How to train Muay Thai in Bangkok, Thailand.
UUUSSSSSHHHH!!! That’s what it usually sounds like every time someone throws a roundhouse flying into a heavy bag in my Muay Thai kickboxing camp. What a great sound. If you are like me and you are in Thailand you’re not going to want to miss out on some of the most top notch Muay Thai training in the world. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a pro with 20 fights under your belt to train here, you can find schools that teach everyone, from the greenest beginner to world champions.
You’re chilling in you hostel or hotel room, you’ve just had your first traditional Thai papaya salad, and now you are hungry for some Muay Thai kickboxing. Where do you start? Well, honestly, walk out the front door of your establishment and go in any direction. There are literally hundreds of Muay Thai schools in Bangkok, if you walk almost 100 meters in any direction you are going to run into one. Even just 15 meters off the backpacker trap of Kaosan Road there’s a gym a stumble from most hostels. So finding one is not the problem, finding one right for you will only take slightly more work.
First thing you need to consider is how serious you want your training to be. Do you want to try it for a few days, maybe try an afternoon session once, or do you want to find a camp to move into and stay at and do some more serious training for a few weeks or months? For me I haven’t trained seriously in Muay Thai in over five years, so I needed to find a place to cater to my needs, to help me clean off the rust and get back into fighting condition. My perfect fit was Master Toddy’s Gym, their specialty is building fighters from the ground up and they have produced over 40 world champions. They focus on the individual and build on their needs, from novice to pro.
I would suggest several ways of getting info.
1.) Backpacker Forums- people have been there and done that on the road, and in most forums they are talking about places they liked and didn’t like.
2.) Martial Arts/ Muay Thai Forums- Same deal, the best thing about forums is that people aren’t afraid to be critical of a gym and many times help you out by preventing you from picking out a turd for gym.
3.) Ask the Locals- When I was in China I did this, I asked my hostel and they had a connection and hooked me right up with a great gym. They even sent a driver to come pick me up to train. Also, break down the third wall and make some friends, in Bangkok if someone looks like they train Muay Thai they probably do, it’s the national sport. More than likely they will be happy to tell you where they train and where to go and not to go.
4.) Contact a CERTIFIED Muay Thai School in your Area- This is how I found my school, I contacted a local Certified Kru (Muay Thai Instructor) and asked him whom he recommends. He was more than happy to provide me with details and contact information, which lead to an incredible experience.
Now you found your school, what do you need, where do you get gear? Easy, almost every school sells their own gear. For example, my school, Grand Master Toddy’s Muay Thai gym, had their own little factory and supplied me with well made excellently priced gloves, shorts, hand wraps, even tiger balm if I wanted it. They even made me a custom pair of shorts of my design for under $30 in just a day. Now that’s results. If you are wary of what your gym is selling, no problem, you just need to head to Lumpini the Mecca of Muay Thai in the world. Aside from being the premier Muay Thai stadium on planet Earth it is also surrounded with a slew of shops and stores dishing out reasonably priced Muay Thai gear of every kind you can imagine. I felt like a kid in a candy store when I was there, self-control is a must.
You’ve got your gear, you’ve got your school, you’re training your brains out and loving every minute of it. Congratulations, you have everything you need to have an incredible Muay Thai experience in Bangkok. May you kicks be strong and your hands stay up! Go get em!
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