After that call I was really excited
The sun shone high in the sky and I decided to walk for several kilometers until I got to the beginning of the Salento coast.
A special site that has always welcomed many of my crucial moments, where jagged coasts receives the perpetual motion of the sea from immemorial time.
The same sea from which Falanto arrived with his men, making Taranto the City of Sparta. Warrior Waters that talk about courage, resilience and great adaptability without uttering any verb.
I remember spending all the day reflecting on the pros and cons of going to live in a place I had already visited and of which I knew the personal feeling.
In addition to the philosophical and martial culture that had fascinated me since childhood, I knew very well what was waiting for me and I was not certainly afraid of fighting.
The typical heat and humidity of those places. Crazy traffic, pollution levels among the highest in the world, health and food at risk represented only a general framework.
If you have lived a minimum of 6 months in Southeast Asia and you want to go working in Australia, you are asked for a pulmonary x-ray! And it’s not a joke!
Obviously I didn’t want to stop in front of any obstacle. I was simply aware that it would not be the easiest walk, but certainly one of the most challenging and satisfying.
I was already able to test the bureaucracy of the Thai state from Italy
They required the references for every single thing I had done and I was forced to self-certify official documents such as my military experience, the property of my old sport association, etc.
That’s right. It was a party for the Italian Financial Agency, where the magic words are “Money for every breath”!
In any case, I was ready.
The destination was Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand, in the historic Kingdom of Lanna.
The only problem was to understand what to do once in Chiang Mai!
I had no contacts or references for Muay. Of course I would never have turned to the canonical Associations of Muay Boran in the local area. The same from which some well-known Italian actors come from, who love to play a martial arts comedy.
Calm down! That’s pure Vipassana, just See the Things As They’re!
I was looking for something else and I had no intention of reciting the sad role of “master with visa”.
Before relegating myself to fate, I tried to get in touch with all my contacts in Thailand
If it is true that in the center-south is a real business market for martial arts, on the other hand the hypotheses of finding a good master of Ancient Muay Thai in Lanna were quite remote.
However,everithing was meant to be already happened. My flight to the Land of Smiles was waiting for me in few hours. I was convinced that everything was already established. I knew I was on the right path, where my intentions were leading me.
I just had to wait patiently.
After few days a friend from Thailand told me it would not be easy at all. What’s new?!
Yet, among the myriad of Thai connections that I tried to shake daily, a name came out.
“There is a sword master in Lanna, famous for the precision of his movements and his technique. It is one of a kind. I can put you in contact with him, but I do not assure you anything. The rest will be up to you.”
When I watched his video he was a person who I had admired several years ago on the web.
It was about Jerng, a combat system with and without weapons developed in Lanna
Until 3 years ago, in most of the West, almost nothing was known about Jerng, its techniques related to symbolism and the way it trains the body to fight.
At first it was not easy. Taking an inexperienced look, it seemed that Jerng moved away so far from the dynamics of Muay as we have been used to seeing it.
I do not hide my initial hesitation.
I asked dozens of questions to try to understand what it was, but nothing. They kept telling me that I just had to practice without thinking. I had to experiment the “Thai Zone”. That suggestion turned out to be very effective!
I got in touch with Kru Nick, who, in response to my various requests, simply told me “I do not feel like answering you. When you will be here in Lanna, we’ll decide what to do.”
In the total uncertainty of a working contract that would guarantee me a BOI visa and without the faintest idea of what awaited me, I packed my bags.