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Photo Essay: Dean James Training at FA Group in Bangkok

Dean James Training at FA Group in Bangkok
Dean James started training Muay Thai when he was 22 years old. His best friend wanted to look at a gym in Wolverhampton. He remembers walking into the gym and smelling the sweaty Thai pads. He watched Tony Myers holding pads for Peter Crooke, and at that point, had no idea who either of them were. James was amazed at the amount of power Crooke’s kicks generated as they met the pads. Today, James works on his own power while hitting pads with master pad holder Diesel at FA Group.




Dean James Training at FA Group in Bangkok
James fights out of Pra Chao Suua Gym under Tony Myers, the man who James attributes all of his successes to, both inside and outside of the ring. James and Myers share a father-son relationship, it’s a relationship that helps Myers fully understand what’s going on in James’s mind, sometimes before James himself does.

Dean James Training at FA Group in Bangkok
James has been fighting for close to 9 years. But he never intended to fight when he started Muay Thai. He did Muay Thai to get fit and learn something new. After a few years of training and learning about the sport, he found himself competing in the ring. Today, James is one of the United Kingdom’s most notable fighters. He has defeated some of the best fighters in the world, including Thailand’s Rungravee Sasiprapa.

Dean James Training at FA Group in Bangkok
Other than cutting weight, James doesn’t dislike many things about Muay Thai. Even the longer-than-normal clinching sessions at FA Group can’t keep James down.

Dean James Training at FA Group in Bangkok
James works as a full-time school teacher. When he isn’t doing something Muay Thai related, he’s usually marking books or planning lessons. If he’s not marking books or planning lessons he’s spending time with his two children.

Dean James Training at FA Group in Bangkok
Because Thailand is the birth place of Muay Thai, James feels it’s important to train there. But he also feels the time away from home benefits him most. At home he has work and family duties, as well as training two times a day when he has a fight booked. But in Thailand he doesn’t have to think about all the stresses of everyday life. He trains, eats, sleeps, and repeats the process 6 days a week.

Dean James Training at FA Group in Bangkok
The rest James gets in Thailand goes a long way. And he feels the laid back attitudes of Thai people put him in a good state. He comes to Thailand to focus on himself and add new tricks to his Muay Thai game. Here James takes a break in between rounds of clinching at FA Group.

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