I had a student come back from Thailand and he was like in awe (and we are a san shou gym LOL!) It is like Mecca for ring fighting, no doubt
Khun Kao buddy... I've trained and watched Muay Thai all my life, but no matter how many times I watched videotapes of matches from Thailand.. it was absolutely nothing compared to seeing it live at Lumpinee. The level of competition, the crowd screaming, the sweat flying.. it was unbelievable. Seeing it all for the first time is definitely a highlight of my life.
Also the Thai camps!!! To see these little 12 year-old kids kick the banana bag with more force than most adults just makes your jaw drop.
When you do decide to go, let me know.. I want to come too! :)
Impressive background - shame about the protective gear etc. during fights but whataya gonna do? As they say in the classics - Can't fight city hall!
Apologies for confusing your bio - must have been others referring to Pattaya - maybe you Paulm? Daniel Dawson rocks.
I have a number of "regrets" regarding my Muay Thai career, the first and foremost is the fact that I have not yet visited, trained, or fought in Thailand. I plan to rectify that, but when...? I only wish I knew....
Even if I don't fight, to have gone there and trained...
One of my students from Lloyds, named Aaron, when to Bangkok and went to Lumpini Stadium. He couldn't even begin to put it into proper words what a profound impact that it had on him. He says it was literally the most amazing thing he has ever seen.
I envy that bastard...
I think I remember him saying he was 6 and 2 in Muay Thai, and 0 and 1 in American style.
I met Daniel Dawson in Pattaya, a very good fighter, tough as nails and a hell of a nice guy too.
You apparantly have confused some of my bio with someone elses. I have never even visited Thailand, much less trained in Pattaya. =(
Good memory, Yukisan!
But, a brief run down of my MT experience:
I began studying MT full-time under Master K in 1992. I had my first MT fight in January of 1993. Had 8 amateur Muay Thai fights with a record of 6-2 with 3 KO's. I fought for 3 amateur titles, but only won the ISMTA Super Middleweight Title in 1994. (I had also fought for the PAMTA Light Heavyweight Title in 1993 and the USMTA Northeast Regional Cruiserweight Title in 1994.) Those two title fights losses were my only MT defeats, both by decision.
Most of my fights were in PA, which at the time, was pretty much the only state in the east (besides NY) which would allow Thai-rules Muay Thai competition. We had to fight with head gear and shin pads, no knees to the head and no elbows.
Some of the gyms that used to compete in these events were Master Bob Karmels gym in Philadelphia, PA. Golden Fist on the outskirts of Philly, Master Bill Gebhardt's gym in State College, PA, East/West Martial Arts Academy in NY, and Frank Cucci's Martial Arts school in VA Beach. Oh, I forgot to mention Siam No.1 in Toronto and US Muay Thai Academy in the Pittsburgh area. Mike Miles' school offered to compete with us, but at the time they were too far away.
Beyond fighting, I was the USMTA VA State Director from 1994-1997. I was also certified as an amateur MT judge by the AMTJRA in 1995 (under Khun Fred Fitzgerald, as a matter of fact). I was the head MT instructor at Lloyd Irvin's Martial Arts from 1997-2000, and now am assistant instructor at OAKMASD in Lorton, VA under Master K. (I think this is mentioned on the Q&A Kickboxing Main Page...)
As an observer and occasional contributor to the forum, I would like to
respectfully ask Khun Kao if he would mind posting a brief run down of
his fight / training experience? Just curious - you seem to have much
more Muay Thai experience than many others in the forum. You have
obviously trained extensively - much ring fighting (MT) experience?
Also - you mentioned that you have trained at Pattaya... Have you had
the opportunity to see a young Australian fighter by the name of
Daniel Dawson? He trains at ISS in Pattaya and I was wondering if
you have had the chance to see him fight or heard much about him.
What is your opinion of him?
Did you ever see that article in Inside Kung Fu awhile back about training in Thailand. It is easily done, the major obstacle is clearing the time in your schedule. I can't encourage everyone enough to do what they can to fulfill this dream. You will not be dissapointed. Put it on a credit card if you have to, it is money very well spent. Just my $.02
I know I could clear my schedule if need be, it's the $$$ issue that's a problem right now. I have credit card and school loan debts up to my eyeballs. Once I get my debts under control, I will then be planning my trip to Thailand.
I feel where you are coming from re: debt. I was (am) in the same boat. A wise girlfriend of mine put it like this to me. Years from now, even if you are still paying off the debt, you will not regret the debt for the memories and experience you have. Easier said then done, I know. But all it took for me was to simply realize that there is no time like the present, and off I went. When the time is right for you thats when you will make the decision to go. Try to go outside tourist season, its cheaper and a little cooler.