At school I was nicknamed ‘Barbie’ and admittedly, I am still quite a girly girl in terms of my style. I think that in society today, we have perceptions of people that we form either consciously or subconsciously based on how they look. Other people’s judgements can then affect our opinions of ourselves and what we believe we are capable of achieving. I therefore think that it’s critical to get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself in terms of what you think you can do.
This experience was unlike anything I’ve ever done before; running around a local Thai gym at 7:30am with people I’d never met, including the professional Thai fighters from Bangkok and being one of the only girls there. It was incredibly rewarding though, not just because I got to learn from the professionals themselves, but also because I proved something to myself about what I can achieve. The leader of the camp even pulled me aside and asked how long I was in Thailand for, as he was adamant that within one month I could be a fighter.
I did this at the Rawai Muay Thai gym in Khao Lak, and I would highly recommend it as the perfect place to go if you are looking for an authentic and challenging Thai boxing experience.
The first thing I noticed upon arrival was that the gym was outdoor with no air conditioning, a factor which would prove to make the already difficult class all the more challenging.
The class commenced at 7:30 sharp and we were instructed to take off our shoes and grab a skipping rope. Although I’ve done a little boxing at university in Exeter, I’m used to skipping in intervals, but this was 15 minutes of skipping with no scheduled rest time. We then got straight into running laps, trainers and participants alike.
At this point I think it’s safe to say everyone was warmed up and ready for the class. The group was then separated into beginners and more advanced boxers and assigned different trainers.
The trainers were incredibly friendly and welcoming and took the time with everyone to perfect their technique. As a beginner you then learned basic moves of Muay Thai boxing like the uppercut, front knee, front kick, block, etc.
After that there was time to practice in pairs as well as on the boxing bags, under the supervision of the coaches.