Buakaw Banchamek Training Footage

Buakaw Banchamek

Following a recent post about my training origins, I received several messages from readers of the site who have thrived in similar environments. I’ve also received video links of other fighters who continue to excel in minimalistic, low-tech gyms. One name that has come up repeatedly is Buakaw Banchamek (more commonly known as Buakaw Por Pramuk).

Buakaw has been a dominant fighter for many years. To no surprise, he relies heavily on the sport itself for the bulk of his training. Such an approach has been successful for countless fighters from various disciplines throughout history. One of my favorite examples of this approach comes from the legendary Jack Dempsey. Like Buakaw, Dempsey focused heavily on his sport which was boxing. Buakaw follows a similar approach with an emphasis on bag work, pad work, and sparring. He’s also been extremely active with well over 200 fights throughout his career.

A fifteen minute video of Buakaw’s training can be seen below.

Another brief clip can be found next.

As evident in both examples, Buakaw works hard yet does not require anything fancy in terms of equipment or facility. Much of his work could be performed almost anywhere. Clearly, it is not where he trains that determines his success. His success is instead based on years of hard and consistent work with the basics.

And as stated many times before, I do not share these stories with hopes that all readers of the site will strive to become world champion fighters. More importantly, it is useful to see how champion fighters can achieve greatness with a relatively basic approach to training. As demonstrated before, combat sports offer plenty in return even for those who have no interest in fighting. You don’t need to be a fighter to benefit from such work.

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“Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy.” – Isaac Newton

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12 comments:

  1. I’d already seen clips of this guy felling banana trees with his shins on Youtube. What a tough little cookie this guy is, and what a set of calve muscles for a man that size. Not an ounce of fat on this guy, what a physical specimen. His muscularity even puts Bruce Lee to shame.

  2. This is a very strong man with an excellent approach to his sport, has very little fat, but I would never consider him or anyone else putting Bruce Lee to shame

  3. Adam:

    “I would never consider him or anyone else putting Bruce Lee to shame”

    Why not? Why doesn’t he put Bruce Lee to shame? Lee didn’t win major fight competitions year after year against the toughest opponents in the world. Lee was a martial scholar. He wrote books, did movies. His accomplishments were unreal and resonate in the martial arts community to this day.

    But he didn’t do what Buakaw does which is fight the best, for everyone to see, and win.

  4. You’re comparing apples and oranges. Bruce Lee changed the world. He broke through the martial arts barrier that allowed everyone to practice it. The man died 40 years ago and he still inspires and influences all aspects in today’s society.

  5. I think it is interesting. These types fighters COULD use some methods to have at least even a bit of better conditioning, they MIGHT benefit from one bout of barbell training a week.

    But for fighters, it is not all about performance. It is not about the last 30kg of demolition force from that kick, it is not about the contest of kicking ten more times than the other guy.

    A fight, most often, is about the psychology. And when I look at fighters, I believe that is exactly this kind of environment that makes a fighter great. It isn’t about the usefulness of Muhammad Alis 1000 situps, it is about his iron will coming from enduring this pain, his anger behind it. I have been training with great guys in Thailand and most of the champions are poor. They do not fight for fun, they fight for a living. They just go out there and perform and fight. Fighting and consistency are their day job. Only the best go to Bangkok, the others are like prize fighters. This environment tells them “Fight, or die. Train the sport, perform the sport, or die.”

    And this is where they thrive.

    I believe this is what most trainers get wrong about fighting. It is not necessarily just about the best performance, but training has to develop heart. Sometimes it needs to cut the wheat from chaff and bring a man close to a breaking point. I remember training to a point where I was having hot and cold flashes with Krue Gae in the ring. I was exhausted, I was dying, wanted to stop and the only thing I was hearing was “ONE TWO KICK, OKAY!”

    Fighting isn’t about getting the 5kg on the bar or the last split second. It is about getting hit, hitting back and keeping to smile at all times. Fighting is a marathon that goes beyond the ring.

  6. This is how most Thai fighters train. 3 hour sessions, twice a day, six days a week, bare bones, basic, and very specific training sessions. Most Thais start as young children in order to keep their family out of poverty.

    It certainly produces results, immersing yourself in Thai boxing this way; I couldn’t tell you how many fighters, many of whom I know, make a yearly month-long pilgramage to Thailand for training and fights, and it pays dividends for them.

  7. ”This is how most Thai fighters train. 3 hour sessions, twice a day, six days a week, bare bones, basic, and very specific training sessions” This sounds impossible to me. I mean, I only do 2 sessions a day for 2-3 months a year. This is so inspiring, they train like hell there, but that’s how you bring results.

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