affects of an equally agonistic audience undergoing its own becoming-as. When I say revolutionary, I say "Thailand's Muay Thai has something to teach the world about the nature of violence and its meaning." Learning From Chess in How to See Thailand's Muay Thai Keep in mind, this isn't an direct one-for-one comparison of the contemporary game of Chess (and Chess Theory) and the ring sport of Muay Thai. It compares the dominant image of thought in the conceptual trend. Some have pointed out that my gross picture of Chess leaves out its post-1920s modern Chess Theory development, which often eschews central forward advancement. What is important in the Chess example isn't how Chess was played in 1960s, say, but rather that Chess over the sweep of its history allows us to see how it expressed the martial logic from which it came, ie, how some battles were fought in the field, with advancing lines, and a central capture of territory focus. Chess I would argue contains a martial logic fingerprint in its organizational structure, just as the real life political powers of Kings, Queens, knights and bishops made their impact on its rules & formation, the increased power of the Queen on the board said to be a fine example of this (see: A Queen in Any Other Language). Even in the Hypermodernism of Chess one might say that the center still holds importance, as there are just other ways of controlling or managing it.  Hypermodernism for instance may have reflected the increased use of cannon & then WW1 artillery. Between the two games of Chess and Go are differing Martial Logics. It doesn't mean that there is zero fighting for the center in Muay Thai (or in Southeast Asian warfare...siege warfare is prominent in Ayutthaya history for instance, though with influence from the Portuguese, etc), or that there is zero edge or flank control in Western European warfare or Chess (flank maneuvers are numerous in European warfare). The contrast is really meant to exposed how we perceive conflict spatially, and that these are things we've culturally inherited. You see these inherited concepts, for instance the centrality of territory capture in common Western scoring criteria like "ring control". Centralized conflict is part of our past and informs how we judge fighting styles, just as edge conflict is part of Southeast Asia's past. And importantly this also informs our ideas of violence, with a European tendency toward "kill" (to control land, ie the center) and a SEA tendency toward "capture"(to control labor, ie the edge).  
    • Hey so im an ammateur fighting in europe mostly at DIY events. The thing is even though every fight I improve I am never able to win and its starting to get to me.  I have 5 fights in total 2 k1 and 3 muay thai and iv never won a muay thai, won 1 k1 cos my cardio was better than the other girl and I just out brawld her.  People say wow your technique is so much better than the fight I saw you in last year etc but it still feels bitter to constantly lose. I know i am improving but feel that I always just get tougher and tougher matches, the last 3 fights I lost have all been very close fights. One I lost cos my opponent got injured and broke her ankle when I bloked with a knee but she was able to hide it, another one I lost cos she was using more clean techniques and I was brawling (this one I agree with 100% cos I was landing but it was sloppy.)  The last one I lost cos my cardio was bad which is also fine. I am fine with losing, its just starting to get to me that I never win. It also kinda annoys me that the only fight I ever won was one that I just outbrawled the other girl. Feels like my improvements havnt really helped me cos I just get matched with tougher and tougher opponents each time.  Im wondering if I should give up on decision fights for a while and just do non decisions to get my condifence back up or whether I will eventually break through and be able to win. I am also kinda old at 32 so even though my technique is improving my strength, reflexes and reactions will begin to fade soon. 
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