People often ask me how I deal with being in shape when I travel around the world. Well, there is one secret how to do it simultaneously exploring the culture. The answer is – try to do the local sport. And if you can, practice with locals.
That’s what I’ve done while staying in Thailand. I’ve started to train Muay Thai, which is a Thai boxing, in the local club in Khao Lak.
Muay Thai is a Thai combat sport. It uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques.
It is known as “The Art of Eight Limbs”, because it is characterized by the combined use of fists, elbows, knees and shins. The hands become the sword and dagger. The shins and forearms act as armor against blows and the elbows to fell opponents like a heavy mace or hammer. The legs and knees become the axe. The idea is to let the whole body work as a unit.
This marital art is quite demanding and you really need to be in shape to keep up with training routine.
It was my first time with Thai boxing so technically I was a beginner. I’ve started from the first level that was aimed at learning the basic moves.
How does the training look like?
Regardless of your level, the warm-up is the same for everybody. It takes around 20 minutes and includes running, rope jumping and muscles warm-up.
After that, it’s time for training.
As a beginner you stand in front of the teacher and mirror so that you can see your every single move. You repeat sequences of different kicks and punches like Jab, Cross, Hook, Uppercut, Straight Kick, Down kick etc. Between the sets there are “breaks” for push-ups and crunches. In one world – there is no break.
Depending on your abilities and shape, you can jump to the next level, which is based more on individual work with a punching bag (using all the moves you already learned) and practice with a teacher or with a partner one by one on the ring.
I knew something from boxing and kickboxing, so it took me 2 trainings to jump up on the ring. And that was the moment where the real fun has begun. You know something and you can finally experience a full contact. This is a really great opportunity to learn.
The team from the club always cares about individual work and gives you a private teacher to practice. These guys speak English good enough to show you everything and correct your mistakes. What is more, they are super nice and simply hilarious companions, so you can have a great fun :)
A single training takes 2 hours and it’s quite intense. You need to move all the time and there are many cardio sessions in between, but it’s totally worthy. The feeling afterward is amazing.
There are classes twice a day, six days a week (except Sundays). One at 7.30 am and the second one at 4pm. You can choose to go only once a day or if you need more, then you are welcomed twice a day. Depending on your plans, you can join the trainings everyday or a few times a week. You can also take a private lesson, which is always more effective. One group class costs around 9$.
There are also sport camps organized by the club for people from all around the world. If you decide to take part in a camp you can stay in the bungalows that belong to the club and you also have meals provided. It’s very convenient if you look for super sporty holidays :)
To me it was one of the best experiences in Thailand. Not only I’ve met many fabulous locals, but also they shared with me their passion and culture. Noting more to ask about :)
For more details about the Rawai Muay Thai Club and the classes check out their website: http://www.rawaimuaythai.com
Travel and keep fit peps! :)