Muay Thai Vacation

By Krabi Magazine Aug 16, 2013
Fighting Fit

More and more people are coming to Krabi for extended vacations, just to train in Muay Thai. This is the very heart of the sport lies and more and more gyms are opening up to cater for this new type of vacation - but how do you choose the best one for you?
Well, the short answer is: the best Muay Thai camp or training gym is the one you like and connect with the best.

There are several thing you need to be aware of when you are considering your “Muay Thai Vacation”

1. Physical preparation
2. Mental mind-ness
3. Thai culture – customs
4. Money funding/ budget
5. Warning: What will stop your vacation
6. Take a break & be a tourist
7. Set the date ... dream the dream

1. Physical Preparation
Muay Thai is mainly an endurance sport and running is a large part of the training. There are 5 exercises that you should focus on to get ready for a Muay Thai vacation: running, push ups, sit ups, pull ups and squats. Thai fighters train 6 days a week and run on average 10k per day. They do 100+ push-ups, sit-ups and squats per day. They do three sets of pull-ups per day that can be from 30 to 90 repetitions. They also do lower-back and neck exercises because that is usually the prime locations for injuries when training really hard.

If you focus on these types of exercises, you will be ready for your Muay Thai vacation. Note, the theme of Muay Thai is “do what you can”, so even if you are not in shape and are a total beginner, the Muay Thai fight family will work with you because in the end it is all about relationships, having fun and “sabai sabai krap” ...simply relax and relax.

2. Mental Mind-ness
Many people struggle with this part - especially if they have experience in other martial arts, boxing and other combat sports. This too is “sabai sabai” but in your mind, spirit, heart and soul. A true way to learn Muay Thai is to empty yourself of your knowledge and experience; start anew and simply learn new techniques and training that your Muay Thai instructor will teach you. Muay Thai is an “open book” martial military fight form, which means almost every teacher you learn from will focus on their own style of Muay Thai and you must realise that there are endless personal styles in Muay Thai. WIth humbleness, honor and respect - just accept and learn from any teacher you can. The best Muay Thai gym/ camp is the one you like and can learn from and feel a connecting relationship with, because you make your own Muay Thai style once you have strong basics ... that is all Muay Thai.

3. Thai Culture & Customs.
Thai words, head & feet and show respect. Always show respect to your teacher (khru)/ trainer with a “wai”. Place your hands together in a prayer position, raise them to your nose and lower your head and eyes with a small bow at your neck. Learn to say “hello”, “goodbye” and “thank you” in Thai. You must understand that Thai people consider the top of the head as the cleanest and most respeccul part of the body. The feet - especially the soles - are the opposite, they are the dirtiest and most dis-respeccul part of the body. So try not to touch the top of the heads of Thai people (kids) and try not to put your feet near, pointing and/ or touching a Thai person. Most Thai people are quiet, sod, humble, gentle and love to serve you, so if you try to act like them then most of your experiences in Thailand will be great.

4. Finances
One of the great advantages of training in Thailand is that the room, food, training and fun is really cheap compared to most western countries. In Thailand, you get the real-deal Muay Thai for up to 50% to 75% of the cost back in your home countries. A good budget for Muay Thai in Thailand for one month might look something like this:

Accommodation = 500 baht per day or 10,000 baht per month. Training = 500 baht per day or 10,000 baht per month.
Food = 500 baht per day or 10,000 baht per month.

So a good budget for one month would work out at about 30,000 Baht, which can include some tourist trips. This is especially true if you commit and stay at one Muay Thai camp for one complete month. This is very affordable for most visitors and it really is an experience of a lifetime! The best way to bring money into Thailand is with a Visa/Mastercard or ATM card which you can use to withdraw cash at any of the thousands of machines across the country. You can even open a Siam Commercial bank account (the purple banks!) to keep your money in and/ or transfer money to. You can also bring in cash, but take note that the airports are not a good place to get top rates of exchange. You can get a likle money there but the best option is to use the ATM machines, as well as bank exchanges and especially exchange banks in the area you will be training.

5. Be a Tourist
Here in Krabi, there are two workout tourist trips you can take that will actually help you in Muay Thai and they are almost free! One is climbing up Wat Tham Sua (Tiger Cave Temple) which is a high point in Krabi town that is 1,256 steps up and it is truly the ultimate stair-master.

Some of the local Muay Thai fighters do this climb to increase their own endurance, and anyone who has gone up there will truly tell you that it is a great Muay Thai workout. Then there is a natural park in the end of Ao Nang that is about a 4 hour hike, at the end of which is a spectacular viewpoint overlooking the islands and you also have the options of going on the mangrove kayak trip, Koh Hong or Koh Phi Phi Island snorkel trip, Ao Nang cobra snake show, take an amazing Thailand cooking class - and shopping and eating is endless fun!

This is the best vacation ever, fitness, weight loss and combat self- defense with amazing historical royal culture and in a beach island paradise. Wow.

6. Set the date and live the dream!
If you don’t set a target, you will never hit it . So set a date, make a plan and get ready to live life to the fullest.

Warning: There are three main things that will stop your Muay Thai vacation experience!

1. Sickness – Many get so excited about training in Muay Thai that forget to relax and take things slow. Take your time in training, drink a lot of water, juice and fruit smoothies. Try to eat more vegetable meals and keep it in a “Thailand style”. Meat that does not get cooked all the way through is the #1 cause of people gepng sick in Thailand, so I personally just do not eat it and i have not goken sick ea%ng Thai food in seven years. Thailand food is spicy! Start to eat spicy and learn to love spicy Thailand food for this helps your training, your weight loss, you health and fitness.

2. Injuries – Again, many get so excited about training in Muay Thai so they try to do a full Muay Thai schedule of 2 workouts a day, 6 hours a day for 6 days a week . This can be too much for beginners, so just relax and do what you can. Perhaps do not do full workouts but focus on techniques & fitness, take some private lessons, take some breaks for no foreigner can do a full Muay Thai workout because it takes years to get into that type of top fight fitness. This can be a sure road to injury.

3. Nightlife - Many come to Thailand for the party bars with beautiful Thai girls (and maybe lady boys!), but if you came to Thailand for Muay Thai you must stay away from them! Many get sucked into the bar scene and have problems returning to the Muay Thai training. You must set your goals and consider your distractions.

Maybe set a goal to only drink once a week - perhaps on a Saturday night before your day of rest on Sunday. These are truly the three things that will stop your amazing experience of Muay Thai in the land of smiles - Beware!

Pull Quote
Muay Thai – Muay Thai . "muay" means fight and "Thai" means Thailand so it is known as "Thai boxing" or "Thai Fight", this is Thailand's national and historical sport "Muay Thai". There are over a 1,000 training gyms in Bangkok and there are fights almost every day of the year.

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