Experience Thai Culture With Muay Thai In Phuket
Phuket is a stunning tropical island located in the Andaman Sea, often referred to as the “Jewel of the Andaman”. It has everything one could wish from a tropical paradise with its white sandy beaches and crystal clear ocean dotted with exotic plant life and chirping geckos.
Thai boxing or “Muay Thai” as it is known in the Thai language is a combat sport based on the centuries-old martial art of Thailand. The study of this intensive sport is a major draw for Thailand’s tourist economy with martial artists from all over the world wanting to hone their striking skills in this relaxed tropical venue. It is called the art of eight limbs because unlike Western boxing which only uses fists, this style uses fists, feet, knees and elbows. This huge variation in the number of weapons makes for an exciting sport and Phuket is the perfect destination to train in this deadly art. Many foreigners come not only to train but also to fight in one of the many stadiums located in Phuket.
There are numerous gyms at which to train some of which feature not only Muay Thai but also have a Mixed Martial Arts curriculum including wrestling, western boxing and jiu jitsu. The main gyms for Muay Thai on the Island are Tiger, Top Team, Dragon, Rawai and Sinbi. There is plenty of opportunity to compete too, with even your debut earning you roughly $160. If you do wish to train, it is best to look at reviews and forum discussions about the gyms. You are certain to find one which suits your needs. At this time, only Tiger and Phuket Top Team offer a full Mixed Martial Arts curriculum although Cartel is due to open within the next few months also.
The cost of training at most gyms ranges from 8,000 baht per month to 9,500 baht per month for a full time MMA curriculum. It is possible to train 2-3 times per day, six days per week but only if you can handle it! There is a great camaraderie amongst those who train and many folk arrive planning to stay and train for a month and end up staying for a lot longer.
Such intense training and discipline is not for everyone but rest assured there are plenty of venues on the island where one can watch well trained athletes compete in the ring. The biggest Muay Thai stadium in Phuket is Bangla based in the party capital of Patong. You can get a ticket to see the boxing for around 600 baht with bouts starting around 9 in the evening and events lasting anywhere from 2 hours onwards. You really can’t go to Thailand without watching a Muay Thai fight and Phuket is a great introduction zone to the sport. As Thailand’s national sport will also see it all over magazines, newspapers and television and if you are looking for an authentic way to immerse yourself in Thai culture you cannot go wrong with the ancient art of Muay Thai.