There are adventure holidays where you can swing from things and jump off stuff and then there are adventure holidays where you can learn something new, such as: how to kick the living bejesus out of someone. Below are three options that will turn your next adventure holiday into a kick-ass experience to be remembered for years to come.
Learn the Secret Skills of the Ninja
Few trips could be as exciting as a journey into the psyche of the beguiling Ninja. This group of people is shrouded in mystery as no one knows for sure who was a Ninja and who wasn’t. One of the most fanciful tales you might hear when on your trip is the tale of Ishikawa Goemon. Legend has it that Goemon hid in the ceiling and tried to drip poison from a thread into his rival’s mouth.
Supposedly, the discipline was born from disgraced Samurais who, when offered the option of Harakiri (honourable suicide), picked the other, dark choice: to become a masterless rogue. One thing we do know though: the Ninja M.O. was unorthodox warfare. Espionage, assassination, sabotage… You name it, the Ninja were doing it.
On the few adventure holidays on which you can discover the secret ways of a Ninja, you will learn martial arts from Japan’s most venerable sensei – masters of karate. One of them is famous for taking on 13 yakuza (the Japanese mafia) at once, coming out merely with a few broken fingers. If this sounds like real life Kill Bill to you, you wouldn’t be far off the mark.
Flirt with the Cowboy Lifestyle in Argentina
For a romantic soul, a trip to Argentina to work with the gauchos can’t be beaten. Back in the 19th century, gauchos made up the majority of the rural population, using their horse skills to herd cattle on the sprawling estancias. For generations, the gaucho (thought to have come from the Mapuche word cauchu – ‘vagabond’) has captured the imagination of people around the world, much like the North American cowboy.
The life of a gaucho is a simple one, involving daily rides to tend to cows, lunches of beef grilled simply over an open fire and mastering the lasso. The latter is harder than it looks: do you reckon you can tame it?
Train with Muay Thai Kickboxing Champions in Thailand
Of all the boxing styles that exist around the world, Muay Thai is by far the most impressive. While traditional English boxing makes use of only two contact points (the fists), Muay Thai uses no less than eight, and is called ‘The Art of Eight Limbs”. Eight? Don’t we only have four limbs? Yes, but Muay Thai also allows the use of elbows and knees in a stunning clash of wills.
Muay Thai is Thailand’s national sport and as such, much folklore surrounds it. The most famous legend is that of Nai Khanomthom who was a prisoner of war of the Burmese King Hsinbyushin. During a festival, Nai was invited to combat a champion of the Burmese sport Lethwei. Nai beat the Burmese heavy-weight and beat nine others without a break. Thanks to his prowess, all the other Thai prisoners were released.
You can discover this awe-inspiring sport through watching the greats at fight nights in Bangkok’s finest stadiums. The excitement on these nights is increased ten-fold by the delicate Thai music playing in the background and the ceremonial dance of respect that each combatant has to complete at the start of the match. After that, it’s an aggressive fight for survival. Once you’ve watched, you can learn with some of the city’s greatest champions. After all that, the only thing left to do is to delve into Bangkok’s chaotic nightlife.
Lalage used all the Ninja skills she could muster to seek out these adventure holidays for you.
Citations: Image by Idirectori