Buakaw Por Pramuk

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Jaroenthong Boxing School

I found an interested content from bangkokpost .A woman who weighed 70kg before starting MuayThai training.After 4 to 5 months of exercise at the school and observing a healthy diet she was down to 50kg.

" Before you see people punching at Jaroenthong Boxing School, you hear them. And the grunts and sounds of strikes are no more encouraging to a first-time visitor than the dark car park on the ground floor of the building on Ramkhamhaeng Soi 39 where the school is located. Ironically enough, it seems like just the kind of place where an attack could be imminent. It's not difficult to see why some people  especially women  are put off by boxing.

Stereotypes lead one to expect a boxing school to be filled with scary looking muscle-bound pugilists training intensely. But the reality is different. The school features a gym style set-up with plenty of light (and heat) coming in from the windows, a major contrast to the dungeon-like ground floor, and those practising their kicks and punches run the gamut in gender, age and size.
Jaroenthong Kiatbanchong, one of Thailand's most famous professional boxers, opened the school eight years ago.
Muay Thai has been around since the Ayutthaya period when it was primarily used during hand-to-hand combat in military battles. It has since evolved into one of Thailand's best known sports and now enjoys "it" status thanks to celebrities and models extolling the fitness benefits of the form.
"When we first opened the school, we had no idea who our target group would be. It was quiet and most of the people that came were guys," says Wichitra Sattabongkot, Jaroenthong's partner in the school. "It wasn't until two to three years ago that girls started to come. Celebs and models began spreading the message that boxing can help you lose weight and firm up."
Boxing offers a total cardio workout and also improves agility, focus and coordination, Jaroenthong says.
''We jump rope before every lesson to get the heart rate up. Then I teach the students the basics of punching, kicking, elbowing and kneeing. After they've gotten that down, I teach them different techniques involving each move,'' Jaroenthong says. ''When they know how to fight, they must also know how to protect themselves. This is where agility comes in; you need to have quick reflexes.''
Jaroenthong Kiatbanchong and Wichitra Sattabongkot.
He emphasises that everything takes time; these techniques cannot be mastered in a couple of hours. The workout involves a lot of repetition and exercising in this way firms the body rather than adds bulk.
Jaroenthong wastes no time in teaching newcomers the basics. Within an hour, I was taught how to throw a cross, a straight punch thrown from the boxer's rear hand, a jab, a quick straight punch thrown with the boxer's lead hand, as well as how to kick. The moves get the heart pumping and the sweat going, but what really woke up my muscles were the sit-ups and push-ups I was forced to after every set of crosses, jabs and kicks.
''We force our students to do at least 10 sit-ups and 10 push-ups per set. Some beginners can't even do one but once they've become a regular, that's no longer a problem. Everybody has to go through the initial phase where they feel like their entire body is aching. I did too. But that's how you know you're burning fat and toning your muscles,'' he says.
He's definitely right about the pain _ my non-existent abs and arms were aching for days after that first session.
Rujira Chuaygeur, one of the school's first students who has been boxing non-stop for three years, says that while novices might look awkward trying to get down the basics of Muay Thai, with practice they will come to appreciate the artistry behind the moves.
''The moves of Muay Thai, if done correctly, are actually beautiful. I consider it an art form that's always been with the Thai people,'' she says. ''The elegant moves you see in such an aggressive sport are what make it worth preserving.''
Foreigners are also drawn to the sport. Muay Thai was introduced to the West during World War II by overseas Thai soldiers, the French even dubbing it ''Le Sport Orient''.
One of the students at Jaroenthong's school, Clement, a Parisian, says he could not pass up the opportunity to learn more about Muay Thai during his three month vacation here.
Jaroenthong, he says ''is a legend'' in France, largely because of his role in the French movie Chok Dee, directed by Xavier Durringer in 2005.
The former Lumpini boxing champ is just as popular among his students, says Pavita Panabordee, a ninth grader at Ruamrudee International school. ''He doesn't scold you when you do something wrong, he just teaches you patiently,'' she says. Pavita has been to the school seven times and says the group exercises have given her a chance to make friends.
''I've never thought that there'd be more girls than guys. We all are just basically having fun together working out to dance music,'' Pavita says smiling.
She says the classes also make her feel safer when alone.
Self-defence is one of the top reasons girls learn to box, though for now most of its adherents place it third behind weight loss and body firming.
Jaroenthong says ''there are no fat people, only lazy ones''. Beauty to him means being healthy, fit and firm.
He cites the case of a high school senior who weighed 70kg before starting training. Four to five months of exercise at the school and observing a healthy diet she was down to 50kg. People at the school witnessed her transformation and see her as an inspiration, he said.
Jaroenthong has kept his school down to earth and it still has a family feel despite its popularity. Anyone is welcome to join _ provided they are ready for the aches to follow.

One 30-hour course at the Jaroenthong Boxing School is 4,500 baht for Thais and 7,500 baht for non-Thais. The school is at 581 Soi Ramkhamhaeng 39. Call 02-539-3867 or 08-2658-6097. Visit www.jaroenthong.com.


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