This post is a little bit dedicated to Thai boxing. I’m sorry for the people who are not a big fan of martial arts, but I (re-)discovered this last year in Strasbourg. I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived at the Monsoon Gym, but the camp I did here was an amazing experience!
Ko Tao, is what you would expect from a paradise island:
White beaches, palm trees, sun and lots of bikinis.
There is a really interesting energy on this island. Everyone is doing scuba diving, Muay Thai, Jiu Jitsu, snorkling or just discovering the island by scooter.
There are over 50 diving schools on the 21 km²!
In general a little bit more expensive compared to other places in Thailand, but still cheap for European standards.
It’s also the cheapest place to get your Open Water Diver license for scuba diving!
Kung Fu vs. Muay Thai
For those who don’t know, I’ve done a year of Shao Lin Kung Fu in Strasbourg.
Here in Thailand, Thai boxing (or Muay Thai) is kind of the national sport. In every village and city you’ll find a gym or a club where you can train.
Thai boxing and Kung Fu (or Sanda) are kind of similar to each other if it comes to combat.
Kung Fu is much more technical and you’re not allowed to use your elbows or knees.
The angle of your leg doesn’t matter so much in Muay Thai. It’s also less “spiritual” and there are no “tao’s” (like Kata in Karate)
When I started Kung Fu in Strasbourg, I discovered that I actually have a good body to practice martial arts. Thank you daddy!
After spending two weeks of doing touristic (expensive) stuff in Chiang Mai and Bangkok, I needed a new plan to discover Thailand in a different way. So I stumbled upon Book Martial Arts, a website where you can book camps for one day/week/month/year all over the world!
A good way to do some sports and meet people!
This was an average day at Monsoon Gym. Keep the 30°C in mind 😉
7.00 wake up, brush teeth, put tiger balm and do some stretchings
8.00 Start first session
One session was about 90 minutes.
- Warmup of 10 minutes rope skipping (after this, you’re already completely soaked :p)
- Put on protection wraps
- Do four sessions of three minutes with a trainer
In between the sessions, practice for another three minutes your skills on a boxing bag.
- 100 front kicks and 100 knee kicks on a boxing bag
- About 15 minutes of abdominal exercises (planking, sit ups, …)
- Stretchings: Every participant could show 1-3 stretching exercises to execute together.
10.00 go for breakfast at one of the restaurants near the beach
11.00 – 15.00 relax at the beach, play frisbee/football/snorkling
16.00 Start second session
18.00 Diner, play pool or watch some tv
I did this for about five days in a row, one day break and another day of training…
Beljium, I train you Muay Thai – Bowie Bowie
Choosing to come to the gym was a great decision!
The trainers were like children in bodies of grownups.
Next to teaching Muay Thai, they were having fun, teasing each other or just trying to get girls to join the training.
Because there are so many different people training every day, they only remembered your nationality.
“Beljium, I train you Muay Thai” was what Bowie would say to me.
When we weren’t training, we would go out to eat together, play pool or go to the beach.
During one of the dinners, Gilaan had a remarkable quote that I won’t forget easily: “They can’t build but man they can cook! And fight!”
They can’t build but man they can cook! – Bruce Gilaan Ray
I met some really interesting people at the Monsoon gym/dorm.
There was a great atmosphere and everyone was motivating each other!
Thanks Jason, Alicia, Mark, Gilaan, Stephen, Yasmine, George and Guy for the great experience!
Bowie, Bow, Wan and Sea, thanks for the hard but great trainings! (Sorry for the wrong spelling)
And off course thanks to Darius and Elisabeth for the Monsoon gym and the inspiring talks 😉
If you’re looking for more information around martial arts, check out Jo Anderson’s training guide! It gives you a lot of tips and advice on different martial arts!
As for the next step, I’m staying another couple of days on the island to do scuba diving!
Advanced open water is starting tomorrow at the Scuba Junction school!