5 Reasons Why Training in Thailand is a MUST for Serious Nak Muay

thailand muay thai camp in bangkok at khongsittha

Training in Thailand sounds like a paradise adventure, however, if you are a serious practitioner or fighter, it not just an adventure, it is a must. It is a place to gain a real perspective on the sport and not only its tradition, but it’s raw form. Can you live without it? Yes. But only in a limited fashion.

We will always have a bias for our home team, but there is a reason for why Thai legends like Buakaw and Saenchai are continuously defeating the new breed of fighter, despite the size and power advantages that their Western opponents possess.

Let’s break away from the limits and take a look at the benefits of training in Thailand that everyone can benefit from:

#1. Technique and Clinch in its Raw Form

muay thai heavy bag training in thailand campSomething about stepping your foot into a Thailand training camp immediately changes the way you move. The human brain is wired to model behavior, if you have a very tense, rigid style within your gym, it’s easy to become a product of that. The same goes for its counterpart, the technically sound, Muay Thai environment will strip you down to raw technique.

Why?

Because it is the only thing that works here.

If you are trying to win in sparring, throwing flashy techniques, or if you are muscling within the clinch, your gas tank will quickly go from full to empty, you will have your own power used against you, learning the pitfalls that these habits hold very quickly.

If you have heard stories about clinching in Thailand with Thais half of your size being able to do whatever they want with you, well. . . just believe them to be true. Think about experiencing that in the ring once you reach a modest level of experience.

Trust me when I tell you, you would rather have it happen at a slow speed within a Thai gym, than having to get stitched up after a fight.

#2. Full Immersion and No Distractions

The most appealing thing about training in Thailand is that all that you have to worry about is. . . training in Thailand. The time difference takes away the distractions of those you constantly keep contact with back home, not having to be obliged to work, running time-consuming errands or even having to cook; all of which adds up to truly immersing yourself in the sport.

The rest of your hours away from training can be spent, relaxing, doing something creative, recovering, or having a great time with your mates.

#3. Tradition, Culture, and a New Perspective

Training in Thailand is more than the physical experience of hitting pads and the bag. You will have to adapt to the norms, taking you away from the small bit of reality you attained from your daily drive between work, home, and the gym. The reality you begin to experience here as you challenge your body, brings a new view, a new perspective to life.

You begin to see how lucky you really are, how limited other cultures can be, but how happy they may be with so little. Anytime that you leave what is your current world, you have the opportunity to dissect whether what you are doing or the way you are viewing life is valid.

You become more open minded and understanding of others, this in turn provides you with deeper, more intimate relationships.

muay thai wai kru ram muay at khongsittha in bangkok thailand

The ladies practicing their wai kru during their light Sunday training session

#4. Testing Yourself in the Proving Grounds

Fighting in Thailand is where your game is tested on a mentally and physically technical level. It means that you are judged not only based on the effectiveness and precision of your strikes, but your body language and balance. You are judged on the story that you tell in the ring versus sheer aggression, volume, and “how hard” you fight, which is often the case in the West.

You are testing yourself in the birth country of the sports and no one can take that experience away from you.

#5. Appreciation and Respect as a Fighter

Muay Thai being identified as Thailand’s national sport brings in a crowd, that is not only intimately invested in the event, but highly educated. Your level and intricate technique that is often missed when fighting back home, is now appreciated by both the fans and the judges.

On the larger shows such as Maxx Muay Thai, Thai Fight, Super Fight, and a few other promotions you are made to feel like a superstar. Billboard sized ads with your face on them, smoke, lights and grand entrances; and whether this appeals to you or not, it brings you recognition and a feeling of importance.

Regardless whether it is a politician, celebrity or a tuk-tuk driver, all will give you high respect as a fighter for displaying great technique and heart.

muay thai sparring session end

Tony and Jermaine wrap up a solid sparring session with the team,

Concluding Thoughts

The sooner that you experience this journey, the sooner that you may implement the lessons learned from it. Even a short amount of time in the kingdom of Muay Thai will provide you with a number of positive changes that may not be yet etched within your body’s autonomous movement, but your mind becomes aware of what is it working to improve upon, knowing exactly how to do it.

Taking the experiences and lessons learned in Thailand, improving as a human being and as a fighter within our home environment.

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