Training Muay Thai at Legend Thai Boxing with Putpatnoi legend
Sally, a very tall Thai girl with awesome English (she practiced it for years working in hotel industry in Phuket), welcomes us with all smiles in such a friendly manner that it feels to me as if we were going to have a massage and not to practice something what can be even viewed as dangerous martial arts.
First, Sally presents us their staff. One of them is extremely handsome for being a Thai guy (at least in my opinion) which straight away turns out not to be just my opinion.
The other female bloggers, especially the Russians show a lot of interest, too.
”You can call him Itt. And also touch his muscles.” Sally laughs when she shows us his great biceps from underneath the T-shirt. Assawa, what his real name is, just stands there shyly and smiles not knowing where to look.
At first I was not sure if it is spelled as it or how, but even the E.T. alien came to my mind as in my mother tongue Slovak it is pronounced the same way. Only then I was told it’ Itt with double t.
Anyway, Itt is not one of the trainers there but he work out in the gym pretty often and works there in the office as a graphic designer. Anyway, I am hoping I will be able to see Itt all the time today except our training itself.
”There are all famous people who have trained or worked here. Right now you are going to meet one of the three Muay Thai legends of our gym. Say hi to Pud Pad Noy.”
A 63-year-old man who reminds me of someone comes with a smiley face. First, he is shy and doesn’t want to talk much but after just a few minutes he shows us his trophies and a short black-and-white movie from one of his fights from around 40 years ago.
I am a bit confused why they write the names differently in Thai and Pud Pad Noy is sometimes also written as Putpathnoi Worrawuth, or Woorat, however mostly called by his nickname “pig” – Moo in Thai.
Moo, one of the very few Muay Thai legends still alive, started to train with his brother when he was 14 and weighed only 36 to 39 kg.
Then, after 60 fights in Isaan, at the age of 18 he moved out from his home town Khoh Khaen to Bangkok to fight there. Moo won a lot of fights at the Lumpinee, and also managed to beat all of the best fighters in Thailand at the time when he won a 16 man tournament in Ratchadamnern.
He also won championships when he weighed 51, 54 and then again 59kg. Moo stopped fighting in 1977 at the age of 26 but he has been teaching Muay Thai ever since. First in the US, then he lived in Paris for 23 years with his wife and a daughter (1980 to 2003), then in Scotland and the Philippines and finally moved back to Bangkok. Out of 150 fights he won 135 times, pretty impressive, right? Putpatnoi is mostly known as ”Golden Leg” for his devastating left kicks. He was given the award for ”best fighter” from the King of Thailand himself and also received a special trophy “the Golden Leg.”
I could not believe that this famous man was standing next to me and showing us his older photos. One of top 10 Muay Thai fighters of all time even signed my boxing glove and gave us all a bag with presents – a pair of cute Muay Thai boxing shorts and a T-shirt with Legend Thai Boxing gym logo.
Nowadays, Putpatnoi works as a referee at a local stadium and as a master trainer here at the gym. I was supripised his English was not so perfect as his French as he has been to more than 35 countries during his Muay Thai career. But there was Sally to translate to us the most difficult phrases.
Sally also asks us to find the names of the legends on the wall and I am the first one to find Putpatnoi. At least one accomplishment today. Then, Sally shows us around the gym where everything matches the black and orange theme, even the uniforms of the trainers, the ring and the punching bags.
Then, we can change and are ready to train. Again, I am still having enough trying to fight the jetlag and not only I almost did not sleep at all last night, but also got my period and feel like vomiting. But I am here to train Muay Thai so I decide to do my best, no matter what.
The whole gym is super fancy, everything around us is very new and it doesn’t even make me feel like in Bangkok but somewhere way more t the West. The whole atmosphere is super cool, though, and I enjoy the laughs loads more than on the first day. Also, the trainers here are used to train with foreigners, and except the cameras, no one is really staring at us. I am even less nervous than the previous day, thank God!
There’s some Thai women training or hanging around the gym, and later a tall white foreigner enters to sweat out everything unnecessary. He is the only one keeping an eye on our group … and also a very close gaze of my legs.
To be honest, I am already dying just during the warm-up exercise as it feels like a lava stream just decided to get out of my belly. But I cannot quit now, not already at the beginning of the session!
We run and jump like crazy around the ring, stretch, then all stand in rows facing a mirror and learn how to perform the basic moves. We need to do 20 punches, elbows, knees and kicks. It seems like mission impossible to do them so fast!
It’s so funny to look at Moo and see how high he can still kick. If he can survive this training at 63, I can so too with the period, jetlag and hardly any sleep.
I just give my belly break for the last minutes when we are asked to lie down on the ground and do different versions of exercise for the abs.
Instead, I go to another mirror, sit down for some peace and quiet and then practice some yoga again to calm down. Itt comes by impressed, takes a bunch of photos of me and promises me to do some asanas later on with me inside the boxing ring. He unwillingly says yes to my #SexySaturday shirtless requirement, too.
The Legend Thai Boxing Gym (club) is definitely a place to train at if what you are looking for is to have fun while staying fit. It’s not too serious so if you don’t try to become a professional Muay Thai fighter, I can only recommend this place. However, all the trainers used to work or still are professional Muay Thai fighters and many professinals have trained here, too. I just guess that the overall atmosphere is very young, unique and welcoming even for the beginners.
After the workout, we could take a shower and change back to our clothes. Thumbs up for the shampoo and hair dryers. My training clothes were wet as if I just have showered wearing them.
Once all looking like humans again, we walk behind the corner to have lunch at the Anna and Son restaurant. I definitely did not expect such a stylish place which this time makes me feel like somewhere in Europe. A lot of images are hanging out on the walls and the place is very open and full of light and comfortable chairs and sofas. Everyone ordered mostly seafood and meat but there was a plate of fresh fruit waiting for me. And then …
OMG, and the desserts! I usually don’t eat desserts at all, and definitely not after lunch which consists of fruit for me, but when I saw the variety of chocolate desserts here I just could not say no and had to taste from all of them. My only excuse to myself was that I almost did not eat anything else … and chocolate contains antioxidants, right? 🙂
Itt was sitting next to me at lunch so we had a little while to chat over what came into our minds. He turned out to be a very pleasant guy throwing jokes around all the time. And he learned his English watching movies and playing games! Well, I finally have a good Thai friend, I suppose, who I can easily talk to and who does not make an uncomprehensive face expression when I mention the word yoga 😉
After lunch we jumped for some group photos in front of the restaurant which is when I found out my phone screen got all green and red and then black. My phone died completely and the vibration sounds was just letting me know that I was still getting all the messages and emails as I didn’t have a chance to switch off the wifi but nothing else worked. The end of my Samsung phone 🙁
In the afternoon, some of the trainers performed their way of wai kru celebration and showed us a ”real fight” with them all around the ring. It was so impressive I could not understand how it was possible they did not hit each other!
And now it is finally time to take some photos with all the guys in the gym who are willing to take off their shirts so I can post #SexySaturday photo on my Facebook Fanpage. Yeah, my very favorite moment! The last few minutes before we leave Itt joins me for some yoga poses. Thanks to Mike Yip from Malaysia, a blogger there with us, who takes photos of our brief yoga practice.
If you are still not so sure about Thai boxing, check out my article with 10 reasons why to learn Muay Thai.
To learn more about the Legend Thai Boxing gym, please visit their website.