Having already been to Thailand to train, I have a good idea as to what to look for in a Muay Thai camp. I tried out a few last time, and each one offered something unique. The first camp I trained at was up in the hills of Patong. Do a search for “Sing Patong” in Google and I doubt you’ll even find any relevant results. They don’t have a website and I highly doubt they’re familiar with computers at all. I was the only foreigner training there. They call foreigners “farang” in Thailand by the way.
Anyway, first sign that I was getting authentic Muay Thai camp was the chickens walking around the place. Ahh.. nothing to add credibility to a Muay Thai camp than random chickens clucking around. David; who was my main trainer at this gym, was a former lumpinee champion. He was a great teacher however, I’d often show up for training and find out that he went to Bangkok for a few days. This was a hardcore camp and many of the fighters were ranked at lumpinee and he’d always go back and fourth, from Phuket to Bangkok with them. While he was away I was paired up with different “pad-holders”. Notice how I didn’t say “trainers”? Trainers they were not. They were nothing more than mobile punching bags as they never once offered any sort of advice.
I assumed that they wern’t fluent enough in english to offer any sort of constructive critism but that theory went out the window when one trainer constantly tried to hit me up for money. “You buy me food” “you buy me lady”, he all but asked for the shirt off my back. Oh wait, he asked for that too. No joke! He wanted my chute boxe shirt. Needless to say, I ended up changing Muay Thai camps.
The next Muay Thai camp I trained at was excellent. It was right by Patong Beach and the best part – you could show up anytime you wanted for training. I usually timed it so I’d be my trainers last session of the day. Got a little extra time that way. The trainers at this place spoke fairly solid english and all were trained at the Muay Thai Institute in Bangkok so their teaching ability was pretty solid. They would of course own me in sparring since they start training when they’re 8 years old or so. Luckily they don’t do much grappling so I was able to restore my ego a little bit when they wanted to try some jiu-jitsu.
Walking to the camp was always interesting. It was located on a street called soi kepsup. Soi kepsup is packed with “questionable” message parlours and the girls would come right out into the road and literally grab you and try to bring you into their establishment. You’d shake one off and there’d be another trying to block you off 10 seconds later. Kinda felt like a running back trying to shake off defenders while I was walking down that street.
That Muay Thai camp was great. I’ll be going back there on this upcoming trip but I feel like I need to try something new. After all, travelling is all about new experiences, right? So I’ve been spending hours upon hours doing research on the Muay Thai camps around Thailand.
I’ve managed to narrow it down to a few choices..
- Tiger MMA & Muay Thai Camp (Phuket)
- Fairtex Pattaya
- Fairtex Bangplee
- Jitti Gym
- Sityodtong Muay Thai Camp (Pattaya)
- International Muay Thai Club (Pattaya)
- Scorpian Muay Thai Camp (Pattaya)
- Sinbi Muay Thai Camp (Phuket)
- Kaewsamrit Gym (Bangkok)
There’s so many to choose from. Perhaps the best thing, for both my development as a fighter and for the purpose of this training journal is to visit as many as I can.
Anyway, back to my training camp research ..
THINKING OF GOING TO THAILAND TO TRAIN?
I’ve developed a 70 page guide that profiles everything you need to know about training in Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya. In the manual, I discuss the visa issues, the Muay Thai camps, the different areas, the transportation, the food, the culture and customs, the girls, the scams, the safety issues and most importantly, how to save a ton of cash along the way!