Today we are sitting here with Jan. He’s 33 years old and he’s been here for about two months. This is his second time at Kombat Group and he chose the Western Boxing training.
What made you come back to Kombat Group?
“First of all, when I first was here last year I liked it from day one. You know, beautiful weather, good food, the camp takes care of you. I was here for boxing and the boxing training is a quite high level. I’ve been boxing for a while, for 4/5 times a week already, so I kind of know what I’m looking for in terms of boxing professionality. They have five trainers here, all professional boxers; good workouts and good training gear. It was perfect for me. So, I knew actually from the first month last year that I wanted to come back for a longer time.”
That’s wonderful. This time around, Jan, did you train with someone in particular?
Mainly, because I have a certain style. I have very long arms and I like to keep a distance. But I also like to mix things up in a way that the opponent doesn’t know what to expect. The beautiful thing about this place is that they have a certain trainer who trains like this or versus this.
They put you against somebody who can train first this, so you kind of know what to do and when to do it. But they also help you with a trainer who is used to this kind of fighting. So, it really focuses on your abilities and your strengths, but also your weaknesses. So, you just grow from the person you are. They don’t bring you back to basics because you’ve learnt some weird things, no. They see this is how you fight and then grow from there. I think that’s one of the key, or the main selling points or best things about this camp. They focus on you, not just as a fighter, but also, how you want to fight as a person, which I think is great.
Who was your trainer?
For me it was Joel. I did also private lessons with him and sparring. I told him ‘you know, my technique is good, my conditioning is well and I just want to focus more on sparring’, because I like to fight. I have a couple of fights and sparring can be high level. It doesn’t mean you have to punch the other guy out, which he did to me a couple of days ago, but yeah… well I kind of, you know, instigated it, because I was punching hard as well. LOL!
Jan can you tell our readers about the food?
First of all, there is a lot of variety. So, if you don’t like a certain kind of food, you probably have it maybe once a month, but you can also say ‘look I don’t like this kind of food’ and they’ll make something different actually. But overall, it’s like breakfast, lunch, dinner; you get vegetables, you get fruit, you get meat, you get your rice, of course. At dinner you get your potatoes, your spinach, your carbs, it’s well balanced. The variety makes it so that you don’t dread ‘oh again spinach’ or ‘again pad thai’ you know, it’s very different. It’s very well cooked and it’s very well done. You can also ask for more. For me is very important because I like to focus on my diet. Since I am a skinny guy, I want to stay skinny.
How would you explain the ambience here at Kombat Group with the guests that they have? What is the feeling that you get?
Well, it’s a good question. I feel like last year was very different than this year. Maybe it’s me or the people themselves that are here this year instead of last year, but I feel like there’s a kindred spirit.
The same kind of people come here; they are social, they are world orientated because they travel a lot. What I really like is that they are all fighters. Fighters have a different kind of mentality than ‘normal people’ because they are used to working hard and they are used to helping each other. If I am having a hard time at the gym there is somebody saying ‘ah come on, you can do 10 more reps’ or ‘you can focus on your footwork a little bit more’ or whatever. I do the same to other people so you kind of grow towards each other and you have great conversations even during lunch or even during boxing. There was this guy I was sparring all the time and he was forever grateful that I gave him some tips and techniques, you know, just help each other out. It just makes it a very good experience overall.
I’m sure there’s going to be some readers that are maybe hesitant about coming, especially ones that have never boxed or never actually trained in any type of sport. What would you tell these readers? Do you think this is a place that anyone can come or is specifically for just fighters only?
Well, as I said before, they look at you as a person and an individual and not just at the level of boxing that you are, but also as a person. There are people, of course, that are not used to working as hard as a fighter. Because they are not used to this kind of training regiment or because they don’t know how to push themselves over the limit. It doesn’t mean that you have to or that the trainers will do, but they’ll say like ‘ok, I can push a little further’. My problem was that I was over serious at times, so the trainer would come to me and joke with me, so I would loosen up a bit. Because I would be super focused and that’s not always productive for improving technique or stamina or whatever. So, they would just joke around with me and that’s his way of helping me which is great.
Somebody who comes here and has no experience, they will help with that way. See ‘ok, you can push yourself in this way a little bit harder’ or they will just say ‘ah, you know do one more rep’ or ‘do two more reps’. They didn’t need to do that for me because I would do that for myself, but I needed somebody to just lighten up the entire atmosphere for myself.
There’s anything else you want to tell our readers?
I feel like it’s a unique experience. There are, of course, expectations with everything, every occasion or every travel destination. I feel like, if you have resistance, do it. I would just go for it. It’s so different and so unique and it’s good. Even if maybe this is not for you after you figured that out after a couple of weeks, you’ve done it and you’ve learnt something. I feel like that’s the most important thing, that you’ve learnt something from your travels. Because you can go to Italy and see another touristy place, or you can go to Spain and see another and it’s kind of the same kind of vacation. But this is very different; it can be for you and it can not be for you, but at least you know it if you try. You should definitely try it.