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  1. 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
  2. Great interview by Kevin about Kero's experience training with Sylvie long term. I really like Kevin's question about what women who want to train with Sylvie should expect. I got the impression that training with Sylvie is best for someone who is self motivated and can do their own work. Sylvie is very generous with her time but she's not there to motivate anyone else or hold their hand. Sylvie will be gone from the gym fighting and filming so female fighters need to be willing to be the only woman in a thai family gym. That means being will to ask for things like sparring that male fighter receive automatically, otherwise they will be left out.
  3. Hi all! What are your thoughts on doing partner drills without shin guards? Shin to shin contact sucks, does it keep sucking, or do you get used to it? What's the prevalent opinion on training without shin guards in Thai gyms? Do fighters train without pads prior to competion? Thanks! Gilles
  4. Hey all, I'll be staying in HK for some days and wonder if anyone can recommend a place to train over there. Preferably some private training. Maybe someone knows someone who's offering some private sessions. Asking Google mostly offered some fancy, new "fitness and also Muay Thai" spots, but thats not really what I'm searching. Thank you in advance!
  5. Posted about another few gyms on here and got some great feedback so hoping for the same! Going to Thailand soon and I’m considering spending some time at the famous F.A. Group gym as I’ve spoken with them and they now do accommodation. Has anyone been here and trained or spent a bit of time there? Any information very thankful
  6. Greetings all, This is my first post on the forum. So id like to take the time to say hello! I am looking for the groups opinion and advice to a little problem/situation I have run into over the last few years. In the first handful of years training/fighting I spend the early mornings before my 8-5 office job for a jog/bag work/ solo training. Then its off to work then anther 1-3 hours of training with my teammates. I about 30 or so fights later I spend most of my time teaching classes and training the more greener and novice fighters. Lately I have been trying to find a balance to make my own training more of priory. The last 4 months I have been commuting into Chicago 2-3 days a week which is about a 1.5 hour commute both ways after work. That has become very exhausting task with many late nights. Lately its been hard to find a balance between teaching/training in my hometown and making a commute to try and upgrade my game. At times it steals the passion and true love I have for Muay Thai and Kickboxing away from me. I have taken a brief trip to Thailand after college about 3 years ago for a handful of weeks I often dream about return for a longer period of time but life always seems to get in the way. Well there is my sob story. LOL Can anyone share any common experiences and have any advice or uplifting words of encouragement? Best!
  7. Hello all! Hope this post finds you well! I was wondering what everyone's thoughts were on the use of a mirror prior to shadow boxing or even hitting the bags. I ask because there is a nice big mirror at my gym; however, I have never really used it prior to working on the bag, pads, or class. So here is the question: What should I do in fron tof the mirror and what should I be paying attention to at the same time? Thanks so much!
  8. I'm curious to hear about what people do to recover. I believe in regular training and definitely into the "there is no overtraining only under recovery"-approach. However due to not getting proper recovery, mainly not enough sleep, I've struggled with all kinds of illness, fatigue and muscle strains. But to go to the gym 6 days a week even if I'm tired and fatigued has its wins and helps me to learn. And to battle my own mind. Sleep seems to be number one parallel to nutrition. Enough protein seems to be key for me. And warm showers after sessions. I can't say a particular supplement other than BCAA has done any magic trick. But I also do a lot of massage and have done regular chiropractic treatments in the past. I'm a yogic and used to do do a lot of yoga. When I stopped (because muay thai took over my life) my body felt it, getting stiffer more prone to injuries etc. and instead I opt for weekly thai massage and sauna. I've received the expert advice that body work (massage and the likes) is great for getting the muscles in order, the way they move under the skin etc. But I'm also constantly being told by trainers and fellow students to not get a thai massage more than 2/monthly. Because of toxins being released and so on. But massage has really helped me with my muscle issues. And it "feels" right. Curious to hear other people's views.
  9. I want to hear about what you are good at...it can be in the gym, or in your fights, or maybe tell me about a really good day in sparring or competition. List as many things as you want. I'd love to hear about them.
  10. Before Muay Thai, I was playing soccer and had to stop due to a knee injury (torn meniscus). I was looking for a sport to do for the fitness side without any risk of further knee injuries, but somehow ended up doing Muay Thai. I fell in love with this sport immediately and nothing was going to stop me not even my knee. It's been two years and probably twice a year I get bad knee pains mostly from running :( it gets so frustrating, it stops me from kicking and especially running sometimes for a week or possibly a month. At the moment I am contemplating whether I should have surgery on my knee before I leave for Thailand (hopefully around August). I don't want to go to a gym and say I cant run because I'm worried they will think I'm using excuses. I just choose to skip for longer rounds as it gives me a lower risk of an injury. I'm worried to have surgery but then again it could end up well? Sometimes I believe it can be healed with rehabilitation and strength training and just being cautious, but then again I don't want to go to Thailand and have anything stop me from my goals...
  11. I have a problem - as I'm sure a lot of less experienced fighters do - of backing straight up in sparring (did it in my fight too). Last night was my first hard sparring after my fight a couple of weeks ago and I kept backing straight up sooo bad. Very annoyed with myself as I know this is a problem. Does anyone have links to drills you can do to practice not backing up? I know it sounds super simple to fix, but I feel like I need to practice this outside of regular sparring. It'd be helpful to see some drills or perhaps just watch what/how other people do if they get backed up, but instead of continuing to go straight back they redirect. Any help greatly appreciated. Thank you! :)
  12. I'm listening to Joe Rogan's podcast with Dominick Cruz. If you're familiar with Dominick Cruz, Cruz is well-known for having a unique style, a style that is both offensive and defensive. It got me thinking about styles in fighting - how people develop them, when they develop them, etc. I'm wondering, do you consider yourself to have a specific style? How would you describe it and how did you develop it? When did you start to notice that you had (or were in development) of a style?
  13. Hi all, I am looking for some gym advice on which gym is visitor friendly in Chiang Mai. I am planning on visiting Chiang Mai from Bangkok to break up my trip. Also, any food and sight seeing recommendations? Thanks! Alan
  14. Hello all, I am planning to go train in Thailand for 3 months (ticket already bought!) on September 9 and I have still to choose my training camp for the duration of my stay. I don't really want to hop around different gyms as I won't be there for too long so I want to make an informed decision right away. I am in advanced discussions with Sitmonchai's foreign liaision (Abigail), but I am still not sure if I will go there or not. My background: I am an amateur fighter with 6 fights under his belt (nothing crazy) and would really want to find a gym with serious training and not too much westerners if possible. I have also been training for 3 years now and it would be my first trip to Thailand. I have filtered down a couple gyms in my list: Kaewsamrit, Sitmonchai, Kem Muay Thai, and Namsaknoi. If you could give me a brief overview of your impressions of those gyms would be cool. I am looking to develop a more Muay femur style (technical) if that can help. Here's my impressions of each gym, if you could confirm my assumptions it would be really helpful. Kaewsamrit: Seems like a good old-school gym oriented more towards boxing Muay mat ("heavy hands"). As I need to step up my clinch game as well, I don't know if it is the best option. I do enjoy watching highlight clips of Anuwat Kaewsamrit exploding skulls with his fists though, but I am afraid that this style is a bit limited. Although I am pretty sure they would adjust to my style/level. Sitmonchai: Similar to Kaewsamrit but it is the most expensive on my list and don't know if it's justified. Known for their aggressive style and hard low kicks, I am afraid that it might be a bit one-dimensional as well. I do enjoy the fact that they pair you up with Thais though (if they actually do and how frequently?), major point for me. They seem to have a lot of active fighters as well, which should help motivate me, but I also heard that other than the pad sessions with the trainers, you are pretty much left to yourself to train. I would like to have guidance on what I am doing right/wrong as well and not just hitting pads till exhaustion. Kem Muay Thai Gym: Beautiful location, seems like a clinch-oriented gym with disciplined training. The gym is new and doesn't have much info on it though but my major fear is that it might be geared towards westerners more. I am not a Muay Thai expert with 300+ fights but I do want to have quality training partners. It does seem like a more complete style of fighting is being taught there though. Namsaknoi: The most recent of all the gyms. What attracts me is Namsaknoi himself with the breadth of his technique and his legacy. Seems more oriented towards technique and from what I've heard they only spar twice a week (not enough in my opinion). I am also thinking that it attracts mostly westerners as I haven't been able to find info on Thai fighters training there, and also because it's on a beautiful beach. Thank you, KushGod
  15. I'm posting my article on the pros and cons of training clinch barehanded (the Thai way) or with gloves (the way we fight), creating a space for longer form conversation of our experiences. I found benefits to both, but lately I've turned to gloves for reasons outlined in the article. Should You Train Clinch With Gloves or Barehanded?
  16. Hi guys, -I wanted to know how is the lookboonmee gym for an athlete of medium level?the trainers follow you and try to make you grow or they use you only for money... -How is the accomodation and the promoters for some fights? Thanks :) P.S. sorry for my bad english
  17. Hello!! I'm heading back to Thailand from March 25 to April 24 and have firmly decided to train in Chiang Mai for 1 month at Hongthong Muay Thai Gym. After some research and advice from friends, I was told the following: 1) It will be the hottest season during the time i'm there, and that's OK - I just have to suck it up and get used it...Gotta burn this fat anyway lol 2) Burning Season for crops/farmers and worst being from Early March to Mid May. - I think this is the only thing I'm concerned about so I have some questions about this. > For those that have lived/trained in Chiang Mai (I know Sylvie has lived here for many years) what's it like training during Burning Season and did it affect your health, cardio/conditioning, etc? I'm a little worried about this as I've been told that it was so bad, and some said it wasn't as bad as you think. I do have a minor case of exercise-induced asthma but I know this is only triggered when it gets freezing cold (especially here in Canada) I do have a puffer with me that I once in a while take before exercising. And to be honest, when I was in Thailand (Bangkok) It was tough for a few days due to the heat/humidity but eventually, I got used to it. And I felt a whole lot better even though it felt like training in the sauna... haha Anyway, that's all! Let me know your experience regarding training during the Burning Season in Chiang Mai. All the best! :)
  18. Has anybody tried those apps for boxing/mma/muay thai that are supposed to help train at home? Was it useful? How often did you use it? How much did it cost? I want to train at home more often, so I thought I'd try out some apps to help. I just wanted a basic boxing timer, but I found a ton of apps that are way more intricate and exciting. I just downloaded a free app off amazon called "Shoutbox Workout Timer" and I did three five minute rounds today. I actually really like it! There's this robotic voice commanding you to do different moves for either shadow boxing or bag work. I did fifteen minutes of shadow boxing and it was fun. The intensity level was at 1 so I raised it to 2, but 2 was pretty fast so I went back down to intensity level 1. Hoping to build up to intensity level 2 (level 2 involved getting combo commands in really fast succession). There's a screen where you can adjust how long the rounds and intervals between rounds are. You can adjust the intensity and the frequency of certain moves (i.e. I raised the number of front kicks on a screen and during the rounds the front kick command came more often). There's also a screen where you can keep track of how many punches/kicks/knees you did. I really like the voice call out feature in shoutbox workout timer. I am one of those people that exercises a lot harder if someone is telling me what to do and when to do it. I just wish it could also yell out motivational things like, "keep going" or "don't stop" lol I still have to try this other one, "Get Fight Fit" that I actually paid a dollar for. It also has voice call-outs for combos. I'll give it a test run tomorrow and come back and post what it was like! If you've tried any tablet/smart watch apps that are helpful, please share! :)
  19. Sparred a few times where my contact lens came flying out and I had to stop the session. This gets kind of annoying. and I never competed yet, but heard you cannot wear your lenses. I cant see at all without glasses, I have -8 and so I am trying to decide if I am going to get laser eye surgery. I have a consultation in a few days. I was wondering, and hoping some of you have had some experience with this surgery. If so how was it? How long do you have to wait until you can go into pad holding, or hitting the bag. I think its 6 months for sparring, but not to sure. If any of you has had this I would like your input. Thanks guys!
  20. Home of the laid off workers now, Calgary Alberta Canada - once the heart of oil country now boasts in lay offs throughout all the province. There arent a lot of options for work. Got a lay off and will no longer be working my boring ass 9-5 office job, a blessing but also tough since where else do I make my money. I have a little but of money to pay for some muay thai for 6 months (800 bones is what its going for, this is standard here). so 6 months of 4 days a week muay thai, or thailand training campy for 3 weeks. I registered for a course at the university and that will take up the semester, right now - I could potentially postpone this since there arent many jobs anyways, but maybe its useful for making a living online, I am pretty intuitive with design and website building and just need some clients I guess to do some work for - I want to do it for free to start out. Sorry just went on about randomness.... So Thailand or home gym? has anyone had to face a layoff and then just packup and go? I have been to thailand and tried to train at horizon camp in kho phagan - but it was shut down! I want to train on an island and not in a city, I am tired of the city. I feel like Phuket is where I want to go, I havent fought competitively but i would say im intermediate to advanced depending on the gym. I guess I need some sort of guidance here. Thanks guys! Mike
  21. So, I'm in between jobs right now and I had to take this month off from my muay thai gym. I really want to practice at home somehow. I have a reflex bag and a jump rope. I do have one Thai pad (I ordered thinking there were two in the package, nope!) and an everlast kicking shield that I tie to the tree in my front yard. I started doing the trick on Sylvie's youtube channel where you practice your kick against a wall; I thought maybe in my time off I could work on technique. I also use the reflex bag and I kick the shield while it's tied to a tree. I used to go to the park with my muay thai friend to hit the pads but the bystanders would often come up and comment and it got kind of embarrassing for us. So, that's out for now. Any advice? I don't have a regular gym membership. I go back to muay thai in march and until then I'm on my own.
  22. Hi everyone, I didn't find a thread about this, and Sylvie wrote about the importance of training around injuries. So here my problem : I broke a finger 3 days ago in training, which totally suck because I feel I really can't do anything. Any advices in what techniques I could work on in the meanwhile, how to keep my arm active (even if i can't do push up or pull up because of my finger), or anything else? Anything else you might think about that I could add to my -now- limited training Thanks a lot!
  23. I'm having a hard time getting the roundhouse kick correctly when shadow boxing. Usually it ends up with me just lifting my leg to initiate the motion for reaction time training but looking nothing like a kick, or its raised at the knee and recoils back instead of completing the kick. It feels to me like the issue is that I have hard time balancing. The constant recoiling back at the 90 degree mark from the front is putting a lot of strain on my knees and I'd love some recommendations. If anyone has a mental analogy they used to get the roundhouse shadow working for them, would love to hear it.
  24. 1) is it possible to fall into a 2 trainings a day regimen when I never trained like this at home? Should I train like that for a week or so before my trip to get used to it? (Combining it with work might be exhausting an counter-productive though) 2) what currency is most popular beside Thai Baht? Is it possible to pay in some places in other currencies? Would you advise exchanging money at home or after coming to Thailand? i'm dealing with Euros and Polish Zloty. The exchange rate is better from zlotys for me right now, so i'm wondering how to plan out the money issue. 3) I'm not a beginner, but I'm also not near fighting level. Would it be still possible to get some sparring or do the trainers just observe my training and then say I can do this or that? 4) this might be a bigger topic: what could make someone 'lose face'? If you have links to articles, I'll gladly read them, to learn more about this issue
  25. We were practising kicks the other day and my trainer said something among the lines: "If you step outside/pivot on your standing foot enough there's no need to lower/straighten the kicking leg arm, it's better to keep your guard up when kicking than risking a counterhit". What is your kicking leg hand/arm position in kicks? Does it changes with different kicks? Have you noticed different outcomes with different positions?
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