We have seen tons of great info here on My Muay Thai regarding training in various parts of Thailand and how to survive at fighter camps. There is nothing quite like the experience of waking up and training in the early AM, surrounded by great fighters, and to do it again later in the day, for days on end. Obviously, doing this for months is going to drastically improve your technique and overall level.
For some people though, this is not really an option any time soon. Maybe you are here on holiday and want to explore well… the rest of Thailand. Maybe you only have 2 weeks to see and do everything and your friends, family, significant other are just not down with staying at a gym for a month. Maybe you are working here and need training that fits your schedule better.
Going to some fighter camps for only a session or two while on holiday etc.., can be quite a let-down. Not always, a lot of camps are great. But in some gyms you might not really know what is going on, the trainers may seem a bit unconcerned with you etc.. It might not fulfill the Van-Damme like scenario you played out in your head about training in Thailand.
It makes sense though.. maybe you are not here that long and you do not have a chance to build up a rapport with a trainer, maybe they just don’t care because you are not going to actually fight in a ring. Or perhaps it’s just the language barrier if you do not speak thai, and they have a hard time giving you tips in a day or two. All training in Thailand is a unique experience, but you don’t necessarily have to go to a “named” camp like Chuwattana or Sasiprapa to get really good training. The street-cred of saying you trained at these places only goes so far if you did not really learn anything.
There are alternatives to going all-in while in Thailand. I have heard these types of gyms called foreigner/farang gyms as they do not really house current fighters. I think the main difference to some of these new-style gyms popping up around Bangkok are that they cater more to western schedules (drop-ins welcome) and to be honest, cleanliness ( newer pads, training on mats rather than concrete). Some of the bigger gyms have and are continuing to cater more to foreigners as well such as Fairtex, Tiger, Sityodtong etc..
Again, I am not saying these gyms are better or worse, just catering to a different market. There are obviously pro’s and con’s to every gym, I just want to let people know these different gyms exist. If you are pressed for time, dropping in is a great way to get good training, bang the pads to work off the moo ping, and pick up solid technique as well. Several of these gyms are popping up, so this will be a multi-part series, with a short profile on each gym.
Let’s start with Chakrit Muay Thai.
Chakrit’s Gym has to get props for simply getting the word out. Not sure who helped with their marketing, but they are all over Facebook, Wikipedia, all kinds of places online etc.. A lot of foreigners working in Bangkok have at least tried Chakrit’s Gym simply because he is super easy to find. The gym is conveniently located right on Sukhumvit at Washington Square ( Prom Pong BTS ) near the Emporium Mall. You can’t get much more centrally located. If you are traveling with non-nak muay friends, you can easily dump them into a foot massage joint while you bang pads for the next 2 hrs.
You can jump in and work with a padholder any time between 9 AM and 8 PM. Quality of training here can vary. I have seen good and bad (bad being just lazy pad holding) but I have had decent workouts here. You basically do the standard jump rope, shadowbox, hit the heavy bags if you want, then anywhere between 3-5 rounds on pads. If you do not feel like you have gotten enough, tell the padholder you want another round or two.
After it’s back to the bags. Here it’s basically up to you to do what you want. The trainers may give you a few tips but not much. You can pester them and ask any technique questions you want. A bit limited english but not bad. Also, push-ups, sit-ups etc.. up to you. They are not really pushing you and i have never seen any sparring or clinching here, but have only been a few times.
But again.. if you drop friends or family at the Emporium you can get a good workout with a thai pad holder. Now enjoy a pint at the Dubliner across the parking lot or the various street food at the park next door.
Fairly clean, indoor gym. Shower and changing room a bit dank, but you are not dumping a bucket of water over your head either.
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Washington Square,near corner of Sukhumvit Soi 22/Sukhumvit Road
Mon – Sat:
9:00 am – 8:00 pm
500 baht per session, have packages plans and monthly fees as well.
Next post we will head to the Silom area. No.. not for more of Mr. Fat’s moo ping, but to get into the spirit at Aussie Dan’s Fighting Spirit Gym.