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Hello all, So after spending about 3 months at Kem Muay Thai Gym I feel as if I could give a pretty accurate review of what to expect there. Note that this is my personal experience so you might experience some things differently but I hope that this will help you in your gym decision for training in Thailand. Little background: Prior to leaving I had 6 amateur fights under my belt and had been training for about a little over 3 years, it was also my first time in Thailand. I'm a 23 years old man as well if that can help.. I was there from September to December this year. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Camp Overview: The camp is located in the mountains in Khao-Yai Thiang near Khorat which is pretty much a village, the nearest city is 30 KM I believe. At the camp you have 2 adults Thais training being Yodwicha and Rungravee PK Saenchai, 3 teenagers (including 1 teenage girl about 14-16 years old), and 2 kids. So other than Yodwicha and Rungravee you will be training mostly with teenagers and kids, most of the guys/fighters you see on the website aren't there anymore. The trainers might also jump in during the sparring sessions sometimes to even out the score. Don't get me wrong those kids and teenagers were technically really skilled (except maybe for the girl who was more average), but if you are a heavy guy it might not be ideal sometimes. - Training: The training is pretty hard so beware to prepare yourself accordingly before going to avoid suffering too much during your first weeks. They will adapt the training regimen to your level but I recommend running at least 30-45 minutes daily on top of training before going. 1 round at the camp = 4 minutes Usually 10 push-ups in between rounds of sparring and bag work Training in the morning: (between 2.5-3 hours including the run and cool down) 10 KM run in the mountain at 6h00 AM, training officially starts around 7h30 AM for those not running 3-5 series of 10 pull-ups 1 round of shadow boxing with weights (1-2 punch going back and forth and speed punching last 30 seconds) 1 warm-up full shadow boxing round with gloves/shin pads before sparring 4-6 rounds of sparring which alternates between Muay Thai and Boxing depending of the day "Double-Kick": 3-5 series of 20 kicks with each leg on pads (not always) Bag work (1-2 round boxing on the tires, then 1-2 rounds on the heavy bag, then 1 round of only elbows and/or sometimes 1-2 rounds low kicks) 200 blocks, 200 knees (sometimes on the bag, sometimes going back and forth with weights), and 100 teeps (push-kicks) sit-ups (up to you) and again 3-5 series of 10 pull-ups Training in the afternoon: (between 2-2.5 hours including short run and cool down) - Training starts at 3H00 PM 2-3 KM run of about 10-15 minutes on a much more flat ground (trust me you will enjoy this) 10-20 minutes of skipping 3-5 series of 10 pull-ups 1 round of shadow boxing with weights again (1-2 punch going back and forth) 1 warm-up round of full shadow boxing with gloves before pad work 4-5 rounds of pads which usually consist of 3 rounds Muay Thai and 1 round boxing Bag work: 1-2 rounds boxing on tires, 2 rounds heavy bag, 1 round elbows, sometimes 1-2 rounds lowkicks 15-20 minutes clinching followed by 50 push-ups to close the clinch session 200 blocks, 200 knees, 100 teeps sit-ups and 3-5 series of 10 pull-ups again - The Food: Excellent! I have nothing bad to say about it. Be prepared to eat rice everyday though. We sometimes had pastas to break up the routine but on very few occasions. Even had fries and steak once. I think the food is really the best aspect of this camp. - Trainers: They are pretty good and know what they are doing. They seem to be each working different aspects of your game, for example one is more cardio-intensive, the other is more playful, etc. When I got there, 3 trainers were at the gym, then 1 left, then 2 others came, so I don't know how many you will see next time you go there. - General Atmosphere: The atmosphere at the camp is friendly and casual, they try to be as inclusive as they can. Nobody is going to wake you up to go run or come train but they will notify you when it's time to eat and such. While training you are paired with the Thais as much as possible but while eating they eat together and the farangs (foreigners) eat together. The more you show you are dedicated the more they will push you. -Beautiful Location: The camp is pretty good looking and well maintained. They also have free WiFi and hot water for showers. WiFi is pretty good, but the bathrooms are quite small with the water from the shower splashing on your toilet seat.. -English Level: The English level is really low, as nobody fully speaks English but some do enough to answer your questions and such. If you encounter a real problem then this might become quite a bit of an issue as it will be hard for you to explain your situation to them. You won't be able to have a full and fluid conversation in English with the Thais at the camp but that doesn't stop you from joking around with them. -Repetitive Training: Although the training is hard, it is a little repetitive at times if you ask me. We did the same exercises day-in and day-out with the only difference being the number of rounds for each one. The training is pretty much oriented on the basics and fundamentals as well. They will make sure you can do a proper jab, a proper kick, and so on.. One thing I didn't like too much as well was the fact for the clinching sessions they were just making you clinch and throwing you on the ground, they weren't really breaking down techniques much. Although this approach has its benefits, I believe taking like 5-10 minutes to properly show a technique would have been a good addition as well. -Distractions: There aren't many things around the camp except some little mom-n-pop groceries stores. For the short term it's good to help you focus on the training but over some months it can get pretty boring during your off-times. We went out to see fights, which were mainly kids' fights because Yodwicha and Rungravee only do international fights now, but other than that we did quite few activities. You sometimes had to ask to be taken out like when you had to do some shopping at a Tesco Lotus. Being taken out would sometimes come at a cost of 200 baht for the gas depending on who was dropping you off. -Airport Shuttle and Transportation: For airport pickup/drop-off you pay a 2,400 baht fee (that you can see on their website) which includes both picking you up and dropping you at the airport at the beginning and end of your stay. If you plan on going by yourself paying your own taxi, you have to tell yourself that Bangkok (I landed at the suvarnabhumi airport) is approximately 3 hours away from the camp and the camp is a little tricky to find. I would say that for your way back you are pretty much dependent on them for a ride, but I guess that if you really wanted to you could take a taxi for when you are on your way in. I believe all people I met at the camp had used the camp ride services, and I did too. \When you are actually at the camp, you are quite dependent on them for transportation as you are on the mountains in a village (cows around and hearing the cock in the morning), I'm pretty sure I've seen some cars but never a taxi pass around the camp. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- On a separate note, I also had 2 fights at the camp. Won the first one against a chubby Thai who didn't seem to be training/fighting full-time, but as it was my first pro fight without any protection I thought it was ok for a start. I lost the second fight which was on my last week at the camp and this one left me a little bitter because they paired me against a Thai who probably had a minimum of 20-30 fights without warning me at all. The referee stopped the fight in the 4th round as he was dominating me in the clinch. I really don't know why they put me against a guy who had that much experience without letting me know what I was about to face. I was expecting a harder fight than my first one, but not a mismatch like this.. On a final note, I would say that overall it's still a pretty good camp and I guess that I would recommend it but I would suggest to be fit prior to going and maybe to learn a bit of Thai as well to help with the communications. I recommend maybe staying 1-1.5 months maximum for those looking to stay long term as beyond that the lack of distractions and repetitiveness of the training can be harsh to endure. If anyone has questions or would like me to further expand on some topics, please feel free to reach me. Regards
I went to Sinbi around 4 months ago. I thought I should do a review as it seems to be quite a popular gym. Class Format - 3.5/5 Classes are 2 hours each and usually follows this format: 15 minute running or skipping -> stretching -> hand-wrapping -> shadowboxing -> bag work & pad work (5 rounds of each, usually 3 mins each round but may be 2 if it gets too busy) -> sparring or clinching or technique (I didn't like this format as technique is only ever taught as the same time clinching (morning) and sparring (afternoon) happens) -> cool down exercises and stretches -> Sinbi cheer Overall, I think the class structure is just ok. As mentioned above, I didn't like having to choose between sparring/clinching and learning techniques. I also thought sparring every day was excessive, even if it alternates between boxing and MT. Although Sinbi does have a weights room, there also doesn't seem to be much emphasis on conditioning or repetition -> sometimes, we are told to do 50 sit ups or to do 50 kicks on the bag as part of the cool down exercises but its definitely not like other gyms that make you run 10km or do 200 knees/push ups (you are only required to do hundreds of kicks/knees if you are fighting for them) Instruction - 3/5 On paper, the krus are extremely well-qualified with hundreds of fights each and numerous belts between them. There are also some (shoutout to Dee, Cookie and Bao V) who are very experienced coaches and who are very patient and generous towards students. Most of them knew at least enough English to teach. Unfortunately, there are some newer, younger coaches who don't care much about the students. They will make you do the same combos again and again and won't provide you with much correction at all. They will tell you you are doing "good" even if you feel like your technique isn't quite hitting the mark. The worse bit is that once you've had a trainer a few times, you are likely to be pushed towards him for the rest of your trip. I did somehow manage to correct this problem by having a few PTs with my assigned trainer. I didn't like him much but my friend said things will change once you do PTs with them. Lo and behold, my friend was right. After only two PT sessions, he started putting a lot more effort in. He not only became much more alive while holding pads but would even deliberately walk up to me while I was hitting the heavy bag or when shadowboxing with suggestions. He turned out to be a very knowledgeable teacher with a very sharp eye. Too bad he could only be bothered teaching me when there was more money involved and would keep asking me to do a daily private with him. Overall, there are around 15 trainers on staff. The ratio is at around 3 to 1 so that's pretty good. My friend who went a year ago though said there was a thai female trainer/fighter there. There isn't. Big boss Sing also seemed to be absent most of the time I was there. Facilities - 5/5 This is probably the best aspect of Sinbi. The gym itself is massive and very clean. I didn't count the heavy bags but there must be at least 20 to 25. There are also 3 full sized boxing rings and at least 5-10 exercise bikes. There is a large weights room too with everything you'll need as well as a very well stocked (but expensive) shop. They can take care of your laundry, organise airport pick-up for you, organise taxis and day trips - name it and you'll get it. Accomodation is also very, very good for a gym - legit, the Sinbi Apartment look and function like a service apartment and is very safe and very clean. It also has a swimming pool. Location - 4/5 The gym/accomodation is located in an area where you can get anything you need within 3-10 minutes walking. This includes massage shops, laundromats, thai and western restaurants, a 7-11, street food, cheap clothing shops, a barber and even a Thai language learning school (as well as a scuba diving school). The only downside is that you will need a scooter to get to the beach, to nightclubs or to a large shopping mall like Central Festival. Female-friendly? Yes While I was there, the male to female ratio was around 2:1. Like the men, they were given fight opportunities if they were up to the required standard. Women often trained in their sports bra and were not made to enter the ring via the bottom rope. They were not made to do pad work last and were allowed to clinch/spar the Thai boys if there weren't enough women or there were odd numbers. There was some friendly flirting from the coaches (stuff like "you're beautiful!" or "pretty girl!") but nothing that crosses the line. Overall: 7/10 - its what you expect from a Thai gym but not much more. Will go again if I was in the area but would not plan another trip around this gym.
Lamnammoon Sor Sumalee was an absolute legend from the Golden Era who specialized in knees. He won his first ever fight with a knee KO (He was nicknamed the Vampire of Knees by the press). He has his own gym now, situated in Ubon Ratchathani, one of the four great city of Isaan. It's the region he grew up in. I went to Lamnammoon's gym last year (2018) between end of September and early December. Damn, I don't even know where to start... It was SO great. I love this place to bits. Before I keep going whoever reads this may want to check out Sylvie's take on "Gym recommendations" if they haven't done already. It's always difficult recommending a gym because gyms are not frozen in time and everybody has their own expectations about what they want out of things in their lives. Lamnammoon's gym, like any other gym, go through changes all the time. The training partners I had during my stay there and some of the coaches I was blessed enough to learn from are not currently there anymore. And those people contributed a lot to my progress and happiness. Now, Lamnammoon is Lamnammoon no matter what. His gym has a its own soul that he's slowly been nurturing for years with all his heart which I think has remained the same to this very day. It's an intense, old school, leaning toward Muay Khao (but not exclusively at all. He adapts to the fighter's nature), big on fight kind of gym. If you give your heart to the gym and work hard, you will get the equivalent attention and focus right back to you. If you'd rather train not too hard and just be a chill tourist, you won't get ignored or looked down upon or neglected but you'll get the same kind of nonchalance in return. It's a fair place where you reap what you sow. Unless you're a woman. However to be fair the disparity between genders really is not as great as what you'd expect in a gym that not so long ago still didn't allow any woman in the ring. Clinching put aside I got absolute great training and attention like everybody else. No shady behaviors from anyone either. First day you get there Lamnammoon will probably take you on pads himself to assess where you're at. Then he might advise you to take it lightly the first week, and gradually build up the intensity of your training to match the overall level. Definitely take it light the first week! Don't go all in at the beginning. He told me how he saw SO many Westerners coming to his gym and going crazy berserk the first few days to try and impress everyone, before quickly dying out like a deflating balloon. I don't know whether you wish to fight or not, but if you want to fight you should be serious and consistent and not skip training (unless you're ill). Lamnammoon absolutely loves people with good heart. That means: being humble, training hard all the time, never quitting, not showing fatigue, not complaining about comfort issues. When he was a young fighter Lamnammoon used to sleep on the ring alongside his buddies and his pillow was a pad, and that's it. So, I don't encourage you to complain about being in pain or feeling uncomfortable unless it's really serious, or unless you don't intend to be taken seriously as a fighter. .Accommodations. > Staying at Lamnammoon's home: you can choose the whole package of training/room/food for 28 000 baht per month. You'll be housed at Lamnammoon's own home in one of the several rooms he rents mostly for foreigners. There's aircon in the room. You can also get WiFi. No TV though. And if you have the same room I had: no warm water and an annoying mouse running around and munching on your bananas lol. His home is situated 6km away from the gym. You get fed twice a day (Lunch + diner after each session) with delicious home cooked local dishes (it's absolutely wonderful I kid you not). That's the option I took and I don't regret it one bit even though it's far from cheap. But investing in such a great gym feels awesome, and being around Lamnammoon and his family all the time is too precious for words. Sometimes he takes you out to the restaurant alongside his family. What an honor. His wife and his son are very welcoming and kind. He also has a daughter but I didn't interact with her much. I saw his dad a few times and I was too intimidated to discuss with him much. He had an aura of pure wisdom and kindness about him. Such wonderful people. > Staying at an hotel near the gym: some of my fellow training partners from the West were staying at this hotel very close to the gym. It's 5000 baht a month I think and the quality is pretty decent. The cost of training at Lamnammoon's (without food and lodgings) is 10 000 baht per month. So hotel + training = 15 000 baht. There are restaurants around the hotel and one meal usually cost around 40 baht or something. If you do the math you'll see this option is way cheaper. You'll also be more free to leave the gym whenever you want, whereas if you stay at Lamnammoon's house you've got to leave when the driver leaves (the driver being Lamnammoon or his son or whoever gives us a lift). Unless you have your own vehicle: you can rent a motorbike if you wish. Lamnammoon can take care of this for you. It's not expansive. Sometimes I had to cut short my conditioning/stretching at the end of session cause we were leaving. It's simply out of order to make anyone wait for me. This was a bit of a downer for me sometimes. .Training. After the first week of adaptation that was quite light (yet still painful because I was running on mostly no sleep and I had weird cramps all over my body), this is what my training schedule there looked like: > Morning session (6am to between 9 and 10am): ° Run between 10-14km (mostly 12k) from 5.45am until around 7am, time when you should be arriving at the gym, getting ready for the morning session. The running route goes from Lamnammoon's home to the gym. You can wander off track to make it a long run since the actual distance between the two places is only 6km like I said. You leave your gym bag in Lamnammoon's car and he brings them to you later on in the morning. ° 10min shadowbox ° Many rounds on the bag (I can't give you a number. It's until you get called for padwork. And when you're done with padwork you go back on the bag until you get called for clinch.) ° 3 rounds on pads. If you have a fight coming it's 5 rounds and they're more intense. (The young Thai fighters there get 7 rounds sometimes. I honestly envied them a little. Some days I didn't envy them at all though. Lol.) Depending on the coach you're assigned with, it can go from a slightly boring and chill to real fun and tiring as hell. Lamnammoon is the absolute peak of both great fun and so fucking hard as hell it's like you're climbing Mordor without Sam by your side. ° Around 30min clinch. A bit more when you have a fight (if you're a woman you get less unless you are very insistent I suppose, which I wasn't) When clinching is done it's back on the bags for endless reps. ° Drills/reps on the bag. Sometimes on your own, sometimes supervised by Lamnammoon or Kru Lampang (when it's supervised, you fucking die). The basic instructions for the drills are as follows: 200 hundred speed kicks, 300 hundred knees, 300 teep, 5min of only elbows. This is the bare minimum. After a while my own routine looked like this: 300 hundred speed kicks, 200 hundred knees on the "uppercut wall bag thing", 300-400 hundred knees on the normal bag, 200-400 teep, 5min elbows, and whatever else I felt like adding as extra bonus if I have time left. °Conditioning (abs, pull-ups, push-ups, whatever) + stretching. This part is almost always up to you. There were times when we did it in groups, but mostly not. Then it's around 10am and training is done for the morning. You go eat. Afterwards if you're silly like me you skip sleeping and instead go for a walk into the city center to do errands that aren't necessary or you just chill on your bed watching Netflix. When afternoon session finally comes, you curse yourself hard for not having slept. Lol. > Afternoon session (3.45pm to 7pm): ° Run 6km. I never did more than 6km, never less either. I fucking hated these runs because of the heat, the traffic, the road work, the dust, and the occasional acidic reflux from not having digested my lunch properly yet. ° Around 20min skipping rope. I remember one blissful day when Kru Lampang was talking to another trainer while we were skipping rope and completely forgot about us. They always tell us when to stop skipping and if you're a good student you just don't stop until told to. That day I must've skipped for about 35min haha. Sweet hell. ° Rounds on the bags, same thing as morning. ° 3 rounds of padwork (5 if you have a fight) then back on the bags until called for clinch. ° Around 30min clinch (when I wasn't clinching I just did a mix of shadowboxing and bagwork. Or I worked drills with another partner that wasn't clinching. Or I got extra technical instructions on stuff from available coaches) ° Sweet drills of hell on the bags (same thing as in the morning) ° Conditioning and stretching. Then you either eat at the gym or at Lamnammoon's or wherever and I don't know about anyone else but usually at around 9pm I'm dead on my bed. Except for the first week: it was sleepless nights after sleepless nights. /!\ Some important notes: - All rounds last 5 minutes. - The last 30 seconds of each rounds must be done faster and more intense (the coaches all go leow leow leow at you which means speed speed speed). - After the end of each round you go straight on the floor and do around 20 push-ups, then off you go drink some water. - On Tuesday and Saturday mornings you get Muay Thai sparring instead of padwork. We all get to spar each other in turns. No exclusions here. One round lasts 10min. The whole sparring time usually lasts around 1h or so. If there are a lot of people, they have to make the rounds last only 5min so as to make sure everyone spars everyone. But you don't get one min rests after those 5min, you just switch partner quickly that's all. - On Friday morning it's boxing sparring. Same thing as Muay Thai sparring when it comes to rounds and such. - Sometimes we get a session that's all freestyle and looks like no other. But mostly they're all like what I've described above. - You drink water from a shared bucket filled with ice. The water is super cold. You can bring your own bottle if you'd rather. - There's a stereo blasting Thai music. Mostly country sounding Thai music. Sometimes one of the boy or the foreigner would connect their phone to the speaker and put their own music, for a change. - There are showers and toilets at the gyms (one for women, one for men). You can shower there if you wish. Frogs like these place too. - You can leave your gears at the gym (gloves, shinpads, skip rope, bands). Just make sure you don't leave them lying around it's not polite. - There are dogs at the gym. They run all around you during training. They're adorable and so cute. At first I was annoyed by their clinginess but eventually they grew on me. There are also ants. Those on the other hand are real painful fuckers. You'll see. .The trainers. > Dam: he was a young padholder same age as me (28). He stayed at Lamnammoon's house too so we bonded like friends, which means his padwork never brought about any kind of anxiety to be "worthy of your coach" or something like that in me. His padwork style was enjoyable, even though boring at times, but some days I really liked the fact that it didn't stress me. He was insecure and sometimes asked me afterwards whether his padwork skills are good or not. I had to comfort his insecurities which felt odd. I liked him though. I don't know if he's still there because he didn't enjoy that work so much (it's very tiring and doesn't pay so well) and I don't see him on Lamnammoon's Instagram posts anymore. > Kru Lampang : he's absolutely awesome. Very cheerful and cheeky and so fun to work with. He's very tiring but his padwork style is not linear and while you do suffer a lot you also don't feel the time fly by, cause he's so much fun. That said I will never forget my last rounds of padwork with him before my first fight. It was on a Sunday morning and he made me start the very last round with 50 kicks and 50 knees. It doesn't sound so bad like that but living it was quite something lol. > Kru Rengrad : he's as awesome as Lampang but more bear-like in his aura: at first you may think he's grumpy and not interested in you, but in truth he's such a teddy bear and he's very generous. He's so good with punches. His padwork is awfully tiring because it's relentless. He doesn't stop the rythm and hardly ever stop to correct you. Thank God he never makes you do speed kicks at the beginning or ending of his rounds otherwise... Well, our loss I suppose. > Lamnammoon (aka Kru Yo): the big boss is plain batshit crazy. Padwork with him is like a hyena on crack doing a bunch of summersault on a rollercoaster at full speed without brakes while singing the Pokemon theme song with a chipmunk voice. I love his padwork style so much despite getting anxiety attacks every time I know I'm going to be on pads with him. Pressure to not suck and all that. I didn't experience any other trainers while I was there. When I look at Lamnammoon's Instagram posts nowadays I notice several new heads. Kru Lampang is still there but Dam and Kru Rengrad are not. They might come back or not. God only knows. .Thai Fighters. > Robert, Petch, Bahn, and Top are the main fighters there and they are still very much there and thriving. They've been at the gym for around four years when I got there last year. They're still teenagers and all except Top still go to school. They are so damn skilled and a joy to train with! They're pretty small and light but it doesn't matter. Unless you are truly way way bigger than them, you'll progress a ton by their side. Even if you're a giant you'll progress. I'm very introverted so I didn't get to warm up to them fast enough before it was time to leave. I suppose it's for the best. They see so many people come and go they may not be so enclined to become best pal with you and then having their heart broken because you must leave. That said, they're still welcoming and fun to be around. Just watching them in their home (they live at the gym) is a blessing in itself. > Wut was a new fighter when I arrived and as of right now he's not there anymore. He was 18 I think. I was amazed by him so much. I loved watching him blasting the pads. I have a printed picture of him stuck on my door hahaha. Yeah I'm a fan of his. .Ubon Ratchatani. > The city itself isn't really pretty at first sight - but there are some really beautiful spots if you care to go look deeper around. I'll let you discover them for yourself. It's a big town with big shopping mals like big C and local street markets and you can go to the movies or get massages or go swim at one of the local swimming pools that are almost always empty, etc. If you're like me and you don't care much about night life and distraction from Muay Thai, but still likes to wander around sometimes in huge mals (I don't have those in my own city so they were novelties too and I was fascinated) and still occasionally feel like going to the movies, you'll like it enough. If not, well... You'll get bored quick. But then again you don't go to a gym like Lamnammoon's to be chill and comfy and waste yourself away at night, do you? It sounds almost paradoxical to me. _________ Lamnammoon really values hard work and dedication. When he saw how much I ran and faster than everyone else on most days, he seemed genuinely pleased. The two weeks leading up to my first fight (after almost two months being there), I didn't wait to be told to go up to the gym on Sunday mornings to get extra trainings even though I didn't have to. Yeah the gym is open non stop Monday to Sunday. The Thai boys train every single day, morning and evening. They fight often and they usually get between three days to a whole week off after every fight. I only went to train on two Sunday mornings once I got a fight, otherwise I usually took that day off. But you can definitely train everyday if you feel like it... There were some Sunday mornings when I still did a morning run, for example. Lamnammoon is really kind and funny and helpful. If you ask for help he will definitely help you, and he never forgets about you. But if you need something and you don't ask, he's not going to be a mind reader and check up on you every single second of every single day. He still very much cares about you having a good training and being happy at his gym. A few times throughout my stay he asked me with concern whether I was homesick, and if I was happy at all. Because I'm introverted and very quiet and intimidated by his charisma he thought maybe I wasn't happy. So, if you go there do make sure to let him know how you feel if it's something genuinely positive. He has a big heart in every way. Also, something that my introversion made me miss (until I got some company at his home who were chattier people than me): he's got a lot of stories to tell but you need to ask him questions otherwise he won't tell you anything. Thanks to Broke, Rocky and Jodie for doing what I couldn't do at all which is basically talking to him. Lol. Now the only downside: if you're a woman, you'll get less clinch practice. You won't be prompted to do it by the trainers. The Thai boys might feel awkward clinching with you (not all of them. Wut definitely did not like clinching a woman...). The pre-fight massage you get is less thorough than the boys' for obvious but still frustrating reasons. You may actually get less fights, though I'm not so sure about that last one at all. I got only one fight because of my height, or so I was told. I'm tall for a woman and most Thai women are relatively small which is not an appealing disparity for most gyms with the smallest fighter. I was envious of the Western men at the gym getting fights after fights after fights. Some even complained of having too many ones booked... Tsk. They don't fucking know their damn luck. _________ This answer turned out longer than intended. I probably still left out lots of stuff though. Don't hesitate to ask me more questions if you have any. If you do go there you can contact me anytime on here for any kind of things. Although you may not need me at all because there's a super British guy that lives in Ubon called Mickaël who used to train full-time at Lamnammoon's not long ago and who still goes to the gym occasionally to train or help around or serves as guide for the fresh new farangs. He will definitely help you if you meet him. Or Kru Yo (Lamnammoon) can put you in contact with him if it's needed. I intend on writing a day by day account (diary style) of my whole stay there. I'll post updates in here as I go along in this little project. If you're interested I encourage you to follow the thread. In any case, thank you a lot for reading me. I hope you found this review useful. Good luck on your own journey, fellow travelers! > Anyone interested in going to Lamnammoon's gym should regularly check out his Instagram page to see how his gym is doing and what the training looks like at any given time. He post videos often : https://instagram.com/lamnammoonmuaythai?igshid=11qff920fl1ol > Also a must see is this recent short documentary made by a woman named Angie. It's wonderful:
Background: I trained at Sumalee Boxing Gym for 2 weeks. I also lived onsite. Overall impression (tl/dr): Good for women; good for beginners; good if you want a 'one stop shop' (everything you need is in the gym); not so good for more experienced practitioners. Muay Thai Training: The training is decent but can be improved. Rounds are only 3 minutes long with 1 minute rest in between. In between rounds of pad work/heavy bag, you are expected to do 10 pushups/situps/squats. A typical morning session lasts 90 minutes (7:30-9am) and will usually have this structure: - 15 minute skipping/jumping on tires - Stretching - Wrapping hands - Shadowboxing (supervised - the trainer will correct your technique) - 3 rounds of pads with trainers - 3 rounds of heavy bag (unsupervised - all the trainers are on pad duty) - Conditioning exercises (sit ups, repetition of basic technique) - Stretching A typical afternoon session lasts 2 hours (4-6pm). The routine is similar to the morning session, except there are 3 rounds of light sparring before pads/heavy bag and there are more conditioning exercises. The sparring is supervised in the sense that the coaches will make sure you don't get hurt. However, they won't be correcting your technique between rounds. Overall, I found this structure to be just OK. On the one hand, there are plenty of coaches (2:1 or 3:1 student to teacher ratio) and they are friendly people. They are also very well versed in dealing with beginners and will even go so far as to wrap your hands for you. However, on the more negative side, I feel like there is too little emphasis on technique. For example, most coaches do not correct your form during pad work. There is also no standard block of time dedicated to teaching technique - on 2 occasions, we learnt how to catch a kick and counter but that was it. Furthermore, there is no clinching and most students are complete beginners (they come for the Yoga) - the latter means you really have to hold back when sparring with them. There are 2 sponsored fighters at the gym (1 male, 1 female) but they barely interact with the students beyond a standard 'hi'. Due to the lack of technical instruction during group classes, I highly recommend you do some privates on the side. I did 6 while I was there (700 baht/private, 3600 baht/6 privates) and that's where the trainers really shine. The trainers were all once well-experienced fighters, ranging from having 300+ fights (Keng) to 30+ fights (Na), and will happily work on fine tuning anything you want. They will spar with you, clinch with you, teach you strategy - all with patience and in a totally safe/fun environment. I personally recommend Keng as he is the most experienced and he really breaks everything down very, very clearly to you. Overall, its clear to me that the trainers know their stuff and are passionate about what they do. It is a shame the group training itself is so watered down. Facilities: The gym itself has 2 rings, a general matted area and heavy bags. On the good side, the gym is cleaned regularly and is kept very tidy. They also have new flooring which is nice. On the not so good side, out of all the heavy bags, I was surprised to find that only one was a full length one. Others were much shorter which means you can't practise your low kicks on them. I also found the bags to be filled with very hard material - to the point where I could never go beyond 30-40% on them. The gym does have gloves and shin pads you can borrow - however, most of the gloves probably need to be replaced as there are holes in them (often near the palm area) and they stink. Outside of MT, the gym also offers Yoga classes once a day. I am a complete novice to Yoga but I tried a couple of classes and they were pretty good. The instructor Rhian is very nice, you get plenty of instruction and it is a relaxing experience. There is also a pool on site, a pool table and scooters for rent. There is a pro shop as well which has everything you need for MT - from handwraps/mouthguards to gloves/shinpads to keyrings. The pro shop charges prices comparable to my home country though (e.g. a pair of shorts starts from 1200baht). Accommodation: Accommodation is basic but kept very clean. Food: There is an onsite restaurant which sells both western and thai food. The food is pretty good and almost of restaurant quality. The wait staff are also very friendly and there are (a few) vegetarian choices. However, if you aren’t on a meal plan, ordering a la carte is expensive with most dishes costing anywhere between 5-10 USD. Due to the price, most of the students will instead go to Nana’s around the corner. You can get a dish and a drink for 48baht there. Camp Location: The gym is in a non-touristy area of Phuket. This is good if you want to train without any distractions. This is bad though if you want to do any sight seeing. There is a convenience store directly across the gym which sells basic amenities (washing powder, shower gel etc.) and you can walk 25-30 minutes each way for massages/7-eleven/phamacy but everything else requires a taxi. Safe for women/solo travellers? Very. The trainers are prohibited from making any kind of unwanted advances and the gym is very safe at all hours. There are also a lot of women training there (I'm talking 50-55%) and most students are solo travellers. Gunn, Sun, Lynne and Rhian all understand English and will regularly check in to make sure you are doing ok. Hope you enjoyed my review!