What to expect
Honestly, I don’t really remember where I ever got the notion to go and train Muay Thai Training Phuket Thailand. It is just something that I got in my head, and once I plant a seed, chances are, I will follow through. I was not a student of the sport in Ireland apart from a few training sessions in NUI Galway, which could hardly be called much more than a bag hitting session, amongst inexperienced fighters, in a huge group setting.
In Feb 2011, after one year living in Australia, I headed for Phuket on my own to train Muay Thai. I had researched a little bit online and as I wanted to be near a beach, I decided to avoid Bangkok and Chiang Mai. The gym I was to attend advertised one month training for $250 Aus or 5000THB. This was for training twice every day, with training times – 7am-10am and 4pm-7pm.
I will say that walking into a gym for the first time, in a new country, not knowing what to expect is a bit intimidating! The sound of shins cracking against heavy bags, the moans and groans of sparring, skipping ropes whipping off padded floor mats.. I was actually in Thailand doing Muay Thai. This shit just got real. The smell of Tiger Balm and deep heat filled the heavy, humid air as fighters subdued yesterdays aches for another day off training.
I didn’t always make it to the evening training session due to the beach, laziness and being wrecked from the morning session. Sometimes a run is sufficient. This is why I wouldn’t advise paying in advance for the full whammy, two sessions per day unless you are really dedicated and up for it. Otherwise you are just giving the camp money for nothing. Try out a week of two sessions per day and see if you are up for it. It is intense!
Muay Thai is Thailand’s national sport and an ancient tradition amongst its people. If you travel to Thailand, you will no doubt come into some form of contact with Muay Thai. This will either be by the promotional vans that go around the towns parading fighters on the back, with loud speakers touting ‘tonight, tonight, big fight, big fight’, or by seeing young kids aged 4-6 in their school uniforms, kicking and punching the shit out of each other with graceful technique and elegant poise.
The Average Session:
My average day training Muay Thai in Phuket consisted of getting up at 6am, have some coffee and fruit and make my way to the gym. Morning Muay Thai session more often than not involved:
- 1/2hr skipping and stretching.
- 5 x 3minute rounds on pads with trainer.
- Technique for kicking, punching, knees and elbows on a heavy bag for 3 x 5minute rounds.
- 100 kicks off each leg
- 100 knees off each leg
- Sit-ups (while someone hits your stomach), push ups, stretching, weights and cool down.
Evening Muay Thai started at 4pm and the session was a mix of different techniques. Sparring, clinch work and advanced combos were all part of the training.
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After about 3 minutes of stretching alone, you will realise that you are made of basically nothing but water as you see more sweat pump out of your body than you will ever have seen before. Therefore, it is really important to drink plenty of water and mix in some electrolyte powder too. It was 30+ Degrees Celsius by 9am with 80-90% humidity in February when i was there.
Unexpected Off Time
- I fell off a scooter and ripped the skin of my arm and leg.
- St.Patricks Day. I’m Irish so I got drunk, for 3 days…
- 2 Day trip to Koh Phi Phi to see the overcrowded “Beach” from the famous movie
- I was injured after some Muay Thai clinch training with a hardcore Brazilian fighter
Below are tour videos and prices for the three main Muay Thai camps in Phuket, Thailand.
These gyms cater for different styles of fighters, beginner through to advanced and can all organise a fight for you if you feel up to the challenge. Tiger is more for MMA and thrives off the recent popularity of the UFC. (Some people hate it as they are all about the Baht…)
While Dragon Muay Thai and Sinbi Muay Thai focus more on traditional Muay Thai Kickboxing techniques, and here you will get better attention and advance more.
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[embedplusvideo height=”343″ width=”560″ standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/LUpe83bb8Ik?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=LUpe83bb8Ik&width=560&height=343&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=¬es=” id=”ep6888″ /]Dragon Muay Thai