One of my favorite parts of my job is when I get to travel and do seminars. I get to see you new places, meet new people and train. It’s my favorite type of vacation, even if it is work. I always learn a lot, have a great time and get to network with some great martial artists. So let me show you where I stayed, where I ate, where I trained and what I learned.

Where I went

Last week my friend Krysta and I had the pleasure of going to one of my favorite seminars to train with one of the best instructors in the world, Ajarn Chai Sirisute in State College, PA.

For those of you who don’t know, State College is home the Penn State as well as one of the most beautiful gyms I’ve ever been to Central PA Mixed Martial Arts. We are talking exposed brick walls, hardwood floors, a full-size ring, a cage, 12 heavy bag, and SHOWERS!!!! Ryan Gruhn and everyone at CPAMMA has always been so generous and kind every time I have gone up for a seminar. They always make my training partners and I feel like family.

Where I stayed

Krysta and I always stay at the Fairfield Inn in State College, PA. We do this for a couple reasons.

  1. 5-minute drive to CPAMMA
  2. Free Breakfast
  3. Walking distance to our favorite restaurants/bars!!!

Where I ate

Speaking of our favorite restaurants…you have to go to these places when you visit. You won’t regret it.

  1. Otto’s Pub and Brewery– Great food, great prices. I can always find gluten-free food there. They have great cider on tap as well as beer, or so I’ve been told.
  2. Barrel 21 Distillery and Dining– If you cocktails and tapas are more your speed then this the place to go. A little goes a long way so you don’t need to order as many plates as you think. My reservations, this place gets busy.
  3. Fuji & Jade Garden– If sushi is your poison and you care to challenge Ryan to a sushi eating contest then have at it. Bonus: if you’re used to DC prices you’ll pleasantly surprised. Plus they have a very extensive and award winning cocktail menu. Cheers!!!


What I did 

The first two days of my State College adventure was an Instructor Course for the World Thai Boxing Association.  During the course, we learned tips on how to teach, how to disguise repetition and the basic WTBA curriculum. It started at 8:15 both mornings and ended at 5 pm, with a test the last day. So…I drank a lot of coffee. After the first day, I stuck around and put on my gi and did some Jiu Jitsu. Everything was going great until I dislocated my finger. Oh well, it’s a contact sport at some point the is going to be some contact. I had to finish out the rest of my weekend with a bad finger but I found a way to work around my injury versus through it.

The last two days was the Thai Boxing seminar with Ajarn Chai Sirisute. This is always a ton of fun. I remember my first seminar with Chai. I was so scared. At this point a know what to expect but doesn’t mean that relax completely around him either. If there is one thing that I have learned over the years of doing Thai its respect and discipline. I never forget to bring either of those things to a Chai seminar.

We focused a lot on tool development including stance, right body kick, and skip knee #2. We also worked combinations off of kick counters and clinch escapes. Luckily I had a great pad holder to make me look good even with my dislocated finger thanks, Krysta! It was also really nice to work in a ring. I don’t get to very often so it is nice when I do.

I teach so often that it is nice to just be a student again. So taking a break from teaching gets me remotivated to come back and be an even better instructor. All and all it was a great trip.

You guys have a great week and I’ll see you on the mat!

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