Ever since I stepped foot in to the Muay Thai gym I heard fellow team mates talking about how amazing Thailand was but how intense the training regime was for fighters out there.
So I soon became obsessed with watching Thais training on YouTube especially Buakaw, I admired the way he smashed the pads so fluently. I then met and started training with my trainer Parnpetch Sitpraphom (Sasiprapa) who was ex Rajadamnern champion and won awards for being the most exciting fighter on the most popular Muay Thai channel in Thailand – Channel 7. He moved to England to be with his wife Chrissy who only lived 5 minutes down the road from me! I always used to pick Parnpetchs brains about anything Muay Thai related and he used to share some amazing but eye opening stories with me about his time as a fighter in Thailand. I HAD to go see it for myself!
My parents had finally given in to me pestering them about going to Thailand to train, it was the only thing I thought and talked about so they saved up the money for me to go.
I was amazed and knew straight away I was going to fall in love with this place.
When me and my dad landed in Bangkok I couldn’t believe my little eyes, yellow, pink and green taxis everywhere, a man in a hi-vis blowing his whistle unnecessarily every second waving some mad lightsaber looking thing at tourists and taxi drivers it was all a bit mad!
We then headed to Ladprao 130 to the world famous Sasiprapa gym. On the way to the gym my jaw was dropping… 3 fucking people and their dog per motorbike, about 20 lads sat in the back of a pickup truck on the highway?! Surely not? I was amazed and knew straight away I was going to fall in love with this place.
About an hour and a half/2 hours of sitting through horrendous Bangkok traffic we finally made it to Sasiprapa gym and met the owners Thakoon, his wife and their son. They showed me to my room which was upstairs in the gym overlooking the ring. The room was only small but I was sharing with 3 other lads, 1 Brazilian, 1 Swiss and 1 Chinese fighter my dad stayed across the road in an apartment and left me to it.
Straight away I had to learn not only how to live with older people but older people from different countries, but they all took me under their wing and treated me like a little brother. I’d been in Thailand for about 2 hours and I’d already received numerous amount of culture shocks, but there was still more to come…
NO TOILET ROLL to wipe my fucking ass?! What the fuck is that hose doing next to the toilet?!
It was like a dream come true – I remember kicking the pads thinking I was Buakaw!