THE CAMP SITJAABOON
Special report by Serge TREFEU (2011)
This camp is in Yan Tan Khao’s village which is 25 km of the city of Trang, the capital of the province of Trang in the South of the Thailand. Situated by the roadside, in the countryside, surrounded with plantations of heveas, this camp is really authentic. 50 years ago I think that camps in Thailand had to look like Sitjaaboon. The structure of the camp is really modest, there is an old boxing ring sheltered by a roof sheet steels of which are half made rusty, five used punch bags, tires of trucks piled up in a corner and the material of body-building of another age.
Near the boxing ring, fighting cocks are locked under bells in bamboo and hens in liberties come defied by cackling. But what strike most in this camp they are the conditions in whom live the boxers. The rooms of the camp are tiny wooden huts where the boxers pile up in some inside. The inside of huts is summary, there is no ventilator, no mosquito net, nor even of electricity. The boxers sleep on braids and toilet are outside. When in the shower she is made outside behind huts by means of a plastic bucket filled with cold water…
It has been now 15 years since Sitjaaboon exists. This camp has several names, Sitjaaboon, Sakniranrat, Chor Naa Phattalung and Wor Suntharanon, the boxers fight under these various names. Sitjaaboon is the name of the woman of the boss, Sakniranrat the name of the owner, Chor Naa Phattalung the name of a region and Wor Suntharanon the name of a friend close to the family which holds a small camp not far from Sitjaaboon.
This typical camp was created by Mr Thawee Niranrat more known under the name of Susak. Susak is a passionate person of boxing for a long time. But having made some fights, he preferred to open a camp rather than to make a career in the boxing. Because he is by far better trainer and manager than fighter. Indeed, Susak in spite of his low past of fighter formed of great boxers. Shows the many champions from the region which represented the camp successfully.
The oldest is Hansuk Wor Suntharanon who was a Lumpinee champion in 115 lbs, TV7 champion in 115 lbs and in 118 lbs. Then there was Sangyut Wor Suntharanon who gained the Tournament Toyota Marathon in 108 lbs, Awutlek Sitjaaboon TV9 champion in 108 lbs and Panpetch Chor Naa Phattalung who gained the belt of Thailand in 130 lbs last year. But the star of the camp is unquestionably redoubtable Detnarong Sitjaaboon with seven belts to her fight record. Detnarong was three times South Champion, Radja Champion in 115 lbs, Thailand Champion in 118 lbs and Lumpinee Champion in 115 lbs and 122 lbs!
The camp always produces good fighters. At present there are 25 boxers permanently and although the camp is 830 km from Bangkok, about fifteen boxers often fight in stadium of the capital. The boxers of the Sitjaaboon can fight with no problem at all in Lumpinee, in Radja and in TV7. Because Susak is in connection with two bigger promoters of the country, Songchai for Radja and Chun Kietpetch for Lumpinee and TV7.
We could classify this camp as a camp of fighter “fimeuu” because there are many technicians but it would not be exact. Indeed three trainers by means of Susak always manage to find the most adequate style for every fighter. If the boxer is strong in fist, they will make him work a lot in English. Moreover three times a week it is special training in Boxing for all the fighters. Nakmuay hardly there clinch and in knees can express themselves completely in this style. Hansuk was a “Toymat” (strong in fist), Detnarong “Muay Khao” (strong in knees) and Awutlek a “Fimeuu” (technician)!
Every morning, at 6:30 am, nakmuays makes a 13 km jogging, and the training ends at 8:30 am. At about 11 am all the boxers eat in the dining hall neighboring to the boxing ring. It is also the only place where they can look at the unique television of the camp, an old television which has difficulty in getting all the channel. After their meal, they are going to have a nap deserved well before start the training of after noon. At 3:30 pm the boxers make their second jogging of the day, a 6 km jogging. Immediately after they make of the jump rope and the jumps on tires what their allows to develop the muscle their calfs while maintaining their cardio. The serious things begin with the rounds of paos.
The competitors are going to link six rounds of five minutes then without timeouts one hour of clinch. The training ends by of body-building, series of abdominal muscles, push-ups and tractions, until 8 pm. After this training of Spartan, the boxers still have the strength to be a part of football on the small ground in earth of the camp. The atmosphere here is family, everybody knows in the village, the children of neighbouring houses often come to attend the trainings.
Very few persons are capable of bearing of such way of living, a very hard training with an environment so rough. Even less a “farang” (foreign) but there were some rash foreigners who came to train in Sitjaaboon. A Japanese, an Australian and a Frenchman made some sessions of trainings but they did not stay for a long time in the camp. The boss of the camp is opened to the foreigners, “It is free for farangs, if they fight for the camp, they can sleep here with the boxers ” dixit Susak by showing the “huts” where sleep the fighters…
Here have tolerate everybody, all the religions and it is the peculiarity of the camp Sitjaaboon. The camp account 25 boxers, 15 are Buddhist and 10 are Moslem.
The boss of the camp, Susak, is Buddhist and his wife is Moslem. He goes as well to pray in the Temple as in the Mosque, “I like both religions, we are every brother” he says to me in smiling. There is a big tolerance of the religions in this region, Sitjaaboon is the proof…