The Venum Training Camp – New Gem of Pattaya
The Venum Training Camp in Pattaya is a brand new facility, a huge training space which already offers a variety of options including Muay Thai (primarily), MMA, “Combat Fitness”, and CrossFit. The floor is fully matted all the way throughout the space and there’s a kind of felt-like covering in the areas with hanging bags, which is a great option for preventing slippage from dripping sweat. This is the kind of thing you notice when you’ve been in Thailand for a while because what the floors are made of makes a huge difference in how your feet are going to be torn up – not “if,” but how. That said, the coverings that Venum chose, this felt-like carpeting, doesn’t rip your feet up. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen it, and I love it.
Walk Through the Space – Video
above, video walk through of Venum Training Camp
Venum is located down a tiny side street off of Soi 6 on Thepprasit, about 5 minutes from my home gym Petchrungruang (map below). It almost looks like you’re driving up someone’s private alleyway, but the path soon opens up to reveal the huge camp maybe 200 feet in from the road. And despite the facility being brand new (officially open for only 2 weeks when I visited), it’s filled with local, seasoned Thai fighters and a handful of little kids in the early stages of their fighter paths. This is one of the special things about the Venum gym. While it has the advantages of a big fancy brand name gym, because it also grew out of the Sor. Klinmee Gym (the long time traditional family gym of Sudsakorn), it has the lineage and community of local kids and longtime Pattaya fight scene trainers, trainers that have spent their lives raising kids to be champions, and not just holding pads for westerns in western-oriented settings. I spend a lot of time at these smaller, old school gyms in Pattaya, and I recognized lots of young fighters and trainers from the community. It really seems to be the best of both worlds, in one gym.
photo by Tom Brown of muaythaiaction.com
There are already a few women who appear to be taking Muay Thai for fitness too, but they’re integrated into the space and a separate-but-included part of the activities. When the gym is full everyone kind of clusters in the area immediately around the ring – fighters working with trainers on the pads or clinching inside the ring, as well as people working on the numerous hanging bags and using the space on the mats. Even though everyone is gathered together, it feels “busy” without feeling crowded. There’s enough space for everyone but the energy of everyone working in the same space feels nice. But there’s certainly plenty of room to go around if you prefer to take more space for yourself.
Everything in the training camp is Venum brand and there’s lots of equipment to borrow if you don’t have your own: gloves, shinpads, jumpropes, etc. I saw a weighted vest, headgear, “combat ropes”, climbing ropes, a cage, dumbells and freeweights with some serious size for stacking, wooden boxes for box jumps and whatever else CrossFit people use them for, some TRX straps, monster truck tires, and a really cool jungle-gym structure. There are separate men’s and women’s toilet/dressing room/ shower areas. A small shop sells Venum apparel and equipment: sports tops for women, shirts (there was as snakeskin one I really liked) and shorts (board short and Thai style), and a long bar-style counter with some stools facing the ring. There are water coolers and plastic cups for sips between rounds, or you can bring your own waterbottle and refill it; there are also sports drinks and bottles of water for sale in a cooler. It’s pretty much an everything-you-need-is-here situation.
photo by Tom Brown of muaythaiaction.com
My experience in the actual space of the Venum Training Camp was just kind of an awe of how huge it is. I’m used to training in a small, family-style gym where the ring is the biggest open space available. I think for a lot of folks who are coming to Thailand for the first time, the big space and new, state of the art equipment will be really appreciated. And with a fairly tight-knit group of mostly Thai (a few westerners) trainers and fighters who have known each other for years and, in some cases, decades, you’re walking into an authentic Muay Thai training experience with active fighters. Venum Training Camp is co-owned by Sudsakorn Sor. Klinmee and Mehdi Zatout, both very established and experienced fighters and Sudsakorn is still a big active star for Thai Fight. Medhi has over 50 fights in Thailand and offers a very cool energy and confidence in how he carries himself to the space. You can read more about Mehdi in his Siam Fight Mag interview.
It will be interesting to see how Venum Training Camp develops as time goes on, but from my immediate impressions of the space, its training and the people involved with it, it seems like exactly the thing that Pattaya Muay Thai has been missing. If some of the gyms of Pattaya have lost some of their glow, a gym like this, with the presence of MAX Muay Thai fighting opportunities (fights every day of the week, big televised cards on the weekend), I believe will restore Pattaya as a prime Muay Thai training destination, helping everyone in the community. As a committed fighter at one of the smaller family Pattaya gyms, Petchrungruang, I’m happy to see Venum Training Camp happening. The Venum gym will be a huge draw of folks from a wide variety of experience or inexperience, offering more familiar and all-inclusive training options for those who are not yet ready for, or intimidated by, the self-directed and immersive style of training at smaller, family-style Muay Thai gyms.
The training is good, the trainers are very experienced and part of an authentic lineage of real, local fight culture, and there are active rising fighters, including one of my favorites, the new Thai Fight star PTT Petchrungruang who now trains there as a Venum sponsored fighter as there are very tough Thais his size to train against here. Jalma Klinmee, Sudsakorn’s wife and the gym’s social media director, told me that Rambaa (Sudsakorn’s cousin) will be coming by to help instruct MMA (you can see some of my private with Rambaa here). While the gym doesn’t appear to have any accommodation at this point, the camp is within walking distance to numerous rooms for rent on Soi 6, a bit farther out on Thepprasit, or if you rent a motorbike really anywhere you wish to stay in Pattaya. If you’d like a close, quiet, mid-range price option with an outdoor pool and on-premises massage parlor, I recommend the Royal Thai Residence on Soi 7 (Venum is on Soi 6, so these are very close in distance).
You can contact Venum Training Camp through either of two Facebook pages:
They are open from 7:00 AM – 11:30 AM and again for afternoon training at 3:30 PM – 9:00 PM.
Prices – Venum Training Camp
The package Muay Thai rates below (yellow: weekly, monthly) are for training twice a day, there is no once a day weekly or monthly Muay Thai package. Train once or twice, it is up to you. I should say that these are pretty reasonable rates on the Pattaya scale. The red package is for MMA, Combat Fitness and Cross Fit (see schedule below). The orange prices are all inclusive.
The 20,000 baht VIP rate per month, I’m checking on that now, will update.
The Venum Schedule
This is the provisional schedule, but as the gym is only a few weeks old there will be some changes to it. I’ll try to update the post as changes come. One change already made is that Cross Fit is only offered 3x a week instead of 6. But you can see the general philosophy here. The Women Time slot is interesting. The gym is closed to men at that time, on those days, so women can train in a Combat Fitness class without men (or anywhere else in the gym).
Map of Where Venum Training Camp Is
Below is an interactive Google Map of where Venum Training Camp is located. It’s very close to the local Muay Thai stadium Thepprasit, where all Pattaya fighters get their start, rising in the ranks.
Training With Sudsakorn
Sudsakorn Sor. Klinmee is a huge star on Thai Fight, and his smooth, counterfighting style has earned him fans from around the world. As part owner of the gym he brings strong Pattaya fight roots to Venum, and it’s real pleasure to see that lineage of training. His 7 year old nephew is going to be a monster fighter, you can feel it even in the way he hits the pads and flies around the space. Sudsakorn speaks of him with pride, and almost astonishment. “He loves Muay Thai” he says. There are already generation in the gym. I was there to shoot a private with Sudsakorn for my Nak Muay Nation train with legends features and this month will be the first time publishing one from an elite active fighter. I’ve filmed with legendary champions like Berklerk, Dieselnoi, Karuhat, Yodkhunpon, Chatchai, Sagat, Rambaa, and many more, but an active fighter is not in the same place as retired greats. He does not often give privates, so this was a special experience for me. I’ll be publishing a post on our training, but if you’d like you can see a few minutes of it on the Sudsakorn page. You can also see a photo album of us training together here.
If you would like to take a private from Sudsakorn – and he is insistent the he does not want to teach “tricks” or “moves”, but rather that the key to great fighting is control over the basics, proper spacing and timing – you MUST book in advance. The price is 3,000 baht for a full hour, and he is not always available due to a pretty full schedule as a fighter. Message his gym Facebook Page to arrange this.