Is Petchrungruang Gym the Right Gym For You? | Interview Tara James

This is my interview with Tara James, an Australian fighter who also was a Women’s Muay Khao Summit attendee this past December. After the Summit finished, she went and...

This is my interview with Tara James, an Australian fighter who also was a Women’s Muay Khao Summit attendee this past December. After the Summit finished, she went and trained at a gym she had really liked on a previous training visit, but found that – at this time – it was unexpectedly busy, and that the training she had hoped for wasn’t present.  So she decided to fly back down to Pattaya and join me at my much smaller gym, Petchrungruang, which is where the Summit had been hosted. I wanted to sit down with her and talk about Petchrungruang, and her experience of it. It’s not the right gym for everyone. This is one of the reasons I don’t actively and universally recommend it to others. For one, I want people to have positive experiences, and many expect and hope for things in a gym that Petchrungruang isn’t about and won’t provide. Two, I don’t really want my gym to change, I want it to stay true to what it is, and only have students that respect it. It’s a small, humble, family style gym that requires a lot of self-motivation, focus, patience and work. If you are the top dog at your gym and want to walk around with “Superstar” attitude, or are scouting around Thailand trying to pick up as many technical tricks as you can, it really isn’t for you. You have to work and you have to listen.  It’s also not a “I’m slumming it in an ‘authentic’ gym, sleeping on mattresses with 12 Thai boys,” gym. It’s just a traditional Thai gym. It’s a worker’s gym, a fighter’s gym that is more concerned about raising its young Thai stadium fighters than it is with building western clientele, which is why I like it. Pi Nu uses what my husband Kevin wrote about as the Slow Cook method, which means the shaping being done takes time. Tara only was at the gym for about 10 days, so I thought it would be great to hear about her experiences:

above, my interview with Tara


To know more about where Tara is coming from, you can watch her interview with my husband Kevin, on her experiences in the Women’s Muay Khao Summit which we held a few weeks earlier:


If you are interested in Petchrungruang Gym, a stay of a month or more is recommended due to the Slow Cook method Pi Nu uses. Pi Nu asks two things of his students no matter their experience level: work and listen. You can check out the website for more information, or contact them through their Facebook Page. You can follow Petchrungruang happenings on Instagram as well. And we have a new YouTube channel. Training and accommodation packages are at Royal Thai Residence.

If more broadly interested in gym is DO recommend, this is my Recommended Gym list and why.

You can support this content: Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu on Patreon
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Muay ThaiPetchrungruang Gym

A 100 lb. (46 kg) female Muay Thai fighter. Originally I trained under Kumron Vaitayanon (Master K) and Kaensak sor. Ploenjit in New Jersey. I then moved to Thailand to train and fight full time in April of 2012, devoting myself to fighting 100 Thai fights, as well as blogging full time. Having surpassed 100, and then 200, becoming the westerner with the most fights in Thailand, in history, my new goal is to fight an impossible 471 times, the historical record for the greatest number of documented professional fights (see western boxer Len Wickwar, circa 1940), and along the way to continue documenting the Muay Thai of Thailand in the Muay Thai Library project: see


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