It’s another bright and sunny morning on the rooftop of the Machapuchre house. All the boys are on the roof already before I arrive at 6.00 am. Early morning is the best time to arrange this because anytime after that it can be too hot. Most of them have been up for maybe an hour or so and others still have the sleep in their eyes. First thing to do is to get them warmed up. They all know the drill by now but some are still reluctant to start. After a couple of minutes of stretching and jumping jacks we are ready to begin. All the boys start to wrap their hands while I take out the pads and gloves. We do a couple of minutes of shadow boxing to start and then we begin with the same routine. Jab, jab cross, jab cross hook. I pair the boys of together, trying to get like for like with them. And they begin. As they are practicing I keep telling them “keep your guard up, breath, keep moving”. Sometimes it falls on deaf ears but for most they really take it in.
A couple of them already know some basics of either boxing, kick-boxing, muy thai or taekwando. So with this knowledge they know they have to listen at all times too. As the time goes by we switch the pads around so everybody gets the same amount of time training. As they are all warmed up now I give them different combinations to practice. The next one a little more complicated then the one before. They have to concentrate more instead of just pounding away on the pads. As we are nearing the end of our session the boys are sweating. They have all given 100% but it’s not over yet. Now its time for some conditioning. For most of the boys this is the worst part but it has to be done. After ten minutes of pushing their bodies to the limits it’s all over. The sun is bright in the sky and it’s time for daal bhat and school.
A special thanks to Neil for buying all the equipment and starting the boxing training and to Brandon for continuing it on after he left. Without both of them I wouldn’t of been able to continue the sessions. All the boys are grateful for your time and efforts. Karl O’ Byrne Umbrella Volunteer