So Saturday brought an afternoon excursion to the Wynberg Military Base Gym hall to watch the WPKA (Western Province Kickboxing Association) trials to whittle down to the folks that would go to Langabaan for the Provincial Trials. Being as we (Eugene and I) are super into our MMA, and as it was being hosted by Takedown (our MMA Gym), this seemed like a great way to spend R60 and a Saturday afternoon……..we were soon to be shown the error of our ways.
Just after half past 3 (it started at 9am but Full contact only started from 3 and ran to 7ish) we drove into the base, and, with some sketchy directional details from the gate guard, we alighted on our destination…….. which looked like a combination of a large barn, and something the army would hide Optimus Prime in (see my addiction to Transformers!) Walking in we were greeted by a super happy door/sales/person who took our R60 each and tried to then sell us WPKA tee shirts. Even enthusiastic, I don’t look like someone to sell a T-shirt to, let me assure you.
And then we walked into the gym.
To say we were a little surprised would be an understatement. A regulation size boxing ring sat dead in the middle of a very, very, VERY large hall/Basketball Court/Freezer. On either side were bleechers with a handful of slightly frozen mothers, fathers, siblings, girl/boyfriends, and I’m sure, at least 3 adoring fans… but I doubt more than that. Gary, Takedowns manager was in the middle of the ring as ref for the juniors. He was also, as we later discovered, the coach for the Take Down Guys. Edgar (our mate) joined us on our cold bench and shared our general chilly discomfort.
The fighting was ok. There were one or two odd results that had us wondering if we were actually sitting too far to really see what was happening. All 3 of the fights where Take Down fighters were fighting, resulted in warnings to our fighters for trying to pickup and drop their opponent (this is an acceptable and points scoring technique in Muay Thai, NOT EVER! EVER! EVER! done in Kickboxing) We on a few occasions commented to each other that we wondered exactly what Gary was saying to the guys, especially after one of our fighters had points deducted after being warned 3 times not to throw his opponent to the ground ……….. and promptly came out after a break and pep talk and tossed his opponent over the ropes and out the ring.
In between all this, Eugene and Edgar went to go find food. Now you have to understand, Edgar can eat toxic waste and I can just about eat toxic waste and be ok. Eugene has a more delicate constitution. When the boys came back with Edgar clutching a hotdog with gooey red onions in tomato sauce (odd cause they didn’t add onions….) that even I wouldn’t touch, Eugene and I decided to rather starve. I won’t even bother trying to regale the story of their asking the women behind the counter if someone was serving, but rather just say that while fighters aren't generally considered the brightest of them all, she may them look like rocket scientists…. so to speak!
Around half past 5 everyone packed up, and started to leave.
Now, I don’t mean to…………yeah, never mind, I DO mean to sound ungracious. I paid R60, the full day rate for roughly 2 hours of ok kickboxing. I get that I wasn’t professional fights, I get that the association isn’t well supported (oh LORD do I understand that) but SERIOUSLY. We effectively paid R120 for 2 hours….. now, in my book that’s just not on. Could the bloke at the door not give us a break and just have charged us R30 each, or at least warned us that it was going to finish early.
WPKA needs to seriously think of doing something more interesting to get peoples interest because I’m not going to another one of these. You have our R120, put it towards something nice for yourselves……….. and enjoy it, cause you not getting more from me.