This is our third full day of training here in Thailand. After a bizarre delay with Delta Airlines that got us to JFK in New York just late enough to miss out flight to Dubai our travel plans were substantially pushed back. We were supposed to fly out of NY at 11:30am. The next flight out wasn’t until 11:00pm. Luckily for us my mom was in New York visiting a friend. So Jon and I headed into Manhattan to sleep at their hotel. We had been up all night in an attempt to adjust to the time change in Thailand. Our plan was to sleep on the flight to Dubai.
After getting some much needed sleep we said our goodbyes to my mom and headed back to the airport. It wasn’t long before we were on our way. The flight to Dubai is just under 13 hours. This was by far the longest plane trip I’ve ever been on. Although considering this is my first time out of the country I suppose that makes sense. The emirates airline is nice, all seats have their own TVs loaded with movies to help pass the time. The even have so cameras on the outside of the plans you can view the sky through.
Our layover in Dubai was just over 6 hours. We got a little food. And then found these mini rooms you could rent by the hour called snooze cubes. We took advantage of those for a couple hours before the last flight to Thailand. From Dubai to Thailand is about 6 hours. Which normally seems like a long flight. After NY to Dubai though it was not so bad.
Once in Thailand we found our bags and headed up to the Starbucks to meet our driver. This would be the final stretch of our journey. A 2 hour cab ride to Sitmonchai.
We arrived at Sitmonchai just before the last training session of the day. But Jon and I were too exhausted to participate. We were shown to our room. A simple set up. Two beds, a sink, and a room that is a combination shower and toilet area. A bit different than what we are used to but nice to have everything right in the room. After getting some rest they came to get us to eat. Twice a day the owner of Sitmonchai PA’s mother cooks traditional Thai food. We sat at a table with a 17yo kid from Japan who has been here for a year, and Yoshi, who is from LA. Yoshi is kind of the go between for a lot of us. His family is from Taiwan so he is able to understand much of the language here. He has shown us the ropes for the last couple days.
Our first training session starts at 6:30am. We go for a run, somewhere between 6 and 7 miles. When we get back we do 3-4 rounds on the pads with one of the instructors here. And then bag work on our own. After you rest until its time to eat. The next session is at 3:30pm. We start off with another run. This one is shorter, because we will do more pad work rounds, and do either light sparring, or clinch sparring. After training we rest until dinner. Than everyone hangs out in a common area.
There is a mixture of fighters from all over the world. A couple guys from Spain, some from France, a couple from Scotland, all mixed in with the Thais. All the trainers are accomplished fighters. We are training along Pornsonae, who is currently one of the best in the country. The training is intense. Everyday we do a little more. I know that after this trip Jon and I will both be on a different level, even if its just mentally. They are on us about adapting their style. But are also interested in Jon’s skills as an MMA fighter. So there is a sharing of knowledge, and mutual respect. Everyone here is super friendly, but train super hard. It definitely reminds me of the family training environment we have at Crazy 88. I look forward to the rest of the trip. Tomorrow we head into The city to meet up with Dan Simmler, he and Jon are competing at the BJJ Bangkok open.