By all available data, Thailand is one of the most visited countries in the world. There are six international airports there and Bangkok’s airport in one of the busiest. All in all, getting to Thailand is not a big problem. The country is open for visitors, and there are plenty of people all over the world who want to learn Muay Thai in Thailand, including Americans, Brits, Germans or Russians.
Easy way to get to Thailand
When you make a decision to visit this mysterious country, you don’t need a lot of preparations. In fact, whatever you do, you cannot prepare for Thailand completely. Be aware that this country will surprise you in any possible way, no matter how many stories you have heard or how many brochures you have read.
Once the ticket is in your hands and your exciting journey starts, you don’t need to be worried anymore. Actually, it is pretty easy to get there. If you’re from a European country, there are choices to get a connecting flight or to fly nonstop. If you have a flight from the US, there are connecting flights from various cities. When you get to Thailand, you can relatively easy catch a flight from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Chiang Mai in the north of the country or Phuket in the south.
Thailand is something completely different
If you’re from a western country, you should be prepared that they do things a little different. The Thai people are much attuned to western culture, and most of them have a good proficiency of the English language, but you can be sure that you will need to make an effort when engaging with Thai people. Learning how to say same words such as ‘’hello, how are you, thank you or goodbye’’ is a mark of respect. And, please, remember that Thai people do not shake hands. One simply ‘Wai’ is their customary greeting.
If you, as most Westerners, come to Thailand to learn Muay Thai, you should know that their fighters do the ‘Wai khru ram muay’ in the ring before the fight begins. They appease the spirits of the boxing ring and pay respect to the fighter’s teacher. Unlike people from the West, respect for elders is important in Thai culture.
Meet one of the most unusual cultures on the planet
Well, you bought your tickets, packed your clothes into the best compression packing cubes and started your breathtaking journey. It wasn’t too complicated, right? You’ve been dreaming to do Muay Thai and kickboxing all your life and now, you are there where the best masters teach guys like you. For the start, you should know that Muay Thai is not just martial arts. It is becoming much more popular as a way of keeping fit. But, it is very hard to find a good school there for foreigners these days.
Unfortunately, in recent years Muay Thai camps in Thailand have started to hike up their prices for foreigners. The foreign-owned camps are usually the worst value for money. On the other hand, in traditional camps, you won’t receive the same training as Thais. The trainers don’t spend as much time with tourists, and they have a very lack interest in teaching you. Be prepared that in some gyms you won’t even get to train with the Thais.
Use your own equipment
The truth is that in all types of Muay Thai camps in Thailand you can receive equally good or bad training. You have to be prepared and make a good choice when you pick out Muay Thai Gym. It has to be clean, nice and sparkly. It’s highly important that personnel in the gym have good hygiene habits too. One of the cleanest Muay Thai camps in Thailand is certainly Fairtex Pattaya Gym.
I recommend you not to use their boxing equipment at all. Even there are some gyms, such as Khongsittha Muay Thai gym in Bangkok, with a new, well-maintained facility with top brand equipment, it is always better for you to use your own gear. Avoid sharing it with other fighters and keep in mind that it is said:”Take care of your equipment, and your equipment will take care of you”.
Muay Thai gym has to look good
Before choosing the best Muay Thai gym for you, check out if there are adequate boxing rings and mat space, even in the busiest of times. I can recommend you Por Burapha Gym in Chon Buri, one of the largest Muay Thai camps in Thailand with plenty of bags to go around. Also, a good gym should have a 3:1 student-trainer ratio. Try to avoid packed tourist gyms where you’re just another number.
Also, the amount of Thais and the foreigners can be an extremely important factor in Muay Thai camps. That can alter training style, quality, and atmosphere of the gym. If there are a lot of Thais, your progress will be limited. On the other hand, a foreigner-heavy gym will probably result in most of your training partners being low-level tourists. If you want to make a progress in the clinch, you need to train with the Thais. One of the highly recommended gyms with only a few foreign visitors is Por Burapha gym in Chon Buri.
Traditional gyms offer the best Muay Thai training
It’s the fact that traditional gyms offer the best Muay Thai training here. They won’t change the training routine for the benefit of foreigners, and the volume and intensity of the training will be at the levels they need to be for the Thais to compete successfully.
Gyms like these tend to have better Thai fighters. For example, 13 Coins Muay Thai camp caters for foreigners, but the training regime is very traditional.
If you want to be a Thai fighter, you should know that their life is physically and financially tough. Very few of Westerners can handle such conditions. But, if you just want to train to be in a good shape, it is not that hard. Choosing the right Muay Thai training camp depends on your skill level and what you want to get out of your visit to Thailand.
The best Muay Thai training camps in Thailand
It’s pretty hard to decide which Muay Thai training camp in Thailand is the best and it depends on your personal goals. If you’re a novice who wants to train Muay Thai during the holiday, you should choose a location where you will have plenty of time to travel around the country. On the contrary, if you’re a professional Muay Thai fighter or an amateur with the sole purpose of going to Thailand just to train, the location is not as important.
In Chalong, Phuket Phuket, there are Top Team and Tiger Muay Thai. The first one has a full roster of classes, and they organize Muay Thai, BJJ, wrestling, MMA and western boxing. Tiger Muay Thai is the largest and the most popular training camp in Thailand. It is the choice destination for international Muay Thai enthusiasts throughout the year. They offer all kinds of training and also provide no-combat fitness training like Crossfit, yoga and body conditioning.
Yakkao Bangkok is only Muay Thai gym and doesn’t teach any other combat supports. On the other hand, AKA Thailand, which is a part of the original American Kickboxing Academy, offers training in Muay Thai, BJJ, and MMA as well as classes in less brutal activities like yoga and conditioning training. FA Group from Bangkok is a modest gym that produces very strong clinch fighters. The gym is quite small and located at the front of a house where most of the fighters stay.
No matter if you are a beginner, intermediate, advanced or a professional in Muay Thai, there is a place for you in Thailand. Only pay attention to the season, which has to be hot, cool or rainy. If you are totally into that amazing sport and temperatures over 30C are not a problem for you, just go ahead. Thailand is the right place for you.