The first impression one gets off of Rambaa, Thailand’s first MMA World Champion, is what a nice, sweet guy he is. I just shot a private with him for nakmuaynation.com a couple of days ago and hopefully that will be up in a month or so. He’s incredibly polite, in a way that feels quite young to me, actually, but with a little bit more time with him it’s also evident how funny he is. Of course, if you’re training with him part of that humor will be his lightning-fast attacks and trips, which is only funny if you’re willing to laugh at the idea that you can’t remain upright by your own will alone. But I find that funny, so it was grand for me.
He’s part of a large family of fighters, including current Thai superstar Sudsakorn Sor. Klinmee (Rambaa’s cousin), as well as the founder of the Sor. Klinmee Gym and former champion, Tappraya Sit Or (Rambaa’s uncle). Somewhat typical of Thailand, the neighborhood is largely a collection of that extended family and in this case the gyms are situated nearly next door to each other. Here below a quick video of the walk from the well-established Sor. Klinmee gym, now, or also called Sudsakorn Muay Thai gym. You are on a Muay Thai fighting family block.
Quick Video Tour of Rambaa Somdet M16 MMA/Muay Thai Gym
above, video tour of Rambaa’s Gym
Rambaa Somdet M16 gym, opened only a few months, has an octagon and does offer both Muay Thai and grappling, although MMA is still very new to Thailand and the number of Thais training in MMA is remains very niche – read about Thailand’s MMA scene here. However, having Rambaa at the gym means there is always at least one champion around to learn from, which goes a long way.
Rambaa became Thailand’s first MMA world champion when he won the Shooto Flyweight belt in 2009, you can see him work with some Shooto MMA fans back in 2010 here.
Here is how one Redditor described Rambaa’s accomplishments:
For those not in the know, Somdet was the best 115lb (Flyweight) MMA fighter in the world from about 2007-2012. He was an absolute beast and won & defended 115lb titles in at least 3 different organizations. He was beyond aggressive in the ring & fought like he was mentally unhinged.
He had a fairly storied MuayThai career and he was also the very first K-1 Max champ back in 1999/2000, back when K-1 originally tested the K-1 Max class, which was actually a 120lb division. Some years later they re-instituted the Max class, but made it 155lb’s. – Octopotamus5000
You can find Rambaa’s gym on Facebook Rambaa Somdet M16 gym
Mixing MMA with Your Muay Thai Training in Pattaya
Training at Rambaa’s gym is 200 Baht/session and 3,000 Baht/month One could consider training at both Rambaa’s gym and Sor. Klinmee, although you’d have to work out the schedule and perhaps some kind of cost reduction or combo with those gyms. For instance you could maybe train full time at Sor. Klinmee, and do privates or augmented sessions at Rambaa’s gym in the cage, which might be interesting, or maybe you could do half and half – you’d have to play it by ear. If you are a large bodied western MMA fighter/student you might have difficulty finding partners, but if you are smaller bodied it could be a perfect combination to top level Muay Thai and great MMA perspective. Rambaa fought at 115 lb and is probably about 130 lbs now. The pricing at Sor. Klinmee, which is a very good gym – I clinch there many evenings – is 3oo Baht/session; 6,000 Baht/month for evening training only; 10,000 Baht/month for two sessions daily, padwork at both sessions. There are rooms for rent to fighters but they do not have air-con, only a fan. But up the street is an apartment building separate from the gyms (5 minute walk, same road) that has air-conditioned rooms.
Update: As of January 2017 there are some fighter dorms available at Rambaa’s gym. These are only 3,000 baht a month (+ electricity and water…or 5,000 baht all included). Currently it’s very limited, so you’ll have to see if it’s available at the time you want to come, but here are some photos of what the new rooms look like:
You can see the back of the gym from the front door.
This means that you can train and have a room for 6,000 baht a month ($170 USD at the time of writing) plus utilities and food.
A Map of Where Rambaa’s Gym Is
above, a Google Map of Rambaa’s Gym, right next to Sor. Klinmee Gym/Sudsakorn Muay Thai Gym in Pattaya
Both gyms are about a 10 minute motorbike ride from Sukhumvit Road. I filmed the short drive in case you want to take a look at what it’s like, and to make the turnoffs more recognizable as well – the first time we drove to find it we kind of missed it.
Rambaa Somdet Highlights:
For more on the MMA Scene in Thailand read this
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