Well, it looks like after 4 trips and a couple years of living here, I’ve caught a break. In my last entry, I sort of went on a rant about how training in Bangkok was overrated because the prices were higher (than both Phuket and Chiang Mai) and I was having a really hard time finding a good trainer who actually wanted to teach me, as opposed to just hold pads, tire me out and collect my money.

As it turns out, the manager of the Patong gym heard of an empty gym here in Bangkok, drove up from Phuket and with the help of an investor friend, she was able to secure the property and best of all, she asked me to help run it! So, I’m writing this from one of the on-site rooms now and my training (or lack-thereof) issues have been solved. Now, I can just walk out of my room in bare feet come training time and head to the rings.

Update (August 14th, 2011): I am no longer associated with this gym (I’m currently living in Chiang Mai) so bear in mind that this write up was written on Feb 17th and I have no control/knowledge of what the gym is currently like.
Update (August 18th, 2011): The gym (including the training area) is currently flooded at the moment and while it’s technically still open, I wouldn’t even recommend going until the water gets cleared out.
Update (September 15, 2011)I’ve been informed that the flood has been cleared out
Update (November 1, 2011)The gym has been permanently closed.

Obviously, due to my involvement with the gym, this will NOT be a review. I’ve built up Fight Passport to what it is today from being honest about things so I’m not going to drift from my principals now by putting up a fake review to drive business. Instead, I’ll use this entry to just let you know what I’ve been up too the past few weeks and give you an overview of the place.

I’ve spent the last 2 weeks developing the gym website (which is why there’s been a long delay between entries). They’ve decided to call the gym “Kittana Muay Thai”. When I first heard the name, I immediately pictured a girl in a spandex blue body suit who cuts off peoples heads with her fan. I don’t even know what it’s actually supposed to mean (something in Thai language) but whatever, the “Kittana” name has grown on me and I kind of like it now.

The gym is located at On Nut 65 and has sort of a countryside feel to it, which is perfect because if you’ve been reading my entries for a while now, you know that until this trip, I’ve always sort of stayed away from Bangkok due to the crowds and the pollution. Here, neither is an issue. The air is clean and the area is pretty quiet. Even when I leave the gym to go shopping or something, I usually just head to Seacon Square – which is one of the biggest malls in Thailand – but it feels like a mall back home in the sense that it’s never overly crowded. I just finished up writing up a long page about the gym location on the website so I’m not going to bother re-writing it all here. Instead, just click here if you’re interested in finding out more.

Right now, the training I’m getting is incredible. It’s just me and my friend here at the moment with two trainers so it’s almost like we were rich, bought a gym for ourselves and hired them to train us privately. I’m getting a full 5 timed rounds on the pads followed by sparring and clinching with them. The two trainers here now are “Lucky” and “Dan”. Lucky is incredible. Seriously, he’s one of the best trainers I’ve ever had and I’m not just saying that. Dan doesn’t have as much pad holding experience as Lucky does but you can tell that he really wants to teach and see us improve so that’s what matters to me. His pad holding skills will develop over time and he’s great with clinch work and technical sparring. Here’s some video footage of Lucky training Dan for a title defense he had up in Issan a few weeks ago..

As for the on-site facilities, there’s 2 rings, 13 rooms, a restaurant and an MMA cage. In the future, we’ll probably get an MMA program started but for now, the focus will be on Muay Thai. However, the cage is there for guys who want to do some grappling or MMA sparring on their own. The MMA cage was put in by the last owner, Ismael Grid, who was really into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

While on the topic, “Lucky” actually trained Ismael to become a WPMF world champion during the time when the gym used to be under his ownership (check the records here). That’s just another testament to what a good trainer he is. During that time, the gym was called MTI and before that, it was operating under the names “Majestic” and “Luktupfah” (the two teams shared the facility).

I sort of found out about the gyms history in the strange way. I figured there were some stories to be told about the place by the “Luktupfah” sign near the entrance and by the framed photos of past champions on the wall. I never really asked much though. There’s a group of kids, along with 2 trainers that come here to train at around 6:30 every night so I just assumed that the Luktupfah name was from them.

Anyway, about a week ago I was doing pad work and whenever we train, the gym “caretaker” (overweight guy that lives at the gym) stands ringside and watches. Between rounds, I asked him if he used to train by shadowboxing and saying “you train Muay Thai before?”. Lucky then answered on the “caretakers” behalf because he doesn’t speak English and told me that he’s been a trainer for a long time. Here’s when the story came out..

Apparently the man – who I thought was just an overweight gym maintenance guy – was the trainer who developed Orono Wor Petchpun into a Lumpinee champion, a 3x champion of Thailand and one of the best fighters in the history of the sport back when the gym was operating under the “Majestic Gym” name. If you’re never seen Orono fight, just do a search online for the videos. He’s knocked out Yodsanklai twice, beat Buakaw twice, he’s beat Saenchai, he’s beat Lerdsila – he’s been in there with a who’s who list of fighters. That’s Thailand for you though, things are never what they seem (a more detailed write up on the history of the gym can be read here).

So as for all the detailed information on the gym, just check out the website. Things are obviously just getting started here but it’s cool that I’ll have some input on things. Lucky will soon be bringing his son here, along with some other fighters from his hometown to fight at the major stadiums here in Bangkok. More trainers are on standby at the moment for when things pick up as well. As for the type of trainers we’re going to employ, they have to WANT to teach. No secrets, no hidden tricks from the foreigners; none of that!

I’d ideally like them all to be just like Lucky and Dan. Meaning; athletic guys in their 20’s who are in the twilight of their fighting careers. Reason being is because they can spar, clinch and basically take a more hands-on approach to the training. It sort of sucks when you go to a gym and the in-house Thai fighters are all teenagers who weigh about 120 lbs or older trainers (in their 40’s or so) who don’t want to clinch or spar with you after holding pads.

So I’ll wrap this up for now because I’m sure I’ll have a lot more to write about as things progress here. I’ll still be gym hopping on occasion to showcase other gyms throughout Thailand (as I’ve been doing since Fight Passport started) and trust me, I won’t be bias with my opinions. When I come across gyms I’m impressed with, I’ll be sure to let you know.

For everyone who has trained in Thailand and felt like there was something lacking, or changes that you would make if you could, be sure to hit me up and let me know what you were and weren’t happy with. It might give me some more ideas for Kittana..


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14 COMMENTS

  1. Delighted to hear you caught a break with being asked to help out with this Gym, hope it goes well, been following your reports for the last couple of years!

  2. Hey Mikey,

    I wrote up an overview of the area here..

    http://kittanamuaythai.com/location

    The area around the gym is quiet, but getting around in Bangkok is easy so there’s lots of stuff to do and places to explore when you’re not training.

    Bangkok is a mega city with around 12 million people so the entertainment options are endless.

  3. hey first, since bill has the decency not to give a bias review then i will give a little one (non bias as well) in respect to his absence… what i’ve experienced here thus far, and being here now nearly a month training mon-sat, is simply that this is the best training i’ve ever had in my life, i mean i am new human being because of the fact that i have finaly met trainers willing to train me to win fights in mauy thai… its not just changed my fighting style, but also my respect for muay thai in general… a huge plus is that my head coach “lucky” can understand english and can speak good too, the guy is like a dream come true for foreign fighters striving for success in muay thai… the place is quite and focusing on progress as a fighter, spirit searcher or just athlete in general is an all go… i’ve been to enough gyms around thailand to tell you that any trainer can teach you wicked cool stuff, i mean come on, this is what they have been doing their whole lives, its just whether or not they are ambitious enough to teach you that makes all the difference… dan and lucky are the most ambitious trainers i’ve ever met, and why? well i believe they are are set on building a team atmosphere, and this looks like its going to be a strong gym from my perspective, because i know what strong gyms are all about, i have seen the begginings of strong team building in the past coming from ATC in london ontario, home to mark hominick, sam stout, chris horeski, chris clemence, and a few more young title holding talents, not to mention the off shoot to one of the best coaches in the world, shawn tompkins, so i know the aura that is reminents of success and kittana deffinetly has that potential… my first 3 months in thailand was a wirlwind of chaos thanks to mr. coke and his house of circus clowns, i fell deep into the temtations of BKK in a bad way, and it cost my training, my passion and success in my journey to be a muay thai fighter… but making the desicion to stay here has brought that fire back, i feel really lucky to be surrounded by a team again, it was the reason for my success when i faught under ATC and it will be the same here… to be honest though, i’m not writting this from any marketing stand point, in fact i would rather it just be me training here with lucky in private lol, but i just have to write this because i am really happy, and i that hope is not lost in my journey, and i so i just wanted to share that with whoever cares to read… anyway, see ya later, keep fit and stop having mutant babies like bigfoot Silva please!

  4. glad to see you caught a break…. i’ll visit next time i’m in town…

    p.s. get going on that bjj / mma slant… that would be a huge advantage over other gyms in greater bkk…. some of the little thai hoodrats are starting to look in to it… you could be producing some native talent too…

    good luck!

  5. Sounds like a great start for Kittana! I can really see myself training there. I might drop by in the end of july for a month. I’ll mail you a bunch of questions before then. How many people do you plan on having in the gym at any given time?

    Good luck with the gym and site.

  6. Elmanuel,

    I really don’t want it to get overly busy and commercial. I’m training every day myself so I high standard of training and attention from the trainers is what matters the most to me.

    There’s 13 on-site rooms so once we’re booked up, that’s just 13 people training at a given time – which isn’t too much at all. There may also be some drop ins as well since some students may be staying off-site but etiher way, I don’t expect it to be overly busy here.

    Right now there’s just 4 of us that are training here so the training has been great lately.

    Bill

  7. Sup bill

    After reading all your crazy Thailand adventures, especially those is pattaya, i can’t believe you survived all that hahaha

    What province of Thailand is Lucky from? Somewhere in Esarn?

  8. Bill

    Fair play mate. I have read your blog and reviews for years and am really happy for you to be involved in this.

    I wish you happiness and success in this project.

    Regards

    Matthew Burke, UK.

  9. I met Lucky at Patong Boxing Gym. I saw him spar one of the other guys and he was amazing. I was so shocked by his skills. Next time I go back, I’d like him to be my trainer, but not sure if he only teaches advanced people or people who are getting ready for a fight.

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