Where do I start… Muay Thai camp was an amazing adventure. I am so happy I got a chance to attend and learn from the many amazing martial artists there. Muay Thai camp was put on by the WTBA (World Thai Boxing Association).
It was hard getting on a plane and leaving my family. It was harder going 5 hours clear across the country in a plane. I have worries about being away from my home base, about being so far from my family should something go wrong. Muay Thai camp was a big unknown too. One person I knew for sure was going to be there was Khun Kru Krysta. She is my instructor and we were going on the same plane. I had some other people I had met at another seminar here on the east coast.
So with all that going on, I also was worried I was not conditioned enough for the camp, and I wanted to do well. =) I had one month notice and I had to get myself ready. So I worked hard to get that conditioning in, running and 16 to 20 rounds a day of bag and pad work.
We got in to Portland, went to dinner, waited for a new friend and roommate, then we got to our house. I was lucky enough to have a friend rent an Air B and B and I was able to pitch in for a room. So instead of camping in a tent and using a communal bathroom/shower, I was able to have the amenities of home. I would guess a good half of the people who attended Thai camp stayed in tents.
I have a restless sleep, and wake up on my own at 5:30 am Portland, Oregon time. Everyone gets going with their ruitine. We all have something we do, supplements, taping up our various body parts, brushing our teeth, etc. We head of for coffee and then to the first day of training.
I am buzzing with caffeine, and even more so with excitement. I don’t know what is going to happen exactly and I really really want to make it through so I decide to take one challenge at a time.
Training Day 1: (notes: curtesy Khun Kru Krysta, and Kru Caro)
~7 am :
We start shadow boxing, then Ajarn Greg Nelson leads everyone in stretching.
We then do 1.5 mile run. I got slightly lost because I missed the trail. I laugh about it.
We get back and Ajarn Chai starts us off with the combos that we will be working on for the day. We start with a combo and work on the variations each day. This day he wanted us to focus on leg kicks, with entry to boxing, and elbows. He wanted us to always think about counter attacks.
- Left inside/lead leg kick
- Right Overhand punch
- Lead body shot/hook
- Rear kick to body
- Lead Jab
- Right leg kick
- Left inside/lead leg kick
- Right cross
- Lead body shot/hook
“Everything is basic until you start taking punches.”Ajarn Greg Nelson
We worked the combos in shadow boxing. Then Ajarn Chai had us pair up and work together. He wanted to make sure we got this timing, flow, and combos down.
Then we break for breakfast, and a break. Ajarn Chai gave us about 2 hours for break and breakfast. He wanted us to get enough time to eat and rest.
By the time breakfast came around I had already drank two liters of water. I only mention this because it will become important later. =)
“Get some breakfast and rest, because we are going to work hard when we get back.”Ajarn Chai
~ 11 am:
When we all got back and got started working. He had us shadow boxing to start with. Then we stretched.
He had us working some of the variations of the leg kicks, and entries. Then we started.
We did more partner work. We worked with partners on pads.
“On the balls of your feet. Lift your body up when you kick, or when you knee.”Ajarn Chai
Ajarn Chai wanted us to focus on form and getting the combo down. To really know it for the first day. He wanted us to focus on teqnique and not how fast we could do it.
We break for lunch. Again Ajarn Chai wants us to eat and rest cause we are going to hit he circuit hard after lunch.
A special thank you has to go out to the kitchen staff. They worked hard every day in the heat to feed all almost 100 of us students, instructors, and staff. I know how much it takes to feed an army like that. So many thanks and much respect is owed. Also Ajarn Chai brought out his sister to make us some amazing Thai dishes. I will be dreaming about those dishes for a while to come.
By this time I had drank 2 more liters, for a total of 4 liters. Again I only mention this as this is pertinent to happenings later on.
We all come back and assemble. Again start with shadowboxing, and stretching. Then Ajarn Chai introduces the station we will be working for today.
Khun Kru Krysta tried to help me prepare for this camp and told me years past that there were four stations. Shadowboxing, Pad Work, Bags, and then Clench Work. This year Ajarn Chai added a station. This one was partner timing. Not going as hard as you can, like on pads on bags (note: he wanted us to go hard while observing technique) , but working on flow and technique.
We would do 4 x 3 minute rounds with a 30 second burn out after each round. The burn out was a:
Makatune, #8 elbow, to skip knee #2, then two torso kicks
We were working on the combos and variations of the combos Ajarn Chai taught earlier in the day.
Water is not enough
We start on the first circuit. I get through all 5 stations, and I am doing grate. However, I start to notice my right calf is locking up on me. If I point or flex my muscle it wants to lock in place and not move. I make it through 2 stations and notice it is acting up more. I head to Khun Kru Krysta and tell her what is happening. She and another Ajarn tell me to go Devon. He is a massage therapist. He comes to camp just to help us when we are having muscle and or joint problems.
Let me just take a side note to say Devon is amazing. He is calm, calming, and listens to you. He deserves so many thanks, and much respect.
However, I make it to Devon’s table. He listens to what happened, and he begins stretching. I tell him I don’t know what the problem is. I took my bcaa this morning, and drank 4 liters of water already. He is stretching my calf and then it goes into full charley horse/muscle locked up. He mentions I am “desalinated”. I need to be ingesting more magnesium, potassium, and salt. My body is lacking and this one muscle is complaining about it.
That Charley horse hurt a great deal. He had to keep massaging it and then letting it relax. He made sure I drank some Gatorade. I was laying on the table watching my fellow Muay Thai Camp family rotating through rounds. I ended up missing 8 rounds. I was so unhappy. I was brought down by lack of minerals and salt. I did not want to fail the entire camp. This was day one. How could I, a seasoned athlete, and just some one who keeps an eye on health mess this up.
Devon made sure I drank two of the cups of Gatorade, and two cups of water before I re-entered the rounds, and finished out the day. My calf was sore and painful for the rest of camp, but it felt like a light muscle tear. I just worked through it.
So now you know why I was mentioning how much water I was drinking. Water is not enough. I was going to drink my recovery drink that replaces magnesium, and potassium after the day. But I underestimated just how much I was going to be using during camp.
All in all every day I drink about 8 liters of water. I made sure after the first day to drink water, and recovery drink, and Gatorade as well. Just to get the minerals and salts in me. I also made sure to eat bananas every day. I did not want another charley horse.
We finished the circuits of the stations, then Ajarn Chai had us line up, count down the line 1 to 5 and then stagger ourselves. He had us doing 8 count body builders. Think if burpees had a bigger older meaner brother.
The group did 50 of them. I got through 40 of them.
We broke for dinner and finished for the night.
This was one of the most amazing, difficult, and wonderful things I have ever had the chance to do. I was so excited for the next day, but was annoyed my calf gave out on me. I am happy to say that I did not have any more muscle issues. Yay!
In total my Fitbit told me I 34,264 steps and burned 6,731 calories
Thank you for reading, keep working to be the best you can be. Respect to you and your families!