Thailand Training Camps

As some of you may know from reading prior posts; and if you don’t – I’ve been spending more and more time in Thailand, which will only be increasing. As a refresher; I traveled to the land of smiles by my self last September for a month, was a part of a training camp, and fell in love with the island of Koh Phangan.

Booking my ticket again for this past month was even better than last year (if that is even possible.) Not only did I fall in love more with Muay Thai and the island, but also got an amazing opportunity presented to me…

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Rewind a little before I announce the opportunity that is to come, so I can tell you a little about our day to day routine in a Thailand training camp.

         6am–7am
  • Morning meditation usually starts at 6–6:20am (whenever you roll out of bed and get your butt on the beach kind of time)
    7am–9am
  • Morning training starts at 7am usually with 15 minutes skipping rope however not limited to (some jog, others bounce on tires, push-ups, squats, stationary bicycle, etc. are some of the common warm-up options.)
  • Once the muscles are warm, the body is sweaty, and you’ve gotten used to having your clothes drenched in sweat with the humidity; you wrap up your hands and get ready to stretch – we stretch as a group with a Thai instructor leading every move.
  •  From stretching we split into two groups: either you are with a trainer one on one for 3–4 rounds of pads OR you are on the bag for the same amount, and then you switch.
  • After both bag work, and pad work; we usually go into at least 3 rounds of technical sparring (either with teammates or trainers)
  • Following sparring is either technique instruction with partners OR clinching technique
  • 100 knees, teeps (front kicks), and sit-ups concludes the endurance and conditioning
  • Lastly is stretching as a team (not instructed by a trainer but usually we each take turns calling out a stretch)
    9am–3pm

    This time is considered free time, after showering; many common activities are:

  • Eat at the market, hotel, or nearby restaurants
  • Take a nap
  • Swim in the pool at the hotel, or ocean/beach
  • Explore the island on your scooter (temples, waterfalls, etc.)
  • Yoga with Liz for an hour depending on the day is offered either from 11am–12pm OR right before afternoon training from 2pm–3pm
  • Strength and conditioning class for an hour at the gym (Diamond Muay Thai)
  • Work, reading, personal time
    3pm–5pm
  • Afternoon training starts at 3pm usually with 15 minutes skipping rope however not limited to (some jog, others bounce on tires, push-ups, squats, stationary bicycle, etc. are some of the common warm-up options.)
  • Once the muscles are warm, the body is sweaty, and you’ve gotten used to having your clothes drenched in sweat with the humidity; you wrap up your hands and get ready to stretch – we stretch as a group with a Thai instructor leading every move.
  •  From stretching we split into two groups: either you are with a trainer one on one for 3–4 rounds of pads OR you are on the bag for the same amount, and then you switch.
  • After both bag work, and pad work; we usually go into at least 3 rounds of technical sparring (either with teammates or trainers)
  • Following sparring is either technique instruction with partners OR clinching technique
  • 100 knees, teeps (front kicks), and sit-ups concludes the endurance and conditioning
  • Lastly is stretching as a team (not instructed by a trainer but usually we each take turns calling out a stretch)
    5pm–”Bedtime” (whenever that is for you)

    This time is considered free time, after showering; many common activities are as follows not to mention usually 2–3 times a week is a group dinner where we all go out together to a different restaurant and Saturday evenings is team BBQ at the gym every week:

  • Eat at the market, hotel, or nearby restaurants
  • Explore the island on your scooter (plenty of bars and nightlife available as well as an outdoor movie theater!)
  • Work, reading, personal time

 

Saturdays usually after morning training is an ice bath that accommodates 6 people at a time; we take turns 3 minutes for 3 rounds.

Sundays are rest days; no training what so ever, this is a great opportunity to adventure and see the island, recover your body at the herbal sauna or get a massage, or just have a beach day! Sundays are usually the days that new teammates come to the island and check-in for the following week so a team meeting to get to know each other before team dinner is usually in the early evening.

Now that you know a little about what it is like to be a part of a Thailand training camp, and what I did daily for 28 days this summer– I am excited to announce not only will I be traveling to Greece in September for a week camp there; training, filming, and the wedding photographer for Sean and Liz, not only will I be in Costa Rica for a week camp there for the same (minus the wedding as they will already be married!)

But…

I have bought my one way ticket to Thailand for the end of January 2019!

Not only have Sean, Liz, and Paul given me extraordinary opportunities to become part of these training camps; but Diamond Muay Thai recognized my work while I was there, and they would like to hire me to film videos and photos for them as well for marketing and promotion!

We have camps coming up so if you think this would be the kind of vacation to take you to the next level check the dates below!

February 3rd – March 3rd, 2019

Diamond Muay Thai, Koh Phangan
Train alongside two pro fighters – Sean Fagan and Paul Banasiak – as they share with you their top training methods.

Click here for more information: http://www.thailandtrainingcamp.com/

April 1st – April 29th, 2019

Diamond Muay Thai, Koh Phangan
The Perfect Balance of Intense, Technical Muay Thai Training in Beautiful Surroundings and Culture

Click here for more information: http://www.thailandtrainingcamp.com/

Video I made this last camp | A Day in the Life:

 

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Why Choose Loose Leaf Tea vs. Processed

I didn’t start drinking coffee religiously until 2 years ago; up until then it was tea–while I now drink both, depending on the occasion and application, sometimes I get rather picky with my tea.

My Nana tells the story frequently of when I was younger; maybe 4–6 years old, she would get me all dressed up, white gloves, frilled socks and all–and we would visit the local teahouse with her friends. The waitstaff would get a kick out of me apparently with my fancy white gloves eating tea sandwiches, crumpets, and shortbread cookies. Not to mention, one time they even had a photographer there to take photos of the facility and apparently I was used as a model in a few of the photos (I don’t recall this, I wish I had the photo to share with you all!) The moral of the story is; tea is a social activity, quality time to share with friends and family.

DO YOU DRINK TEA?

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The reason behind choosing loose leaf over processed is simply the “leaves” used in most bags are actually the dust and fannings from broken tea leaves. Finely broken tea leaves have lost most of their essential oils and aroma. When steeped, they release more tannins than whole leaf tea and less antioxidants are prominent. Now this isn’t to say that now companies make tea bags with loose leaf tea inside; they do, which makes the brewing process less time consuming and user friendly–but the process is half the fun of tea drinking!

We tend to call many things that we infuse in hot water a tea. But technically, it’s only tea if it’s made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis (originated in Southeast Asia), an evergreen plant indigenous to China and India. It wasn’t until the 17th century drinking tea became popular in Britain.

Tea is the world’s second most popular beverage, after water; and while Thomas Lipton invented the now-popular tea bag in 1952–tea in it’s traditional sense has been around dating back to the 3rd Century AD recorded for medicinal purposes.

Did you know:

  • WHITE TEAS ARE THE LEAST PROCESSED. THEY RELEASE THE LEAST AMOUNT OF CAFFEINE AS WEL
  • GREEN TEA, HIGH IN VITAMIN C, CHLOROPHYLL AND MINERALS
  • OOLONG TEAS ARE SEMI–OXIDIZED, WHICH PLACES THEM MID–WAY BETWEEN GREEN AND BLACK TEAS
  • BLACK TEAS ARE FULLY OXIDIZED AND MOST POPULAR TYPE IN THE WESTERN WORLD
  • PU’ERH TEAS ARE AGED AND FERMENTED MEDICINAL BENEFITS RANGE FROM CURING HANGOVERS TO REDUCING CHOLESTEROL
  • YERBA MATÉ HIGH IN CAFFEINE VITAMIN C, POTASSIUM, AND MAGNESIUM
  • HERBAL “TEAS” WIDE RANGE OF HEALTH BENEFITS DEPENDING ON THE HERB
  • ROOIBOS IS A NATURALLY CAFFEINE-FREE HIGH IN IRON, ZINC, COPPER

Most of these photos in the post were actually taken at a teahouse in Portland, Oregon; in the midst of a month long road trip with a friend of mine Anna, we stopped in to enjoy the Lan Su gardens, a cup of tea, and some Bao Zi (vegetable steamed buns.) Sure you can visit a place, and maybe you will remember it; but the act of experiencing a cultural tradition while doing so–engraves that experience in my memory.

Have you ever looked at a tea bag and tried to guess what’s actually in there? Very hard to decipher and see each individual ingredient. Unless it’s a very basic tea blend, you might not know what you’re putting in your body with processed bags of tea. If you look at the featured photo at the top of the post; you see many colors of green, fuchsia, and tan. You can pick out and hold each ingredient and identify it separately in loose leaf tea.

Health Benefits of Loose Leaf Tea:

  • High in Antioxidants
  • Lower Chloresterol
  • Helps Prevent Cardiovascular Disease
  • Possibly Helps Prevent Cancer
  • Calming and Mental Clarity

 

I boosted my tea consumption in 2016; when I started training for my first fitness bikini competition, and was drinking a gallon of water a day. Some people claim they actually hate water, you know the stuff that 60–75% of our bodies are made up of; I however love it. But, brewing my four 32oz containers with different flavors made the consumption new and exciting every time. Not to mention the added health benefits tea offers rather than just water alone. As I sit and write this; I am sipping on a steaming cup of Teavana Maharaja Chai Oolong / Samurai Chai Mate Blend Tea on this frigid 65 degree day at the end of June!

First Time Traveling Alone Out of Country

Prior to Thailand; I had only flown to St. Lucia (a short 7 hour flight– that at the time, I thought was close to my least favorite thing), not to mention I was accompanied by my boyfriend at the time. A few things you should know and consider before taking the trek anywhere alone.

The question I was asked most frequently; “Are you nervous, or excited?” The honest answer was, I was ready. Sure I was both excited, and nervous; but I had packed my bags a week ago, and was longing to just be there already!

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So you’ve decided to up and go; somewhere, anywhere but here –and are now second guessing your purchase of a singular round-trip plane ticket. Don’t!

And here’s why…

When you travel alone; you travel on your terms. You don’t have to compensate an experience because your travel buddy is stuck in the hotel or hostel with digestive issues. However; you still have the option of meeting new people and making friends, some lifelong friends!

After traveling to Thailand; I met two individuals who I have kept contact through the internet with for a year now. Consequently enough, I will be flying out to visit and stay with them in their home country of Malaysia next month. That is the beauty of meeting new people and connecting through travel, you create new bonds you may have not otherwise.

“I’ve been a thousand places, and shook a million hands; I don’t know where I’m going–But I know just where I’ve been. I’ve flown a million miles, and I’ve rode so many more; every day, a castaway.”

First and foremost; pack LIGHT. It may be difficult at first, wanting to bring every scenario of items you may need; but chances are you never will use. Plus, most items are easily obtainable; and for a much cheaper cost than the added airfare cost of overweight baggage!

Next, consider using a VPN for travel to protect your identity while using public WiFi. Here is a detailed link to walk you through step by step how to do so: VPN Step-by-Step Guide

As hard as it may be in the situation; be patient, adapt, and be open-minded. “It is, what it is.” is my favorite mantra these days. I learned this quickly after a few mind altering events; one of which was water damage to my iPhone while in Koh Tao snorkeling with still 3 nights and 4 days upon returning back home! I will admit; for about 15 minutes, my mind raced. Negative thoughts, anger, frustration, fear, “There goes all of my photos.” And then I took a look around, I was standing on the top deck of a snorkeling boat, in the middle of no where in Thailand; the sun was shining, below there was a buffet of all the fruit and coffee you could consume, music playing, and the water was the most gorgeous teal color. I had nothing to be upset about. Whether my phone turned back on or not, was out of my control; there was no sense in putting my energy in worrying about it. “It is, what it is.
(Even after submerging in rice, and days later; it still did not turn on. But, I enjoyed my experiences and surroundings in the NOW. Then, when I got home; I purchased a new iPhone.)

Don’t cause unwanted attention to yourself; this means stay low-key, leave your fancy jewelry and accessories at home– and submerse yourself in the local culture. More times than not; there is only a language barrier when us “Westerners” believe to be superior to those around us. A smile goes a long way; even if you do not understand the language, make an effort to learn some of the most basic words to the region of which you will be visiting. “Hello” “Please” “Thank you” “Toilet” are some of the most basic, yet staple phrases to be familiar with.

Don’t isolate yourself; and I don’t necessarily mean for safety reasons (though that is a good point too.) I mean, just because you are traveling alone; doesn’t mean your experience has to be a lonely one. Create a routine, bring a book, visit local cafes and coffee shops, opt to stay at a hostel or AirBnB over a secluded hotel room, start a conversation, prompt communal meals, get out of your comfort zone, and use common sense and be aware of your surroundings without being anxious and paranoid.

I have to remind myself from time to time, some of these quick tips to eliminate fear and second guessing. Traveling is a virtue; whether solo, with a loved one, or a group– learn to embrace the un-comfortable. With that being said; only a month until I board the plane again to Asia!