Jump to content

Gym Advice for Father and 14 Year Old Son - Beginners

Recommended Posts

My son, 14, and I are interested in going to a Muay Thai training camps in Thailand for 4 weeks in early/mid January 2022.  We are both complete novices.  The goal of the experience is to learn the basics of Muay Thai, spend time together and have fun while experiencing a new culture.  I'd love for this adventure to be positive and result in Muay Thai being an activity we can continue to pursue together as he becomes a young adult.

I've done some online research and it seems that there are many excellent camps.  Are there any camps that are particularly well suited to a novice father and son team?  Ideally, we'd like to either be in the vicinity of Bangkok or near a beach.  However, completely open to other parts of Thailand for the right program.

Thank you in advance for your thoughts and feedback.

  • Like 1
  • Respect 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are good reasons to think about Kru Manop's gym in Chiang Mai. The first is that he's just an excellent instructor, with lots of technical awareness that comes from working with westerners over many years, and a patience that is very high level. His teaching muay is very high level, as he was once Saenchai's padman, and spent several years at Yokkao in Bangkok. Also, he's had lots of experience recently training on western boy, who now fights in Thai stadia. The boy and his father, I believe, have been at the gym for a couple of years.


If you want to experience a big, Muay Thai gym complex like something like Tiger on Phuket, this certainly isn't that. But, if you want to spend a lot of time in a small gym with a personal touch, its the first gym that comes to mind for me.

Chiang Mai is culturally slower and more conservative (traditional) than other parts tourist oriented parts of the country, and quite beautiful, the kind of city and surrounding region that seem perfect for a 4 week experience.


We shot this little short when visiting there a bit ago. Kru Manop is also in the Muay Thai Library if you want to see a couple of hours of training with him, privately:

#55 Manop Manop Gym - The Art of the Teep (90 min) watch it here 

#85 Kru Manop Yuangyai 2 - The Art of the Sweep (57 min) watch it here


Once in Chiang Mai you could also check out Kru Thailand's gym, on the other side of the city. It would be more of an "authentic" gym in that he trains Thai boys to become stadium fighters. He too is a very good instructor. Their Facebook Page is here: https://www.facebook.com/Sit-Thailand-Muay-Thai-Gym-106840670828643/

They live stream their training often on Facebook, so you could get a sense of the atmosphere.

Ideally, I say to not book long stays around any one particular gym, but rather spend a couple of days in a gym just to see what it feels like.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kevin and Tom thank you very much for the feedback. 

I'll start researching the gyms you suggested and also look into Muay Tae.

@Kevin - a follow-up question for you is once we find a gym we like should we book a longer stay or use our first four weeks to try many gyms?  Would it be foolish in your opinion to spend time in 2 different areas of Thailand?

Thank you both again for taking the time to respond.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, SLC said:

@Kevin - a follow-up question for you is once we find a gym we like should we book a longer stay or use our first four weeks to try many gyms?  Would it be foolish in your opinion to spend time in 2 different areas of Thailand?

Hmmm. I guess this depends on how old your son is [edit in: sorry, I missed that he was 14], and more about your own tolerance, or enjoyment of change is. Me? I like to settle down in a place. It is only after 3 days or more that I feel ok. When I know where I'm eating, the way to the gym, etc. Then maybe at 7-10 days do I really feel like I'm in something. It also depends on how heavily or often you want to train. Every day? Twice a day? Or taking days off?

Just giving you my own sense, I'd say two weeks minimum for a single gym experience, once you know you like it, which means once you start moving again the next stay will feel shortened. When we first came to Thailand we committed in advance to two experiences over I think 6 weeks. I really loved our stay in Chiang Mai at Lanna at the time. Then, perfectly happy, we went down to Bangkok and Sasiprapa. The Bangkok experience wasn't bad in anyway, but we actually wished we had just stayed in Chiang Mai. It was far less gritty, the gym experience was really nice. It wasn't the worst thing to push for two, but it wasn't ideal.

I would maybe make a first choice of location, and then a list of 3 gyms in that location. I'd go to each of them for a day and just feel what it is like and go by intuition. Can I picture myself here for 2 weeks? If you find a great one, one you really vibe on, then just stop there, no need to push for more. I'd give myself 10 days in that first choice gym. After about 7 of those days I'd reassessed. Do I want to change gyms? Or do I want to change cities? If you are really happy where you are, just stay. It's pretty easy, and not that expensive to just hop on a plane and be somewhere else if you suddenly get the urge to have a different experience. Don't pay for lots of days in advance, especially in the time of COVID when tourism is going to be down. Everyone will be glad to have you. Keep things flexible.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with Kevin on this, spending some time at a place gives a deeper experience than making it a day-trip. Manop is a great option based on the age of your son. I can't comment on the advantages of gyms based on their locations and proximity to tourist attractions as that's not something we do when we visit gyms, but Chiang Mai in general is easy to navigate and has lots of things to explore. Bangkok is harder to move around in, but also lots to do it you take half a day or a day off.

  • Nak Muay 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


I've done trips of one about one months two times. 

I would agree with what was said. Both time I did at least two weeks in one gyms and then little trips (day or few days) in specific gyms. But especially if you're new to muay thai. I would say, unless you really dislike the gym, just stay at the same same gym or do 2 weeks at one place and 2 weeks at another if you want to see different part of the country. 

I hated Bangkok the first time and loved it the second. I would say, it is a bit of an overwhelming introduction to Thailand and southeast asian cities if it will be your first time. 

I actually never being to one of these mega MT complexes like Tiger Muay Thai, but I heard it's really hit and miss with the trainers while at all the small gyms I've been, the trainers where great with beginners and kids. Especially with kids.

If you want to go in the South. Yodyut Muay Thai in Koe Samui is a great place. 

I am actually going back with my GF and 8 months old baby. I'll be in Chiang Mai at Hongthong gym for Jan. and then going south to miss the burning season. 

Anyway, good luck. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Most Recent Topics

  • Latest Comments

    • This short essay series also confronts the aesthetics of Muay Thai, as a practice. Arguments that Westerners often come to train in Thailand as a matter of a project of aesthetics.      
    • I'm just going to respond generally here. I think at 70 kg your best bet would be a gym in Phuket, because I'm not sure it would be easy to get a fight with a Thai in other parts of the country? Perhaps there are really experienced Thai female fighters in Chiang Mai who fight at 60? At least in Phuket you'd have a better chance of being matched up against another larger westerner as well? We're a little blind on the state of fighting promotions in Chiang Mai and Phuket, in the COVID era, but it seems that Phuket is having more regular shows than Chiang Mai at this point. In terms of gym recommendations though, we really don't know Phuket gyms, personally. Phuket Fight Club is a very powerful gym in Phuket that features a lot of Brazilian fighters on shows, that seems to teach a very disciplined, kick-oriented, balanced attack (based on how they seem to fight). At least with the good sized gym like that you'd have suitable training partners, and they should be able to get you fights...but this is just a view from afar.
    • I'll be going to Thailand for 2-3 months next summer with my aim being training as much as possible and hopefully fighting. I've only had 2 fights, by the time I go I'm hoping to have had 3. One thing that I believe might cause me issues is the fact that I'm pretty big, 5'9 and walk around at about 70kg. In the west it's not that big of a problem, I always train with men because there is never any girl my size and I don't mind it at all, but I wonder if that could be an issue in Thailand. I'd also like to add that while I'm looking to develop my whole game and work on my weaknesses, I'm naturally a long range counter fighter and kicks have always been my best asset. I also have a kyokushin karate background. I've always been most comfortable keeping range and scoring on the back foot, no matter how hard my karate coaches have tried to change it, so I'm looking for a gym that would best suit my style.
  • The Latest From Open Topics Forum

    • Thank you 🙂 I asked my coach too ( Ganyao Arunleung) and in his golden age fashion said it doesn't matter, it's the heart that matters 😄😂💖 I told him Muay Thai is the love of my life (just don't tell my husband 😉😄). I think I'll put the amulet on the rim right before the tail comes together. Or I'll wear it with a necklace and find another for the Mongkol.  It will all come together as meant to be at the right time 🤞🏻
    • I train at Pacific Ring Sports on Telegraph and 40th. What about you?
    • Amulets can go anywhere on the rim of the Mongkol, the only place I don't see them is on the tail. The hair can be put inside fabric and tied on to the Mongkol, or put in a fabric that gets integrated into the wrapping.  My mom's skirt was cut into long strips and twosted very tightly, then wrapped around the tube that's the shape of the Mongkol and glued into place.
    • This is so cool.  Where do you train? I leave on the Bay Area.  
    • Hello,  I made my own Mongkol as the gym I train at doesn't have a gym Mongkol to dress fighters with. I also bought an amulet that, long story short, feels like it was meant to be, but its bigger than I expected and covers my whole forehead ( not so much vanity concern, but more size ratio awkwardness) if placed in the front center of the Mongkol.   Is it allowed to place the amulet at the back or side of the Mongkol? Also I have some of my sons hair to put on my Mongkol,  but don't know where it's supposed to be placed as well if anyone knows.  Lastly, I saw Silvies YouTube on how she had her mom's skirt made into her monkol and it had a little axe amulet. I have a fabric I wore back when traveling, and now as a mom and muay thai fighter, I want to make it into a Mongkol for my son (whether he continues with the sport again the future or not, at least he would have a monkol made from his mom's fabric). Is there any way to see a tutorial on how they actually made the fabric Mongkol (it looked twisted in a certain way but I don't know how).  I have an arrow amulet I want to add on either my or my son's Mongkols, but again the sizing of it in comparison to the actual Mongkol seem uneven.  Anyways , any answers would be greatly appreciated.  
  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
    • Total Posts
  • Create New...