KRU LEK Tells Boxing Stories 2 - muay thai training

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         Grandmaster KHET SRIYAPAI lived comfortably in a very cool & shady wooden house on "SOI MAHL MONGKOL" which is currently known as "EKAMAI SOI 1". Upon entering "SOI MAHL MONGKOL" there used to be a lady who sold coffee & drinks from her bicycle which she parked in front of the *SOI* on a regular basis.

        I would often ask her "Has anyone else passed through here yet?" before entering the *SOI* myself. There would be a long wooden chair situated against the interior wall of the house where grandmaster KHET trained his martial arts students. The training grounds consisted of sand that... I believe... was lightly covered with a type of dirt intermixed with black granules which is literally translated as "Duck Droppings" in Thai.

        Grandmaster KHET would usually sit on the long wooden chair along with his trusty flyswatter ready to swat any flies that dared to land on him !

        The grandmaster would carefully watch over any of his students who practiced his methodology of combat wholeheartedly such as the 4 "BPs" of Chaiya style defense. The 4 "BPs" include "BPong" (PROTECT), "BPuhd" (DEFLECT), "BPid" (CLOSE), and "BPerd" (OPEN). P'SOMSAK, P'SOMBOON, P'JOHNG-JUH-LERN, JEE-RUH-PUN (late roommate of mine) and another three or four people of whom I can't remember the names of were all enjoying a practice session involving the "SLAP EARS" defense exercise !

        I, myself, practiced walking the parallel lines. After I completed the walking exercise, I would ask my friends to slap my ears for me. Training would last from the evening hours or twilight. My friends & fellow students would usually be the first ones to leave.

        The grandmaster would often say to me "Don't go back too late or you might worry the folks at home". Back then, I had to take a bus in order to be able to learn the art. On the way there, I had to take TWO buses since I had to get one from "Assumption School" in *BANGRUK* before getting the #72 bus from *TAY-WAID*. It was more convenient on the way back since I just had to take the #40 bus to the guest house situated on the four-way intersection. From there, home was just within walking distance.

        On my days off, I would take the #40 bus all the way to the front of the *SOI* where the grandmaster's house was located. It was tiring, but quite emotionally satisfying since I had the opportunity to learn an art that was very difficult to find. Stay tuned for more stories in the coming days !
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