t was the obvious choice. Texas, Barcelona, Bradford, Bangkok. All four are known all over the world. Well, maybe not Texas. But, since the first I heard of the Radio and Film Museum in the City Centre, or the history-rich Town Hall, I have wanted to visit the city of Bradford. Barcelona wouldn’t compare, I knew, so I stopped there for four months first to avoid being let down.
My true main interest for visiting Bradford, besides the Indian food (which really does deserve its reputation as the best in England), was to train at Mungsarin Gym, with Nigel Fell. Why you may ask? Not counting the obvious tourist appeal of the city, I wanted to learn Muay Thai, or Thai Boxing.
I had decided long ago that I would like to visit the country of Thailand. The Land of Smiles. I thought to get the most out of the experience, I would have to get as close to the culture as possible. Thus, my lame and akward attempts at learning the Thai language. After learning two letters in three weeks, I decided another entry into the Thai culture would most likely prove more fruitful. Reading up on life in this southeast Asia country, I stumbled across Muay Thai. My budding interest in their national sport mixed with the desire to fuel the dying fire of my somewhat athletic past led me here: Bradford.
I would train with Nigel for three weeks, then head over to Chiang Mai, Thailand. There, armed with my Thai Boxing crash course knowledge, I would attempt a two month stint at a boxing camp without collapsing from complete and utter, as I think you would say here, knackeredness.
Nigel met me when I arrived and we spoke briefly about my trip and what I would need tommorow morning. He had a hop in his step and was genuinely interested in my project. I felt immediately at ease. When I asked him what time I would need to be at the gym, he looked at me sideways for a moment, and I half expected him to say something like 5 or 6 in the morning. But, he shook his head and said, "Just as long as it’s not too early," I sighed relief and he continued, "Whatever works for you."
After a quick tour of the gym, which is well stocked with all manners of bags, pads, and rings, I left with a gum guard and groin shield and an 11 o’clock morning appointment for my first lesson. Knackered from the trip (I do like that word), I didn’t have time to be a
nxious about tommorow’s uncertainties: I feel asleep dreaming about jabs and hooks..