Fighting Factory Carbin, friends, martial arts, muay thai, training, travelling

Amsterdam III

Back in Copenhagen, it’s always nice to dream away. And as I’ve been going back in time, to write my piece on Lucien Carbin for World Muaythai Magazine, I just remembered my new lost friends in Amsterdam. Didn’t really got around to name them, cause they constantly moved – so sometimes I wasn’t sure, if it was one of their cousins, that moved in. But managed to snap a few photos of them:

They don't look big here, but they were!!!

Not and Afraid sitting in the corner

And NO!! They didn’t crawled under my skin and laid eggs!  Liam and Rich – bad boys for teasing me. Was really not that funny!!

Asides from that, we were a strange little bunch of people – gathered just to train with Carbin. Rich – a friend from UK/ Phuket, Liam (boyfriend from Ireland) and me (Banana girl from Denmark). Like my two earlier posts says, training was much more challenging than from what I’ve ever tried before. In lots of aspects, way tougher than Thailand, and I have to agree with Rasmus Zøylner – friend from Siam Gym – that after a certain point, one would learn more from training in Holland, than the usual trip to Thailand.

Thailand is great – but if you have a lot of fight experience and got your basics down – Holland is the place to take your skills to the next level. Maybe not all of Hollands gyms – but Carbins Fighting Factory, Golden Glory, Pancration, Mike’s Gym etc. They all have world-class fighters! Also – dutch fighters works a lot on the angles and not only focus on power, as the thais. Which makes it good – like Lucien says: Mix it up!
And to top it off – the dutch have always been a nation of fighters. No matter who in the martial arts world you talk too: Taekwondo, karate, Jiu jitsu, boxing – they all know the dutch reputation – which is kind of odd, one would think they would take it more easy in Am*dam city, hehe 😉

Am*dam btw definetly still one of my favorite cities in Europe!  Only had a brief encounter with the city this time thou, as more important things were on the menu for this trip (read: Training and learning new stuff!!). Guys for some reason didn’t have the same feeling about the city. Tried talking to both Liam and Rich about the splendid architechture in Am*dam, but could just as well, has been talking about the Bridget Jones Diaries – didn’t really get any respond. Odd!

Anyway – back home and single girl for a while, its back on training and stuff… (work). Had a great training in Siam yesterday evening, and felt good enough to join Johnny De Limas morning box today. 1½ hour of boxing – really good, just to focus on the hands. I’ve noticed over the last couple of months, that my speed in the combos has slowed down. (If training in Amsterdam, I’m sure they would pick up, cause the combos are so crazy – and he (Lucien) wants them with speed). So being back in a straight boxing class felt very good and needed.
Did try out some combos, and it went surprisingly good.

Later today its the teaching marathon in ABC! Looking forward to see all my superwomen and men again!

martial arts, muay thai, ross training, sparring, thaiboxing, training

Friday 13th

It creeps up on you, doesn’t it? The horror, the feeling of the unexpected – the terror of a stranger… Friday 13th. Can a date have more associations to us?

My friday 13th started out with a run with Pui Yee. Tried to get a little more speed under the feet today. Felt harder, but only resulted in an increase of about 600 meter. And left me baffled. I could have sworn, it should have been a 1K increase. Haha

We finished off again with a nice mix of ‘flexibility’ drills, and I’m struggling with a chest drill. So am excited for the day, when I can do it: ‘no problem’.

Had a nice afternoon with some work done, and went to Siam this evening for a Muay Thai class. My third in a while. Was really good! Nice techniques, good combos and Abdul did a great job passing stuff on today. And also survived about 4 rounds of light sparring. Was very happy I came – but it was hard!!! Im pretty fucked up now.

Class ended with – what could be a session from Ross 50 Day Challenge: Circuit with burpees, pull ups, woodchoppers etc. Not bad.

Started to count the days for Amsterdam!

50 day challenge, functionel strength training, martial arts, muay thai, ross training, training

GPP # 5 and core 10

Saturday with Ross in Siam!! (weiii!!)

GPP #5
* 30 sec burpees
* 30 sec shadow box

6 rounds of 3 minutes, 30 sec break btw rounds

Very hard work! After first round we looked at each other and couldn’t believe we had 5 more rounds to go. My burpees in every 3 min. round was: 12, 11, 11. Tried to push hard in the shadow box breaks – and left my self out of breath several times.

Phillip, Munta and Kasper – had a clinch clinic going, great to see Phillip really upped his game!! The lads are off for Amsterdam tomorrow to train with Lucien Carbin. I so wish, I could join them!!

After this, Liam took me for 4 or 5 rounds of pads. Plain boxing. Felt good to punch something again. But arms feels tired and there was no speed left in my double jab. Just shows that you should never skip training 😉

Finished off with core # 10
* 5 Dragon flags
* 25 Knee hugs
* 15 Supermans
* 30 Side crunches, 15 pr side (slow cadence)
* High rep crunches (todays number: 50)
3 rounds
Dragon Flags are killing me. Wonder if I will ever be able to do just one correct?!

Felt good to be back in Siam. Hope I can remember this feeling, and get my as* back in training. Wonder if I should try to get a fight in September?

Watching Germany vs Argentina! Interesting!!

boxing, Fight, friends, martial arts, sparring, training

Fight preparations

Right now I’m watching a friend of mine fighting – a great boxer Lolenga Mock. Sitting and watching him in war against the italian opponent, figting for the European titel, I can’t help thinking about all the hours of preparation – and tonight all this work culminates. Its tonight everyone can see the fruit of his struggles, the off-days where he still went to the gym. Got beat up by his team mates and trainers, and still managed to come back the next day. Even his real work lies in the days, weeks and months passed behind in the gym – its tonight the world will remember.

Mind you! Fighting is not like any other sport, with seasons and off-seasons. Being a fighter means (nearly) perfect shape, year-round, month after month slaving in the gym, hitting the bags, skipping, doing footwork, guards, shadowbox, sparring, padwork – everything – everyday (except sunday) – year-round. There’s no summer holidays or christmas for the pros – only off-days are when injuries prevent you from training.

And Lolenga Mock is one of these warriors – always ready to fight. Stepped up to the plate with only days notice several times. Come to think of it, I know a few of these warriors. Warriors who take a fight any day, any time. And they got lots to show for it. Without doubt some of Denmarks finest nak muays (thai boxing warriors), whose fighting style got refined and re-defined by their plenty ring experience. But it doesn’t come for free – it cost – sweat, blood and more sweat in the gym.

Lolenga Mock sparring with Mikkel Kessler. CIK 2009

Back on the screen, my friend is in the 6th round. Italian still pushing hard, but Mock seems to have the upper hand. Doing the bop and weave (Johnny (De Lima) shout at us again and again in the gym), frustrating the italian. When you can’t hit, you spend lots of energy on nothing. 7th round – Mock finished 6th round best, but now they both had a short rest. Only having fought 2 min. rounds myself, I’m full of awe how the boxers can go round after round – 3 full minutes in every round. (And my MMA friends who are doing 5 min. Thats just plain ridicules).

Have you never stepped into the ring, you might sit thinking: ‘hey 3 minutes – its nothing! Get to it’. And to be fair, yes professional fighters does train for work. It is their job all year-round to be fit. But stepping into the ring – it’s just you (your training, your ego, your instincts) and your opponent, whos been training hard to beat you. It’s not for everyone – it’s a tough job, and the slightest faults will get punished immediately and relentlessly.

While writing this – they’re come to round 10th. Nearly half an hour have the two men traded punches and blows. Trying to hurt the other, trying to knock him out. Putting it out there – for all to watch. Your fight preparations shows, your hunger shows. As I’m watching them going at it in the 12th and last round, I’m wondering if my training will be enough, to step into the ring a week from now.  It’s definetly for the brave – and maybe slightly crazy. I mean – who will in their right mind, slave in the gym, getting yelled at, beat up, and smashed to pieces, only to pick one self up and go do it again the next day. Except Sundays 😉

My friend won after a 12 round war. Congratulations to Mock on taking the victory, titel, glory and honour! Enjoy your sunday my friend. You deserve it 😉 If you were in Thailand, I would say – go to Swensens 😀

martial arts, muay thai, thaiboxing, Thailand, training, travelling, Uncategorized

Somebody turn on the sun!! Ode to training in Phuket

NB!! 2012: I should add that Promthep no longer exist, and have changed their name to Thailand Camp. I can no longer support or recommend this camp for anyone. Please read Danny Avisons blog before you make a decision. For training in Phuket, I have several really good friends, who enjoys training in Sinbi Muay Thai. Also Tiger provides good facilities – please read below.

Argh – home cold home. Just landed in a deep freezer, Icebox – Ice cube machine. Every time I look out the window, I half expect to see a penguin come waltzing by. So far, only thing that happened, is a frozen nose.

Being back and getting my Thai adventure on a distance, makes me mostly sad about missing the endless days of sun, training, eat – sleep and more training. Both Promthep Gym and Tiger Muay Thai delivered what promised: days filled with grueling muay thai training. Lots of technic, power, stamina and tricks -and the more un-charming part – thais making fun of helpless falangs trying to find the muay thai rhythm.

In Tiger Muay Thai several of the trainers used the rounds of shadow box to act ‘falang muay thai’ for each other – and break down laughing at the sight of each other (and us – the falangs). In Promthep – I had Buakaws old trainer arrogant showing me my faults. It lasted just until the morning I showed with a black eye – where he almost delighted remarked: uh.. you.. black eye, no make up, good! good! After that he showed me the correct answer, without the whole circus show – which for me, made the experience better. But writting this – please also take into account, that I know its part of the training circuit in Thailand. So Im neither offended or angry about the experiences. Its simply just a fact of being falang, trying to learn – and when you first do learn, and step into the ring – you do get the respect. My warrior is one of those warriors – and his old trainers still remember and talk about him with high regard – even there has been a million studens after him.

For the black eye – really dont know how I got it. Can only say, I have to keep my guard up. Haha. Only thing thats a bit annoying, is that here in Denmark everyone looks at me, like: ‘look at the poor girl, getting beat up by her boyfriend‘. Which is somewhat a bad experience – being looked at as a victim – when you feel like you accomplish something everytime you get your as* to the gym. Funny how a black eye symbolizes something different in different environments for different people.

Trainer capacity in both camps are great. Tiger has without doubt more trainers than Promthep – and have very good trainers on all levels. The camp features areas for all levels in muay thai – from beginners to fighters. In Promthep everyone trains together – but in the last 3o minutes of training, one can choose between technique and sparring. So that leaves room for both the fighter training for fight and the beginner trying to learn. For me it meant, I made use of both offers – as I might have a fight coming up – I needed a little sparring too. Unfortunately my first sparring session turned out to be a poor cup of coffee – so to speak. Sparring with one of the trainers, I had expected to be pushed much more – to the point of having the resemblance to a fish on land in the breaks. But to my regrets, he started talking more than moving  – maybe a clear morning sign – maybe something different, but a dissapoinment to me.

But staying for not even a week in either camp, makes it hard to get the best out of training – and out of the trainers. One of the first questions are: How long are you staying – and I guess based on that answer, they also form their oppinion on how much to invest in you. But – as I also noticed, telling my old trainer Phut in Tiger, that I had a fight coming up, made a big difference in both choice of training partners (got teamed up with a trainer), and in the work load. And I guess, had I had more time in Promthep, same would have happend here – as I saw they took good care of the guys who were fighting.

Life in both camps also separated from the facts of size, surroundings and also a part of the training was conducted differently. As I might have mentioned before – the ‘partner up’ thing in Tiger Muay Thai meant, that one might risk getting a shitty training session, because of a shitty partner. That wouldn’t happen in Promthep, as no one would team you up with another falang to be taught muay thai. Promthep was definitely old school, and had the thais teaching the falangs. But that  – and the 4 minute rounds, to Tigers 3 minute rounds was more or less the only difference between training in the two camps.

Size wise Tiger Muay Thai has on any given day between 200 – 300 students in muay thai, mma and weight training area (where NOT everyone is in class however). Promthep might be max 30 – spread on both muay thai and detox students. So chance of getting a social life – or the resemblance of a summercamp is way better in Tiger. If you’re more into an intimate gym, where everyone knows your name, and the trainers keeping a personal eye on you (and your black eye) Promthep might suit your needs better.
However – if the goal is getting in shape and give the body a good ‘beating’, both camps will offer you that – if you get up and go to class. Neither camp offers a morning fresh Ajarn ringing the bell, shouting ‘Get up, get up, get up’. (quote Ajarn Dang).
-On a side note: Promthep does work a lot with food and also carries the famous Green Smoothie, which is used in the Detox diet. So, if the goal are weight loss – I would recommend trying out the green smoothie diet. (It’s delicious)

Anyway being back in the deep freezer they call Denmark, I miss both gyms, my old trainers – Dang and Phut (who are now in Tiger), the good funny people I was fortunate to meet (especially my english gent – who lent me his bike) – and I miss being outside, without the chance of stumbling over a penguin or getting my bum frozen.

Training under the sunny sky, bare foot, sweat dripping and music flowing in both speakers and body – thats the best way of living.

Fight, martial arts, muay thai, thaiboxing, Thailand

The Smackdown

Saturday night featured the so-called BBQ Smackdown at Tiger Muay Thai. This saturday 3 muay thai fights, 1 boxing (exhibition match) and 1 (or 2 according to Rich *s*) MMA fights was scheduled to entertain the growling crowd.

And no one ha to go home disappointed if it was pure smackdown tendencies they were looking for. In all 3 muay thai fights – fighters went in the ring to kill – some even with everything hanging out, and no holding back. However blood thirsty souls had to leave unsatisfied, as the Smackdown features fight with 18 oz gloves, shin pads and no elbows or knees to the head. However my newly found NYfriend Scotty won his fight on a KO, 3rd – midkick that really hit home.

The boxing exhibition fight had two of Tigers trainers showing of in the ring. Even it was a silly fight, you could really tell, these guys know what they’re doing – and I feel so blessed of having had 1-1 clinch with Tuk. Amazing man.
Also, I got to see my

old trainer from Legacy Gym (Ole Laursens gym in Ubon Ratchathani) – Phut – which was really good, as I havent seen him, since I moved to Rawai. It turned out to be quite a ride from here to Tiger, but on the other hand, its close to the beach – has lots of great places for food (got really sick of Tonys), and local life that are not dependent of tourists – and its just makes a world of difference. In my book anyway. I really dont care for Patong, Karon or Kata. I didn’t back in 2004 (even during Tsunami days it was horrible), and I don’t care for it now. But Rawai/ Promthep has turned out to give me that homey feeling – so I guess, I have to give in, and write I actually like Phuket *s* hahaha!

More on the following days from Rawai/ Promthep – and then its soon time to sleep with the tigers!

martial arts, muay thai, Thailand, training, travelling, Uncategorized

On the road again

Back on the road – this time yet again for Thailand, and yet again to serve both body and soul. If you know a little about me, you’ll know I like to combine work with pleasure – travelling the world and kicking it.

Tiger Muay Thai, Phuket is the destination after One night in Bangkok (Peninsula), a terrible flight (terrible cause I couldn’t sleep), and several mosquito bites from a visit to the muay thai equipment shop. (New customized shorts with Hello Kitty – YAH!)

BKK was lovely as The City of Angels can be. Peninsula was – not nearly as cool as Sukhothai. But the view from 35th floor across the river – into Bangkok was priceless. And of course service is impeccable like any other 5 star place in Thailand. On the not so good side – I had a struggle with the shower, it took forever to get warm – and was to put it mildly not a 5 star shower, more like a 1.5. Also a very annoying night-light from under table let the bed area all night. Not like the blue dreaming light in Dream, mind you – oh no, this was a certified common light bulb. On the good side, Im impressed by the daily boat rides and the spa. The Spa offered a private suite with steamroom, jacuzzi (with changing colours), massage and the luxus of being. Fantastic place – which I can only recommend.
Peninsula is located by the river – across from all the fun stuff (MBK shopping, Khao San Road, ping pong shows etc), so the hotel cater these small boats sailing every 5 minute or so, to three different destinations across the river. One of them being the Skytrain station – which leads directly to MBK (National Stadium).
A very fitted match, which we enjoyed several times on our short visit.

Arriving well in Phuket with my friend Julie, from back home, it was a bit wierd to land in Tiger. Lots of people from everywhere – like Legacy Gym x 10, and for maybe for that reason, I’ve been missing Legacy a lot this evening. Also Phuket and I have a so-so relationship: I dont really care for the overly-touristed Thailand. After staying in Legacy gym in Ubon Ratchathani for my training trips the past 3 years, I’ve fell in love with the more ‘authentic’ and rustic Thailand, that is to be found in Isaan. Last time I visited Phuket bring back strange memories of past ghosts as, I was nearly flooded away by the Tsunami. But Im back now to do a story about muay thai training for the typical Danish tourist, so I figured what better spot to be in than the big Island down south.

So Im excited to see what Phuket and Tiger has in store for me. This evening I met, what seemed to be some really nice Australians, a kind of butch Canadian girl and some friendly south Africans. Things are starting off good – and I can just hope everything (accommodation and bike) will go smoothly.

Training and more camp facts tomorrow!