Recently Unlimited MMA fighter Yvette Aguaristi traveled to Thailand. What started off as an idea for a big vacation, led to an unforgetable training experience at Sitmonchai Muay Thai in Thailand. Yvette got to experience first hand what it was like to live a Thai Fighter's lifestyle--Train, Rest, Eat and Repeat. I connected with Yvette and asked her to share her experience with us.
Sitmonchai Muay Thai Gym is home to one of the highest ranked Muay Thai fighters in Thailand, Pornsanae Sitmonchai. It is located in the Kanchanaburi province in the town of Thamaka, about 59 miles outside of Bangkok.
Aileen: Can you describe your typical day at Sitmonchai Gym?
Yvette: I arrived Tuesday, Feb 10th at 3am in Bangkok . I was picked up by a taxi and went straight to the camp---which was two hours away. When I arrived (at 5am) I was shown to my room, which was in the main house. I was so excited to train-- they started at 6:30 . I was out there ready to go. In the center of the training area there are 6 bags and 2 rings. There is an area to do freestyle work and weights--dumbbells, a weight rack and decline benches for abs. The day would start off with a run--fighters usually do their own run. There was a lake with a trail nearby--that's where we did our run.
While out on my run, I noticed vendors already cooking on the side of the road--and they know exactly where I was coming from. The air is so warm with a perfect breeze.
When I got back fom my run, the trainers are out and getting ready. There are 6 trainers, and the head trainer is Kru Dam. He has been Pornsanae's trainer since he was 6 years oled. I got paired up with Kru Dam a few times--he had an amazing attention to details. My main partner though was a 19 year old fighter named Ton, who has over 200 fights under his belt. He became my new best friend.
We do pads for about 4-5 rounds. There was no official time keeper--A young Thai kid was the time keeper! After pads we would either do bag work, abs or weights.
We would get some free time then 10am would be our first meal of the day. We were well fed. Our meals would include A LOT of rice, bok choy, cauliflower and other veggies, a protein--either fish chicken or beef, and a fried egg. There was always an egg with every meal.
Us foreigners sat and ate together. We were all of different backgrounds and different levels of experience--from green to pros. A few came from Australia--cause it is so close, Sweden, England and 3 Americans. Some were staying a few weeks, others for 3 months, and some up to 2 years.
Second training started 3:30 and it would be a repeat--Train, Rest, and Eat. It was just a real Thai fighters lifestyle.
There were kids there that didn't go to school--they trained and lived at Sitmonchai. There was a huge family that lived on that camp. Everyone was a family there --from the owner's father to the fighters . There were no bars nearby or malls, or any distraction of crazy life stuff . It was a simple way of living .
On my final days in Thailand I was off to an island nearby to relax. Once I did all of that, I hurried back to Sitmonchai to get back into training.
What was it like to see Pornsanae Sitmonchai in training?
To see Pornsanae was like..WOW! My first impression was that he kind of looked like Pacquiao-- LOL He's small, and had a smile on his face . When I was there Pornsanae was training for a fight to defend his belt . This was going to be the last fight of his career.
I got to go to his fight, and see him personally. It was priceless. He just gets the job done. I was honored to get to train with Kru Dam --Pornsanae's trainer since he was 6 . Thepnimit, another great fighter out of Sitmonchai showed me a few things as well .
What did you like about like most about Thailand?
What did I like? I literally have been saying the same answer since th first time someone asked me ... And it's "that it loved me back " the people there are so amazingly happy, thoughtful, caring, and helpful . I mean, what better way to live .
I live like that here, and very rarely do I receive the same in return in my own neigborhood. Everyone had a smile . People would stop what they were doing to see who I was. Anytime I'd say hi or wave ...I would get one back . I got a thumbs up from a few locals on my run. I felt like I was doing a Nike 5k marathon. It was shocking. I don't know if peope were being friendly because I am a girl, or a foreigner ... Or that they knew I was with Sitmonchai. But even when I traveled outside on my own, people were helpful to get me to my destination.
The weather was hot . But I loved it ! The heat just kept me warm, and made me sweat. It was perfect! All I can say is that I can't wait to go back . Just to have those warm welcoming feelings all over again . To train with no distractions to live along the side of people who are just plain happy . They train & live among their friends & family everyday . It was great to be a part of that.
What did you bring back from this experience?
I learned some cool tricks and a few details in Muay Thai. If I had more time I could have learned a lot more. It was great experience, and I was just grateful for my own team and camp. Unlimited has a great leader, Coach Rudi Ott. He pushes us to have no limits! All of the Unlimted fighters are unique in our own ways .We are a big camp and we train hard together almost every day.
This is how I wanted to start my new year !!! Unlimted2k15 lets Get Some!!!