Mornings Are Very Free
Recently I’ve been getting some messages from women who are planning to come out to Thailand for some training, and a few of these women have asked about traveling to Pattaya at some point to train with me, as in “let’s train together”. Even if it’s for only part of their trip. I love this and I’m very excited about it. As my gym is set up, the boys train before they go to school very early in the morning and I come for morning training later. So, more often than not I have the gym to myself, just me and Pi Nu.
For women (fighters, serious students, or even beginners) you could easily come and train with me during this time. When Emma came to visit yesterday we had the whole gym to ourselves in the morning and got to spar and clinch for as long as we wanted, with whatever pace and self-direction we wanted or needed. As such, it’s a very friendly atmosphere to get what amounts to almost a 1-1 with Pi Nu if you’re hitting pads – he is the most difficult padholder I’ve ever had, but in a subtle way, and a truly awesome teacher – and plenty of space to have a quiet morning session with just me and a few kids running around to their own devices (the ones who don’t go to school).
If you’re a beginner, we can get the basics going. If you are intermediate we can spar and clinch. If you are advanced and a fighter, we can work hard against each other.
And then in the afternoons there’s a mix of everyone, so there’s more atmospheric energy in the gym, more training partners available for clinching and sparring, but easily enough you can work on your own thing and at your own pace. It’s a family gym and a “slow cook” gym, so the attitude is basically that you improve over time and the expectation is just that you work on what you need to work on, but most important for Pi Nu is that you’re sanook (enjoying, having fun) about your process. Which, having more women at the gym with me, helps with my sanook as well.
So this is my invitation: if you’re in, or going to be in, Thailand and have any inclination to come to Pattaya for a day, a week, a month or longer… come train with me! – As a note, this invitation is aimed at women. Men, obviously you are welcome to come and train at Petchrungruang; many men introduce themselves to me on the first or second day of their training, explaining they found the gym through my website or review or something, and I think that’s fantastic because most all of them end up staying a while and loving it. But the invitation to come train with me in a “let’s work together” capacity is for other women, who don’t have as easy a time finding gyms and training that includes us. – The gym is very inexpensive, only 300 Baht ($8.50) for a day, and weekly and monthly are very cheap as well (4,000 Baht a month – $110). It’s good for me; it makes me happy and I’d love to work with any woman who is interested in whatever we can offer each other in training. I do work very hard myself, and in fact train at an additional gym as well, every day, and sometimes even a 3rd – but this is just me. You can set your own pace, which I strongly suggest anyway. As long as I’m not fighting somewhere else in Thailand, this is my groove and you can pretty much set a clock to my schedule at the gym. I’m at Petchrungruang every morning and every afternoon, full time. But really it’s the mornings that are special. I plan to remain in Thailand at least for the next year 2016, and with the commitments of my Patreon supporters and my sponsors Nak Muay Nation and Onyx MMA, I may very well be able to remain here for the next two and half years, in order to reach 200 fights; so the offer stands for as long as I’m here.
In the 3+ years I’ve been training and fighting full-time in Thailand, I’ve had the pleasure of having a few of my friends come visit and train with me. My mom even did a round on the pads with Den up at Lanna Muay Thai! These have all been special experiences for me, not only because I love being with people I like and doing something that we all are passionate about, but because I’m largely alone out here in my gyms. For a variety of reasons, really: being the only female most of the time; not being very social to begin with but then also not having time or inclination to socialize outside of the gym; the nature of training in Thailand is that westerners tend to cycle through and I’m not the same age as the folks I train with, so while these are friendships they are not peer friendships. So, having women come and train with me at my gym is exciting for me. I get to play with my friend Robyn, or Emma and I can have a session or two together, or my friend Kate (video below) who I always forget I’d never met in person before she came to train with me. It’s wonderful.
I’ve started a Train With Me Share Thread in the Women Only Section of the Roundtable
Clinch Training for Women
If you do come and train with me, one of the things I work a lot on is clinch technique. Women are not generally well versed in clinch technique, both in the west and in Thailand, so I’ve made it real passion to try to become as proficient in clinch as possible. And, in fact, it appears that Pi Nu and his father have jumped on board with my dedication and success with clinch and basically throw all the women who come through the gym, and even some of the men, at me to learn how to clinch. For a long time I noticed that clinch wasn’t emphasized for beginners, but in the time I’ve been training and sinking deeper into the gym I’ve noted that even first-day folks are put into the clinch pool. I think that’s great. I’m not big, I walk around at 48 kg (106 lb), so our body types might not always match up, but aside from training and sparring, if I can help in any way in clinch I’d be glad to do so. I help some of the men by offering positional corrections or suggestions when they’re working with other men their own size, so if you end up clinching one of the boys I’m still happy to help! In the afternoons there should be some Thai boy partners to pair up with.
me and Kate clinching, above – don’t worry, we won’t make a video!
But there have been other people as well, of women I don’t know coming to train with me and it’s always been a great experience. Just recently Carol from Ireland swung by Pattaya – specifically to see me, which is amazing – and we got to have a morning session together, giggling through clinch training. I’d never met Michelle from Canada, but she’d asked for my advice on gyms and at the time I gave her what was my best information but turned out to be not the best place for her. So, I invited her to leave that experience and come train with me, which she did and it was grand for both of us. That came out of a relationship that was just trying to offer support on the internet and became a different, positive experience for both of us.
The truth is, even though these happy occasions came about, I never put it together and thought to extend the offer to so many of the women who follow me and support me. That is, until this month, when I’ve started noting an increase in receiving the request. So of course, come and train with me here at Petchrungruang.
me and Carol
A Note On Pattaya, Thailand
Keep in mind, it’s difficult to recommend gyms across the board because not everyone wants or needs the same things. What’s good for me may not be good for you and vice versa. So, Petchrungruang might not be the best gym for you and Pattaya might not be the right location for you. I’ll say right out: I never, ever, thought I’d find myself even visiting Pattaya. It’s reputation is that of a big Red Light District, which is true and also isn’t – I never see any of that. I don’t even like cities; I’m 100% “country mouse.” But I love Pattaya. I love my training, I love the surroundings, and I’m astonished at how much it feels like my home… I miss it when we go away for fights. That’s crazy. But you can easily avoid the seedier parts of Pattaya and if you’re training hard you’ll be going back and forth between the gym and one or two other locations anywhere you go in Thailand. So this invitation is not saying, “this place is the best for everybody.” This invitation is saying that this is where I am, this is what it’s like, and this is what we can do if it’s something you want to try.
an interactive Google Map of where I’m at:
*having just written this, I realize that I suddenly sound like I’m selling my gym! Just know that I do not benefit financially from this, and honestly I don’t go around recommending my gym very often as it’s a small gym and not for everyone. It’s a genuine response to an interest expressed by others and I’m like “Yeah, let’s do this!” Petchrungruang doesn’t know I’m making this offer, and you and I pay the same price at my gym. 🙂