Today’s interview is with Amber, from England, who came to Kombat group to do the Western Boxing.

I didn’t have much boxing experience at home, so I’ve been exercising a bit but did like maybe two boxing lessons and thought, ‘this would be something that would be like really enjoyable to get good at. Where can I go to do it?’ Googled online and I was like, ‘Oh! Thailand would be a sick place to go to!’ I came in for a week, absolutely loved it and thought, ‘a week’s not long enough, you’re just getting started’ and ‘If I could get even better, it would be cool.’ So, I stayed for another two weeks. This is almost my last day of the third week, already planning to come out again, it’s just… it’s really good!

The atmosphere in the gym

The trainers are always really encouraging, everyone else in the class is super friendly, it’s a really nice atmosphere. No one’s there to sort of make you feel bad, everyone’s building each other up, you’re having a laugh as well because let’s face it, it’s really warm, right? You don’t go in there and go, “Yeah sweet, we’ll have a cruisy little workout!” It’s like everyone’s a sweaty mess within the first five minutes and that’s all part of the fun and luckily, you got a nice pool here to cool down. The kitchen’s got loads and loads of nice food, all the water you need, the electrolytes! Don’t skip on the electrolytes if you come out, they will save your life!

“It doesn’t really matter what level you are.”

Amber training in Boxing at Kombat Group

Although I came in as a beginner you’ve got other people in the class who are looking more advanced or intermediate and as I say like there’s… because the trainers have got so much expertise that they can just…they’ll pick up on what you need to know and they’ll sort of put you in the right direction and you never feel like, ‘Oh god, I’m such a beginner and everybody else is really good’ because you’re always focusing on what you need to focus on for yourself, which is nice!

It’s so easy to go to a place and feel really intimidated and be like, ‘ah, I’m a beginner, I’ll stick in my corner,’ but here they’re really encouraging. If you look like you’re struggling, which everyone does, you go to the speed bag, and you’re like: Oh sweet! someone’s like: pah, dah, dah… yeah cool, I just… Why is it so hard? They make it look easy and none of it is but that’s… part of the fun is like slowly figuring it out for yourself. What’s good for someone is not gonna be good for someone else but here, they sort of cater for everyone: beginner, intermediate, advanced…Kombat is the place for you.

“I thought I would enjoy it and I enjoyed it even more than I thought was possible.”

It’s such a positive atmosphere, that I can’t emphasize enough, like everyone’s so supportive and you just feel like you have like-minded people and everyone’s here to get on with the same sort of stuff, varying goals with different reasons and it’s just a really happy nice environment where you can just… whatever you put in you’ll get out, guaranteed. So that was… yeah, that was a really big plus really, coming here just thinking you’re gonna enjoy it, and absolutely loving it. I think that’s pretty common. Most people you speak to definitely want to come back. It’s THAT good.

And if you want a condensed rhyming account of my time here…I rap, and Pat asked me if I wanted to do a rap and I thought, ‘you know what? Why not!’ We’ve been working on the videos if you wanna check it out, I’m sure the link will be available here somewhere.

Punching a drop bag at Kombat Group

The “Kombat Mansion”

Come inside! Oi, you gotta check this out: Kettle? Yes. Coffee? 100%. TV and a DVD player: the comfiest looking bed I ever did see, desk, chair, mirror…’so you can check your gains’…air con…’we’re not worthy’… absolutely loads of space, a safe in there, fine-looking bathroom. We’re set up, this is the Kombat Mansion. Easy access to the pool. I could literally probably run and jump into it if I tried hard enough. This is what you want in your life, right here!

This is perfect… no, but genuinely, after every training session, this is where people go. Not specifically here, this is my room! You have probably at least one, maybe two naps a day and like how often do you get that permitted? You just eat what’s in front of you, you get to sleep in your room, you train and do what they tell you and the rest of the time you probably just nap and hang out in the pool. It’s honestly a dream. Expectations were here, reality was up here. That does not happen often.

“I don’t want to go home. Please don’t make me leave!”