Off to Camp.......

Hey all:

Going to Sakasem's gym in Salt Lake City, Utah today. It's called the Muay Thai Institute and I have heard from Sem it's a really nice gym.

Haven't seen him in a while, so it will be a good visit and hopefully good training experience. I was hoping to go to Thailand, but 9/11 has put a hold on that. Plus, Sem said he wanted to go this year sometime and I could go with him!

Anyway, I will try to post something daily about the training, the gym atmosphere, etc. Yukisan said he was interested in getting daily posts.

Sawatdee,Bai Luao Tdae Tsai(HL)

Please keep us posted big guy. i have only heard of Fairtex. would appreciate hearing of your experiences in Utah !


A friend of mine, who has studied Wing Chun kung fu for around 15 years, goes back to Utah to train with his sifu every now and then. He came back a couple of years ago and mentioned that he and some others had sparred with some local muay Thai students. "I was holding my own for the first 30 seconds or so," he said, "but the altitude and my lack of conditioning wore me down. He was able to get inside and just took me out. I had green and purple bruises for a few days after that."

Day one has ended. It wasn't too bad since Sakasem said that I will have some trouble getting used to the thin air on the first day. He was right. In addition, my flight, which was supposed to arrive at 8:00 pm MST in Salt Lake City arrived at almost 11:30 pm. I didn't get to bed until around 1:30 am (3:30 am EST). I also ate some crappy sandwich at the St. Louis airport along with some milk and a banana. Note to anyone coming to Salt Lake City via St. Louis and American Airlines -- don't do it! Man, I was exhausted when I woke up.

The morning session was pretty light. I jumped rope with the Thai jump rope (it has heavy plastic tubing) for 15 minutes straight. We then shadow boxed for two 3 minute rounds holding 10 lbs dumbells in each hand working hand combinations. My shoulders and arms are not used to that, so I need to work on it. Then, we shadow boxed for two rounds with 5 lb. dumbells and then two rounds of one lb. dumbells.

Sem and I went into the ring where I did 5 4-minute rounds on the Thai pads, and Sem was coming at me with roundhouse kicks where I had to counter.

Next, we then went to the heavy standing bags where I delivered 50 roundhouse kicks on each leg. Then 300 sit-ups and 100 push-ups.

The evening session was a little tougher, but I managed to make it through. We started with 25 minutes straight of jumping rope.

Then, we did the shadow boxing routine as described above with the dumbells.

One round with alternating knees up and down the floor, then turning around.

The next part is where I really started to feel the effects of the altitude. We did 9 four minute rounds on the heavy bags with the following combinations:

  • 5 alternating straight punches followed by 5 roundhouse kick with the power leg.
  • 5 alternating straight punches followed by 5 roundhouse kicks with the front leg.
  • Rear leg push kick, front leg push kick, then a side push kick.
  • 3 alternating punches (leading with the cross punch)
  • 4 alternating elbows, then a back spinning elbow (Sok Klab)
  • At 30 seconds, continuous alternating punching.
  • Take a 30 second (yes, 30 seconds!) break.
  • Start all over again

Cool down is 100 jumping jacks and 300 situps. Plus one hundred alternating knees in place (stay on your toes, though!). That's it, hopefully there will be more sparring in the next few days and my wind picks up.

Have fun and train hard!


Heavy Leg, we have felt your pain bro. Keep up the good work!

brings back memories...8-)
tell him Andrew 'little boy' says hello

That sounds like a full day to say the least!

9 four minute rounds would drop me! LOL

Wow ! i'm exhausted just reading about it. I wanna hear more big guy and good luck !

Sounds like a great trip. Maybe someday I could get out there. I'd have to work on my shape a bit, as I'm starting to resemble Homer Simpson.

Days two and three.....

Day two sucked. I really felt the altitude on Tuesday.

Basically, I did 15 minutes of rope, shadow boxing with those damn dumbells again and then skipped knees

The killer part came when Sem and I got into the ring and he was coming at me at 'fight speed'. I got no rest or anything during the rounds and gassed out after 6 rounds of Thai pads. But, they were pretty tough to me, at least. I felt like I had let him down. He also got a little scared since he said I looked pale and flushed. 130 push-ups and three-hundred sit-ups ended the day. I wasn't too happy and a little embarrassed about my performance 8-P

Wednesday morning was a bit better. The warm-up was the same as the previous days. We then did a sparring only session in the ring - kicks and punches allowed. I did 7 rounds of sparring with the other students. A lot of them had never sparred against a southpaw, so I was able to catch a lot of people with the 1-2 hook and then left roundhouse kick. We then kicked the bag a couple hundred times on each leg. Cool down was the same as before.

Wednesday evening was boxing sparring only after 25 minutes of rope, shadow boxing, and skip kneeing. I did about 5 rounds and then we retired to the standing bags for 4 rounds of free style on the standing bags. Cool down again was the same, plus we also did neck exercises.

Man, my workout is looking more pathetic each time you post brother! LOL


Ian when are you coming out to SLC Sem keeps telling me your coming and going to kill me. I cant wait. Sem speaks very highly of you and I could use some more top notch ass beatings to toughen me up. I wouldn't mind learning alittle either:)

Handicap (as Sem likes to call me now)

I read somewhere on a boxing site that shadow boxing with any sort of hand weights can lead to shoulder injuries and form problems. From a sport specific training perspective it would seem that training with heavy dumbbells in your hands would hurt your speed/explosiveness (same reason why top sprinters don't use ankle weights)...just my two cents

10lb dumbells????? ......... pussy.... :D

rjr -- I'm not sure when I'll be able to make it out there yet. Some of the guys are talking about going out there for a weekend. I'll see if that ever comes off, or not. If not, I may try to spend a few days of my spring break out there. I'll teach you anything I can.

Good luck with training, and take care!


Thursday consisted of the usual warm-up (cardio,shadow boxing, and knee skips), except I jogged four miles instead of the rope work, just to break up the monotony (sp?).

Sem must have thought that my level of skill has gone up so, we put on the shin guards and kick sparred for 7 rounds. It was fun -- for Sem that is. He basically tattooed my ass (literally) with with his right shin. He caught almost every roundhouse kick that I threw above the waist, and block almost every leg kick. I basically got my ass handed to me. I guess that is the only way to get better, but it really puts your ego in check. We finished the morning by doing 100 round kicks on each leg on the standing bags, then 200 skipping knees on one of the hanging bags. Cool down was the same as before.

My sacrum was really bothering me after the morning workout, in addition to catching my left big toe on Sem's knee. Sem said to take it easy at night. So, I jogged on the treadmill for 45 minutes and did some light shadow boxing + light weightlifting.

Well, my age and lower back disc is really catching up to me.

Didn't really do anything today but run on the treadmill in the morning and did some light weightlifting.

I got a really great deep tissue massage from a local masseuse that will setup shop at the Muay Thai Institute once it has been completed. She said my back was so knotted up that I should by no means train today. I took her advice, even though the massage made me feel brand new. I was going to train but Sem said to "Sabai, Sabai" today.

That was OK with me since I had trained for 8 days straight and my body was battered. Saturday will be the last day before I head back home.

Overall, I would have to say that the Muay Thai Institute is very well run. Craig and John run the place very professionally, ask for your feedback. Everyone here is very cool, polite, and humble as Sem and Craig would like it.

If anyone wants to come and fly-in and train full-time in the gym as a precursor to a fight, I would wait a month or two for the gym to be completed. Right now the dorms are non-existent, there are no showers, and one bathroom to be used by all. I wanted to also stress that people who live in areas that are near or at sea level may get a bit frustrated with the altitude here. It's for real and it will frustrate you at first. Be patient, and adjust to it. What I found weird was the first day I seemed to be full of energy even though I was tired. But from what a local had said to me was that my tissues still had the oxygen from training at low levels in them and I depleted it rapidly as I trained.