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Kem Muay Thai Gym Review (3-Month Stay)

- - - - - kem muay thai gym review thailand training

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#1
KushGod

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Hello all,

So after spending about 3 months at Kem Muay Thai Gym I feel as if I could give a pretty accurate review of what to expect there. Note that this is my personal experience so you might experience some things differently but I hope that this will help you in your gym decision for training in Thailand.

Little background: Prior to leaving I had 6 amateur fights under my belt and had been training for about a little over 3 years, it was also my first time in Thailand. I'm a 23 years old man as well if that can help.. I was there from September to December this year.

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Camp Overview:

The camp is located in the mountains in Khao-Yai Thiang near Khorat which is pretty much a village, the nearest city is 30 KM I believe.

At the camp you have 2 adults Thais training being Yodwicha and Rungravee PK Saenchai, 3 teenagers (including 1 teenage girl about 14-16 years old), and 2 kids. So other than Yodwicha and Rungravee you will be training mostly with teenagers and kids, most of the guys/fighters you see on the website aren't there anymore. The trainers might also jump in during the sparring sessions sometimes to even out the score. Don't get me wrong those kids and teenagers were technically really skilled (except maybe for the girl who was more average), but if you are a heavy guy it might not be ideal sometimes.

- Training: The training is pretty hard so beware to prepare yourself accordingly before going to avoid suffering too much during your first weeks. They will adapt the training regimen to your level but I recommend running at least 30-45 minutes daily on top of training before going.

1 round at the camp = 4 minutes

Usually 10 push-ups in between rounds of sparring and bag work

Training in the morning: (between 2.5-3 hours including the run and cool down)

  1. 10 KM run in the mountain at 6h00 AM, training officially starts around 7h30 AM for those not running
  2. 3-5 series of 10 pull-ups
  3. 1 round of shadow boxing with weights (1-2 punch going back and forth and speed punching last 30 seconds)
  4. 1 warm-up full shadow boxing round with gloves/shin pads before sparring
  5. 4-6 rounds of sparring which alternates between Muay Thai and Boxing depending of the day
  6. "Double-Kick": 3-5 series of 20 kicks with each leg on pads  (not always)
  7. Bag work (1-2 round boxing on the tires, then 1-2 rounds on the heavy bag, then 1 round of only elbows and/or sometimes 1-2 rounds low kicks)
  8. 200 blocks, 200 knees (sometimes on the bag, sometimes going back and forth with weights), and 100 teeps (push-kicks)
  9. sit-ups (up to you) and again 3-5 series of 10 pull-ups

Training in the afternoon: (between 2-2.5 hours including short run and cool down) - Training starts at 3H00 PM

  1. 2-3 KM run of about 10-15 minutes on a much more flat ground (trust me you will enjoy this)
  2. 10-20 minutes of skipping
  3. 3-5 series of 10 pull-ups
  4. 1 round of shadow boxing with weights again (1-2 punch going back and forth)
  5. 1 warm-up round of full shadow boxing with gloves before pad work
  6. 4-5 rounds of pads which usually consist of 3 rounds Muay Thai and 1 round boxing
  7. Bag work: 1-2 rounds boxing on tires, 2 rounds heavy bag, 1 round elbows, sometimes 1-2 rounds lowkicks
  8. 15-20 minutes clinching followed by 50 push-ups to close the clinch session
  9. 200 blocks, 200 knees, 100 teeps
  10. sit-ups and 3-5 series of 10 pull-ups again

- The Food:  Excellent! I have nothing bad to say about it. Be prepared to eat rice everyday though. We sometimes had pastas to break up the routine but on very few occasions. Even had fries and steak once. I think the food is really the best aspect of this camp.

- Trainers: They are pretty good and know what they are doing. They seem to be each working different aspects of your game, for example one is more cardio-intensive, the other is more playful, etc. When I got there, 3 trainers were at the gym, then 1 left, then 2 others came, so I don't know how many you will see next time you go there.

- General Atmosphere: The atmosphere at the camp is friendly and casual, they try to be as inclusive as they can. Nobody is going to wake you up to go run or come train but they will notify you when it's time to eat and such. While training you are paired with the Thais as much as possible but while eating they eat together and the farangs (foreigners) eat together. The more you show you are dedicated the more they will push you.

-Beautiful Location: The camp is pretty good looking and well maintained. They also have free WiFi and hot water for showers. WiFi is pretty good, but the bathrooms are quite small with the water from the shower splashing on your toilet seat..

-English Level: The English level is really low, as nobody fully speaks English but some do enough to answer your questions and such. If you encounter a real problem then this might become quite a bit of an issue as it will be hard for you to explain your situation to them. You won't be able to have a full and fluid conversation in English with the Thais at the camp but that doesn't stop you from joking around with them.

-Repetitive Training: Although the training is hard, it is a little repetitive at times if you ask me. We did the same exercises day-in and day-out with the only difference being the number of rounds for each one. The training is pretty much oriented on the basics and fundamentals as well. They will make sure you can do a proper jab, a proper kick, and so on.. One thing I didn't like too much as well was the fact for the clinching sessions they were just making you clinch and throwing you on the ground, they weren't really breaking down techniques much. Although this approach has its benefits, I believe taking like 5-10 minutes to properly show a technique would have been a good addition as well.

-Distractions: There aren't many things around the camp except some little mom-n-pop groceries stores. For the short term it's good to help you focus on the training but over some months it can get pretty boring during your off-times. We went out to see fights, which were mainly kids' fights because Yodwicha and Rungravee only do international fights now, but other than that we did quite few activities. You sometimes had to ask to be taken out like when you had to do some shopping at a Tesco Lotus. Being taken out would sometimes come at a cost of 200 baht for the gas depending on who was dropping you off.

-Airport Shuttle and Transportation: For airport pickup/drop-off you pay a 2,400 baht fee (that you can see on their website) which includes both picking you up and dropping you at the airport at the beginning and end of your stay.

If you plan on going by yourself paying your own taxi, you have to tell yourself that Bangkok (I landed at the suvarnabhumi airport) is approximately 3 hours away from the camp and the camp is a little tricky to find. I would say that for your way back you are pretty much dependent on them for a ride, but I guess that if you really wanted to you could take a taxi for when you are on your way in. I believe all people I met at the camp had used the camp ride services, and I did too. \When you are actually at the camp, you are quite dependent on them for transportation as you are on the mountains in a village (cows around and hearing the cock in the morning), I'm pretty sure I've seen some cars but never a taxi pass around the camp.

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On a separate note, I also had 2 fights at the camp. Won the first one against a chubby Thai who didn't seem to be training/fighting full-time, but as it was my first pro fight without any protection I thought it was ok for a start. I lost the second fight which was on my last week at the camp and this one left me a little bitter because they paired me against a Thai who probably had a minimum of 20-30 fights without warning me at all. The referee stopped the fight in the 4th round as he was dominating me in the clinch. I really don't know why they put me against a guy who had that much experience without letting me know what I was about to face. I was expecting a harder fight than my first one, but not a mismatch like this..

On a final note, I would say that overall it's still a pretty good camp and I guess that I would recommend it but I would suggest to be fit prior to going and maybe to learn a bit of Thai as well to help with the communications. I recommend maybe staying 1-1.5 months maximum for those looking to stay long term as beyond that the lack of distractions and repetitiveness of the training can be harsh to endure.

If anyone has questions or would like me to further expand on some topics, please feel free to reach me.

Regards


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#2
radarjam

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Hey! Thanks for lengthy review of this gym! Great info! I love reading posts like this :) 


Instagram: @nakmuayfoodie


#3
NewThai

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Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you had a mixed experience there - hopefully your next visit to Thailand will be a better fit.

#4
KushGod

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Hey! Thanks for lengthy review of this gym! Great info! I love reading posts like this :) 

 

 

Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you had a mixed experience there - hopefully your next visit to Thailand will be a better fit.

 

Made some modifications to the post as I didn't want to bash them for some personal issues I had with them... It was a pretty good experience that ended slightly on a down note but I want to be objective and not personal on this.

 

Glad you enjoyed the feedback.


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#5
Fighting Frog

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This is a really good review: informative and as impartial as a review can be. Brilliant. I'd feel quite confident going anywhere you recommended as a result. Thanks!


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#6
NewThai

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I think the charges for rides are relevant to the review. If they did not drive you, what would a taxi have cost for the same trip? Are there many taxis out that way or are you stuck depending on them for rides?

When I was in Chiang Rai my trainers drove me several places and did not charge me for the ride (though I added plenty of cash to my envelope at the end of my stay to cover those costs). I also used GrabTaxi several times and paid cash to my drivers.

Anyway, everything I've previously read about Kem’s gym mentions free airport shuttle so it’s good to know that may not actually be the case.
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#7
KushGod

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I think the charges for rides are relevant to the review. If they did not drive you, what would a taxi have cost for the same trip? Are there many taxis out that way or are you stuck depending on them for rides?

When I was in Chiang Rai my trainers drove me several places and did not charge me for the ride (though I added plenty of cash to my envelope at the end of my stay to cover those costs). I also used GrabTaxi several times and paid cash to my drivers.

Anyway, everything I've previously read about Kem’s gym mentions free airport shuttle so it’s good to know that may not actually be the case.

 

*You are right, I edited and added a part in the review for that*

Actually for airport pickup/drop-off you pay a 2,400 baht fee (that you can see on their website) which includes both picking you up and dropping you at the airport at the beginning and end of your camp. Me I chose to stay a few days in Bangkok before leaving back to my country so I asked them to drop me at a hotel near the city instead of the airport. The one driving instead dropped me on a road about 20-25 minutes distance from the hotel and called a taxi for the rest of the drive. I did get money for the taxi though..

For the taxi fare question, you have to tell yourself that Bangkok (I landed at the suvarnabhumi airport) is approximately 3 hours away from the camp and the camp is a little tricky to find. I would say that for your way back you are pretty much dependent on them for a ride, but I guess that if you really wanted to you could take a taxi for when you are on your way in. I believe all people I met at the camp had used the camp ride services, me included. For transportation when you are actually at the camp, you are quite dependent on them as you are on the mountains in a village (cows around and hearing the cock in the morning), I'm pretty sure I've seen some cars but never a taxi pass around the camp.


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#8
KushGod

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This is a really good review: informative and as impartial as a review can be. Brilliant. I'd feel quite confident going anywhere you recommended as a result. Thanks!

 

Thanks glad you liked it



#9
K. von Duuglas-Ittu

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What a great, detailed review. Sylvie hasn't been training full time in many gyms, but the lack of clinch instruction, technically, is pretty common I believe. This is how the Thais learn. You get thrown, and thrown, and thrown, and locked and locked and locked, and you figure out it. It's a very difficult way to learn in the short term, but it's how they all learn. Also, the repetitive training on basics is also very Thai. Even very advanced fighters train heavily in the basics. Again, how they all learn. 


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All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare. - Spinoza


#10
KushGod

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What a great, detailed review. Sylvie hasn't been training full time in many gyms, but the lack of clinch instruction, technically, is pretty common I believe. This is how the Thais learn. You get thrown, and thrown, and thrown, and locked and locked and locked, and you figure out it. It's a very difficult way to learn in the short term, but it's how they all learn. Also, the repetitive training on basics is also very Thai. Even very advanced fighters train heavily in the basics. Again, how they all learn. 

 

I see, maybe I had some misconceptions about what to expect there as it was my first time in Thailand..

 

Anyhow, Glad you liked the review!


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