What I Have Been Doing All These Years – Part 1
This is more of a brief introduction to let you know what I have been doing for the last 8 years. The events will be brief but this is to bring you up to date with what I have been doing and where I am now.
8 years is all of my adult life, and I can say it has been a good time. I have done many different things, been to many place and all have contributed to who I am today.
January 2007: I arrived in Thailand and trained at Tiger Muay Thai for 1 month, this was my first real experience of Muay Thai in Thailand. The first week was tough, I was climatizing, and the heat was getting the better of me. In the second week I was feeling better. Whilst I was there I made a few friends however I just didn’t feel like it was the right gym for me at the time. In my 3rd week a met a woman called Frances who was fighting in Bangla Stadium, it was her 3rd fight there. She told me about the Muay Thai gym she was training at in Bangkok. The gym sounded interesting and my style, I took her phone number and told her I would be there in a few weeks.
February 2007: Moving to Bangkok. I trained at Sor. Korpeela Muay Thai Gym for 3 months, the gym was bare minimum, the ring was a funny shape, the roof over the bags was small that when it rained you would get wet, and it seconded as a car park. It was at the end of a lower class apartment block, next to dirty Canal which I once saw a dead dog floating down. The gym didn’t really like foreigners, they had more focus on the children as they were the next up and comers. The first fight for the Gym was at the famous Lumpinee Stadium as a replacement and the other fight was in Phuket against a huge opponent. Both I lost by KO, I realised at this point it was time to move on.
May 2007: After disappointment with Sor. Korpeela Muay Thai Gym I moved away from the gym to live with my now ex-girlfriend, Joy. She cut hair for a living and owned her own salon, this was great for me as it was rent free. A few weeks after moving in, one of her friends son’s had just come out of the Army, he was a former fighter and was looking for work. Boy became my new Muay Thai trainer. Whilst training with him I would run in the morning and he would pick me up from Joys salon around 1pm, We traveled for about 30 minutes to a gym in a quieter part of Bangkok. He did every aspect of my training as it was just me and him.
July 2007: Moving Back to England was ok at first, but after 2 weeks of being there I wanted to go back to Thailand, the cold weather was horrible and just didn’t feel England was as fun as Thailand. I had worked as a train cleaner to save money for my first trip so I decided to do this again as it was the best money I could earn at the time. The only bad thing about it was the hours, 9pm-5am. I worked 13 days on, 1 day off for 6 months, just to save for the 2nd trip.
January 2008: Originally I came back to Thailand to see Joy. We went on holiday in Chiang Mai, and traveled round Bangkok. 2 weeks later we were back in her salon, however I wanted to fight again, so I trained at Sortaneegun Muay Thai Gym in Bangna Navy apartments. (Not the famous Gym from the Golden Era)
February 2008: I was due back to the UK at the start of February however I decided to ditch the ticket home and stay. I fought 3 times for Sortaneegun Muay Thai Gym. One at Rajadamnern Stadium. After the Rajadamnern fight I was going low on funds and had to find a way to earn money to stay in Thailand, I did my research and found English teaching.
March 2008: I took a TEFL course to gain my TEFL certificate, this took 5 weeks to achieve. I learnt a lot in regards to how to teach English but this wouldn’t prepare me for the real thing.
May 2008: My first school was Saipanya High School which was an all girl school, teaching at this school was difficult except for a few classes, being 19 years old it was hard to gain the respect of the older students as I was nearly the same age as them. The easiest students were the ones in the smarter classes as they wanted to learn English.
During this same time I started working at Inlingua Language centre on the weekends teaching 18 hours, earning extra income.
June 2008: Whilst working at Inlingua I met John who told me about a teaching position at Sarasas Witaed Nimitmai School, the pay was better than Saipanya, so I took a day off sick and traveled up to check out the school. I took the position. I taught Kindergarten 2 which was perfect, a lot of my teaching hours were taken by extra activities, preparation for lunch, waking the kids up from naps, I had a total teaching schedule of under 10 hours a week.
August 2009: Quitting English teaching I decided I wanted to train Muay Thai again. It had been a long time since I had trained and there was a muay thai gym in the nearby town of Minburi. Por. Gobgua Muay Thai Gym is located under a bridge, this is not unusual for a Muay Thai Gym in Thailand as some are located in places you wouldn’t expect.
January 2010: My money was low again so I took up some work in Jakarta, Indonesia as an English teacher. The pay was OK. I chose Indonesia as I wanted to see a different country after being in Thailand for the last 2 years.
April 2010: After several months in Jakarta I wanted to come back to Thailand, I found work teaching private lessons, saving money for my next big project.
May 2010: I started building my own Muay Thai Gym in partnership with Thai people.
July 2010: I had always wanted to open a Muay Thai Gym and I had finally achieved one of my dreams. The gym was small but had everything you needed to train. It was located very close to Minburi but if you were there you would think you were in the middle of the countryside.
January 2011: All I can say was I was stupid to trust these people with their word, they saw I had money and I was just a way of funding the gym, however I did take back all of the equipment and ring ropes, I could not take the Gym as it was in the ground. I did not think all Thai people were the same, just more careful with my investments and having myself more protected if I ever did partnerships again. I went back to what I knew best to earn money, English teaching, I only did this on the weekends. I also wanted to also train Muay Thai so I went back to Por. Gobgua Muay Thai Gym. Going back to the gym I was nervous and scared that they wouldn’t take me back in, but it was just the same as before. Training and fighting as usual.
June 2011: I was offered an MMA fight in China and the money was over a months salary of teaching English so I took it. Por. Gobgua Muay Thai Gym had no Brazilian Jujitsu (BJJ) or wrestling so I went to 13 coins Muay Thai Gym which had just started an MMA program under Brandon Kesler. The MMA training was very personal as I was the only one training, I had another coach, Bobby Gerits come and teach MMA, he taught me many techniques one of which I used to as a crucial move in the fight.
July 2011: The MMA fight was at 55kg, this was the lowest I had ever been for a fight. I flew to Beijing a week early to lose the weight. At the weigh-in I was very skinny and weighed 55.6kg. As it was so close to the limit I was allowed to fight. I won the fight by 2nd round rear naked choke.
Chest out part 2