At 6A.M. on Christmas (Dec. 25, 2019), I left my dwelling in Sacramento, California for the San Francisco airport, starting the roughly 30 hours of journey essential to arrive in Bangkok, Thailand. I spent the subsequent six weeks into Thailand, evenly divided between exploring the nation and coaching.
For the primary half of the journey, I took over the MMAmania Instagram account (follow it!) to doc all the thrill.
As soon as the main focus shifted to coaching, I met up with Case Harts in Phuket, Thailand. Case is the SB Nation video producer who tailed me two years in the past to doc my skilled debut and all of the weirdness that accompanied that battle.
To sum it up otherwise, the dream crew — later dubbed “The Content material Boys” — have been again!
Over the course of three weeks, Case and I recorded a ton of footage. Primarily, the main focus of all this recording was coaching and martial arts associated. For the primary two weeks, I educated at Tiger Muay Thai day-after-day, experiencing as a lot as I might of what the huge facility and dozens of coaches provided. Then, we relocated to Bangkok, the place I visited a number of completely different academies.
We had some enjoyable additionally beneath the rally cry of “Do it for the content material!” Over the course of these three weeks and the approaching movies, I’ll eat bugs, throw down in an organized bar battle, and even do a thrift store problem? I don’t know how Case talked me into that one, however the finish outcome was loads of enjoyable.
Let’s dig into it!
Episode One: The primary episode is basically an introduction, as I speak by the venture and my preliminary emotions of pleasure and anticipation in direction of diving into Muay Thai in its dwelling nation. It’s additionally an intro to Tiger Muay Thai, the huge facility that can home lots of the journey’s experiences and far of the coaching footage.
Behind-The-Scenes: Let’s speak about how rattling out-of-shape I used to be and the temperature of Phuket.
The coaching portion of the journey got here instantly after the holiday portion. This was not accidentally: I had hoped to make use of these three weeks of coaching as the beginning of my coaching camp for a battle again in America. Ideally, I’d return from Thailand in February, have one other few weeks at Group Alpha Male, after which battle in early March. Good planning, proper?
Sadly, no promotion booked me for March and all these occasions bought cancelled anyway. Looking back, coaching upon touchdown in Thailand would have been a lot simpler, however that’s the glory of hindsight.
I don’t look fats from an goal standpoint, which is solely due to my lanky body. In the beginning of the video, I’m roughly 153 kilos, which is sort of 30 lbs. above my competitors weight and nearly 10 above my typical stroll round. I can not overstate how a lot crap I ate in these first three weeks: my girlfriend and I would normally drink three-five fruit smoothies to accompany our three over-sized meals.
Within the six weeks I used to be in Thailand, it didn’t rain a single time. Each single day, the temperature climbed above 90 levels, and it was humid as hell. The one reduction from the direct daylight was Bangkok’s oppressive smog, however Phuket is an island with much less industrial air pollution. I’m not an athlete who tends to sweat profusely even throughout a daily exhausting 90-minute observe, however at Tiger, I might be pouring inside 5 minutes of beginning the sunshine jog heat up.
These two elements mixed to create the gradual, sweaty mess witnessed above. If the ideas like, “he most likely shouldn’t have dropped his palms after that mixture” or “that’s a horrible plank,” pop into your head whereas watching, you might be appropriate!
The primary few classes documented above have been tough. Studying to swim by diving into the deep finish hardly ever begins gracefully, but it surely’s at all times been my most popular path to progress.
Keep tuned for the upcoming episodes!