Sabai, Sabai

Sabai, Sabai

I've been training in the martial arts of Kung Fu and Tae Kwon Do since I was a young lad. It wasn't until I began Muay Thai back in 2018 that I realign back with that childhood connection again. Back when I would work downtown in Philly I would take the 15-20 minute walk through Chinatown down to the gym. The gym– Fight Firm was a converted warehouse: with a boxing ring, MMA cage and mats in the back for Muay Thai/Kickboxing classes.

The sounds emitting once inside were a clash between the different disciplines. At any given time someone would be working the speed bag, with each swing reverberating its distinct sound throughout the gym. Simultaneously the explosive round kicks on the heavy bag offered a symphony of sorts. As far as real music the speakers kept Dream Chasers Vol 1 on or Faneto playing at the highest volume it was certainly the authentic Philly experience. There was a lot of conditioning drills in the humid summer with only one fan in the entire gym, which was shared between the Boxers, MMA crew and the Thai guys. :box

Even wearing a sweat wicking headband was no match to the summer heat. My coach even gave me the nickname "Sunshine" because of it. I trained there for about 2-3 months in the summer until my job downtown was over for the season and I was no longer in the area. I wouldn't pick up Muay Thai again until February 2020 at North Star MMA in the Germantown/Mt.Airy area. Unfortunately for me the day I went for my trial class and joined was the last day before the pandemic shut down. 🙃


Random Open Mat Day

No-GI Class

So before I moved to DC in August of 2020, I made sure to be in close proximity, or better yet walking distance of a gym. I found Beta Academy and it was there that I learned the benefits of consistent training for an extended period of time. Before in Philly I would only be able to make it at most 2 times a week with my schedule. So the new movements and techniques wouldn't be fresh in my mind at the start of the new week.

Being so close and everything in the world being shut down or at a stand still, there was nothing to do besides head over to the gym everyday. I am really grateful for the community and outlet the gym provided during the isolating time which was 2020. Moving to a new city along with all the normal social spots to meet people being closed was tough on my mental and social health. I met some good partners and coaches there and miss them a lot.

Friday Sparring @ Beta

In the Summer of 2023 I sprained my AC joint lifting weights which kept me from training much of August to November. Living in Arlington now I started training at Pentagon MMA. Being within walking distance greatly helps me on the days I don't feel motivated to go. The 3rd law mentioned in Atomic Habits is to "Make it Easy" Comparing walking 10 mins vs driving 30-40 minutes in rush hour traffic illustrates that quite well. When it is less resistance to take action it is easier to do activities we might opt out of because of weather, moods or the myriad of dispositions that keeps us on the couch.

I'm really enjoying the gym so far and learning how to apply a lot of techniques: creating angles, applying long guard effectively and giving out low kicks for everybody. Although I only have about 3 months left in this area and soon this gym will be another memory; I'm thankful wherever I may find myself in the world there is a Muay Thai gym not that far away were I can pick up right where I left off. 😉

Conditioning feels good once it is over