Whats so bad about training at a "tourist gym"?

Discussion in 'Muay Thai and Kickboxing' started by Hatake88, Dec 25, 2017.

  1. Hatake88 White Belt

    Hatake88
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    Hi guys

    As I browse through the various forums, I found that there were a lot of people suggesting to stay away from gyms which are owned by non-thai owners/gyms that made a special effort to cater to foreigners etc.

    However, after doing research myself, I've actually come to the conclusion that its better to go to a "tourist gym" than a hardcore gym. The only exception is if you are a top-ranked professional fighter then, yes, it will be better to train with lumpinee/raja fighters. From what I read, if you are more of an amateur back home or an ex-fighter with only a handful of fights, lumpinee/raja fighters will not train wth you anyway - in much the same way a UFC fighter will not train with someone who are not on par with them or who is a stranger given there is no trust. For example, I've seen reviews re: Sitsongpeenong Bangkok and 13 Coins where the Thais and the non-Thais train separately...

    In that case, is it not better to actually train at a "tourist gym"? By tourist gym, I don't mean your Tiger MT where there is absolutely no control over class size and the emphasis is on fitness. By tourist gym, I mean your Khongsittha, Sinbi, Dragon, Sumalee, Sutai where the focus is more on training foreigners than on top thai fighters. To me, these gyms also offer decent instruction and - on top of that - there is not only always an english speaking liaison at the gym (helpful if you run into trouble) but people similar to your own skill level to train with and a training environment which seems more clean and better managed. At the end of the day, don't the coaches at a "tourist gym" have more incentive to train you anyway given that is the sole objective of their job? If the coach has 200-300 fighters and/or a couple of belts, what difference does it really make if they are not a former raja/lumpinee champ/famous fighter when you yourself are only 2-3 amateur fights in?

    Am I missing something with my conclusion? I'm about to book and would love to hear some opinions either way.
     
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  2. anorak Brown Belt

    anorak
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    a lot of people get the idea that you should only be in a hardcore gym with no other foreigners, but a large amount of those hardcore gyms primarily make their income from the fighters via gambling as its very difficult to make any kind of income from the Thai fighters alone. In those cases the trainers priority will always be the fighters that they are putting a lot of money on, so you often don't get the full on attention that you often will at gyms that are looking to take on more foreign boxers just use Pksaenchai as an example people want to train there as its probably got the best stable of fighters you can find, but the atmosphere for trainers and Thai fighters is very high pressure and they don't have the time to really look after foreigners too much. That said its not a guarantee that you will get treated well at every "tourist" as you stated type camp either so best to do as much research as possible
     
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  3. jtwarwagon4life Green Belt

    jtwarwagon4life
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    No I think you're more or less right. It just all depends on what you want to get out of it and what level you are at as a fighter.

    If you're just a hobbyist, then I don't see why it should make much difference to you whether you are in the best training environment for a fighter or not. And even if you were serious about making this your profession, the right tourist gym will probably be a better environment, at least initially.

    Alot of the better gyms won't get you fights unless you're pretty good, so if not already good but are still looking to get fights in thailand, then you might want to go to another gym. I would say that one of the best things about living and training in thailand is the availability of fights, so you want to be at a gym where you can take advantage of that.

    Another thing which probably shouldn't be overlooked is that a number of so called "tourist gyms" have at least one really solid fighter as part of their stable. Sinbi for example has Kompatak who is a quite good fighter at the moment, and I'm sure there are other examples. But even in those cases, I'm still not sure you would be getting the same type of training in those camps as those guys, unless you were pretty good and committed to taking frequent fights.

    One last thing is that if you're still relatively raw but looking to improve, then you don't need to train at a big camp. The majority of Thais don't, they train at a smaller gym, usually in their home province and get alot of fight experience, then once they've got a decent amount of fights they usually move to Bangkok to a bigger camp. A tourist gym or smaller camp may be just as good or better at teaching you the basics than a big camp, which is more used to working with experienced fighters.
     
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    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
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  4. anorak Brown Belt

    anorak
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    Kaosanit trains and fights out of Sor Dechapan in Bangkok
     
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  5. jtwarwagon4life Green Belt

    jtwarwagon4life
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    Did he always? I only saw the change in name maybe 6-8 months ago.
     
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  6. anorak Brown Belt

    anorak
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    for last couple of years at least
     
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  7. bonanza comer Blue Belt

    bonanza comer
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    The easy answer is that everyone would prefer "authentic" so you say you know some hidden spot with only locals. I go to the same gym every time, its tourist but the same trainer knows me so i feel the training is really good. Light years better than what i get in west TX, hah.
     
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  8. Bernard Bar White Belt

    Bernard Bar
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    Well non tourist camps might not speak any english at all , so you better start polishing you Thai before flying there. It reminded me of that movie Kill Bill and the kung fu trainer Pai mei that told the girl who couldn't speak Cantonese " ill just treat you like a dog and point and if you don't do it right i'll beat you with a stick" I have no doubt they will do that ha ha
     
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  9. kingkokong Purple Belt

    kingkokong
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    Just stay away from the overpriced and shitty training noobs at Tiger and you'll be fine
     
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  10. Blazeblack In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king

    Blazeblack
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    There's nothin wrong with tourists gyms. Depends on what you're looking for.
     
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  11. Julius_Caesar Brown Belt

    Julius_Caesar
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    Nothing wrong with tourist gyms. I actually prefer them over the more Thai fighter type of gyms. You get more attention and you're their main priority. It was actually when I was less experienced in Thailand that I thought training at an authentic Thai gym would be better but once you actually try it reality kicks in. Fairtex Bangplee is one of the most touristy gyms out there but was the best gym I've trained at. Learned more there than any other gym.
     
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  12. king of theRing Black Belt

    king of theRing
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    The good thing about gyms like tiger and others like it is the traffic of fresh high quality guys who come through. For mma atleast.
     
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  13. JB007 White Belt

    JB007
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    Been to jitmuangnon for a month.. like Rob mention, the trainers would not bother about you untill the thai's are done with their training. After the run, you will sit up and shadow box for about 1hr before you get your turn to the bags or pads.

    The only time you get to not wait is when most fighters are having their break after their fights..
     
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  14. mikiemike87 Blue Belt

    mikiemike87
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    I think it depends on what you want out of your visit. My first time in Thailand I basically did a touristy muay thai tour because I was a tourist with my girlfriend travelling around. Did little stints at Sitmonchai, Petchyindee, 13 coins, and some gym on Koh Phangan. Most gyms will give you good insight on technique tweaks, and work a good sweat.

    This past summer I spent 2 weeks at Chuwatanna and felt compelled to give some counter points. My padwork felt the same as all the other fighters including a current and former champions. It was basically smashing pads everyday, very basic power flow of double kick, kick, punch-elbow- knee flows. All the pad holders had good working english, I was mostly separate from the thais but didn't feel unwelcome, and I felt like I grew more than I learned from being broken down. Something about going through an entire training week with the thai feels incredibly raw like your tapping into the source of muay thai. I've always been a detail oriented person when it came to technique, but the sheer amount of repetition in basics and mind numbing activities like the daily jogging and jump roping was humbling. It kickstarted the process of growing an individual physically and mentally stronger. The thais don't wear their fatigue at all, its incredible, they're so mentally tough. I was exhausted everyday, it was not fun, but after decompressing and processing it all, it was really cool to immerse that intimately with Muay Thai. I understand its not everyone's thing, I am no amateur or pro, just a super hobbyist, and I loved it.

    Circling back to tourist gyms. Abigail from Sitmonchai was incredibly welcoming, and asked me questions on what I was hoping for out of training, and communicated that to the trainers. I didnt understand the value of just smashing pads at the time and got tons of technical insight. Coke at 13 Coins understood exactly what I wanted and I got tons of technical instruction there as well. Hope this gives balanced help. Best of luck in your training!
     
    #14
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
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