I have been very fortunate to have the opportunity to travel all around the world studying martial arts… but it always feels great to come home!
Caroline and I got home last night at almost 4 in the morning after about 27 hours of travelling and I am excited to get back to Sudbury MMA Thursday night!! I am excited to see everyone and share the experiences, new techniques and of course a lot of the stories from Thailand. I have started doing martial arts at 11 years old and I always dreamed of training and competing on the world stage. I have been Iucky to have trained and competed internationally but nothing beats the journey! Let me explain…
You will often hear life long martial artist talk about enjoying the journey.. They will tell you not to worry about the daily frustrations that come with training such as training plateaus and losses etc.. I remember hearing that, especially when I was younger… thinking what kind of cryptic talk is going on here .. LOL Now.. As I sit here thinking about the many stories and great memories of Thailand, I also reflect back and realise that most of my fondest memories are a result of my journey in the martial arts. I am not talking about the punching, kicking or choking (although that is fun too)… I am talking about the hours spent with friends … laughing, the road trips, the life long friendships I have made, the stories from the trips, experiencing different cultures, experiencing the highs and lows of competition, the people I have worked with along the way… the kids who have now become adults and message me or stop in every now and then just to say hello and stay in touch.
As I re-read the first couple of paragraphs. I see that this blog has kinda taken a different direction that I originally wanted .. I guess what I wanted to say is that I am happy to be home, I cannot wait to see everyone at Sudbury MMA and share my stories and of course a few new techniques!! Next year, we will be going to Thailand for another Team Trip, and I hope that several of the Sudbury MMA team will add this trip to their journey!
See you on the mats!
It has been an absolutely amazing week!! We arrived in Phuket and proceeded straight to the Tiger Muay Thai and Mixed Martial Arts Academy.. we registered for classes and once I got there, I saw that they offered Brazilian Jiu Jitsu! I was pumped and immediately enrolled for both the Muay Thai and BJJ classes. I had to rent a BJJ Gi, but that was OK, it was part of the experience! The training was amazing. It was a great opportunity to train with some of the best trainers and of course meet other people from all around the world. In the short time I spent here, I trained with people from Germany, France, Australia, Japan and of course even with some people close to home (from Toronto).
Along with the training, we took in a lot of the sites and experienced some of the culture. We did so much and really, I could do an entire blog on each of these adventures.. (and I will once we get home) but a few of the highlights included a day in the Phi Phi Islands, a visit to the Big Budda, being blessed by a monk, tours of the beautiful beaches, the thai massages, and elephant rides. These are unique opportunities that I am grateful to have experienced. We are already in the planning stages for our 2018 Thailand Trip and I ant to ensure to bring a few people from Sudbury MMA. I would love to see as many students as possible make the trip and experience the training and culture. The trip will be open to all students … Muay Thai and BJJ as there is plenty of training time for both sports. Make sure to talk with me if you are interested when I get back!
For now we are here for a few nights in the great city of Bangkok! Stay tuned for more epic stories!
We arrived in Thailand last night.. and to be honest, my internal clock is a little messed up. It is a 12 hour time difference so it puts us in complete opposite of our regular schedule. We arrived at 2:30 (so 2:30am at home) and the airport was slammed! It took us about 2 hours to clear customs, then another 30 minute cab ride to get to the hotel.
It was nice to see Fred Stonehouse develop such a bond with the cab driver in such a short time… it was like two lost souls connecting. When we arrived at the hotel, the cab driver made sure to hold Fred, cupping his arm and waist and walked him to the door. Touching! We met up with our head instructor, Pat and he organised the rooms, then we made plans to have dinner at 6:30pm. We freshened up, and it was off to see Bangkok!! We ate at New York Style Steak &Burgers. The food was fantastic, the restaurant was cool. It actually reminded me a lot of when I was in Okinawa, Japan. This one in particular reminded me of those little places where a lot of foreigners would go eat as the food was closest to what was at home. A lot of people would be excited to try all the authentic foods, but I tend to be a little more conservative in that area. After a great dinner… we were ready for a crazy night in Bangkok… or To be honest, I think everyone was pretty tired after travelling over 24 hours.. so it was back to the room and get ready for our flight to Phuket tomorrow! We leave for the airport at 8:30am.. so its go time! To see more pics from our Journey, check out this FACEBOOK ALBUM
Our trip to Thailand started off with a 15 hour flight from Toronto to Taipei. Here is the crazy part… we left Toronto at 12:05 midnight.. yep, midnight!! But it actually was not too bad! I fell asleep pretty quick at the beginning of the flight and woke up at some point between 5am and 5:40am …. I was freezing! LOL.. Wait, let me backtrack.. I thought I would be smart by changing into shorts before boarding the plane.. considering we were going to a nice warm country. I did not realise that they must have left a window open on the plane or something because the -43 degree weather (as stated on the monitor) somehow made its way inside and it was freezing on the plane.. Caroline was of course nice and comfortable, being wrapped in her blanket and of course stealing mine too.
We landed in Taipei at about 4pm (our time).. unfortunately, it was 5 am in Taipei and the airport was dead.. so we were wide awake and ready to rock in a ghostland of an airport. So we sit here now on a 4 hour layover.. ready for the last leg of the trip as we fly from Taipei to Bangkok.
Its been a little while since I have blogged but its something I actually enjoy and hope to continue doing on a weekly basis… Simply recapping the week, talking about what’s coming up etc.. besides, my students love to point out all my spelling mistakes and the excessive use of my !!!! LOL
This past week has been Crazy! Last Saturday morning, we had a Kids Brazilian Jiu Jitsu In House tournament with kids attending from both our Sudbury MMA academies as well as our friends from Grounded Studios in North Bay. It was crazy to see the next level of competitors that are coming up in the kid’s divisions. The tournament ended about 3pm and we immediately got on the road and left for Guelp. We attended a Muay Thai show hosted by Guelph MMA, where we had 5 athletes competing on a 10 bout card.. It was non-stop, literally from beginning to end! We won some matches and lost a couple but over all, it was a great experience and it’s always a great time travelling and hanging out with the team!!
This week, I am pretty excited as Caroline and I will be travelling with the rest of the OAMA Team Renzo Gracie to train and visit beautiful Thailand! This is something I have always wanted to do… visit the homeland of Muay Thai. I have heard so many amazing stories from my instructor about Thailand. I am pretty excited to experience the culture, the training and bring that home to our mats at Sudbury MMA.
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