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A Typical Day at Tiger Muay Thai

I know everyone wants to see photos and videos – soon!  (if you missed it on Facebook, there is a video posted by the camp on youtube showing a grappling seminar given by Nicolas Gregoriades  from Jujitsu Brotherhood last week here, look for the crazy beard to find me).

Until then, I thought it might be interesting to recap a normal day, now that I have started to settle into a routine here:

7:50AM Drag myself out of bed.  I really want to do this at 6:20AM so that I can get breakfast and do yoga from 7AM-8AM but so far I’ve been too exhausted to actually get up that early.  Pop my two glucosamine chondroitin supplements (for my joints) and a multivitamin, typically two ibuprofen as well.

8:10AM – Breakfast.  Usually two eggs, scrambled, with two pieces of multigrain toast.  Jam on one piece of toast, eggs on the other, no butter/salt.  If I have time after finishing this, I’ll check my e-mail/facebook/etc. really quick.

8:40AM – Start getting ready for the morning MMA session.  Make sure I have a full 1.5L water bottle (room temp), get my shorts, undershirt, shirt, knee pads, etc. all on, put some neosporin on my knees, then walk over to the MMA mat and start loosening up my joints.  Say hi to folks, complain about how sore we feel, etc.

9:00AM Generally about five after, the entire class will be ready to go and Ray Elbe, our coach, will show up.  So far class sizes have varied from ~30+ to <15.  There is not a lot of consistency in attendees either, which is surprising.  In fact I think right now myself and a few other guys that started last week are the “veterans” – there’s maybe two guys that have been here longer that aren’t regulars.  Lots of new blood this week.

Warmup is simple, jog around the mat for awhile, side step inside, side step outside, bear crawls, etc.  Then we do a few basic movement drills followed by neck crunches.  After this Ray will typically break down a particular sequence of moves for us (today started with transition from side control to north-south), then we’ll partner up and drill it for a few minutes.  Repeat for typically the next move in the sequence (north-south to full mount), etc. 

10:00AM – Give or take, this is typically when we finish the instructional portion and move on to cardio.  Cardio consists of about a 20 minute workout designed to keep your heart rate up and muscles exhausted.  It comes in lots of different ways, the worst one so far was twice last week we had to do three sets of 25 of scrambles – start on your back with legs up with a partner, push him off you, jump up, throw a 1-2 combo, sprawl, spin around to your back with your legs up, push the partner off, repeat.  Brutal.

10:30AM – After the cardio, we partner up and roll for awhile, typically five five minute rounds.  This is a good chance to try out things you’ve learned or just roll in general.  So far I have yet to roll all five sets because I’m usually exhausted and my elbows are killing me.  Yesterday while rolling I got caught in an armbar that came from a weird angle and actually momentarily separated my elbow (ironically causing my partner to lose his grip so I got out of it) and as a result it’s slightly bruised today.  Today I had an awesome rolling session with a very experienced guy and he caught me in a deep guillotine that I almost rolled out of twice, but he finally got it completely wrapped up and I had to tap – at lunch I was wondering why it was hard to swallow, then I remembered this.  ;)

11:00AMAs the MMA session winds down, many people take off immediately but a fair portion of us generally hang around for 15-20min talking about stuff and stretching.  Good camaraderie building here, as well as a good opportunity to cool down.  At this point we are so drenched in sweat we literally create pools everywhere we sit.

11:20AMGrab a protein shake from the Tiger Grill to take the edge off (starving at this point), then a nice comfortable shower.  Wash all my morning gear in Dettol and hang it out to dry, then change into my chillin’ clothes.

12:00PMHead out for lunch, either at the Tiger Grill or one of the local restaurants depending on how I’m feeling.  Sometimes I will be good and eat one of the special “fighter meal plan” lunches at the Tiger Grill that are no MSG/oil/not fried/etc. (usually grilled chicken and vegetables), other times I will be bad and get some yummy Thai food.  I do try to avoid spicy food for lunch.  I may also treat myself to a Diet Coke or a Gatorade to have something sweet.

Lunch is a slow, relaxed affair.  Sit around, talk with people, continue to cool down and vedge.

1:00PMDepending on how long I hang out at lunch, I will usually go back to my room around this time and check my e-mail, read up on various news sites, etc.  I may watch a movie (or an episode of 24, I’m almost finished with season 4), or more likely I will read for awhile on my ebook reader.  I may also walk around or go shopping during this time.

3:00PMI will typically grab a protein shake or chicken satay around three in order to make sure I have enough energy to make it through the afternoon session.  I’ll also make the decision at this time whether or not to do the afternoon session, as some days I have skipped it depending on how I feel (I will probably skip today as my elbow hurts a LOT).  Then it’s back to the room to gear up for Muay Thai if that’s the plan.

4:00PM – The afternoon Muay Thai session begins similar to the MMA session, with a basic routine warmup involving jogging and stretching.  After this, there is a period of shadow boxing where people without really good form are taken aside and tutored in groups of 2-3 by a trainer (so far this has happened to me every time, and every time the trainer has been different and told me different things – I don’t know if this is because they start simple and get more complicated or if each trainer actually thinks different stances are appropriate/etc.).

4:30PM – As the class moves on, it typically breaks up into two groups.  One group will do sparring while another group does pad work with the trainers.  After around five five minute rounds, the groups switch.  In between each round we have to do ten pushups, which adds up when you are also throwing punches, kicks, etc.

The pad work with the trainers varies a lot by the trainer and is fun but they push you hard.  You work everything, knees, strikes, kicks, elbows, and defense.  Some trainers will yell at you what to do “right elbow!  right block!” while others will just move the pads and expect you to understand.  Yesterday the trainer I worked with wasn’t given me any warning about his kicks and I had a really hard time getting my blocks up, then he would throw them again (faster) and keep doing it until I blocked.  After you get kicked in the ribs five times you may finally get a block up.  ;)

5:30PM – The class breaks down into cardio and bagwork at this point.  Tuesday and Thursday they do runs, the other days it’s lots of prancing around on your toes followed by strikes against a bag.  The bagwork so far has usually consisted of 200 punches, 200 elbows, 100 front kicks, and 200 knees.  Usually ten pushups before each break during this time (every 5-10min).

6:15PM – The afternoon session always seems to end the same – 300 situps and 100 pushups (if you’re counting, we’ve already probably done 200+ by this time, so everyone is doing cheater pushups due to exhaustion, I’ve started to do them on my elbows to avoid stressing my elbows more).

6:30PM – Done for the day!  I generally stick around for at least twenty minutes doing a LOT of stretching to prevent my muscles from being too sore (this has worked great, so far I’ve had no issues except my joints).  Then walk around cooling down for awhile.

7:00PMGrab the second shower of the day, wash all my gear in Dettol again, and hang everything out to dry overnight.  Somewhere around this time it typically gets dark.

7:30PM – Head out for dinner!  I usually grab a fairly large dinner at this point, typically a lot of rice and stuff combined with a chicken satay or the like.  I also try to take this opportunity to go for the spicy stuff, curry or drunken noodles.  I’ll probably also read and relax while I’m eating to help unwind.

8:30PM – Either back to the room or sitting outside if it’s a breezy night, I’ll spend the next hour or two reading or watching a movie/TV and unwinding or hanging out with some of the other guys and shooting the breeze.

10:00PM – Off to bed.  I’m trying to get to bed by 9:30PM but it’s hard to sleep.  Usually even though I feel exhausted I can’t actually fall asleep because the entire day’s training is running through my head and keeping me distracted, but eventually I drift off.  I’ll set the alarm for 6:10 but when it goes off I’ll change it to 7:30 because I feel so tired still.  Alas.

Three more weeks of this left!


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