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Choosing a gym for a fight camp/tournament preparation


TZ22

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Hello everyone,

I am planning to participate in an amateur muay thai tournament this year and I was thinking of going back to Thailand for 1 month prior to the tournament. I have trained at few gyms in Thailand before (Sinbi (3.5 weeks) & Sitjaopho (6 weeks)), and if I were to go back to either one of those gyms I would be working with trainers that I'm already familiar with, however, now I am not sure if I should go back to a gym where I've already been before or if I should take a chance and go to another gym. I have almost no prior fight experience and have never done a fight camp prep, so this would be my first "big" experience being in a ring and participating in a tournament, so I don't know if I am overthinking the entire preparation process, but I want to make sure that I am properly prepared which I guess would also help with the whole "confidence/performing under pressure" issue that I've been told I need to work on. I guess going to a new gym would mean that I am risking that I wouldn't like the training there or would have to change too many things in my technique to adjust to the new gym's "style" too close to the fight.

So I guess my question is: if you were in my situation, would you go with a different gym (if so, do you have any suggestions?) or go back to a gym where you already know the trainers? One gym that I was considering for a while was Burklerk's gym so if you have any recent experience training at that gym, I would love to hear your opinion on that gym, including how much does it cost to train there/food/accommodation, etc. 

Thank you

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I'm competig at the WKA's in New York this year, and I'm preparing for that with my team and the coach/corners I'll be with at the tournament. For me, I think confidence in my skills and my corner is built through experience and by working together. Thst said, if I was financially able to travel and train I would probably jump at the chance. I'm not sure if this comment is at all helpful, haha.

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lol, NewThai, I think part of the reason why I wanted to go to Thailand to prepare because I feel that I'm not getting as much coaching as I would like to at home and a lot of the time I feel like I am left on my own without any feedback; although I certainly understand that I need to be using my own head in the ring and can't expect my corner to spoon-feed me everything I need to do, considering my lack of experience, having a bit more direction/feedback on what I am doing wrong/what I need to improve on would help. Perhaps I might be answering my own question now since in going back to a gym where I trained before would mean that the trainers would be familiar with what I can/cannot do and could give me a better critique (surprisingly my trainer at Sinbi still remembers exactly what he taught/corrected me during my first visit to the gym), but then having someone new to train with might mean that I might get "fresh look" at my technique, etc.

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So I guess my question is: if you were in my situation, would you go with a different gym (if so, do you have any suggestions?) or go back to a gym where you already know the trainers?

What is the reason for looking for a new gym? Were the gyms training lacking in a certain area? Do you want to try something new? 

Personally, if it was for a fight and that's what I wanted to focus on and I knew one of the gyms I've already been to would be able to provide everything I want/need then I'd return to what I'm familiar with. At the same time, I'm a curious cat. What I'm thinking is that maybe you can go back to the same (or near) area of one of the gyms you previously went to and visit other gyms in that area, and if it goes badly you can always fall back on that gym you know.

It doesn't have to be the same area though, I'm just thinking in terms of time efficiency, you could always go to Burklerk's gym and if it doesn't suit you can go to another gym in the north or wherever. 

 

Just as a side note though, I've noticed a lot of the Pinsinchai fighters are really great instructors. :sorcerer:

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If confidence is something you were told to work on ... I'm going to tell you to stop overthinking this. If you got good trainjng at Sinbi or Sitjaopho and believed in their instruction (and are able to make thw trip), then go and see how you've improved since your last visit. Keep it simple and don't get lost in the thinking. Just train, just fight. Have fun!

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I'd agree with what a lot of people are saying about confidence, and ask if the experiences you had previously were ones that built your confidence. It sounds a little like it may have been a mixed experience? A lot of times it isn't so much the gym you are at, it's the trainer you have. So maybe the gyms have been good, but a different trainer might make them better? You can sometimes get focus from a different trainer by taking privates with them.

Because you are asking about alternatives, a few ideas. 4 weeks is a good amount of time, enough to make a significant change, and if you focused on something like clinch (which isn't easy to find) you could radically change your ability to win against opponents who may not be so focused, unless you are already a clinch fighter. Winning in tie-ups can make big differences.

Also, a gym to consider might be Sitmonchai gym (not a clinch gym), in that it is very fight oriented, has a good track record when dealing with female fighters, and has one of the best low-kick instructors in the world in Kru Dam. It's about 2 hours outside of Bangkok in a pretty quiet part of Thailand, and might really give you that "fight camp" experience you may be seeking.

Also of course, Sylvie has an open invitation to female fighters to come and train with her. Women are really taking her up on it. One woman, Sandra, came to prepare for the Swedish championships and the IFMAs, and really experienced growth in a short amount of time. She became the 48 kg champion last week against much more experienced opponents, and is coming back in the Summer. The gym is not for everyone, you need to be very self-motivated, but you would basically get to train along with Sylvie who is constantly training for fights, and you would definitely learn some clinch. It's also a pretty inexpensive gym, which may help in matters.

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lol, NewThai, I think part of the reason why I wanted to go to Thailand to prepare because I feel that I'm not getting as much coaching as I would like to at home and a lot of the time I feel like I am left on my own without any feedback; although I certainly understand that I need to be using my own head in the ring and can't expect my corner to spoon-feed me everything I need to do, considering my lack of experience, having a bit more direction/feedback on what I am doing wrong/what I need to improve on would help. Perhaps I might be answering my own question now since in going back to a gym where I trained before would mean that the trainers would be familiar with what I can/cannot do and could give me a better critique (surprisingly my trainer at Sinbi still remembers exactly what he taught/corrected me during my first visit to the gym), but then having someone new to train with might mean that I might get "fresh look" at my technique, etc.

It sounds a bit to me like you're happy enough to go back to a gym you're familiar with and which is familiar with you, but are uncertain about what you might be "missing" in the possibility of choosing somewhere new. Because you've already experienced changing gyms a few times, you know what the "starting over" aspects feel like, the new disappointments along with the excitement and little growth spurts of something new and different. Because you want more instruction and direction in order to prepare yourself for the tournament, I'd recommend you go where you know you will get that. 

I do agree with Kevin that Sitmonchai is a great option. It's out of the way enough that you'll be very focused on training and the instruction there is really good. Kru Dam doesn't let you keep making the same error. Burklerk is a fantastic trainer, very detailed and his style is astonishingly practical, given how "flashy" it seems at times. But I don't know how much attention you get directly from him when training at his gym. There aren't rooms available at his gym but there are apartments nearby if you are able to rent a motorbike. I reckon the overall cost at his gym would be higher than at Sitmonchai, but probably similar to an Island gym like Sinbi.

My gym is not heavily instructive. I've mentioned many times before how Pi Nu has a "slow cook method" of developing fighters that is basically applying consistent pressure toward the changes he wants to see, rather than a lot of stopping and correcting. (He does do that, but not as heavily as gyms that I would straight out categorize as "instruction-heavy.") 

As far as being inexperienced in the ring, I wouldn't give it so much thought. You've been in a ring when you're training and that's more than some people before going to these tournaments. I'd never been in a ring before my first fight at the WKA Nationals; and I'd only sparred 3 times. I didn't win, but clearly that didn't stop me ;) Don't sweat it. You get experience by doing and that's what you're fixin' to do!

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