Martin is still on the run after six months in South East Asia. Soon after visiting Bangkok he went to the islands of Koh Samet and Koh Chang , located a few hours from the capital.
After taking the train to the widest island of Phuket in the south, he got stuck by a shell on a beach in Ban Saphan. Here is the interview I conducted with him in my apartment in Singapore during his visit to the Lion city. We are late in the logbook. We know, too bad, but in Asia it’s go with flow
The Thai boxing experience – One of Thailand’s Boxing Training Camps
Martin : This is my experience regarding Thai boxing. I was lucky and came across a school when I first arrived in Ban Saphan. By chance, I learned that it was a school run by French people, so I registered with them. I stayed there in a bungalow. You stay directly on the site and they feed you. You don’t need to leave for training, but type of training is very demanding. I trained with two guys who are champions in Lompini, which is the biggest Boxing Stadium in Bangkok. The Thai Boxing Muay Thai is more popular than hockey in Quebec or football in Europe. All the young people want to learn Muay Thai (Thai Boxing); it is a hyper sport that is known throughout and everyone enjoys it.
When there are boxing events, everyone in the village attends. I had the chance to go to a gala organized for the King’s birthday at the beginning of December. He had organized a sort of party in the village, and there were close to 40,000 people there. On the side, there was a scene with groups playing music, and on the other side was a ring with non-stop fighting, one after another. It’s a ritual and a way of life for them. The train when they are young, and they stop training when they can no longer perform. This is how they live through Thai boxing.
Bob : So, if someone loves boxing or loves sports in general, this is the place to go?
Martin : For Thai boxing it’s definitely the place. Thai boxing is very different from western boxing. Muay Thai uses the knees and elbows, and kicks and punches with gloves. This technique is quite different from western boxing. This is the place to go if you want to learn Muay Thai.
Bob : Someone can go to Thailand for a training, but you must travel to South East Asia for a good time, because I have the impression that you’re not there for only one week .You can surely make a visit to a club.
Martin : If you’re only there a week or two it’s not worth the trouble. You’ll just start to format the muscles that you will use for boxing, those that you did not use before. You will have exhausted the muscle while not learning a thing. I had been training for a month and then it was limited. I learned a lot, but doing it for two months would have been a lot better.
Bob : Someone can go for a trip to see how it works, but most two-month comprehensive training programs are not the “best.”
Martin : This is at least one month.
Bob : Does it cost about $1,500 per month?
Martin : It costs about 1000 baht per day ($ 30).
Bob : It depends on the quality of the school and what they provide.
Martin : That is all they provide, but there are also tourist places to get back in shape.
Bob : It must be more than Thaibo!
Martin : Yes that’s right, punch the sandbag and do push-ups, but you don’t really learn the art of Thai boxing.
Bob : It’s a bit like Pad Thai for microwave, accessible training for everyone.
Martin : It’s near to all the bars and where the guys go out to at night. They will get wasted then and then go off with the girls.
Bob : As you said, for some this is like a religion and is quite serious, but for the others that just want to have fun and relax, they can visit the tourist camps.
Martin : When you enter a serious camp, there is no question regarding going out at night and getting drunk as hell. You’ll come back the next day and the guy will not want to train you, or he will make you sweat for three hours straight.
Bob : They make you pay for what happened the night before in the bar.
Martin : Exactly, he will step into the ring and make you understand that since you wanted to drink yesterday, today’s training is ruined. Tomorrow, you will make sure to be fit.
Bob : So in general, have you enjoyed your trip?
Martin : I loved my trip, is has been a great experience
Bob : This was one of the things that you wanted to experience in this journey.
Martin : Yes, it definitely was, and I will probably continue for another three weeks in this camp. It was really a coincidence that brought me to this place, because its instructors are champions, which can lead to becoming professional. I’m not a pro, but it’s just a coincidence that I went there. I really became friends with their father, and that’s why they accepted me in that camp. It does not accept guys like me if they do not wish to fight. They don’t take those students who do not want to become professionals.
Bob : Yes, it is a different context depending on what people search for Martin; this is why you have schools for all kinds of people, such as those who want to lose weight or focus only on tourism. There are schools for these things in the corners of Phuket or Bangkok. There are other places such as the schools that I attended and gyms where they prepare the world for combat.
Bob : This one is named Siangboxing (http://www.siangboxing.com/), and it has Bangsaphan, if you are interested in this type of boxing.
Martin : If you’re not serious, do not go there because you’re going to get your ass kicked.
Bob : People that already box think ultimate fighting is a good place to go.
Martin : Antoine is supposed to be in Montreal soon where he made his MMA debut, so for those of you that live in Canada, look at the Bell Centre for the coming galas of mixed martial arts. Antoine Siangboxing it is supposed to be there.
Bob : Would you say this has been your “highlight” or your most memorable moment of your trip so far?
Martin : This has been the best time so far during my two months here in Thailand. Since I have been here for close to two months, this is pretty much everything that I’ve experienced up until this moment.
Bob : You had something special in Koh Chang. You’ve got your bungalow there.
Martin : Well, I got to Ban Saphan and was getting ready to go down to Phuket, but I wanted to go for a swim and saw that they were bungalows on the beach. I decided to stay in one of the bungalows, swimming for about 2-3 hours a day with a little jogging mixed in to prepare myself before going to Phuket. Then, I found this boxing camp in Ban Saphan; I lived there so I did not move away.
Bob : So, you did a pre camp staff before entering the ring. “Go with the flow.” Following the course is always the best plan when you have time.
Martin : Yes, I’ve known a lot of people there.
Bob : Probably more good than bad. There are those that are going to train, and then there are those teenagers who are there to party.
Martin : It is a fact that the camp has put people out, for example, a young man who decided to drink every night rather than train. The next day training was misery as he ruined the atmosphere for the other students. He continued boasting and could not stop talking about it. After distracting everyone for nearly two weeks they decided to put him out, but I can’t tell you how.
Bob : After, you went back up to Bangkok and now your here in Singapore.to see me.
Martin : That’s right, I went through part of Ban Saphan and back through all the small towns, such as Phetchanuri and Cha-am. Afterwards, I went to Bangkok.
Bob : Phetchanuri, for those who do not know, is the city where monkeys are everywhere.
Martin : This is the city of the apes. It’s amazing; the monkeys are everywhere. When you’re a white tourist you become the local attraction. People there were lining up to have their picture taken with me. It is impressive to see.
Bob : He was the white monkey!
Martin : Yes, monkey white American, so hey hey hey hey!
He has just completed a visit to Singapore, but he is a little late in his summary of the next trip, so it will most likely be by telephone in northern Thailand. It will also give you the opportunity to cool down and get a better idea of what you think is better between Thailand and Singapore.
Martin : I cannot wait to see all of Singapore, as it looks very beautiful.
Bob : The first impression people have is that they love the urban feel of this town. It is beautiful and green.
Martin came to visit us for 5 days in Singapore. He went back to Phuket and we had an appointment in Krabi right in front of the island. I’ll make a jump over with my family for my vacation. We will find Martin later in his adventure in Thailand, and until then you can read the first six months of adventure in Asia 1. https://www.getlostinasia.com/4426/6-mois-en-asie-aventure-1-koh-samet-et-koh-chang
Don’t forget to listen to our new radio in French Lost in Asia every Wednesday evening on http://undergroundquebec.com/ 19:00 GMT -5, the travel guide, good plan, good interviews and underground music from around Asia ….
This post is also available in: French