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Éva Pataki

Real training, real fights - in Phuket or Samui?

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So, just like everybody, we are planning to go and train in Thailand. 

My partner trains muay thai for 14 years, he has over 60 fights, and of course, his big dream is to fight in Thailand. Especially now, when he lost his motivations here in Hungary (his trainer doesn't let him have title fights, doesn't give him the fight money, etc). 

I'm an enthusiastic newbie, I have only 3 fights - but I really love muay thai, and I want to train and fight a lot. 

We are saving money - it's not easy here-, and planning our journey. 
Many people said that if you are a real fighter, and want serious trainings, and want to fight a lot, you should avoid Phuket or the other turist areas.  Too many turists, who are just playing in the gyms, you can't get serious training, and the fights aren't real, the thai opponent will let you win, because gym owners pay them, etc.. 

I don't know... it makes sense.

We don't want to be "turists". We want to train hard and fight frequently while we are there.

But:
Maybe it will be our only chance to travel to Thailand. Our time is precious: just 2-3 months (because of money)

So we want to see and enjoy the beauty of Thailand, and we want to live near the beach (yeah, we'are Hungarian: we dream about tropical places and beaches :))  We don't want to stay in a big city like Bangkok or Chiang Mai. 

So... 

Can we get both? What do you think? 

 

 

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Hi P.Evi, I was going through the same dillema when I decided I want to go train to Thailand: I want to have a taste of tropic holidays (maybe it's the one and only time I go there, considering the money) and I really want to train Muay Thai, not be distracted by party people.

The option that I found and which sounds interesting is Lamai Muay Thai Camp, known as WMC Muay Thai Camp in Koh Samui.

I heard only one opinion about this camp and it was a really good one, from a guy who has high expectations when it comes to training and he also went to Phuket. He said at Lamai the atmosphere was nicer and much more focused on helping you learn Muay Thai compared to Tiger Muay Thai, where he didn't really like the group classes. 

Now I'm starting to consider Master Toddy's in Bangkok, because of Emma's great opinion and because it's a Western- and female-friendly gym. There must be some beaches nearby, too...don't they? :)

I'm planning to go in January, so I still have some time to decide, so I will be reading the responses here!

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Now I'm starting to consider Master Toddy's in Bangkok, because of Emma's great opinion and because it's a Western- and female-friendly gym. There must be some beaches nearby, too...don't they? :)

I'm planning to go in January, so I still have some time to decide, so I will be reading the responses here!

 Glad to hear that, Micc!  :wink: I'd love to have you here, if you do decide to come!

Getting to the beach wouldn't be out of the question if you're in Bangkok, but you would have to make it a weekend trip if you don't want to miss any training. You could easily go to Hua Hin, Cha-Am, Pattaya or Koh Samet. Last month, I went to Koh Chang, which is further, for just a couple of days and it was a really easy (and cheap) trip. I left BKK at 11pm on a bus and arrived at my hotel at 7am the next day, it was only around 400B altogether. A lot of people who come here tend to tag a beach trip on to the end of their stay, so they train with us for a while and then shoot off to somewhere else, usually Phuket, as a kind of reward before they go home. You could always do that!

Having trained at my gym for over three years now, I can't really say much for other places because I don't have first-hand experience, but if you want to know anything about training in BKK, do let me know!

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We don't want to be "turists". We want to train hard and fight frequently while we are there.

But:

Maybe it will be our only chance to travel to Thailand. Our time is precious: just 2-3 months (because of money)

So we want to see and enjoy the beauty of Thailand, and we want to live near the beach (yeah, we'are Hungarian: we dream about tropical places and beaches :))  We don't want to stay in a big city like Bangkok or Chiang Mai. 

 

So... 

Can we get both? What do you think? 

 

The option that I found and which sounds interesting is Lamai Muay Thai Camp, known as WMC Muay Thai Camp in Koh Samui.

I heard only one opinion about this camp and it was a really good one, from a guy who has high expectations when it comes to training and he also went to Phuket. He said at Lamai the atmosphere was nicer and much more focused on helping you learn Muay Thai compared to Tiger Muay Thai, where he didn't really like the group classes.

The WMC gym that Micc mentions is one I've heard great things about as well, especially from the women I know who have trained there. But gyms go through phases and can change a lot over time, so you'd want to talk to someone who has been there very recently or is currently there now.

Micc and Emma's advice to be close to a holiday area is a great idea. I've heard good things about Diamond Muay Thai on Koh Pan Ngam but I don't know much about their match ups or fight options on the island.

A few things that will have a big influence on your goals of fighting are:

1) your weight; if you're 60+ kg (for you) and 70+ (your BF) the options for opponents is less likely to be an "even match" in terms of how we see them in the west. You'd either get a smaller opponent who is more experienced, or you'll be matched against another westerner and perhaps not have a lot of opportunities to fight.

2) gambling on fights. If you fight someone bigger than yourself, you're more likely to get an opponent who thinks they can beat you and will take the fight seriously. A smaller opponent will be less inclined to "go 80%" if there's money on the fight, which can be in the form of a side-bet, which is each side putting in an equal amount and the winner takes all.

3) the third factor, and you should do this anyway, is to tell your trainers you want hard fights and difficult opponents. There might be an assumption that westerners want easy fights or that winning is "good for business," but if you let them know you want a challenge they'll probably give it to you. And then when you do well, they'll be more happy to bet on you.

But it's hard to know what "fighting frequently" means because the possibilities are different depending on your location, your size, opportunities at any given gym or season, and opponents. More "tourist" areas will actually have more fights because stadium fighting is, in fact, part of the tourist industry as the selling of tickets is how money is made. So going to the boondocks for training means fewer fights close by. There are festival fights and all gyms that are remote will travel to cities for fights in the stadium, but probably not "frequently."

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I just fund in a very good blog, missmuaythai.com (I think the writer is also a member in this forum): 

Phuket.

"Unfortunately due to having 3 fights last month, I need to wait a few more weeks before I can get another fight. Bangla Stadium usually only shows 1 female fight per card and I know the other girls at Sinbi have been waiting for fights themselves."

It doesn't sounds so sood for me, if we can stay only 3 months...  

(Ok, we must win on lottery and stay for a year :D )

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(Ok, we must win on lottery and stay for a year :D )

OR if you're serious about this and your boyfriend has some titles or at least is very good, maybe you can try to find some sponsors? 

I'm making serious attempts so that the company I'm working for sponsors my trip, at least the flight or accomodation...they already sponsor 2 athletes, but they are big names, not in muay thai, but in other disciplines unfortunately...BUT I'm not giving up hope and working extra hard :D 

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OR if you're serious about this and your boyfriend has some titles or at least is very good, maybe you can try to find some sponsors? 

I'm making serious attempts so that the company I'm working for sponsors my trip, at least the flight or accomodation...they already sponsor 2 athletes, but they are big names, not in muay thai, but in other disciplines unfortunately...BUT I'm not giving up hope and working extra hard :D 

 

Well, in Hungary the combat sports are not so well sponsored...   We should be football (soccer) players to get sponsors :D   But you're right, and we must keep trying. 

By the way, there are 2 gyms, that I found interesting:

1. Wech Pinyo

2.  Jun Muay Thai 

Both are in Koh Samui, but they don't seem so crowded like Lamai (WMC), and there's no "weight loss class" :D

 They have female fighters, who fights frequently.  Aaaaand they are pretty cheap  ( training cost: 5000-7000 baht per month). 

 

Does anyone have experience about these gyms? 

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Sumalee and a lot of gyms in Phuket sponsor fighters (free accommodation/training and possibly food) but you'll need to fight regularly for them.

If you make a video of you hitting pads, and you said you've fought so attach a highlight video and write an email. There's a lot of fighters that get sponsored this way.

 

The most important thing(s) I think when looking in the touristy southern parts is to see, if there's any Thai's training, if not any high level foreigners. There's only so much you can improve with a trainer, sparring and clinching is soooo important. And that leads onto the other thing, I know gyms like Phuket top team, from what I've seen and heard don't clinch. So you'd want to see how often they clinch.

EDIT: I just saw this gym on Siamfightmag http://www.siamfightmag.com/en/muaythai-en/reports-en/camps-muaythai-en/south-region-en/900-the-camp-talingngam-muay-thai seems to have quite a few high level Thai's. 

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It's going to be very difficult to find a gym and location and fight situation that's all the things you want, all at once. The time of year has a huge impact on fights; what's good for your partner in training and finding fights might not necessarily be as good for you - a gym that clinches regularly in training might not clinch with you, or a gym that has a lot of Thai fighters but not a lot of westerners might not be accustomed to training women, western women, have a stadium that's great for you, etc.  This isn't meant to be a downer, but you do have to be prepared that there is no "perfect" gym situation, no "perfect" fighting situation, etc. And the experience between you (woman) and your partner (man) will not necessarily be the same wherever you go. It's going to be harder to find the right factors for you, whereas men can go pretty much anywhere, so focus on the factors that are good for you.

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Another thing is, are you and your partner looking for the same thing in a gym? Is there any areas of his game which he wants to improve that you don't?

Have you considered Pattaya also? I don't know what they're like towards women (apart from the 2 gyms Sylvie writes about), but I'm pretty sure Pattaya has some nice beaches and islands nearby. 

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It's an old topic, but I was training in Lamai Muay Thai Camp twice in 2019, and I'm coming back there in November. Trainers are very good. They fight a lot. They are very good at explaining things even in group classes. Gym has some kind of agreement with one of Samui Muay Thai Stadiums and lots of foreign students taking part in fights.

I can compare this gym to the one in Koh Chang and...there is nothing to compare. I was thinking a lot about my Muay Thai destination in Thailand and after a long time i choose LMC. And it was a good choice. This year I want to stay there for 3 weeks an o my way back home I want to stay few days in BKK and try some not main stream gyms there.

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