I have made it to Thailand, but wanted to start this documentary of my trip with a brief history of how I got here from teh beginning. it's brief. The videos will follow.
It takes a bit to upload vids here. If anyone has suggestions on quicker way (currently I am using my Carl Zies 100 yr old camera then Windows Movie Maker and then uploading to computer and then to Youtube and then here TO THE BLOG but it takes forever1 - remember I am in Thailand so if you leave a suggestion THINK BEFORE YOU WRITE)
The time has finally come for the Funkster’s life awaited trip to Thailand to train Muay Thai at one the world’s most renowned training facility, Tiger Muay Thai and MMA Centre. (TMT)
It has been a dream for almost 20 years, not something that I made public, but most important, for me it was one of those dreams that I always wanted to do, dreamed about, even replayed scenarios in mind, with me being the lead actor.
Well it is happening; I’m going to Thailand to train in Muay Thai. My decision to make the dream reality came over the summer, while I was told that I had all this vacation time and should use it. IN the past, I would take a day here or there, while other would take weeks at a time.
Well I put my foot down and said to myself I am going somewhere this year. I didn’t have to dig to deep inside me to figure out TMT in Thailand was my destiny.
Muay Thai - Thai Boxing) is a form of hard martial art practiced in large parts of the world, including Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries. Muay Thai has a long history in Thailand and is the country's national sport. Traditional Muay Thai practiced today varies significantly from the ancient art muay boran and uses kicks and punches in a ring with gloves similar to those used in Western boxing.
Muay Thai is referred to as "The Art of Eight Limbs", as the hands, shins, elbows, and knees are all used extensively in this art. A practitioner of Muay Thai ("nak muay") thus has the ability to execute strikes using eight "points of contact," as opposed to "two points" (fists) in Western boxing and "four points" (fists, feet) used in the primarily sport-oriented forms of martial arts. A practitioner of Muay Thai, who is not of Thai nationality or race, is known as a Falang Nak Muay (foreign boxer).
Courtesy Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muay_Thai
I’ll keep this very brief. I started training Muay Thai in 1991 in of all placed the Beaches, Toronto – hahaha – it wasn’t very popular than, but this place opened 8 stores down from Overkill, the place I was working at the time.
What the hell was a Muay Thai gym opening up in Toronto’s most WASPish community? I didn’t care, I just went, I saw weights, punching bags and martial arts, and I was there.
Kru Ed and Ching ran a tight ship and the 10 or so students that went were great. I want to give props to Andrew Balodis for being my fellow SHOUTH PAW and holding the pads.
It was the birth of ONG BLAK. Day in and Day out, before work and after work, Marc “the Truth” Roberts (that was my moniker back then) trained to fulfill his destiny. To become a Muay Thai fighter and ONG BLAK my way to the boxing rings of Thailand
Fortunately Professional Beach Volleyball took off that year for me and Muay Thai was put on the back burner to wither away.
Gym owner Eric Miller opened my eyes to the sport I loved from a youth and I was back training again, until the dreaded accident.
In November 2008, I broke my hand and shattered my metacarpal bones in my left hand. I had two surgeries over the next 2 months. (thank you to Dr Zorn for putting Humpty Funk’s hand back together again).
But the road to recovering over the next 4-5 months would be painful, not only because I couldn’t work out, but NO MORE MUAY THAI and once again the dream was shelved.
Talk about crazy!
It was June 2009 when I decided that I was going to pursue my dream of traveling to Thailand to train in the best facility.
Talking to a few people around the gym, the one thing that was consistent from all of them was that I was going to have to be in tip top shape just so I can get the most of the training that I was going to embark on in Thailand.
I conducted a tonne of research and stayed focus with my goal and here we are November 6, 2009 and I am ready for blast off
I soon started to get back into a two day per week training schedule and after attending an in-house fight, I set a goal to increase my training. To 3-4 days a week.
Between TKMT and MMA Club, I was preparing myself that lie ahead
My trainers and partners have been great.
So now, I am here and the hardcore training is about to begin. I want to give you a small taste of what a typical day will be for Funk at TMT
7-730AM – Running – 7-10K
730 8:00AM – Stretching
8-900 – technique (very important)
9:00-11 – Sparring, bag work, thai pads, shadow, abs and core (3 rounds of 3 minutes each)
3-430 – Technique
430-6 bag work and clinch circle (extremely difficult)
Evening -8 - 915 – one on one
Water pail carrying up the thai mountains 20k – JUST JOKING
"You know, I’m just a regular guy who grew up with the posters
of these guys on my wall... and now Im one of them! Thats right,
I’m standing here, living proof that if you work hard enough, and
you want it bad enough... DREAMS do come true. So FOLLOW YOUR
DREAMS...Follow your dreams man, because we all die young."
Game, Set and Match
I want to thank you to the following people
G-RO (MOM) “THANKS FOR BEING MY PILLAR OF SUPPORT AND STRENGTH…I LOVE YOU”
CROFTER (DAD) FOR YOUR SUPPORT – “THANKS DAD, LOVE YOU”
CASSIAN AND STEFAN FOR YOUR SUPPORT – “CASSIAN YOU BETTER BE GOING TO YOUR THAI CLASSES, OR I’M GONNA KICK YOUR BUTT WHEN I GET HOME”
AVERY PASCOE – MY TRAVEL CONSULTANT, SHE PUT THIS TOGETHER ENTIRE TRIP TOGETHER FOR ME YOU ALL NEED TO BE USING HER– “THANKS AVERY, BOTTLE WINE FOR YOU UPON MY RETURN”
D-MO (CUZ DAVELLE) FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT – “YOU ARE GREAT, WOULD HAVE BEEN TOUGH TO SO THIS WITHOUT YOUR HELP”
EVERYONE AT TIGER MUAY THAI OFFICE- WILL, KAYLEE ET AL – “FROM THE GET GO YOU HAVE MADE THIS TRIP SO EASY, EVEN DURING THE AIRLINE MESS UP, YOU GUYS JUST KEPT EVERYTHING CALM AND YOU RUN A GREAT ACADEMY”
DAVE RESNICK (BOSS AT WORKOPOLIS) – FOR HELPING TO DECIDE ON PHUKET AND A 2 WEEK STAY – “DAVE YOU ARE SO RIGHT, THIS PLACE IS PARADISE AND I DID NEED 2 WEEKS – ONG BLAK FOREVER, HEY ARE YOU DOING THOSE MAN MAKERS”
MMA CLUB – ERIC MILLER FOR TAKING MY MUAY THAI TO THE NEXT LEVEL “FOUNDATION BABY” AND SHERM AND OTHER TRAINING PARTNERS
TORONTO KICK BOXING AND MUAY THAI ACADEMT (TKMT) – THANKS TO ALL THE TRAINERS AND TRAINING PARTNES FOR PREPARING ME FOR THIS – GRENN “THE RUNNING WAS KEY AND I REMEMBER TO SPEED UP AT THE END OF THE CROSS”, DANNY “THE FOOTWORK YOU TAUGHT ME IS COMING IN HANDY” , WARREN “EVERYTHING THAT YOU HAVE GOING ON AT TKMT IS A-ONE PRO BRUTHA”, AJAN “FOR ALL THE COMBOS” , AND ALL THE TRAINERS
SHAUN METCALFE – FOR TRAINING WITH ME AND BEING MMA/MUAY THAI SUPPORTERS – “HOW DID YOU DO?”
ED AND THE CREW FROM THE BEACHES MUAY THAI – IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME, BUT THIS IS WHERE IT STARTED – MARC “THE TRUTH” ROBERTS STILL LIVES”
DAVE REID – “YOU DON’T KNOW IT, BUT YOU WERE A KEY INSPIRATION FOR ME TAKING THIS TRIP BY MYSELF, YOU ARE AN IMPORTANT PILLAR OF SUPPORT FOR ME IN LIFE, I THINK A TEAR JUST FELL FROM MY EYE.”
PHIL PIXLEY – YOU HAVE ALSO BEEN AN INSPIRATION
CS – “YOU ARE THE BEST SISTA, THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT”
STEVER B – THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT BRUTHA. MEANS THE WORLD TO ME…ANOTHER PILLAR OF SUPPORT IN LIFE… BY THE WAY, DO YOU STILL WANT ME TO YOU KNOW WHAT TO ROYCE GRACIE?”
CUZ SUSAN – “THANKS FOR ALL THE TIPS, YOU ARE MY FIGHTING INSPIRATION”
MY ENTIRE FAMILY – “THANKS AUNTS, UNCLES, COUSINS AND GRANNY E”
CHUCK B – “THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT C-BASS”
VERN PUCHOON – “YOU ARE THE CREATOR OF ONG BLAK – THANKS”
LARRY D- “I AM YOUR NUMBER FAN, THANKS FOR THE DAILY LUNCHES, TALKS EVERYTHING – I BRING HOME FROG FOR YOU – RIBBIT RIBBIT”
MICHEE – “THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND SOUND BOARDING DURING MY TRAVEL ORDEALS, IT MEANT A LOT TO ME”
WORKOPOLIS – IT IS UNBELEIVEALE HOW INCREDIBLE WORKING AT WORKOPOLS IS. THE PEOPLE AD CULTURE ARE SECOND TO NONE – THANKS TO EVERYONE FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT, ESPECIALLY VISHNU AND SONIA FOR HWLPINGMY NEW CUSTOMERS
GABRIEL BOUCHARD – “THANKS FOR YOUR SUPORT, WHEN YOU OPEN THE WORKOPOLIS OFFICE IN THAILAND, I WOULD LIKE TO BE THE NUMBER 1 CANDIDATE TO WORK HERE”
JUSTIN P – “THANKS FOR THE BAHT CONVERSION SHEET, WHICH I HAVE IN MY WALLET”
NYLAE- “THANKS FOR THE JOURNAL, I AM USING IT RELIGIOUSLY AND SINGING OUR THEME SONG ALL THE TIME”