Teaching MMA and Wrestling for a while. ...
Roger Huerta did a really entertaining fight at the
last ONE FC. His standup has really changed since last time I saw him, getting
a more Thai style standup style. And he does it really well too!
He was pushing forward, having the fight in his hands all the way until the
last minute, or so. Then he got hit by something and was half knocked out,
going on "auto pilot" for the last bit of the fight, but still
charging forward, swinging.
He got down on the ground and his opponent soccer kicked him out, while he was
standing on his knees.
He was fighting out of Phuket Top Team for the fight.
But if you saw the fight, you'd have seen him having the Tiger logo on his
Anyways.. He just changed gyms from PTT to Tiger again
and is now doing the morning jiu jitsu/MMA classes together with Rafael and
also the afternoon Wrestling classes.
He does the techniques just the way I like them to be shown, explaining about
body physics and going over the mechanics in detail. I usually did the same way
when I was teaching at "Östersunds Jeet Kune Do" and it fits some,
while some people don't like that much talk for training. I really like it that
way though plus he is a really nice person too. It's great to have him
back at Tiger again!
We now have three really good trainers for the MMA/Wrestling/jiu
jitsu classes and in a few weeks, we'll get a 4th degree black belt teaching
the morning class until Brian Ebersole gets here in September!
Couldn't be better right now.. :)
...Except. My fingers are good enough to spar in the
jiu jitsu now, but last Monday I kicked one of my toes right into a guys elbow,
while doing a guard pass drill. I might have broken it, or at least sprained
it. Half my foot is still blue now, five days later. But I'll probably try to
spar on Monday anyways.
This week I've only done the technique part of the class though and helping
some beginners with their training.
The last Saturday of every month at Tiger, they are
holding a night of BBQ "all you can eat, all you can drink" and
amateur fights for Muay Thai, Boxing, and MMA. The Muay Thai fights are done
with big 16 oz gloves and shinpads and no elbows, or knees to the head. You are
still aloud to knock your opponent out though... But since none of the girls
wanted to fight her with full power, she had to accept to fight a girl with
only "light contact", promising not to try to knock her out.
I helped Emma with her preparations while the party
was going on at the other side of the gym.
I got a bit nervous while she was warming up. Almost
as if it was me who was going to fight.
She had the 4th fight of the night and Pong (her
trainer) and I was cornering her.
I think she did a really good job. I only had to
remind her of a few things that she has some problems with, and maybe she was a
bit too nice to the opponent, letting her get out of the corners, etc. instead
of getting a TKO. But she won the fight and kept pressing her opponent back the
After her fight I got asked by Wiktor if I could
corner a guy in one of the MMA fights later. It was an old boxer who doesn't
train at the gym, but he has a restaurant down the road and likes to fight
sometimes. I was mainly going to help him to keep the fight standing and to
come up with a game plan.
He kept the fight standing, circling around, throwing punches.
In the round pause, I went in to give instructions, but a drunk
"friend" of him that came into the cage and also tried to corner him. It was
really annoying and since I only had 1 minute to coach, I chose to try to corner,
instead of trying to get the drunk guy out of the cage. Wasn't all that easy
though, since the drunk guy kept interrupting me all the time.
The guy I was cornering tried to keep the drunk guy off him to be able to listen to my instructions, and Wiktor, who was referee for the fight probably didn't get that the drunk guy wasn't supposed to be cornering. So he didn't try to get him out of the cage either..
In the second round, his opponent tried to get him to
the ground and my guy caught him in a guillotine, rolled to the mount and
tapped him out with the guillotine.
I was pissed at the whole situation about the drunk guy, but at least we got off with the victory anyway...
Yesterday, after the morning training, me and Emma went to the beach for the second time since we got to Thailand. Nai Harn is our favorite beach in south Phuket, so we went there and hoped for some big waves to play in. In Nai Harn there's also a raw food restaurant, that Emma likes a lot. I usually have a hard time to get full from the food there, but they make Great strawberry cheesecake there, so it's still worth it! (It's on the same road as the "Reggae bar", where you turn to get to the beach. Just about 800 meters before the Reggae bar.) After the raw food restaurant, we took off for the beach. The picture is taken just as we arrived to the beach, before we got into the water. The water is always perfectly warm here and the waves actually got pretty big after just a few minutes in the water. There were even a few guys surfing on them. Last year, when we went home to Sweden again, sometime in May, the monsoon was just starting. But we've soon been in Phuket for two weeks and it still hasn't rained once. Feels almost like high season weather now, except maybe a bit cooler, which I don't mind. (27-30 degrees Celsius is pretty perfect anyways.. ;) Emma signed up to do a Muay Thai smoker fight at the "BBQ beat down" tomorrow. It's a BBQ that Tiger has once every month, where you can fight amateur fights in Muay Thai, Boxing, or MMA. For Muay Thai there are 16 oz gloves and shinpads, and no elbows, or knees to the head. No one wanted to fight her though, since all the girls here (except those training at the "Pro fighters area") are a bit afraid of going 100% against her. She got one girl to agree to at least do the fight as a sparring match with her. Not what she had hoped for, but better than nothing. So she won't go 100%, and she is going to be more technical rather than trying to knock the other girl out. (A bit like the class C fights in Sweden, I guess.) I'll probably be in her corner together with a Thai trainer that she has had her private lessons with. Don't really know if he understood that it's not going to be 100% though...
(The picture is of Marcelo Zingano, me and Cat Zingano.) We came here on a Saturday, so there wasn't any jiu jitsu for me until Monday morning. (No MMA/jiu jitsu training on the weekends at Tiger.) We chilled out for the weekend and went to our favorite restaurants here. Sala Mexicali is a MUST if you ever go to Phuket! They serve really great orgnic, homemade mexican food. Even the taco shells are homemade and everything taste really fresh. Most mexican restaurants have just the "taco spices" that you can buy directly from the supermarkets. Santa Maria, or Old el paso.. You know what kinds I mean... I even went there with a Mexican guy last year, who, of course was really skeptical about eating "mexican food" in Thailand. But even he was stunned about how it really tasted like Mexican food. We also had to go back to "The Family", which is an Israeli restaurant that makes Mediterranean food. Really love their malawach (Yemen pancakes) and falafel. The morning MMA/jiu jitsu class is held by Rafael Pinto, who is a Brazilian with some really nice techniques! The classes I have been to with him has had a lot of drilling basic movements in the warm ups and usually he has a few really cool techniques to show. He explains really good, so that even most of the beginners get the moves, even if they often are a bit complex. I also like it how he pays attention to everyone in the class and you can really feel how he wants people to evolve during his classes. The evening jiu jitsu is held by Wiktor Svensson and it's really been great to meet him again. It's great to have two different types of jiu jitsu taught at the same time. I think it actually will make my jiu jitsu less one dimensional. I don't do the afternoon MMA class, nor the Muay Thai for now, since I don't want to punch with my injured fingers until they are completely healed. But doing jiu jitsu two times a day is pretty nice, that too.. :) We've had some nice seminars at Tiger since I came here. Also German MMA fighter Yasubey Enomoto held the morning jiu jitsu at one time and showed some nice things from sprawling over your opponent.
His classes are run a bit different from Rafaels and his technique is also different. I think that he teaches more techniques that are less complex, but still strong.
Cat Zingano (ranked #1 in MMA in her weight class) and her husband Marcelo Zingano is here, so they have both held seminars for jiu jitsu. Both of them were really good. But I didn't participate at Cats' seminar, because of my fingers, and I didn't want to be a "bad" training partner if we would be paired up for punching drills, or stuf like that. It was only wrestling/jiu jitsu though, so I guess I could have done it.. I watched though and she had some really nice moves that she showed and she answered some questions from the students after.
Marcelo Zingano also held a seminar. He is a 3rd degree black belt who, if I understood it right, had been training with Helio Gracie when he was younger, and even fought a few times in the "Gracie challenge". Pretty cool thing, and if you don't know what the Gracie challenge is, it basically is the idea that later turned in to the first UFC. No protection and everything was legal, except biting and (mostly) no eye gouging. I think it worked out so that anyone could walk into a Gracie jiu jitsu school and challenge someone there on a fight. No matter what style of fighting the opponent had as background, or what size, they would accept the fight and win to prove that Gracie jiu jitsu was the best martial art for self defence.
(The picture is of Marcelo Zingano, me and Cat Zingano.)
We came here on a Saturday, so there wasn't any jiu jitsu for me until Monday morning. (No MMA/jiu jitsu training on the weekends at Tiger.)
We chilled out for the weekend and went to our favorite restaurants here. Sala Mexicali is a MUST if you ever go to Phuket! They serve really great orgnic, homemade mexican food. Even the taco shells are homemade and everything taste really fresh. Most mexican restaurants have just the "taco spices" that you can buy directly from the supermarkets. Santa Maria, or Old el paso.. You know what kinds I mean...
I even went there with a Mexican guy last year, who, of course was really skeptical about eating "mexican food" in Thailand. But even he was stunned about how it really tasted like Mexican food.
We also had to go back to "The Family", which is an Israeli restaurant that makes Mediterranean food. Really love their malawach (Yemen pancakes) and falafel. The morning MMA/jiu jitsu class is held by Rafael Pinto, who is a Brazilian with some really nice techniques! The classes I have been to with him has had a lot of drilling basic movements in the warm ups and usually he has a few really cool techniques to show.
He explains really good, so that even most of the beginners get the moves, even if they often are a bit complex. I also like it how he pays attention to everyone in the class and you can really feel how he wants people to evolve during his classes.
The evening jiu jitsu is held by Wiktor Svensson and it's really been great to meet him again.
It's great to have two different types of jiu jitsu taught at the same time. I think it actually will make my jiu jitsu less one dimensional. I don't do the afternoon MMA class, nor the Muay Thai for now, since I don't want to punch with my injured fingers until they are completely healed. But doing jiu jitsu two times a day is pretty nice, that too.. :) We've had some nice seminars at Tiger since I came here.
Also German MMA fighter Yasubey Enomoto held the morning jiu jitsu at one time and showed some nice things from sprawling over your opponent.
We have been talking back and forth about moving back
to train at "Tiger Muay Thai and MMA" in Phuket again, like we did
for 6 months last year.
We are not the biggest fans of big tourist places, like Phuket. But the
training there is really great, once you get to know which trainers that fit
you. And also, we are friends with some guys there, like Wiktor Svensson, one
of the coaches there for MMA and Jiu jitsu.
Also, Brian Ebersole is taking over as the head MMA coach at Tiger, and I
overstayed my Visa last year, just to be able to go to his seminar there. He
was a really nice guy, and the seminar was one of the best seminars I've ever
But the main reason to move, would be that the Thai trainers at Legacy don't
have enough English skills to understand a lot of the questions asked about the
techniques and to tell you how you should change the things you are doing
Of course it would work itself out anyways, after a while. But Emma hasn't been
fighting long enough to be able to see her own faults in the same way as people
who has been doing it for a while, and therefore she would evolve much faster
if she has trainers who corrects her, if she is doing something wrong.
I think that Legacy has it's good things too, and is
probably better for some guys. But we feel that Tiger has more of the important
things we are looking for in a gym. And, since we are living together, the rent
for our own little (new and really fresh) house 800 meters away from Tiger would
only be 5000 baht each/month. So together with the training cost for 6 months
(with the 10% off for returning guests), we would only pay 13.000 baht each per
month, instead of 20.000 baht each (plus 3000 for adding MMA classes) for
staying in one of the rooms at Legacy. No food, or laundry included in the
price at Tiger though. But since it's 10.000 baht cheaper per month for me, (7000
baht cheaper for Emma, since she doesn't do MMA) that money can go to eating
whatever I like anyway.
There are different possibilities to fight in Phuket
compared to Ubon. I kind of like the fights in Ubon, since it's more
"urban". (If that word would fit in..?) In Phuket, the fighting
events are often more "tourist friendly". I haven't fought there, so
I might be wrong. But the audience have a high percentage of Farang tourists,
who goes to the fights as a tourist attraction and might not be as
"into" the fighting, as the Thais watching the fights in Ubon. But in
Ubon, when we fight, we only get between 500-1000 baht per fight. I guess that
the promoter (Lai for example) takes the rest of the money that the event is
In Phuket, I've heard that you usually get between 3000-6000 baht per fight,
depending on where you fight.
And also.. Tiger is very clean! It's actually concidered "the cleanest gym
in Thailand", with its own cleaning staff, who cleans all the mats and
bags after each training session!
There is still a big problem with some people getting staph infections at Tiger
though. Mainly because they don't know the standard procedure to keep the
bacteria away. (I'll get to that procedure later, for those who are getting to
train in a warm and humid country like Thailand.)
Legacy is a really dirty gym. The dirtiest I've ever been to actually.. (Not
that I've seen more than maybe 8 gyms in Thailand. But still...)
But even if it's dirty, the staph problem there is much smaller than at Tiger.
I guess it's because of the amount of "new" people that come to Tiger
to train everyday, that don't get the importance of following the guidelines
for keeping the staph away.
We sent the motorbike down to Phuket by mail on the 15th of June and left
Legacy to fly down to Phuket on the 16th.
Jom from Ja Ja's house picked us up at the airport and drove us to the house
behind his restaurant, and it felt really luxurious compared to the rooms at Legacy!
Just things like having a flush button on the toilet, our own sink and having a
quiet area around the house feels really nice, since we've practically lived in
a trashy apartment for the last two months.
The street where Tiger is has changed a lot since we were here last year.
Another MMA gym opened up just down the road from Tiger. (which I personally
think is a bit weird, since Thailand is a big country and there aren't almost
any MMA gyms here. So why open up a "competition" on the same road,
instead of spreading the MMA scene in the country?) And the other Muay Thai gym
on the road has doubled its area.
Those two reasons have made the street now being overflowed with new hotels,
restaurants, massage places and even two pharmacies. All that in just about one
Positive thinking only! This was going to go well..
After the afternoon training ajarn Lai was gonna go home and get his pickup to drive us to the fights and we "weren't gonna have time to eat at Legacy, since he was gonna be fast."
2,5 hours later he showed up again without the car and wanted us to take our motorbikes to his house, where the car was. About 40 minutes away..
After some discussion we decided to take a taxi to his house instead and then the ride from there was about 40 minutes more.
I went in the front seat with Lai, and the rest of the guys went at the back of the pickup, Thai style.
I had my head phones in and listened to music all the way while focusing on mental preparations for the fight.
When we arrived to the indoor arena, and we could hear the loud cheers from the audience inside during the fights, I started to get a bit nervous.
I had about 1,5 hours before my fight, and Dhom was having his fight just before mine.
After Dhom had his hands wrapped, Lai helped me to wrap my hands properly and the I went into my own "zone" and tried to focus on my game plan.
About three fights before mine, I got a lot of thai oil rubbed into my whole body and a quick massage, to loosen me up. Then it was time for a little shadow boxing on the spot to start to warm up a bit.
Because the fighters don't have any locker rooms to warm up in, the Thais don't usually do much shadow boxing, or pads before their fights. Because they will have people from the audience, and sometimes even their opponent watching them while they warm up.
I had a lot of children watching me getting ready. They're not so used to Farangs (westerners) fighting, so it's a little bit as if the circus has come to town when we fight.. :)
While Dhom had his fight, I was shadowboxing on the spot with a towel over my head, getting focused and trying to keep whatever happened around me off my mind.
After Dhoms third round Emma told me to get ready, since it was almost my turn.
Dhom got his nose broken and got TKO'd in the fourth round, so I got a little bit in a hurry to get over there.
Zebaztian and Lai came to me and told me to hurry up in the ring.
The towel I had on my head and shoulders had dried off almost all my vaseline though, so I told them to help me get some more on before I got up in the ring. Not much time, so I only had time to get some on me, but it would have to do.
We walked through the audience and I got up in the ring and sat down to get my gloves taped on. I think they were 8 oz gloves, but they might have been 6 oz also..
At the other side of the ring, I see that the "45 year old, Whiskey whiskey..." was instead a much younger and fit Thai, who probably was in his best fighting years now.
I felt a bit cheated, since much of my confidence going in to the fight was from knowing that I was gonna fight a "retired" fighter.
Well... That's maybe what to expect for signing for a fight with a guy named "Lie".
It's usually made a little bit as a dance. But when the farangs fight, we usually just walk around the ring and bow to the corners where the trainers are.
I get back to the corner and they take off my "flower necklace".
We both get into fighting position and the referee starts the first out of five rounds.
He kicked me a few times on my front leg, which didn't really hurt that much most of the times, since I turned my knee out to block the kicks a bit.. Not really the correct way of blocking, but at least he didn't get to kick me on the side of the knee cap.
He got one pretty good inside leg kick though, that I stumbled on for a few seconds.
It was really hard to get close enough to jab, since he used his teep (front kick/push kick) all the time, as soon as I got close to him.
I got two side kicks in on him and a few really sloppy punches, but except that, I didn't really try to do much in the first round.
Well.. I did some taunting for him only trying to kick my legs all the time. A bit bad sportsmanship maybe, but it's almost as a Thai tradition at the fights in Ubon, so I feel like I mainly played their game. (Sorry karma...)
After that, I guess that he got his adrenaline up, cause he started to put a lot of pressure on me and attacked a lot in a frenzy of moves for a bit and pushed me back. He didn't really connect with anything though and then he tried a high kick, which I spun away from, so he fell on the ground from it.
After he got up he ran towards me, and drove me into a corner, where he started to throw elbows, which I answered by punching him with my over hand again.. He cut me a little bit on my head there, and big over the left eye brow. And I only connected good with two of those over hand punches that I threw.
We got into a clinch and I tried to throw him down, but he slipped out and attacked me with a punch, which I blocked and dove under his arms for a clinch and threw him down to the ground.
When he got up he went on me again with punches that I blocked and I connected again with a big over hand.
He chased me to the other side of the ring and I tried an exhausted over hand again, since they had connected pretty good before. I missed though and he tried to kick me with a round kick that I grabbed the hold of and did a single leg takedown which had him flying down to the ground one more time.
When he gets up and I punch him again, he goes in for the clinch on the side of me, so I try to get him to the ground. He holds on tight to me though, so when he fell, he dragged me down with him and held on to me for a few seconds..
I think he got one or two elbows in, and I got one, or two up elbows in as exchange for those.
He then had me backed up in the corner again and I escaped to the side, but had my side turned to him, so I attacked with a really telegraphing back elbow, which, of course didn't connect. At least he had to block that instead of attacking me though.. :)
After that I got one more up elbow in, followed by a punch.
He got after me and tried to elbow me at the same time as I tried to punch him, which made us both miss.
We were both pretty exhausted here and he backed off, but I got my adrenaline up really high, so I just went forward on him and he started to walk away from me, so I gave him a fist bump to get him to get into the fight again. I think we gave the audience some value for their money in that round, but none of us had much energy left to attack for the last seconds before the round was over.
I started to feel really tired in my shoulders though and maybe I should have started to kick him more here, but I kept my strategy to punch more, even if I got some kicks in on him.
I started off the third round by aiming a side kick to his face when he went forward to attack me. But I missed and connected only right below his throat, I think.
When he kicked after that, I grabbed his leg and held it up as I walked forward, punching him with my right fist over and over again, until the referee pulled me away from him while he was laying down towards the corner, while I kept punching him.
I don't know if it was correct of the referee to do that, and if he didn't, I'm sure that I would have knocked him out, or at least have TKO'd him, if he didn't.
I wasn't bright enough to put pressure on him directly after, while he was stunned, and he bought himself enough time to recover, and the tried to kick me again, and I caught the kick deep, but again, wasn't bright enough to keep him on punching distance to continue the "berserking", so he clinched up to me and the referee broke us apart right away.
The rest of the round he just kept me away from him with his front kicks, so not much more action there..
I was really tired in my right shoulder, so I didn't have enough strength to throw the cross punch. So when he tried to teep me the next time, I moved to the side and grabbed his foot and again just tried to swing at him with my right hand. Not technical at all. And when the fist got to the other side of his face, I tried to elbow him, or throw a back fist on the way back. I think I connected with two of my back elbows, even if they weren't very clean.
I threw him down one more time during the round. Except from that, the round was pretty much wild swings, because of the lack of strength in my shoulders.
Once again... Since I wasn't tired at all in my legs, I should've thrown more kicks instead.
The last round was only for 2 minutes, as a Thai standard for these fights. I didn't know that and didn't really put enough pressure on for the last round, as I should have. He kept on teeping me away when I tried to get close. And I only attacked with some punches and some side kicks. And then with a spinning back kick, which missed the target.
And then... the fight was over and he won by decision.
Back at the bamboo mat by the wall, there was a Thai who came to look at my cuts and asked me to come with him to get stitches on them.
He led me out to the parking lot and to a pickup truck there, where I laid down on the back of the car and another Thai was using a flash light, so he could see the cuts while he stitched me up.
I got 5 stitches over my eyebrow and one on top of my head.
It felt really awkward to be stitched up like that, since I'm used to Swedish standards for medical care. And now I was out on the back of a truck, in the rain and without any painkillers.
He did a really good job with the stitches though.
I have been too lazy about my blog lately... Sorry about that.
I've still had some problems with my shins, which has made me not being able to run so much, and I've just jumped on a big tire instead of the rope skipping at the warm ups.
Over the last month I've been to a few fights around Ubon when some guys from the gym have fought Muay Thai here. (I'll put Zebaztians fight on here.)
A few weeks ago I got asked by the "Ajarn" (head coach) at Legacy if I wanted to fight at a small stadium in Ubon, because he had an opponent for me.
I said that I wasn't sure, since I still couldn't train fully because of my shin splints, and I wanted to feel at my best if I was about to fight with full Thai rules. He answered that it was no problem, because the opponent was supposed to be about 45 year old and probably a "Whiskey fighter", which would mean that, even if he probably has over 200 fights behind him from his youth, he would be out of shape now and probably be a trainer who fights to get money for whiskey.
"No problem.. You win for sure! You strong. He old, whiskey whiskey!"
I thought about it for a day and later told ajarn Lai that I'd take the fight, which was going to be 2 weeks later.
I gradually started to train harder and harder, and the last 10 days I trained about 5 hours a day, mainly to get my cardio up and to prepare a fight strategy together with Zebaztian.
I was told by Zebaztian that I probably would be best off to work on my boxing and mainly use that to knock my opponent out, since they are concentrating more on kicks and mostly don't have as good hands. And usually, the only way to win over the Thais is to win by KO, or TKO. The Thais are usually pretty fast at blocking round kicks also, so I wouldn't bother throwing any of those.
The first round I was going to go slow and not attack too much, try to learn his moves and save my energy for the rest of the fight.. Mainly because it was going to be my first fight and it's good to not feel too exhausted after the first round.
The second round I was going to start off easy and later try to put more pressure on and start to work for the knock out with my hands.
My shin splints still got me some problems for the training, so I still didn't do any rope skipping, but ran at least a little bit every day to build up my cardio. I skipped the morning cardio classes and went to a weight lifting gym instead, since I wasn't able to do all the exercises at Legacy anyway.
My right leg is not getting better.. It feels good sometimes when I'm not
training. But as soon as I start running for the warm up, it starts to hurt
Been asking a few guys around the gym about it and they all think it's
something called "Shin splints", or as the medical term is; "Periostitis".
Something that you can get if you run, or jump a lot, or on hard surfaces. And
the first week I probably trained too hard, since I have been out of training
for about a month before leaving Sweden, with running and skipping rope as warm
up every session.
I am eating Diklofenac (the same ingredient that's in Voltaren) and using
Diklofenac cream on my leg now. Plus I have to give rest to the leg for a few
weeks, with no running or jumping.
If it feels better in the weekend, I am going to start training light, but
without running or skipping rope, next week.
This week, I'll have to rest though, and maybe take a jiu jitsu technique
private with Marcus and do some weight training with the old and rusty training
equipment that we have at the gym. ;)
Worst case scenario is that it won't get better from
resting and using anti inflammatory pills and creams, and I'll have to get surgery
and cut my shins. Which would get me of training totally for at least two
months from now. Don't think it'll go that far though, if I take care.
(Note to self: "Don't rush too fast into training
hard next time I've had some time off from training!")
Forgot to mention that we went to watch Kim fight last week!
Kim is one of the Thais that get to live together in a room at Legacy and train
and eat as long as they fight every now and then for the gym.
Me and Emma got picked up by Kim´s dad at about 8.45 PM and sat at the back of
his pickup truck together with Kim and another Thai who trains here and
sometimes holds pads for us.
The event was about 12 km away from the gym and was something that is usually
referred to as a "village fight". Which pretty much means that it is
outside on a field, where they put up walls and food stands and build up the
ring just for the night.
Kind of like a moving circus.
The audience was only Thai, except for me and Emma, and of course we got a lot
of attention from them for that. More and more the further into the night and their
"drunkness" we got. They wanted to shake hands and share their
whiskey or beers with us.
The first couple of fights were kids fights, where the
kids were between maybe 6 and 11 years old. And they were also going full
contact trying to knock each other out while the audience were betting on them
and shouting on them to go harder. I don't really like the whole thing about
kids trying to knock each other out in front of a drunk, betting audience, but
at least they don't kick at all as hard as the grown ups do, and I don't think
they're allowed to use elbows. The
referee also breaks the fight faster if someone looks like they're not
protecting themselves correctly from being knocked out. But still...
Kim had the last fight on the fight card and two fights
before his he started to get ready. They didn't get a room to get changed in,
so they were just getting ready on bamboo mats by the walls that surrounded the
It was a pretty even fight even though Kim was
probably winning the first rounds by being the more aggressive fighter, pushing
the other guy back a bit and getting more clean hits in. For some reason, Kim
was not kicking with his left leg. Don't know if it was hurt from before, or
At the end of the 4th round, Kim lowered his guard a bit and the other guy got
one clean punch right on his chin and knocked him out for a few seconds, which
won him the fight.
Even if Kim was winning every round up 'til then, it only takes one good punch
to change everything.
In Sweden, you have to stay out, even from sparring for a few weeks if you get
knocked out. But Kim was having another fight just two or three days later,
which he won btw.
The "hole" under my foot kept me from
training for two days, and then I started training again, but with shoes. Got
some more problems with my right leg though, where the bump from sparring were.
I think it's mostly from skipping rope and running though, and from training too
intense the first week here. I'm not used to train this much and should've
started off easier to not get injured.
We felt like it has been hard to recover between training
sessions because of the heat in the room. I have usually fallen asleep about
1.30 AM and the training bell rings at 6.30 in the morning.
And because of how warm the room has been, we have gone to the shopping malls
during the days to cool down, instead of hanging in the room to recover, like
we should. And every time we go out anywhere, it costs money. So we thought
that it would be cheaper to just pay the extra 3000 baht each per month for
having a room with air condition instead.
We got shown to a room upstairs where the air con rooms are and took a good 1,5
hours to really clean it before we started to move in there.
When we were finally done and were trying to turn on the air con... it was of
So one of the Thai girls that work at the gym showed us into the next room, and
we weren't too happy about that, since we put so much work into cleaning the
first room. (And that room even hade Disney princesses on the walls in the
But when we saw that the previous guy that had lived in the room had left a
fridge there for us, when he had moved, we didn't really feel sad about moving
Ok.. The fridge was really dirty, so it too needed about half an hour of cleaning,
before we dared to put anything in it. But now we have a fridge! Cool water 24
hours a day, and we can buy some food and fruit to keep in the room now.. :)
I think our bodies have really needed to cool down. We
almost slept away the whole first day, and it was so nice!
And now we can relax and watch movies and tv series while we recover from the
training, instead of running around on the motor bike and just eat stuff all
Food here in Ubon isn't as good as it was in Phuket, I
It's mostly just strong and sour... (Except from in the gym, where it's just
We bought some red curry paste to put in the food at the gym though, and that
actually helped. Probably gonna buy some other curry pastes and spices too for
Yesterday (Sunday) me and Emma went to one of the many
restaurants close to the gym, where there usually is a lot of people eating in
the evenings. Emma has wanted to try one of the restaurants where they have
pillows on the ground to sit on, instead of just chairs. So we did that.
And it happened to be really good!
They had some kind of fondue and also Korean BBQ, which I was trying while
training in Phuket. So we ordered the BBQ and got a lot of food that you grill
yourselves on a metal thing, which is placed over fire. Then you pour sauces
over the things you grill and it marinates them. Then the marinade goes down to
flavor the soup that you are cooking below.
The food only cost us 150 baht together, and is probably the best I've eaten
since I came to Ubon.
This Saturday I was sparring again and kicked my foot
right into an elbow so it started to swell.. I've been taking some pills that
are similar to Voltaren to get the swelling down and today it's just bruised. Still
hurts a bit. But after I've trained some more, my body will hopefully adjust to
the roughness I bring to it, and stops getting injured all the time.
Today I ran a bit by the lake in the morning and then
helped Marcus to clean the cage for MMA practice.
The Chinese guy don't like helping around too much, and was just sitting
outside the cage drinking his red bull while we were cleaning it. Karma will
get him some day... ;)
We practiced some guillotines from being sprawled over the opponent and then
some guillotine escapes. I thought that I already knew how to do a proper
guillotine, but I actually learned quite a bit from Marcus.
When we rolled after, I gave him my thanks by accidentally elbowing him in the
nuts. Sorry for that... But at least I offered to go get him some tiger balm to
ease the pain.
Today I did both the morning Muay Thai and the
afternoon Muay Thai.
We started the morning by running maybe 4 km by the lake and then some shadow
boxing and hitting the heavy bag as warm up. The other guys skipped rope after running,
but my right leg was in some pain from all the skipping last week, so I didn't
have to do that today.
I think my foot work is getting better already, and I
am getting my hip force more into the punches than before. Still too slow with
my leg blocks though, but I'll be working on that when my cardio gets better.
After the warm up I got to train with Boo again, holding the pads for me. He is
old and doesn't know much English, but he is still finding good ways to correct
my mistakes by using body language.
One of his teeth flew out from one of my kicks on the pads. A little bit funny
I think. he just laughed, picked it up from the mat and put it back in again. :)
After the training and the breakfast me and Emma went to the tourist police in
Ubon, to see if they could help us to get a paper for the registration of the
motorbike, where they should sign that we were living at Legacy gym. As usual
in Thailand, it took them about 45 minutes and three people to print out a
paper (which they already had pre made in the computer) and fill in Emmas name
and the address to Legacy.
Went to a random thai restaurant by the lake, close to the gym after that and
tried to order some food, using the little thai we know.
All the signs and menus were in thai, with the thai letters, so they aren't
much help for us when choosing, and I don't want to just point out a random
thing on the menu and get something nasty and raw.
We actually got out of the girl in the restaurant that they didn't have any
chicken (Gai) and no restaurant seem to make any Penang Curry, so we just
ordered one of the dishes I know the name of in thai, and that almost all
restaurants have. Which is "Phad bai kra paow moo", or "fried thai
basil with pork". And she asked us about "phed", which is spicy,
in thai. So we said "Phed nid noi, na krup", which means "a
little bit spice, thank you". I feel a little bit proud of myself, since
that's about the longest conversation I've had in thai so far. But last time,
when we were in Phuket, almost all the Thai people knew enough English for us
to not have to talk so much thai. Here, almost no one knows more than maybe
"Yes" or "No".
Got a bit sleep before the afternoon class, where we
ran maybe 5 km first and then the same warm up as always.
I was limping on my right leg, and felt that I kinda wanted to take it a bit
The head trainer (and fight promoter) had me go up and spar in the ring this
time, where mainly the Pro fighters spar.
First 3 rounds were ok. I sparred with Markus, the jiu jitsu black belt, and we
were sparring in a good tempo, I think. And it didn't feel like he had to prove
anything, or so. So it was good. And he is the same size as me as well, so I
didn't fly one meter for each punch he got on me.
After that, I sparred with the big Chinese guy, and even though the trainers
are always on him about sparring lighter, he still gets more and more intense for
each minute, so I have to keep up the intensity as well. And at the end of the
rounds it's kind of getting more and more into a brawl, which I have no problem
with, with someone my own size. But when someone out weighs you by over 15 kg,
or is a lot better, it's not as fun.
Since we were starting to hit and kick harder and harder, I was giving him a
half hard leg kick, which he blocked with his knee, right where I was already hurt,
and I got a little bump on my leg, so we went a little slower for about a
minute until it went into a brawl again...
The last round was with the biggest guy in the gym,
which I actually really didn't want to spar today. Especially not now when I
was hurt even more. I was, as we say in Sweden, "flying like a little
glove" every time he punched me. And he had really good accuracy. And
since he was sparring really unorthodox, I had big problems blocking his
punches and getting my own in on him.
Every time I stopped protecting anywhere, he was right there with his fists,
pushing me backwards. Making me feel a
little bit like just target practice, even though I got a few punches in.
I was actually a bit afraid that I would get hurt from those rounds with him,
since I was so owned. But got out of there alive, so I guess he had good
I thought it was finished after that.. I sure was anyway. But the head trainer
was getting us in to the ring again for clinch sparring. I sparred with Boo,
the trainer, and then with Kim, the little thai guy who is fighting this week.
He is really strong and could probably have kneed me unconscious at least five
times during the three rounds we did.
Except for the bump on my right leg, I lost some skin
under my left foot, from a big blister that broke during the training. It's
gonna keep me from training anything barefoot for a while, until it's healed.
After the training I did 200 sit ups, as we usually do,
and then it was time for showering and the dinner buffet.
Tomorrow is cardio in the morning, which I would skip
even if I wasn't hurt. I'm gonna take some pictures of Emma for an article
about her in our hometowns biggest newspaper. :)
(The picture added is from the mobile phone store at Big C. Thailands newest brand name "j-fone"! Wonder what apple thinks of that one..) ;)
I got my first MMA training two days ago, since Marcus
(the head coach for MMA here) is back at the gym again. The class wasn't so
big. Only about 4 people... But it's kinda nice since we get a lot of space to
train in the cage.
Marcus jiu jitsu is really good and relaxed. Everytime I try to move an inch,
it's like I'm giving him 10 new submissions. It's really good for me that he is
my size also (about 70 kg), since all the black belts I've trained with before
has been at least 10-20 kg heavier than me.
I feel that I am out of my game on the ground.. Probably since I haven't really
trained in over a month, because I've had so much to do with work and selling
the apartment at home, and my sickness of course. Not trying to make excuses
for my mistakes, but I know that I'm giving away more than I'm supposed to and
I think to long before I act than I usually do. Thinking about starting to read
through my "jiu jitsu journal" where I write down all the things I
learn, just so I can refresh my memory a bit.
I talked to Marcus before the first class about the possibility to fight MMA in
Asia. He said that maybe I could fight in Malaysia or Singapore at some MMA
events over there. Or maybe in China.
Not sure that I want to fight in China though, because they usually make
mismatches and have the referee break up the fighters when the "non
Chinese" fighter is having an advantage, just to make it easier for the
Chinese fighter to win. And if it goes the distance, it doesn't really matter
how well the foreign fighter was doing, since it's almost always gonna be the
Chinese fighter that gets the judges' decision. And also, I don't feel like I'm
at that level of fighting yet, that the Pro fights in China usually have. Maybe
at the end of the year! :)
The first MMA class we were starting to beat up Vaughn with G'n'P (Ground and
pound, or "strikes on the ground"). He had a helmet on and every
person had 2 minutes each on him, without letting him get any rest. We did that
for a while and then we had g'n'p sparring working 2 and 2.
The second MMA class was offense and defense up against the cage. The person
with the back against the cage was suppose to try and reverse the positions or
get off the cage and the other guy was trying to get a takedown.
I felt that I actually did pretty good, since I haven't done much cage
training. Of course Vaughn did smash me a bit and did some pretty hard
takedowns.. I guess he is starting to get more and more into fight mode and
sometimes I guess his "fight mode rage" takes over a bit. It's ok though.
I try to be a good training partner even though it might hurt sometimes. ;)
After the training I sat down with the Chinese guy and talked a bit. He told me
some things about China and how it works with the martial arts there, and I
"kinda" learned how to pronounce "jeet kune do" the right
way. (Or "ONE right way" at least..) Not at all like I've said it
before when I've been training at "Östersunds Jeet Kune Do".
Then I went to the boxing ring and had some clinch sparring with the Thai
trainers and two of the younger Muay Thai fighters, where one (I think his name
was Kim) is having a fight in just a few days and the other one is also
fighting MMA with 6 fights already.
It was really hard to get Kim to lower his head at all and to get any space to
get my knees in on him, even though he probably weighs only about 60 kg.
Had a lot of fun clinching with an older trainer named Boo. I am not really
good at clinching. But since I can use some things from wrestling, when I have
my underhooks in, as long as I don't trip him with my legs, I could still throw
him around some. And I even got some Thai clinch right and some knees.
We also bought that motorbike that we were looking at the other day. A blue "Yamaha
Nano" which costs only about 130 baht (30 kr) to fill up with gas.
Today is Sunday and Sundays are "lazy days" with no group training at
Legacy, so me and Emma went to "Pizza Company" to eat pizza instead.
Then we went to Big C again to buy some stuff and bought a big box with
Electrolytes, which is a powder with salts and minerals to put in the drinking
water if you sweat a lot. Essential if you train in a warm country, or you'll
get dehydrated really fast and start to get tired.
After that we went to get our second massage. There is only one lady in there
to give massage, but she looks at me and says "you, sleep" and points
at another mattress when she is giving Emma her massage. Pretty nice that too,
since they have really good airconditioning there. So I slept and watched a Thai
game show on tv while Emma got her massage.
Later we went to a nearby thai restaurant and ate a lot of thai food. After
we've been here for a bit longer we might have to try some of the local gourmet
dishes like "red ant and green trea ant soup", or the "snake
head fish soup"... They also had some dishes with raw pork or "raw marinated
prawns with spices". I might skip on the raw things though... ;)
Emma is already sleeping now and it's about time for me too. Tomorrow she is
gonna run the whole lake (8 km) before class. I'm gonna be lazy and just run a
few km. My body still hurts just from the training I'm doing right now. I'll
raise the bar whenever I'll get used to this training. No need to rush start
This morning I went up a little bit late at around 7
and went to help Vaughn "The Blud" Anderson to prepare for his
upcoming MMA fight at a pro MMA event in
Australia in two weeks.
Since the other MMA guys were out of the gym for a few days he was happy that
there was someone here that he could spar with.
He did some circuit MMA cardio training that I helped him with where he needed
someone to work with and then we rolled (Sparring for Jiu jitsu/grappling) for
a few rounds and threw some punches in the mix for the last rounds.
He is 88 kg, about 20 kg heavier than me and whenever he got on top of me and
started to punch, I really had to work to defend myself and trying to maintain,
or getting my guard back.
I think I did pretty well, even though I was really exhausted after just a few
minutes. I think I am a bit dehydrated and might have lost some salts from
sweating so much. (Not taking anything away from Vaughn. I just felt really exhausted after the excersize.)
Later, me and Emma went with the motorbike to Big C (one of the three big super
malls in town) to buy some more stuff for the room.
And just before Big C was a big roof with a clothes market inside where we I
bought a T-shirt for 180baht (40 kr) and a pair och sunglasses for 50baht (12
We have been thinking about buying ourselves a motorbike, since renting an old one
for a whole year is going to be more expensive than buying a used
"new" motorbike, even if we don't even get to sell it when we leave.
We went to a Yamaha reseller and tried to speak with them. But since they
didn't know any English we had to use their computer and surf into Google
translate, where we were communicating by typing sentences in English or Thai
and hitting the translate button.
Every problem has a solution, right? :)
Anyway, we were shown into a garage behind the store, where they had some pre
owned motorbikes for sale and asked for a manual motorbike.
They had a pretty nice motorbike that felt really strong to drive and looked
really new. It had went 10.000 km already, but was only about 5 months old. The
price was put down from 36.800 baht to 26.500 baht, so it felt like a fare
We might go back there again tomorrow and buy it. :)
The head coach for the MMA training, Marcus Waters is
back at the gym again, Vaughn said tonight, so I might go to MMA training on
Saturday and try to get my ground game back again after the long absence from
Marcus is a black belt under Carlos Machado (a legend in bjj), so it's going to
be really interesting to see how he is going to improve my ground game. :)
Time to eat some sweet Pomelo now and then hit the bed!
I'm slowly starting to adjust to the heat down here in
Ubon Ratchathani. The flight here from Sweden wasn't all that bad actually,
even though it was a hellishly long trip. (A little over 22 hours from leaving
Stockholm until we arrived at the airport in Ubon.)
The last night in Sweden was really nice, being in Globen at the first UFC
event to be held in my home country. I got goosebumps all over and a quite nice
heart rate as Alexander Gustafsson completely owned Thiago Silva!
After the UFC we went out to eat with Peter and took a Taxi to the airport
where we slept really well. Both me and Emma were exausted from the last weeks
of stress from working and getting my apartment ready to sell. (That I've been
sick the last three weeks hasn't really helped either...)
We actually had a gym included with our room at Arlanda airport, so we got to
work out a little bit before leaving Sweden.
Last time we went to Thailand we flew with Air Berlin, and it SUCKED! No leg
space and pretty bad food and service..
This time we went with Qatar Airways, and it was a totally different
experience. There is an "entertainment box" with a tv for each seat,
where you can choose between about 100 movies and there are even some video
games to play. And the food is actually pretty good for airplane food.
Had to wait 7 hours in Bangkok at the airport there.. (Suvarnubumhumhumhum...
something.) It wasn't all that nice. Especially since we were almost all the
way to our destination.
When we arrived at Legacy Gym (www.legacygym.com) with the taxi at about 9.30
PM, it was dark and the gym looked closed. There were a few "guarding
dogs" behind the gates, that were barking frenetically at us, and felt
After about 2 minutes came a girl and opened up the gates and let us inside and
showed us through the gym and out through another gate at the back to a small
street. At the other side of the street was the house with our room. She showed
us the room and left us for the night.
The room didn't look that comfy at first, but we knew that in beforehand, that
it was going to be low standard.
Two beds, a wardrobe and two small tables and a tv. And two fans on the walls
to make the room a little bit cooler.
There is a sink and a toilet plus a hot water shower outside the back door. And
since we aren't here to hang around in a five star hotel room, it's actually
quite enough. We're thinking about buying some new curtains for the room though
and maybe put some pictures on the wall to make it a bit more personal.
We were exhausted and probably fell asleep just a few minutes after getting in
bed. I woke up at about 1.30AM though and thought that it was morning already,
even though I was really tired. Damn jet lag...
Fell asleep again and woke up at 7 again.
In the morning we went out to watch the morning Muay Thai (Thai boxing)
I think there were only about 4 people there training today and most of them
were beginners. Later on I got the explanation that some fighters were
competing in different Muay Thai and MMA events and that they would be back in
a few days. And some guys were still tired from celebrating Song Kran (the Thai
new year) all weekend.
After the morning training there is a buffé with thai food. The food though is
really "Falang spicy", which is basically the same as "not spicy
at all". Except the lack of taste, the food here is good. But I would
personally prefer if it wasn't made like it was made so my grandma could eat
it. Thai food is not thai food without at least some spicyness!
Since we were tired from the last weeks stress and the
loooong trip here we decided to take the first day off training and rented a
motor bike to drive to Tesco Lotus and another big mall to buy some stuff for
the room and to check out the area. We ate at a Japanese restaurant called
"Fuji" and went to a Spa & swimming pool at the roof on the other
The second day we slept in just a little bit, so we
didn't have to do the long warm up run around the lake before the morning Muay
Thai training. We only ran about 15 minutes and the air was actually cooler
than I first had thought. After that we skipped rope about 25 minutes before
Then we each got one trainer to hold thai pads or focus mitts for us for a few
rounds. My trainers name was Kong and even though he wasn't all that good at
english, he still pointed out some of my many "errors" and showed me
how to do instead. I could really feel the badness of my cardio and my
shoulders started to get tired even from the rope skipping, and it became hard
to punch with any power or hold my guard up during the mitts session.
I know that it's mostly from being sick the last few weeks and also from the
exhausting trip here and that in about a month I will probably feel better
again, as long as I push myself gradually harder and harder.
After the mitts training it was time to hit the heavy bags, then some more
shadow boxing before doing 200 situps. Between each round of everything we also
did 20 pushups or situps..
I am glad that the training wasn't all that hard today and Kong actually even
did let me rest a bit sometimes in the middle of the rounds. He knew that I
just had arrived and could probably see how bad my cardio was..
Emmas trainer was a fight promotor and he had asked both me and Emma if we were
going to fight while in Thailand. He had later told Emma that he was going to
ask in the weekend if there were going to be a fight ready for her in about a
month. He even wanted me to fight. but I feel that I want to get my cardio up
before even thinking about competing full contact. I don't want to be
slaughtered for not competing at my best...
After the training we ate at the buffé and later went to get massage about 500
meters away from the gym. The massage place was just next to a car cleaner who
thought that we came to clean the motorbike. We tried to explain to them that
we only wanted massage. But they didn't even know one word english, so he just
moved the bike to the side and started washing it. I had to take them to the
massage sign and use a lot of hand expressions before they understood.
The massage was really good and the lady smeared a lot of tiger balm (or
"chaike paam", as she said with her, not so good english) on me to
make my muscles loose.
We skipped the afternoon Muay Thai, since we don't want to train to hard the
first two weeks, while getting used to the hot climate.
I use Sun lotion Lvl 60 and still I use after sun cream to cool down and
rehydrate the skin during the night, and I think I already have lost some salts
and minerals from sweating a lot, so it's probably a good idea to start slow
and listen to the body, before starting to train hard.
I am in no hurry, since we're staying for over a year. I will have plenty of
time to train hard later.
We went to a small restaurant just next to our house. (The only restaurant
close to the gym btw.)
Except for the Pad Thais we ordered they accidentally also made some Isaan
style food for us, that I only asked about. Only cost us about 10 kr (70 cents)
extra though, so it didn't mather to much. It was really nasty though. Some kind
of minced pork and pork liver in a lot of spices and some kind of sourness...
We went and bought some potato chips after that and sat at the gym, eating them
and trying to get some salts back in my body, while watching two guys train.
Over all I like the gym. It's more relaxed and kind of
a "family feeling" where they even trust us to take what we want in
the store as long as we write down on a piece of paper how much we owe them.
Hopefully there is going to be harder training for us when we get our cardios
up, and I think so. They probably let us train light now since we haven't
adjusted to the heat yet.
The main down at the gym is that it feels dirty. There are dirt, bird poop, and
dog hairs at the mats on the floor and many of the heavy bags are broken. The
main ring and the MMA cage are nice and clean though.
But since I got staph infections during my last visit in Thailand, I am a
little bit insecure about training when I feel that the training area (or the
people training there) isn't clean. Shouldn't be too hard to give the mats a
good swab once in a while...
But still.. The trainers seem nice and most things here are pretty good. So, as
long as I don't get a staph infection from the gym, I should be happy with my
The afternoon Muay Thai is almost done now and we're soon off to eat at the