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Muay Thai in Phuket

relaunchyrskinnyfists... Muay Thai training, plus other adventures in paradise.

sunny 34 °C

Muay Thai Training

I've been studying Muay Thai for a couple of years now, and decided to go back to Phuket where I discovered it first.... and try out some new camps.
It was a brilliant trip, and I gained yet more insights to share here....

Muay Thai sits proudly as the national sport of Thailand.
Ask any Thai who their hero is, the reply will likely be either Buddha or Buakaw (Por Pramuk).

Muay Thai - Culture and Religion

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The national sport of Thailand is closely reflective of the nation's religion, Theravada Buddhism.
Theravada is the oldest and undiluted philosophy and teaching of Siddhartha Gautama, the man who became Buddha.

Other traditions and interpretations of Buddhism emerged later in history, and are quite different:

  • Mahayana (India)
  • Vajrayana (Tibet, Mongolia, Bhutan)
  • Zen (China, Vietnam, Korea and Japan)

Siddharta's premise was that if one can endure physical strain whilst maintaining mental composure, they will enable themselves to eliminate suffering within, resulting in capacity for selfless compassion in our external interactions, plus greater mental clarity.

His own enlightenment was borne out of his own endurance - to sit in lotus, until an answer came (and boy, did it take a while), no matter what occurred in his mind, no matter what his physical being felt. He was a determined fellow, and a true enabler!

During his life as a teacher Buddha encouraged his students...even if your legs feel like they are on fire as you sit in lotus, they will not fall off, they will not break...continue, breath by breath and the results will unfold

Under Muay Thai tutelage, the message is the same - keep kicking as hard as you can, and forget the pain - you're legs are not going to fall off - they are getting stronger - your mind is getting stronger, your heart is getting stronger!

...and it's true. After a two weeks of training, you feel strong, confident, happy, buoyant and resilient.

As foreign tourists, training at camps is a chance meet and engage with Thai people on their terms, and understand a significant part of their culture.
Since discovering the sport three years ago, it has enriched my life in so many ways - you could say it's a passion - but it's more than that!

Here is my review of a few camps in attended in 2012

OK, so the training this time...

Maximum Fitness and Muay Thai

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Stop #1 was Maximum Fitness situated right on Patong Beach!
Patong Beach outside Maxiumum

Patong Beach outside Maxiumum

The training schedule was typical for most camps:

  • 30 minutes skipping
  • 10 minutes shadow boxing (so trainers can assess technique)
  • 1 on 1 training with pads. Muay Thai is all about responding, recovering and devastating quickly, and I really developed that aspect of my fighting here.
  • Sparring: time for students to put training to work.... against each other. Training with pads is one thing, but it doesn’t hold you in stead for the real world or force you to defend properly.

I learned a lot from sparring with the long termers and trainers here!

  • Conditioning. After sparring it’s time for repetition and what sports trainers call - the metabolic finisher.

Each person takes one bag and together, as a group, in unison, and as hard as you can, complete:
- 100 kicks
- 100 knees
- 100 elbows
- 100 punches

  • Abs: A variety of excruciating ab exercises, together as a group all in time.
  • Stretching and warm down.

I loved training here. The only downside is lack of AC in the boxing area.
I'm guessing this is to build discipline and endurance, and remain traditional.
Most gyms are outside in Thailand, but this one was enclosed, and I was getting dangerously close to heat stroke some days.

PBG

PBG ringside

PBG ringside

PBG stands for Patong Boxing Gym, but really it’s way out of town, on the breezy cliffs of Karon.
My PT in Melbourne trains here and warned me that they are one of the tougher camps in Phuket.

This place boasts one of the best views I have seen from a camp - overlooking the stunning Thai coastline from quite an elevation, making it also quite breezy - a nice change.

Head trainer, M Bed assessed my fighting style and ability before putting together my program.

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Most of the conditioning and fitness aspect was left to me, (though we did tons sit ups and weighted punches)….. and we instead focused on technique and maximising power, speed and recovery.
M is the most effective, patient and encouraging trainer you could ask for!

Worked on maintaining defence whilst throwing punches

Worked on maintaining defence whilst throwing punches


M helped improve my kick technique, so that I could fire a succession of hard kicks whilst maintaining balance, defence and momentum

M helped improve my kick technique, so that I could fire a succession of hard kicks whilst maintaining balance, defence and momentum

One of the trainers at PBG fought at Patong Stadium on one of the nights that I was there.

Poland V Krabi

Poland V Krabi


There were also some really impressive match ups, including a ladies fight.

Here is a video taken during one of my pad rounds with M

I definitely had a wonderful experience at PBG, and can’t wait to get back there!

Other details you might find handy below....

Travel to Phuket

It was low season (August) in Thailand so prices were remarkably competitive.
Jet Star offered AUD$700 for business class, one way - Melbourne to Phuket direct. Easy!!
A lovely comfortable flight, great entertainment, awesome food options, very nice comfy chair….well worth the extra dough!!

Lodgings

R Mar

I spent the first week at R Mar Resort, and absolutely recommend!
Lovely staff and great facilities.
R Mar at night

R Mar at night

Though R Mar is close to all of the raucous nightlife, it’s very quiet - tucked away in a side Soi - surrounded by nice restaurants and a couple of bars. The surrounding area had a community feel.

Yorkshire Inn
I moved to the Yorkshire Inn for the second week for a bit of a change.
Yorkshire boasts one of the best gyms in Patong, and offers memberships/guest passes to non hotel guests - I saw many, many locals pumping iron here.

Owned by a Yorkshire couple (who would have guessed?!), it has great hospitality employing staff from Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and Philippines.
It bears the hallmarks of British home abroad; modern and classic rock piped around the pool, English breakfasts, comprehensive pie menu(!), etc.
It’s on one of the busiest roads on the island - the extension of Soi Bangla - yet the rooms are nice and quiet.

Nightlife

Phuket is famous for the Bangla area, lined with raucous hostess bars and big heaving nightclubs.
It's easy to get fleeced here. If you're not careful and watch your tab, the hostess bars will leave you considerably poorer…very quickly….. but with a stellar Connect Four game ;-)

I was on a strict regime so didn't go out much.
Though, some local friends took me to Tiger Discotheque, which has very savvily targeted the young, hip...and wealthy Arab market.

The DJ blasted Arabic pop/house music… plus the ubiquitous snare drum heavy Thai pop that you hear EVERYWHERE across the country at night… bupbatabupbub.bubbatabubub.bubbatabubub
On the dancefloor I tried to Shazam many tunes to no avail, and so asked party goers to help identify the songs.
Many came to my aid! I had to add Thai and Arabic keyboards on my phone... and now I have a healthy library of Thai and Arabic pop :-)

Tiger Disco

Tiger Disco

Dental and Medical

Thailand has great dental and medical services.
I was treated in a Thai hospital after a serious accident in Cambodia some years ago, and rated their approach, attention to detail and care as outstanding.

This time I had a bit of dental work done at Sea Smile - highly recommended.
Even after all that tough boxing training, I was still tenuous about the anaesthetic needle... the dental nurse held my hand during administration and during the intense part of a filling - so nice!

Staff photo - I’m still under the fog of anaethsesia.

Staff photo - I’m still under the fog of anaethsesia.

Bye Thailand

For my last night in Phuket, a friend took me to a wonderful seafood restaurant at one of the highest points on the island.

The view was incredible, as was the food!

The view was incredible, as was the food!

...and so sadly, after two amazing weeks I left Phuket, for one quick stop in BKK

Landmark Room

Landmark Room


I've stayed at the Landmark on a few occasions, and they treated me to a free upgrade.

View of BKK from my window

View of BKK from my window

If you're interested in BKK, here is one of my detailed entries about it|http://liftyrskinnyfists.travellerspoint.com/71/

So... feeling a bit fitter and refreshed, after great training and adventures, I bid farewell to Thailand, bound for Europe.

Posted by SkinnyFists 15:24 Archived in Thailand Tagged boxing phuket muay_thai

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