Experiencing Muay Thai in Patong Stadium Gym, Phuket

 

There are other ways to release all that pent anger though and this often reminds me of one of the company trips we had last year, to Phuket, Thailand. On those rare occasional days, I’ll feel like punching something out of anger or annoyed with some of the things that has been happening around the world, and these are things which I have no control over. So I punch in my mind instead, going as fast as I can until the feeling is gone.

Muay Thai can be a dangerous sport just like boxing because the only gear that protects you from getting hurt would be the mouth guard and the hand gloves, while every other part of your body is fully exposed to your opponent. I know this because I’ve experienced it personally and boy did everything hurt after the session.

Kicking Ass in Patong Stadium Gym

When we saw the trainers coming into the ballroom with Muay Thai gear, we knew something was us. We would either be watching a cool Muay Thai fight or we would be the ones fighting. At this point, I somehow knew it would be the latter. We were given Muay Thai shorts to wear over whatever we had on (or change as quickly as possible) before heading out to the beach area. We were told to run, jog or in my case walk-jog-walk to the beach with the locals looking at us as we passed by. Tourists were wondering what we were up to and I was also wondering what we were up to until we reached the beach side. The trainers showed us a series of warm up exercises (in the hot sunny weather) and we’re talking stretches, minor cardio just to get the heart pumping.

We continued running to the next destination which was the Patong Stadium Gym Muay Thai. As soon as we arrived, the Muay Thai trainers instructed us to run around the compound seven times before we went into the gym. By the time we were inside, most of us were exhausted. The lady or Big Mama (my personal reference for her) welcomed us to the gym which she owns for years. I later found out that her name is Bow and that she is a member of the Muay Thai Council.

The gym is opened to everyone from beginners who wish to keep in shape and for those who wish to become a professional Muay Thai fighter. There are various training programme offered for the traditional Muay Thai sport and you could even beef up your technique and fight in the famous Patong Muay Thai Stadium. However this is strictly for professionals and experienced boxers.

Listening to the briefing by the Muay Thai trainers.

Listening to the briefing by the Muay Thai trainers.

Posing with the trainers who are also professional Muay Thai fighters.

Posing with the trainers who are also professional Muay Thai fighters.

 

Muay Thai Training Plan

We were divided into our groups and given a brief by Bow on our session for the day. Our training would begin with skipping (ropes) for 15 minutes as a warm up which helps to improve our footwork and breathing control. We would also have the opportunity to try the punching bag which toughens the body before the fight. It also helps to increase stamina when we throw in kicks and punches. After that we trained with the trainers using pad work, teaching us how to kick, punch and turn before we get into the ring. The trainers wore the protective Thai pads and encouraged us to kick and punch as hard as we could to increase co-ordination. All these steps really helped in preparing our mind and body for the battle in the ring.

Skipping for 15 minutes to warm up the body.

Skipping for 15 minutes to warm up the body.

Training with the punching bags with kicks and punches.

Training with the punching bags with kicks and punches.

Trainers using pads to teach the techniques of Muay Thai.

Trainers using pads to teach the techniques of Muay Thai.

Learning how to spar with the trainers before the fight.

Learning how to spar with the trainers before the fight.

 

Getting into the Ring

We were all nervous topped with excitement in trying a new experience in Phuket especially when it was time to get into the ring and spar with our trainers and colleagues.  My sparring partner was one of the professional Muay Thai fighters in Patong and it was tough to fight him because mentally I felt that he was just so much stronger. The sparring taught us to bring out our inner courage and to see how mentally strong we are in the ring. It also portrays how mentally strong we are outside the ring and in life. I had a good start in the beginning but at the end of it, the trainer fought me to the ground and I was left covering my face with my arms to protect it from being pummeled. A few hits to head left me slightly dizzy afterwards but gave me a lesson as to how I would approach fear or enemies. I would allow them to finish me off which personally was not a good thing. I learned that no matter what happens, I shouldn’t give up and keep going. The fighting spirit inside would occasionally push the courage outwards breaking the fear and take you to victory. It was a valuable lesson in the end.

If you’ve never experienced Muay Thai, you could probably try this in Phuket. The Patong Stadium Gym offers different prices for daily, weekly and even monthly sessions. All you need to do is tell them what your goal is at the end of the session and they will advice you accordingly. The trainers are friendly and give tough love during the training to give the best results and experience at the end of it all.

The fight training with the professional trainers.

The fight training with the professional trainers.

That's me fighting in the ring with head gear and gloves.

That’s me fighting in the ring with head gear and gloves.

And that's me getting pummeled to the ground by the trainer and protecting my head from it all.

And that’s me getting pummeled to the ground by the trainer and protecting my head from it all.

That's us with the trophy for the girls battle round, with my teammates. It wasn't a real trophy but it sure made us happy.

That’s us with the trophy for the girls battle round, with my teammates. It wasn’t a real trophy but it sure made us happy.

 

Location

Address: Patong Stadium Gym, Sainamyen Road, Ban Patong, Phuket, Thailand 83150
Opening Hours: 8:00 am – 6:00pm
Website: Patong Stadium Gym

 

About Yafieda Jamil

A Malaysian girl currently working abroad in Phnom Penh city. I love a good road trip, hot cappuccinos, spicy food and staring at old buildings. My mission is to inspire people to see the world differently before we all get any older. Oh and giraffes are the most beautiful creatures on earth.

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