Modern day Muay Thai is now very popular globally. With the rising popularity in MMA (mixed martial arts) and its use of Muay Thai in standing techniques, Muay Thai is continuingly growing in its popularity. In December 2016, Muay thai finally gained its recognition as an Olympic sport after three years of lobbying. More and more training camps and gyms are opening around the world, and with its influence in MMA, Muay Thai is making its presence known internationally.
If you want to get the full Muay Thai experience, chances are you’ve thought about traveling to Thailand to train. Whether you’re an amateur or a professional nak muay (Muay Thai fighter), Thailand has a wide variety of training camps and gyms suited for all levels. This guide will cover topics ranging from training camps to Muay Thai etiquette.
Thailand is located within the Southeast Asia region and has a tropical climate varying between hot, cool, and rainy season. Hot season is between March to May, cool season from November to February, and rainy/monsoon season from June to October.
The ideal season to go if you want to avoid the scorching weather and the downpour of rain is between November and February. You should keep in mind that it is the prime season, and flights and accommodation will be more expensive. If you want your trip to be cost-effective, you’re better off going during the monsoon season.
WHERE TO TRAIN MUAY THAI
There are many Muay Thai training gyms and training camps in Thailand. Asking where is the best place to train Muay Thai is similar to asking what is the best university is. The answer is subjective, and depends on your level of expertise and whether you also want to explore that area of Thailand. Thailand is a very beautiful place that offers a range of things from crazy night life and fantastic food to beautiful, white sandy beaches.
Some of the popular places to train Muay Thai are Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Bangkok. From the exciting nightlife to sandy beaches, you can find many activities that Thailand has to offer. One thing to note is that Pattaya and Phuket are prime tourist hotspots, so expect that the majority of things to be more expensive than in Bangkok or Chiang Mai.
Here are some of the popular gym in the prime locations:
Tiger Muay Thai (PHUKET)
- This gym is one of the most popular gyms in Thailand that caters to different martial artists and fighters. International Muay Thai artists come here from all over the world to train. Some of the famous martial artists associated with Tiger Muay Thai are Lamsongkram Chuwattana and Valentina Shevchenko.
Yakkao Thailand (BANGKOK)
- Yakkao thailand is one of the only gyms in Thailand that only teaches Muay Thai. This top class training facility is home to some of the Muay Thai legends including Saenchai and Singdam Kiatmuu.
BASIC MUAY THAI ETIQUETTE
It’s customary to greet the most senior and oldest member of the gym as a sign of respect. Of course, don’t ignore other people who are around you either. Always wai to someone who is older than you, as well as those who are more experienced than you. You are not expected to wai someone who is younger than you, so you can opt for a nod as a sign of acknowledgment. The act of wai is the Thai’s way of greeting someone – you would do this upon greeting and parting.
When training with trainers, you do as the trainer says. In the West, trainers will accommodate their fighters but in Thailand, you always follow what the person with seniority tells you to do. If you’re sick, let them know but if you’re a fighter, never refuse. You’re here to become tough and develop the mental fortitude to handle the training. Show your enthusiasm for learning and be respectful – they’re investing their time and effort to help you become a better fighter.