So according to my web reporting, lots of you are looking for “Muay Thai Camps”. So here is my 2 cents. For those of you who really want to go, I encourage you to do so. Life is too short, get out there and do it. I’ve met people who’ve hated it and those who continue to go back each year. You need to have some perspective… there are great camps who are interested in your development and their reputation. You also have camps who are only interested in taking your money.
The Magic and Mystique
Ok you may find it motivating to be training alongside people who’ve made Muay Thai their life. There may be something about being in a strange place surrounded by a language and customs you don’t understand… But by going to train in Thailand you are not going to comeback with anymore than you put into it. There’s no secret sauce… Sure you may learn a great deal or pick up some tricks but at the end of the day, it’s just training. The magic is that you are training twice a day without the distractions of a job or school to interfere.
I would have to say that it’s a decent idea to find a camp that is accustomed to having westerners (Farang) at the gym. You would be very hard pressed to not to find one. My reasoning for this is purely from a communication stand point. It’s going to be hard for a trainer to elaborate on the subtle nuisances of technique if they can’t speak a lick of English. It isn’t always the case however it takes a lot of time and energy for a trainer to try to explain things to you. They may lose the “motivation” to explain every little detail if it’s difficult for them to do so.
You will be pushed as hard as you want to be pushed. Make your intentions clear, let the trainers know exactly what you are trying to achieve. Some people have upcoming fights, some are looking to clean up their technique, some are just looking to say they trained in Thailand. Trainers are good at smelling bullshit, they’ll know if your really there to work. You take it seriously, they’ll take you seriously.
Which camp do I chose?
You need to do your homework. I don’t have an answer for you. You need to get on the message boards talk to people, find out what their training experience was like.
My parents still live in Bangkok, so I try to get back a couple of times a year. When I’m back I typically train at the Ingram Gym in Bangkok. The Ingram gym is primarily responsibly for initially managing and introducing Buakaw to K-1. Notable fighters for Ingram included Samkor Keatmonthep and Toshiyuki Kinami. Currently Ingram is home to Sagatpetch a 2x Lumpinee, Rajadomnern and Mitsubishi Tournament Champion.
The Gym is run by Hideki Suzuki a Japanese Ex-pat and retired fighter. He’s lived in Thailand for several years with Fairtex and Kaewsamrit. The gym has a partnership with Team Inoki of Japan, “Following Buakaw Por.Pramuk, Sagatpetch is going to be the second ‘Muay Thai Weapon’ being sent to Japan from Team Inoki” any new Thai fighters fighting in Japan will most likely come through Ingram.
Photo Credit: Susumu NAGAO
Ingram is a small camp located on between 63-65 Sukhumvit Ave. In downtown Bangkok. The camp is home to three top ranked fighters, Sagatpetch, Ali and Daosaming. On most days you will also see Bernung Sakhomsin sparring and grappling. I was originally introduced to the camp through Neungsiam “The Rock”. Prior to joining us in the States he was a trainer at Ingram. Everyone there is mad cool, no attitude… just hard training. All the guys are very approachable and helpful.
Ali, Sagatpetch, Daosaming – Team Ingram
Photo Credit: Ken DOZONO
The accommodations seem to be fine, but I can’t vouch for them as I’ve never spent the night. The Gym is very accessible, its about 2 blocks from the BTS Ekkamai stop. The location is a great, if you’ve never been to Thailand, your going to want to explore. You’ve made it this far… you might want to take in the sites and see something other then a heavy bag. You can get all over the city without any hassles via the skytrain. If you prefer to be out in the weeds, that’s your call.
If your looking to train in Bangkok, I can whole heartedly recommend the Ingram Gym. You can get all their contact info via their website.
Who knows maybe we’ll see each other there. Where do you guys train when your in Thailand? What camps do you recommend? I would love to hear from you guys. Here is a link with a fairly big list of camps in Thailand.