Hello MMT! I wanted to introduce you guys to Alex. Alex is a new addition to our MMT community. I’m not going to steal any of Alex’s thunder… but he’s one of our new guys “on the ground” I’m looking forward to reading more of his posts in the upcoming weeks.
As with a lot of Americans I have JCVD’s movie “Kickboxer”to thank for sparking my interest in Muay Thai. As we all know the “Muay Thai” shown in that movie couldn’t have been further than what we all know as real Muay Thai, but it was enough to light the fire under my ass. As a youngster my parents didn’t let me train Muay Thai. My Dad swore I wasn’t tough enough, and my Mom said it was too dangerous. So they signed me up for martial arts instead. I didn’t get started in Muay Thai until I was 18 years old, already late by Thai standards. I made my first trip to Thailand a few months later for a short training excursion with some friends and swore I would soon return to live and train there. Life kept getting in my way with having a job, responsibilities, family obligations, and so on… In the next 8 years I had made 3 more trips to Thailand each one not being over 3 weeks. Each time I got back I would try to figure out how to go back and stay there.
P’Lam & I
Finally I thought my dream would never happen. I got married (too young) and then divorced a couple years later and had nothing to my name. After bumming around on my Mom’s couch for almost a year I was able to save a bit of money teaching Muay Thai at a local BJJ school and doing odd jobs here and there and decided it was time to leave the States for a while to live my dream. I didn’t know how long I would be going for but I knew I just had to get to Thailand, find a camp to train at, and fight as much as I can because the money I had left wouldn’t be enough for me to stay for long. My Mom thought I was crazy, but supported me as long as I was going to be happy doing what I wanted to do. My Dad thought it would be a better idea to stay in America and find a “decent job”.
I had a couple camps in mind that I wanted to check out. None of which I could really find any info about online. When I got to Thailand I stayed in Korat with a Thai family that were friends of friends from back home in the States. I knew that I wanted to stay out of Bangkok and the more tourist cities we all know and love to hate… I was told by many people in that area that there is a really good camp not too far away from Korat. One of the Uncles in the family told me the camp is called Lookprabat, and is in Saraburi Province. He said he would take me there in a few days to see if I can train there. I knew Lookprabat was a really good camp, but wasn’t sure if they have any foreigners training there, or if they would welcome me.
wutthidet & Gaotam
We head out to the camp and after a lot of questions and answers from the manager he said I could stay there and train. I was right, there are no foreigners there. They said they had a few here and there before but they only came for short periods. At first they weren’t sure about me. Maybe they thought I wouldn’t be here for long. So, fast forward about 6 months and I’m still here. This camp has become my extended family. I have been living my dream as a Muay Thai fighter. The camp has been getting me many fights both in Thailand and abroad. I have been able to make a living from fighting Muay Thai, something nearly impossible to do back home. The training here is amazing and Lookprabat is known for having strong clinch and knees. I do miss my friends and family back home, and will most likely plan a visit for sometime in 2011, but I can’t see myself returning to life back in the U.S. just yet. Looks like I’ll be in the Land of Smiles for a good while.
I’ve learned a thing or two while being out here. Most of the time I made mistakes, and learned the hard way. I’ll be writing a variety of posts geared towards saving and spending your money wisely while in Thailand, help in choosing the right type of camp for you, and basically life in Thailand in general. I welcome any suggestions and questions you might have. In no way do I consider myself and expert, but I can share my $0.02 with you and who knows it might help out. If there’s some you would like to know about let me know. Anyone…? Anyone…?
More about Alex Anoushian
Born and raised in Southern California and now live in Thailand. I started training Muay Thai in the States at the age of 18. After my first trip to Thailand I fell in love with the sport and the “sabai, sabai” lifestyle of Thailand. I kept telling myself one day I will move to Thailand to train and fight – To “live the dream” as many people would say. In the next 7 years I made 3 more short trips to Thailand, but each time I would have to return home because of work and other obligations. I was getting tired of the 9-5 rat race lifestyle, and thought it is time to re-evaluate my life. At the age of 25 I sold most of my belongings and bought my plane ticket to Thailand. I didn’t know what camp I would be training at, or how long I would be there for. All I knew is that once I got there I will figure it all out. Been here since May 2010, living and training at a camp in Saraburi Province. I’m grateful for the things I have accomplished so far and always looking forward to what’s next. I always like to tell people… Do what you like to do, not what you’re expected to do. Live YOUR life, not someone else’s.