First time in Chiang Mai
I first traveled in Thailand back in 2015. I was already a poker pro traveling the world and working remotely. This was always one of the favorite destinations for poker pros and digital nomads because of the low cost of living. For me personally this country had a lot more to offer than only low cost of living. Massages are best in the world, food is great, people are very calm and chill and I always wanted to try Muay Thai in Thailand. I was and still am huge fan of martial arts doing Wing Chun and Yoga for years but kickboxing was something completely new for me.
It was very easy to find a gym because Muay Thai in Thailand is a national sport. In translation it simply means “Thai boxing”. It is original form of kickboxing where you can also use your knees and elbows. I was in Chiang Mai on the north. Great city with rich cultural heritage. Later I traveled again to Chiang Mai few times and it is probably my all time favorite city. Many people are training and fighting from young age to make a living. In my gym (KC gym) there are few guys living there and training. So this place is center of all daily activities.
Muay thai in Thailand – trainings
Since this was my first trip to Thailand I was very surprised with treatment from the locals. When you start training with them you are almost as part of the family. They will treat you with respect and call you on all their birthday parties, holidays and other activities. I was going fishing with some guys from the gym every weekend just to hang out even though I am a terrible fisherman 😀
There are 2 training during the day. First one starts at 8 until 10 and second one is 4 to 6. They are super hard. I was never in such a good shape. Every training starts with 20 minutes of running followed with 10 minutes of rope skipping. After that you practice shadow boxing for 10 minutes. It is a fight against invisible opponent. You are imaging your opponent and practicing your techniques. Even guys who are not official trainers at the gym will always fix your mistakes and show you the right moves. After shadow boxing goes all the pad works, sparring and strength exercises.
Even though some guys are professional fighters and trainings are very serious atmosphere is always nice. They will laugh to mistakes, make jokes and make it very pleasant to participate. On my next trips I was training in some other gyms and different cities but atmosphere is very similar. In my opinion Thai people are one of the nicest and friendliest people I came across. At this moment I haven’t been to Thailand in 2 years because they were closed to travel due to pandemic but I am planning to come again this year for few months and continue training.
If you are a martial arts enthusiast training muay thai in Thailand is something you must check out. Of course there are many other thing you will enjoy in Thailand like fresh fruits, local food, massages, architecture and overall chill spirit of Thailand.
If you want to read more about my experience in Thailand check out this article about local food.