This weeks Camp Spotlight is on the Koh Tao gym, Koh Tao Island Muay Thai. Island Muay Thai a remote camp located on the small island of Koh Tao, at the Sairee Beach Thaiboxing Stadium. There are several things that provide a unique training experience at the gym. Here is everything you would want to know about Island Muay Thai.
Here are the categories I will be providing information on.
Koh Tao Island Muay Thai – www.thaiboxingkohtao.com
Island Muay Thai Kick Boxing School Koh Tao and Thai Boxing Stadium is set up on the beautiful tropical island of Koh Tao in the South East of Thailand. Koh Tao is a very small island just north of the larger South East Thailand Islands of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan in the Gulf of Thailand. Around the camp you will find Restaurants and Bars, Bakerys, Shops and Internet Cafes. Other activities to do on the island include Mini Golf and Bowling over Rock Climbing and Paint Ball, Swimming, Snorkeling over colorful coral reefs. I have provided a map to the right to show you the location of Koh Tao.
Believe it or not, the camp does not post an address on the website, and you are not able to find one on the web either. A reason for this, is that Koh Tao is a small island, similar to Phi Phi island, where everything is very close to each other. There is only 1 Thaiboxing stadium on the island, so it’s not like you would get confused as to where to go. Just in case, the camp does conveinently provide a map for your taxi driver to take you to the gym. The map is located below on the right hand side. If you click on it, a larger version will open up which you can print out.
Best Travel Route
You have two options regarding the travel to reach your destination at Koh Tao Island Muay Thai. The first thing you need to do is fly into Bangkok. From Bangkok, is where you have your options. Option 1 is to fly to Koh Samui and than take one of the passenger boats to Koh Tao. Option 2 is to take the train from Hua-Lampong train station or catch a bus at the southern bus terminal to Chumphon. From Chumphon you can choose one of the passenger boats or the night ferry boats to Koh Tao.
Flying to Koh Samui is the more expensive option of the two, although since there are flights that travel from Bangkok to Koh Samui several times a day, you should have little wait on your travel time. If you decide to fly to Koh Samui you should be able to catch one of the afternoon boats to Koh Tao. Seatran leaves at 13.30 from Big Buddah which is only 2 km from the airport. There are 20 flights daily from Bangkok to Koh Samui. the first flight out leaves at 06:00 and the last one at 21:00. for exact times and reservation you can contact Bangkok Airways
If you choose the option of taking the bus or train, from Chumphon you can choose one of the passenger boats or the night ferry boats to Koh Tao. The trains and buses leave mostly in the early evening hours, so you will arrive early in the morning in Chumphon and you can easily catch a morning boat to Koh Tao. Basically, it’s an over night travel, which could work for you if you arrive in Bangkok on an evening flight, and don’t have the option of flying to Koh Samui until the next morning. There are three major companies running boats in the Gulf of Thailand.
You can find the time tables for the ferry boats here: Ferry Boat Schedules There are several smaller companies running boats as well.
The pricing is one of the most attractive items about Koh Tao Island Muay Thai, and among the cheapest in Thailand. The day rates work pretty much the same as most other gyms, 300 baht for 1 half day session, and 400 baht for one full day. You start to see the price discounts with the weekly rates. Most other camps run between 2400 baht to 3000 baht for one week of training. Island Muay Thai will charge you only 1600 baht, which will give you 7 1 hour sessions over 6 days. If you are planning on doing 2 sessions a day, the price is the same at 2500 baht, but since few people actually take advantage of this, the 1600 baht option is nice. Finally, the monthly rates offer the largest savings compared to other camps. A one month package that offers 6 sessions per week (once a day) will cost you only 5500 baht. Most other camps will charge you between 8000-9000 baht a month for training. The difference is that with the more expensive optoin at the other gyms, you can go to unlimited sessions, however few people take advantage of that as I have said earlier. If you are planning on doing multiple training sessions a day since you want to get into shape, or possibly train to fight, then custom packages can be arranged to suit your needs by contacting the camp. Another option that Island Muay Thai has, is that they offer Muay Thai Instructor certification courses, which would certify you through the World Muay Thai Council as a Muay Thai Instructor. You have to contact the camp to discuss this option. The current exchange rate for Thai Baht is about 30 baht for 1 USD, which means a month of training will cost you about $185 USD.
The camp itself does not currently have it’s own accomodations, however they do have several resorts and other bungalows in the area from the camp. Some of these are literally walking distance to the camp. The one that Island Muay Thai lists on their website is Koh Tao Suksamran Villas. Suksamran Villas offers standard fan studios and deluxe Air-con studios away from the action on the beaches. Even though the location is so quiet, you won’t have to walk more than 5 minutes to the beach or for your shopping. Each bungalow includes the following: in-room Internet wireless access, Complimentary first aid medicine, housekeeping, laundry correction. You have an option of a room with AC or with only a fan. Rates for the month are between 12,000 – 15,000 baht for one month of accomodation. They actually offer a lot of different discount plans for longers stays, including free weeks/months depending on length of stays. The cost in USD for one month with no discount is between $400 – $500 USD.
Koh Tao Island Muay Thai is equipped with excellent training facilities in the Koh Tao Thai Boxing Stadium in Sairee. The gym is a open side gym which is nicer to train in than an in door one. The open sided gym has a roof which will provide shelter from the sun and rain, but allow a cool breeze to blow through on the sides and keep training cool throughout the day. Island Muay Thai also has one fight size ring and are in the process of building a smaller training ring at the end of the year. The gym currently has 6 bags and one fixed boxing pad (uppercut style). Once again more bags will be coming once the second ring is built. You will also notice from any photos of the gym that they have a matted floor which is always nice as it is easier on your feet and will absorb shock and reduce impact on your body.
The head trainer at Koh Tao Island Muay Thai is Pi Toon and he is in charge of the training. The camp has 6 trainers, 5 of which are Thai trainers and the part owner of the camp, Steve, who is originally from the UK. The website has a page labeled “Staff” which is suppose to have profiles of the trainers, but it currently does not have any information. I did communicate with Steve directly and he informed me that aside from himself all the other trainers are Thai. Here is a photo of both the trainers and students at the camp:
There is not a set training schedule at the gym. What I mean is that the gym does not run set classes. People can turn up when they want (unless they are training to fight). The gym tires to do 1 on 1 training although sometimes it ends up being 1 trainer to 2 or 3 students if its busy. Average training session sizes in the morning 5-10 students and in the afternoon average 10-15 students.
There is however a training routine that sessions typically follow. Sessions will start with skipping rope and shadow boxing which is a good way of stretching and warming up. This is usually followed by some short runs to build up stamina and leg strength. At times you will learn various techniques in a one on one technique session. Once you are good and warm, the bulk of your training session will begin.
Warm ups are followed by bag work which are 3-5 minutes round of punching, kicking, kneeing and elbowing a kick bag to increase your stamina and the power of all your physical weapons. After the bag work session, you are ready to go into your padwork session. If you are not already exhausted, you will have 3 to 5 minute rounds with a trainer depending on your condition. These are typical pad work sessions where the trainer wears shin guards a stomach pad and two pads, held in his hands, so he can interact with you and make the training more exciting. This part of the boxing training will help you to figure out distances and speed up your reaction time.
After the padwork sessions, you will start your cool down by learning the technical art of the Muay Thai clinch. During the clinch session you practice close up knee strikes and elbows techniques as well as grappling footwork for 10-30 minutes depending on your strength and fitness. To cool your body down slowly, you will finish up each thai boxing training session with some light shadow boxing, sit-ups to strengthen your stomach muscles and also some stretching. This will increase your flexibility and help to stop cramps and torn muscles. Your sessions will typically be somewhere between 1 to 2 hours.
If you want a competitive fight while you are in Thailand, this can definitely be arranged through Island Muay Thai. If you are training for a fight at the gym, they will push you a little harder, and require more from you such as additional sparring, rounds, running, etc. One of the unique things about Koh Tao Island Muay Thai is that their gym is actually also the Sairee Boxing Stadium, and as a result they hold regular Fight Nights.
Thai Boxing Fighters come from the neighboring islands like Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and the mainland, Surantthani, Trang and Bangkok to fight, as well as from all over the world. As you develop some skills and feel you are ready for a challange the gym can also arrange a real fight for you. They will perform an evaluation of your conditioning and skill level before they allow you to enter into the ring, but the good thing is there is not necessarily a time requirement spent training at the gym before you can fight.
There are a couple of strong points at Island Muay Thai regarding their office. First off the co-owner, Steve, is a westerner. This in my opinion is always an advantage, as the hospitality is usually (but not always) at a higher level of service. I also like the fact that the other co-owner of the camp is a Thai by the name of Pi Toon. This ensures a higher quality in the training, as there is a lot of pride and honor in running a successful camp for the Thais. I contacted Steve prior to writing this review, and received an immediate response from him, which is always a good sign. Although, my follow up emails were not responsded to as quickly. A reason for this, could possibly be explained as Steve informed me in his first email that he was back in the UK for a while. This could attribute to the delayed response on the follow ups.
Here is a cool photo of some of the trophies of Island Muay Thai. As you can see they are very proud of their accomplishments at the gym. Also, this is pretty good representation of the organization of the gym itself.
The website for Koh Tao Island Muay Thai can be a little bit confusing at times. The main site is pretty simple for the most part, with several key categories that has all the necessary information you need, such as accomodations, prices, training, etc. But as you surf it a little more you start to get somewhat lost. For instance, since the camp itself doesn’t have accomodations, that page pretty much just provides a gateway to a nearby villa. Also, the “Staff” page is still under construction. From one of the pages, there is a link to their blog, which has a lot of news and events updates about the gym. From this page, you can also find several links of things to do when you are not training at the island. The only thing about he blog, is you can only get to it from “Training” page from their main website. Just so you guys don’t run into problems surfing between the sites, here are looks for both: www.thaiboxingkohtao.com and www.thaiboxingkohtao.com/blog One final thing I would also like to see is larger pictures and photos of the gym, as all the photos of the camp are only thumbnail sized.
There are a bunch of things to do while you are not training Muay Thai on Koh Tao. Some of the most exciting things to do around the island are scuba diving and sailing. Several other things to do include: mini golf, bowling, rock climbing, paint ball, and snorkeling. There are also many bars, resturaunts, shops and Internet cafes in a close proximity to the gym. Finally, there is a rich night life with a Beach Party going on almost every single night.
There are several things that are very unique about Koh Tao Island Muay Thai. First off, you do all of your training in an actual Muay Thai stadium, with a full sized competition ring. Secondly, the prices for the camp are unbeatable and are the cheapest you will find in Thailand. On top of that, you almost always get a 1 on 1 training session with your trainers, which really can’t be beat.
Let’s not forget, they also have a program to become a Muay Thai instructor at the camp. The instructors course is 45 days to be a basic instructor, which is comprised of 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the evening. It involves improving your own boxing skills, clinching skills and technique as well as learning new techniques. You also learn how to hold focus pads and you will get plenty of chances to hold pads for thai boxer’s. The overall initial program will leave you with a good knowledge of basic thai boxing instruction.
Finally, one of the coolest things in my opinion is that they constantly are holding Fight Nights at the stadium/camp. Most of the Fight Nights have 8 fights a night, and there are usually at least 2 Fight Nights a month. Below is some footage of one of the previous fight nights.
If you are interested in training at Koh Tao Island Muay Thai, and hopefully you will after this article, here is how you can contact them.
If you liked this article, feel free to share it with a friend on Twitter or Facebook. If you have any questions please feel free to make a comment below. Thanks.
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This weeks Camp Spotlight is on the Bangkok Muay Thai gym, Jitti Gym. Jitti gym is one of the most popular and well spoken of camps in Bangkok. People often speak so well of this gym is because it is such a welcoming family enviroment. Here is everything you would want to know about Jitti Gym.
Here are the categories I will be providing information on.
Jitti Gym – www.jittigym.com
Jitti Gym is located in Bangkok just 13 km north of the legendary Lumpini Stadium, heading towards the airport. The camp is next to the underground station at Ratchadapisek so it is very easy to get to all nightlife in Bangkok. Ratchadapisek Road is an entertainment zone and Sukhumvit Road is close by. Thailand Cultural Centre for concerts and traditional Thai performance is nearby as well. There are many restaurants, cafes, shops and pharmacies all within a short distance from the gym. The address of the camp is:
JittiGym · The International Muay Thai Training Gym.
12 Soi Chokchairuammit yak 29
Viphavadee Rangsit, Ratchadapisek Rd. Dindang
Bangkok 10320, Thailand
The camp has two maps on its website. The first one shows where in Bangkok the camp is located – Jitti Gym Location In Bangkok Map They also have a second map which shows the location of the camp and the surrounding area. I always appreciate camps that do this, as it is a great resource to show your taxi driver at the airport. You can see this one below.
Best Travel Route
This one is pretty simple. Fly directly into Bangkok airport and take a taxi to the gym using the map provided. Here are a couple tips though, if you are looking to fly directly into Bangkok, Thai Airways has it’s main hub in Bangkok, and you will probably be able to get the cheapest rate with them. However, if you are in the US they only fly out of Los Angeles, so you will have to fly there first. If you are on the East Coast of the US, I recommend Cathay Pacific. They fly from New York to Hong Kong, and from there you can fly to Bangkok.
The pricing structure is very unconventional compare to other Muay Thai camps that I have researched. They have a 300 baht 1 session rate, which is on the lower side. This is a walk in rate which allows you to train in either the morning or afternoon session. The next rate they have listed on their site is 1000 baht per day, with homestay. It includes all training fees, breakfast and evening meal at the gym and shared dorm room with fan. They don’t show a weekly rate, but I assume that there would be no discount, which would put it at either 7000 baht for a week. They list a monthly rate of 25,000 baht per month, which gives you a slight discount. The discount if you prebook in advance is 700 baht per day, which ends up being 21,000 baht for the month. There is no weekly discount.
Those rates may seem high compared to some of the camps that I have featured which will run you between 18,000 – 22,000 baht for a month training and a private room with AC. However, it is important to point out the meals are included with this. A month of free meals could easily save you between 4000 – 6000 baht, which ends up being between $100 – $175 USD that you can pocket for something else.
The current exchange rate is $1 USD = 35 baht, which means a month of training, meals and accomodation would costs about $725 USD. With the discount for prebooking, it would cost you $610. To check the current exchange rate, you can visit this site: Exchange Rates Also, the gym does not take Credit Cards. They only accept Thai Baht.
At Jitti Gym they have shared dorm rooms. This is best for guys who want to focus on training. It includes all training fees, breakfast and evening meal at the gym and room with fan.
The shared dorm room is the one which is included in the monthly training price discussed above. The house has more comfortable, private accommodation, Air Conditioning and is suitable for women. Both types provide a sitting room with satellite TV, DVDs Magazines/books, etc. Here is a link to the Jitti House: Jitti House
The facility at Jitti is a bit on the small side, but they make great use of their space. The facility itself is 420 sqm. according to the Songchai Thaigyms website. This space includes 1 full size boxing ring, and 6 heavy bags. The gym also has matted floors throughout most of the gym, and several large rubber tires around the gym for warmups. The gym has a sheltered roof to allow training in all types of weather, and open sides to allow good air circulation. Here is a nice photo of the gym:
The owner of the gym is Jitti Damriram who was born in Buriram, Northeast Thailand. This is an area (in)famous for Muay Thai. As an area champion he moved to Bangkok. There he fought at Rajadamnoen Stadium, one of the top stadiums in the country. He was a successful fighter, ranked in the top 5 between 1978-1981. With a record of over 80 fights he retired from the Muay Thai stadium and started teaching. He has taught in Japan, France, Germany, Switzerland and England.
The gym doesn’t have a head trainer, everyone works equally as they are all ex stadium fighters and very experienced. The gym has over 12 trainers, with at least 6 trainers working at a time. Almost all of the fighters have a minimum of 75 fights, and there is one trainer, Jomyut Loomnam Chia, who is a 3 time Lumphini Champion. The training at Jitti gym is among the top quality that you will find in Bangkok, or anywhere in Thailand for that matter.
The details on the training routine are pretty vauge as far as the information you can find online. The training follows a basic outline of the training, however this can vary. Some days you may spend more time doing pad work, sparring, etc. The morning training session is 2 hours, while the afternoon training session is 3 hours. You start the morning session with a long run, while the afternoon session is started with skipping rope. Below is the basic structure of training.
Early run – this is gentle and lasts up to an hour, usually in the nearby park.
Conditioning – back at the gym, light padwork, conditioning drills.
Skipping – up to 30 minutes.
Training – warm up and stretch, shadow sparring, padwork, bagwork and sparring.
Conditioning – sit ups, press ups, weights. Followed by a warm down and stretch.
If you are looking to fight while you are training at Jitti Gym, they can can arrange fights at Rajadamnoen, Lumphini(for fighters with suitable experience), Phuket, tournaments, etc. What’s good about Jitti gym is they don’t require you to train at the gym for a lengthy amount of time before you can get a fight through them. Jitti usually want to see people train for 2 weeks before they decide if you are ready fight. It also depends on your previous experience. If you have fought before and your conditioning level is still high, then you will probably be ready to fight after the 2 weeks, however if you are new or haven’t fought in a while, expect it to take a little longer before you are ready to get back in the ring.
One thing I have been extremely impressed with is the communication that I have received from Jitti. I have exchanged a few emails with him back and forth. The english is excellent, and his responses are positive and friendly. Also, the responses are really prompt. Jitti usually replies to me within 12 hours (remember there is a time difference between here and Thailand). It also makes you feel good when the owner of the gym contacts you directly. It’s nice to know he has a personal investment in each and every potential client. This alone has made me want to train at Jitti Gym.
There is a small area of the gym which is used to highlight all the previous fighters, champions etc. of Jitti. The space is also used for storage and I believe a kind of make shift reception area. Here is an excellent picture:
Jitti Gym has 3 websites that you should know about. The first is the website for the gym which is www.jittigym.com. This is the main website for the gym. They also have a blog where they update news and recent events, which is www.jittigym.com/blog. On the blog, they post fight results, photos and other recent events. The final site you need to know about is www.house.jittigym.com That is the website for the accomodations website for room and board.
OK, so now that I listed the websites, here is what you need to know. The website has all the basic information, however there is a lot of room for growth with the site. There are certain things that I feel are missing, or could be arranged better. For instance, there are a limited amount of photos on the website. I actually found a good deal of photos on Flickr. A gallery section with photos of the gym, training and both Thai and Farang fighters, in fights or training would be nice to see. Also, the website has a FAQ section, which is nice. One question that they answer there is about the cost of training. I felt that information should be moved to the “Training” page.
Speaking of the training page, a little more detail about the training routine would be nice. They give you a basic outline, but it would be nice to know a little more detail. One example they say “conditioning drills”, a little more details in that area such as “conditioning drills on bag, followed by ab conditioning” would give the website visitor a little more insight as to the workout routine.
I do like the fact that they created the Jitti Blog, which allows readers to find up to date news about Jitti Gym, as well as make comments in the recent posts. I feel a “Comments” section is always a suitable option if your website does not have a message board.
Bangkok is an exciting, modern city with lots of options and easy transport. Stadiums are about 20 minutes away. The gym fights several times a month, with both Thai and Farang fighters representing Jitti Gym. The gym is near to Ratchadapisek Road, a popular entertainment zone. There are restaurants, shopping malls and cinemas. There is a 7-11, swimming pool, night market, small bars and food stalls close to the gym. When you come to Jitti Gym, the focus is on training, any extracurriulars that the gym arranges is centerted around training or fighting. There are several things to do in the area on your own as previously stated.
I asked Jitti what makes his gym unique, and here was his response. “We are an independent gym with a family atmosphere. I have trained international students for over 15 years and all are welcome.”
Through my research I found this to be 100% true. Ever person that I spoke to that visited the gym had great things to say about this place. The common theme was that it really does feel like a family enviroment.
Another thing that I found very unique about the gym is that the UK Thaiboxing Gym, Bad Company chooses Jitti Gym as it’s number one gym in Thailand to send it’s fighters and coaches for training. Bad Company is one of the biggest Thaiboxing Schools in the UK, and the fact that they are affiliated with Jitti Gym, only confirms that Jitti Gym is one of the best gyms in Thailand to train at.
If you are interested in training at Jitti Gym, and hopefully you will after this article, here is how you can contact them.
JittiGym · The International Muay Thai Training Gym.
12 Soi Chokchairuammit yak 29
Viphavadee Rangsit, Ratchadapisek Rd. Dindang
Bangkok 10320, Thailand
Tel. (66) 2691 4238
Mobile. (66) 9069 5026
If you liked this article, feel free to share it with a friend or make a comment below. Thanks.
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I just watched the updated tour or Tiger Muay Thai. It is very impressive. I was there in Feb, and they have added so much more to the facility since then. In just a little over 2 months, they finished the dorm area, built a new building, and upgraded the beginners area with many more bags. Take a look at the video tour by host Ray Elbe. Tiger is always looking at ways to improve and the clientele definitely appreciates it.