RSM Muay Thai Academy

Written by nopadon wongpakdee. Posted in Tradition and Culture, Videos

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Published on March 25, 2013 with 9 Comments

I was back in Bangkok a couple of weeks ago for a mini break, while I was there I had a chance to go visit the newly opened RSM academy.  RSM ( Rajadomnern, Singha Muay Thai) is a new type of gym that’s beginning  to pop up in Bangkok.

With the popularity of Muay Thai on the rise in Thailand, it’s not surprising that more and more Thai people are becoming interested in our beloved sport.  What is more surprising is who’s coming out to train.  It’s the ladies who seem to be flocking to Muay Thai.

The well to do, and fashionable (Hi- So) have abandoned their traditional and have been turning out to smash pads.  RSM claims to have over 450+ members.  Their clientele skews heavily towards the ladies.  Most of their growth and exposure has come through the Instagram feeds of their many celebrity and movie star clientele (Dala)

RSM is located on the 3rd floor of a shopping center called Scene Space on Thonglor 13.    The center consists of a Belgian beer garden, wine bars, Japanese and Korean restaurants.

I did a series way back called muay thai, where I looked at a few gyms that catered to people who wanted a place to drop in and train.

RSM is far more then that, they’ve tapped into the fact that the average Thai person doesn’t want to train at a muay thai camp.  They want to train in a place with clean showers and valet parking!

RSM was started by a group of young Thai entrepreneurs who are muay thai fans and recognised this growing desire and demographic.  They had connections with Singha brewery and Rajadomnern stadium that became the major sponsors of this academy.

RSM is a Muay Thai Academy, that’s got a full curriculum; It’s an ideal place where newbies can come learn the fundamentals of muay thai, in an environment that’s friendly and unintimidating.

RSM can handle the needs of those striving for a bit more then a weekend pad session.  Their trainers are all ex-stadium champions who can put you through wringer.  As Rajadomnern is a main sponsor of the academy they can arrange fights for professional fighters.

I rolled in on a Thursday mid afternoon, just as the gym was clearing out.   I was greeted at reception and pointed towards the changing room.  As I entered the space I was greeted by a trainer who took my ticket, and pointed me towards ropes.  He stuck a timer to the wall next to me and said 10 min. ok?

Afterwards, he watched my shadow for a couple of minutes and had me work the bag for a couple of rounds before we did our pad session.

He was attentive and critical, which is nice.  In between rounds he insisted on crunches…  while I was training something caught my attention.  There was another private going on in the same studio space… I’m not sure why the kid bothered or what he was doing there, as he had little to no interest in training.  In fact he was texting or calling his friend between rounds…  I was less astonished by his behavior, but more taken back by the trainer.

The trainer, was actually correcting his technique… I thought to myself what’s the point?  Why correct him?  He clearly doesn’t give a shit.  Maybe it’s professional pride?  Maybe the trainers at the academy are paid well, but I was pretty surprised, a good sign that you’ll be looked after.

RSM isn’t going to be for everyone.  Most of the muay thai purests on MMT, will snear… it’s fine.  There’s a place for everything.

I had a good session, and would go back without hesitation.  If your living in Bangkok and don’t particularly want to train at a traditional camp, this might be an option for you.  If your visiting Bangkok, and feel like training and can’t or don’t want to walk into a camp for a day… this is an option for you.

You can bulk buy classes which will lower the fees, but training there isn’t cheap.

Fees:

550 Baht/day for a group class.

850 Baht/day for advance training (semi-private training/ small group not more than 5).

1,500 Baht/day for a private training or professional training (1-on-1 with trainers)

 

On a side note, when I finished training, I hit a place just on the 2nd floor called Bonchon Chicken… it’s a Korean Fried Chicken place, with Kimchee Coles Slaw… absolutely ridiculous.

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9 Comments

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  1. Thanks Nopstar for the interesting article.

    As someone who has been practising Muay Thai for over a few years now I thought it an interesting development that a gym of this kind would rear its head in an attempt to bring in new clientele and especially those from a more affluent social demographic in bkk. I live in Hong Kong and every month or so we have word reaching us that a new gym is being set up with the intent of bring MMA or Muay Thai to the masses. These days you can’t go into any magazine shop or book store without catching a glimpse of a new glossy mag that has just surfaced in an attempt to ride the wave of popularity in either MMA or Muay Thai.
    I would hope a gym such as this would care enough to keep the classes focused on people enjoying and learning the benefits of Muay Thai but at the same time not watering it down to nothing more than an attempt to bring in high rolling clients who want a “PT session” from an ex-stadium champion.
    My worst nightmare would be that these kind of gyms would turn into a place where no emphasis is placed on why we learn Muay Thai in the first place and are there purely to bring in money. It somewhat reminds me of a scene from a movie I saw recently with Kevin James in “Here comes the Boom”. In the movie Bas Rutten’s character before training Kevin James in some basic BJJ defensive escapes comes out of a room where he has been teaching students “Disco street fighting”. I think the case in point made me wonder where we draw the line between commercialism and keeping our sacred art, well “sacred”.

  2. NickNack36 – “My worst nightmare would be that these kind of gyms would turn into a place where no emphasis is placed on why we learn Muay Thai in the first place and are there purely to bring in money.”

    Why do “WE” learn muay thai, explain this further. Im pretty sure many people learn muay thai for a whole variety of reasons. Any gym that teaches muay thai and makes money from it is in it purely form the money at some level.Might not make em rich but they wouldnt do it unless it was making them a crust.

  3. Hi NickNack36-

    I hear your point but as Manant is pointing out, people have different motivations for practicing muay thai.

    If I went into Boxing gym, they aren’t going to give me a history lesson on boxing. They’ll hold focus mits for me and beat the shit out of me.

    Interest in the sport or art, is individual curiosity… I’m sure they have a few people who are interested in the martial aspect, while a large portion are going to be into the “cardio boxing” aspect.

  4. Thanks for the feedback guys.. I agree with you both and you are right to point out that people will have different motivations for wanting to start Muay Thai in the first place.
    Manant ~
    Upon re-reading I agree that what I wrote seemed a little vague. I think I was trying to say that for whatever reason we chose to pursue Muay Thai there is still a point of how we as students should approach it. If you want to study Muay Thai purely from an exercise standpoint then that’s your choice and I’m fine with that.
    I think my point was a little biased and I appreciate you picking up on it. I would suggest that as we learn we would interpret that as an avenue to get better and improve.
    “where no emphasis is placed on why we learn Muay Thai in the first place” is my way of saying that if you go to the gym and don’t observe even the basic common courtesies to the other students and most importantly your trainer then do we not lose something in that process? The commercial aspect of making money from it is to be expected and I agree with you there too.
    Overall I would hope that by offering classes to a wider range of people which in turn raises the awareness of Muay Thai then that is to be commended.
    I just hope that those classes are still offered in good taste and you don’t see people in years to come doing Muay Thai to disco music.
    Thanks once again for your feedback.

  5. Nicknack36 – tbh I think I know what you meant by your comment, and I do agree up to a point.For me personally the aspects of Muay Thai commerce I dislike are the gyms (in the west) that havn’t really learned Muay Thai, they are bastardised versions where people have learnt, at best Dutch style full contact kickboxing or are mixing Muay Thai with taekwondo, mixing kyokshin and boxing and calling it Thai boxing etc etc.The list is endless. Muay Thai gyms with gradings, insurance, subscriptions, Prajaed indicating some kind of rank becaues you can do a 5 piece combination on a bag and say “Sawasdee Khrap” etc.I dispise all of that but then again a lot of people love it, it makes people a living keeps people active and maybe, in my case included, leads them to try and encounter the “real thing”.

    I have trained for quite a few years now, trained in thaiand and with thai trainers here in the UK exclusively, as I think the style is the best and I love the sport and wanted to try and learn it properly.However Im getting older now, my body is ruined I got a family and the time and inclination to run for an hour, do 10 rounds of pads, 30 minute sparring, an hour clinch, 500 knees on bag etc etc is definately waning!even though in the fantasy of my mind Id love to be doing this morning and night.This kind of gym if I was able to afford to holiday in Thailand with my family could be a really good option.Id know quite quickly if I as getting good training or not which is where I might have the advantage over a newbie.But if its good like Nop says then lets hope this kind of thing gains popularity over there so that Muay Thai might have another ressurgence and maybe a new Golden era?!

  6. belgian beer garden, korean fried chicken, ex-stadium champion trainers, clean facilities, and lots of women.

    why is someone crying again?

    • hahahaha! It’s a nice problem to have isn’t it?

  7. Will be training here next visit.

  8. That sounds like an absolutely wonderful building..It’s only missing a strip club!!

    Damn That really is pretty pricey for a private there..

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