As some of you may know I’ve been a student of Muay Thai for over 25 years, and recently I had the chance to visit the spiritual home of Muay Thai: Thailand!
The opportunity came up when a client asked if I’d like to join them on a trip to Thailand to take part in some Muay Thai training.
As you can imagine I was seriously keen, and when my wife and kids gave me the all clear, it was on!
So the countdown began. I had 172 days to get ready.
Visas, flights, accommodation, insurance (see my note at the bottom of this post if you want to know more about that) – there was lots to do!
I also focused a lot on my fitness … which I’ll tell you more about in a later post 🙂
Anyway, the time finally came, and from the moment I arrived in Phuket it really was a wonderful experience.
The people working in the airport were smiling and very helpful while guiding us through their customs process. While in some other parts of Southeast Asia you’re likely to be set upon by people grabbing at your bags and and using all sorts of tactics to get more money from you, I didn’t experience that in Thailand at all.
Even getting a taxi was an easy experience, but in hindsight maybe we should have done a bit more research on the going price!
The following morning we organised our training at a local gym, starting 9:30 every day. I also organised several sessions with an instructor – we only had 6 days and I was determined to make the most of it.
A quick aside: as many of you may know, bartering is very common in Thailand and the gym may have been expecting me to negotiate the price, but their first offer was ~$50 which I thought was a reasonable price so I just agreed. Maybe I could’ve gotten it cheaper, but at the end of the day the experience was worth much more than $50 to me so I felt I was getting great value.
My trainer was a nice guy and a pretty impressive fighter. I’m not completely sure of his record but I was told he had over 400 fights and was a 5-time Lumpinee Champion (!)
For those not very familiar with Muay Thai, Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok is the top Muay Thai stadium in the world, and to become a Lumpinee Champion is the pinnacle for a Muay Thai fighter. And here I was training with a guy who’d done it 5 times!
I saw this as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn so that’s what I prioritised.
I saw little benefit in going flat out full intensity, or trying to prove something. I felt that I would gain much more if I took my time and asked as many questions as I could think of. I also got as many notes, photos and videos as I could so that I could go over them later and keep them for reference.
I won’t go into all the details of what we did here, but I’m happy to talk about it with anyone who wants to know more. You can also see some pictures and videos of what we worked on, on our Facebook and Instagram page.
And when I head back next year I’ll be booking in the Personal training again.
If you’re interested in learning more about Muay Thai, and maybe even taking up training, I’d be happy to help you out! Just drop me an email at [email protected] or give me a call on (03) 9864 1833.
You can also read more about Muay Thai on our website.
You only get one life. Make the most of it!
PS. A quick tip for anyone considering going to Thailand (or elsewhere) for martial arts training: it’s REALLY hard to get travel insurance. I guess the insurance companies are a bit nervous about covering someone who is going over there with the intention of getting beaten up!
I did a fair amount of research and found some policies that covered me for martial arts but not training (pretty useless if you ask me), so watch out for that one. In the end I found Liam O’Donnell – he works as a ‘mobile’ consultant, offering a more tailored service making sure I had peace of mind while travelling. If you need great quality travel insurance then I would definitely recommend him. You can get in touch with him here:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 0428 999 330