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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.
Gemma has a great blog on her experiences of over a year training and fighting on Phuket. She was at Sinbi and recently changed gyms to AKA. Phuket is an island and so it's no surprise you run into your old gym a lot, both on purpose and by accident. Here's Gemma's blog post on both the expected and unexpected of those circumstances, something many of us experience to varying degrees given the "small world" of Muay Thai both in Thailand and in the west: Moving on Without Moving "There is something to be said about changing gyms within a small province. In my imagination, at the very least, if you were to change gyms somewhere bigger, say in Bangkok, the pressures that come with the move might not be as noticeable – but again – I could be totally wrong having never lived in […]"