Drive-By MuayThai – Part I

Written by diimak. Posted in All, MMT Featured, MuayThai, Technique and Training, Tradition and Culture

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Published on January 08, 2010 with 11 Comments

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 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 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.

Location:

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.

Training:

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.

Other Notes:

Fairly clean, indoor gym.  Shower and changing room a bit dank, but you are not dumping a bucket of water over your head either.
Location:

[umap id="52170" tp="6" size="c" w="540px" h="360px" alignment="center"]

Washington Square,near corner of Sukhumvit Soi 22/Sukhumvit Road

Phone:
+6622605816

Mon – Sat:
9:00 am – 8:00 pm

Cost:
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.

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11 Comments

There are currently 11 Comments on Drive-By MuayThai – Part I. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

  1. Great post/topic!

    My first experience training in Thailand was at Tiger, and that’s about as foreigner friendly as they come.

    The next year I went back and stayed with some friends near Pattaya, so I had the chance to train at Sityodtong. That place is fairly small, with a few farang but not many. I still had to dump water over my head to shower, and there were tons of “Yung” around (mosquitoes) around to make it even more crazy.

    Every time you go to a gym, they ask you if you want to fight. It’s obvious you will get far better training if you tell them you want to fight. It’s not something a guy really wants to bring up, but the question remains: are the fights rigged? I’ve seen farang get killed in the ring, I’ve seen some really close matches, and I’ve seen some obviously thrown fights…what’s your take?

  2. I have trained at Chakrit twice before, Recommended especially on tuesdays as you can walk across to Bourbon street and hit their Mexican buffet afterwards.

    I only trained with one trainer and I thought he was really good, sparred about 10 minutes aswell, cant remember his name but a big guy who said he used to fight in Japan. Good fun

  3. Makcan

    “Recommended especially on tuesdays as you can walk across to Bourbon street and hit their Mexican buffet afterwards.”

    Hahahaha, were we separated at birth?

    Agreed awesome post, looking forward to reading about the other gyms. Keep em’ coming!

  4. By the way, for those not knowing, the guy on the front page is Khun Chakrit and all photos are of his gym.

    Chakrit had one trainer that seemed the be the guy everyone liked to hold pads. First time I was there he asked me if I wanted to fight.

    Unfortunately, I can’t remember his name (Nueng…something.. oops.. I guess I know too many Nuengs..) and he left Chakrit to go be a bodyguard in Macau!

  5. Regarding Sityodtong Pattaya, I have never been. I thought they have been getting a lot more foreigners ( even some MMA guys do to their branch in Boston, MA US). So i am not sure if the facilities are getting better or not.

    Evolve in Singapore, which is a Sityodtong affiliate, is EXTREMELY nice. And alot of the Sityodtong trainers are going between Thailand and Singapore. One would think the Sityodtong facility in Pattaya would improve over time. Ahh.. but this is Thailand ;-)

    Well, Fairtex Pattaya is another example of catering to foreigners but still a good gym.

  6. Hey bro. Nice review man. I’m looking to train at Chacrit for a few days. Just curious, do you know which nice hotels (4stars) are near the gym? I’m going with my fiancee so I gotta stay somewhere nice. Thanks!

  7. great idea
    i’m looking forward to reading more

  8. Definitely awesome post and awesome topic!

    I don’t know, I rather like training outdoors and on concrete. It seems more “real” that way. I trained at Lanna up in Chiang Mai (which is very foreigner friendly) but at the same time it was outdoors, on concrete, hard training, and I thought all of the trainers there were very helpful and knew their business.
    To each their own of course. Some people would rather train indoors on mats in air conditioning, which is fine.

    Either way, great post, can’t wait for more.

  9. diimak,

    great topic and always relevant ! i hope somebody talks about jitti gym (bangkok) and siam number one (chiang mai), i know laura trained there and it’s really a hidden gem…if not i’d be happy to, also have pics…btw, muaythailand.com has tons of camp reviews and a bulletin board for feedback…

  10. @technician79. Pretty much anywhere on Sukhumvit near a BTS stop will be good. Check Asiarooms.com or latestays.com for good prices. I like S15 on Sukhumvit Soi 15 or Dream Hotel (also Suk 15 but back off the road a short 5-7 minute walk). Also the Davis Hotel is good. Not sure of your budget but all are under $100 SD per night and nice — GF approved.

    @Josh. I hear what you are saying! I guess my main point is if you are coming to BKK and not going to be training 2 x’s per day every day, there is another type of gym popping up. Its not about who is more hardcore. It’s more of what you actually have time for and can you still learn something dropping in at places.

    And its also not really about indoors and aircon. I personally do not like indoors either. But super rank pads and ripping the skin off your feet when you are not training for a month straight will make a short holiday trip to Bangkok less than ideal as well. And trainers that could care less kind of suck too.

    How is Lanna if you only have a few days to train because your girlfriend or boyfriend want you to go elephant riding up in the hills and visiting Hill tribes etc etc.. ? Sounds like they still take care of you, which is great. Some gyms want your 500-900 baht and for you to move on.

    It is nice to hear about hidden gems and I am sure Nop will welcome others to contribute gym reviews. Just message him directly. I found a nice gem and you guys can hear read about it in the next post.

  11. Hey Diimak,

    Thanks for the info bro. I will look into it. I just can’t make up my mind now. Your second Drive By was great. Keep up the good job brother. I’m looking forward to reading about the Fairtex RCA gym. Not much info about that gym online. Take care, be safe.

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