For me to write an informative article about Muay Thai in Pattaya would be a pretty big ask, especially if the article was going to be useful to foreigners wishing to use Muay Thai to keep fit, or even for those who would like to take it to another level and take up Muay Thai competitively.
Enter Bill (photo below) the “Muay Thai Guy”, Bill’s passion for Muay Thai is what first brought him to Thailand, for Bill, Thailand was THE place to practice Muay Thai. Since visiting Thailand with his U.k Muay Thai camp Bill’s love of Muay Thai has grown, quite literally into a fighting passion which has pitted him against the best locals in Pattaya’s largest Muay Thai stadiums. No longer is Bill’s local Muay Thai camp in the U.K, these days Bill trains at Pattaya’s Sityodthong gym, and Thailand “the home of Muay Thai” has become Bill’s home as well. I decided to pick Bill’s Muay Thai brain, firstly about his own Muay Thai experience in Thailand, and then a few questions and answers about Muay Thai in Pattaya.
Among the things I learned were, “it’s not a good idea to argue with Bill”, Thais respect anyone who takes up the art of Muay Thai, the Muay Thai training regime can be used solely as a means of keeping fit, and foreigners are more than welcome to train in Pattaya’s Muay Thai gyms.
Muay Thai Questions and Answers With Bill.
How long have you been practicing Muay Thai ?.
Around 9 years.
How long have you been fighting competitively ?.
Did you have any boxing or martial arts experience before you took up Muay Thai ?.
kickboxing, for only a few months, and Karate as a youth.
Why did you come to Thailand ?.
I came with my camp in the UK, practicing Muay Thai in Thailand is something I’ve always wanted to do from a young age, ever since watching the Movie ‘Kick Boxer’.
Is Thailand the best place to train ?.
Personally, I think it is.
Where do you train ?.
Sityodthong gym in Pattaya.
Have the Thais at the gym given you a nickname ?.
No, but they spell my name the same way they pronounce it “Bew” lol.
How many competitive fights have you had in Thailand ?.
I’ve only had 2 competitive fights in Thailand.
Did you win ?.
Yes, both by K.O.
Where in Thailand did you fight ?.
My last fight was at Pattaya Boxing Stadium.
Have all your opponents been Thai ?.
No, I have had fights back in England which have all been against locals and Europeans.
How does fighting in Europe compare to fighting in Thailand ?.
I personally think that fighting in Thailand is more relaxed but sharper, one mistake and you could be hitting the canvas.
Do Thai boxers resent being beaten by a foreigner ?.
I don’t think the Thai’s like being beaten, especially with Muay Thai being their national sport, and in their back yard, nobody likes getting beat. I think sometimes foreigners are underestimated by the Thais, there are some very good foreign Muay Thai fighters out there, and they are starting to get recognized by the Thai people.
Who do you think is, or has been the best foreign Muay Thai fighter to come to Thailand ?.
My personal best would no doubt be Ramon “The Diamond” Dekker, He fought a good few times at Lumpini Stadium which is one of, if not THE most recognized Muay Thai stadium in Thailand. Because of his low weight there was more competition, he was in the same weight class as the best Muay Thai fighters in the world, and there’s no doubt that the Thais are the best in the business. Ramon “The Diamond” Dekker was the 1st foreigner to be ranked in the top 10 of the Lumpini list, even with so much competition.
Do you get cheered or jeered by the Thai fight fans ?.
You get cheered for every strike, by whoever has their money on you, in Thailand there are only cheers, due to the great respect they have for Muay Thai fighters.
What do you hope to get out of Muay Thai ?.
Muay Thai is more of a “fitness” thing for me, I would love to fight and win titles but due to my work and family commitments this is very unlikely to happen.
Is the training very demanding at competitive level ?.
You definitely have to keep focused to proceed, fatigue is always a major obstacle, but experience should prevent this from happening.
How many sparring matches have you had ?
Wow, In the UK I used to train at a highly recognized gym, one which had many champions at the time. The routine involved a hell of a lot of sparring with experienced world, European and British champions, and even a couple of girls that were world champions at the time. I’d say I’ve had well over 1000 sparring matches, I like to get in as much sparring as possible, especially in Thailand, whether it’s with Thais or foreigners, regardless of having a fight lined up. I want to be ready if an opportunity arises.
Who is the best Muay Thai fighter at the moment ?.
Personally, I would say the best “pound for pound” fighter at the moment is “Sangchai”, but there are many classy fighters around.
Who is the best ever Muay Thai fighter ?.
There are too many legends to mention.
Muay Thai For Foreigners in Pattaya.
Can tourists and expats go to a Muay Thai gym in Pattaya and train ?.
Yes, the Thai’s welcome tourists and ex-pats at any Muay Thai gyms in Thailand.
Do they need any previous experience of Muay Thai ?.
No, the Thais can have you at a professional level of fitness if you stay on camp for around 3 months.
Do they need any previous boxing or martial arts experience ?.
No, Muay Thai stance is a completely different to other fighting stances such as boxing and kickboxing.
Can they go to the Muay Thai gym and train just to keep fit ?.
Yes for sure, there are many Thais and foreigners training at Muay Thai gyms just to keep fit.
Do they have to spar ?.
No, you don’t have to spar, some gym’s probably will not let you spar if you have no experience.
How many Muay Thai schools and gyms are there in Pattaya ?.
Which is the best for foreigners ?.
Any gym in Thailand is good, some foreigners like a bit of luxury, so Fairtex would be a good choice, however it is one of the most expensive, Sityodthong is one of the most famous Muay Thai gyms in Pattaya, owned by the “grand master” of Muay Thai “Kru Yodthong” who sadly passed away this year (2013).
Do you need to speak Thai ?.
No, most trainers can speak English, if not, there will be somebody to translate for you.
Who must you see about training ?.
You don’t need to see anybody, all you need to do is rock up, depending on what times training sessions start, everybody in the Muay Thai world is friendly and we’re all family.
Do you get a personal trainer or coach ?.
Yes, This is what’s so good about Muay Thai in Thailand, it’s cheap, you get the best training, and a personal coach.
Are foreigners made to feel welcome at the gym ?.
Yes, everybody is welcome.
How much does it cost to go and train ?.
Between 200 – 300 baht but some Muay Thai gyms can cost as much as 500 – 800 baht per session, and you most likely will not gain any more with regard to techniques or experience, gyms also do deals where you can pay for 1 day (2 sessions) – 1 month etc.
Do they train every day ?.
There are usually 2 sessions a day at most, if not all Muay Thai gyms in Thailand. NOTE: Most Muay Thai gyms in Thailand are closed on Sundays.
Can you just turn up any time and train ?.
Trainers and fighters obviously need to rest, so gym’s close at certain times, depending on their routine.
Do you have to register at a Muay Thai gym ?.
No, you don’t have to register, however, if you want a better deal then you can pay monthly etc.
Do you have to buy your own equipment ?.
No, but I would recommend doing so.
What does a foreigner have to do if he wants to fight competitively ?.
Keep training and concentrate on Muay Thai only, and avoid distractions, a good trainer will need to see that you want to fight, so no women and no drinking.
Can foreigners win prize money ?.
You will get paid a very low amount of money for your first few fights until you prove you’ve got what it takes, however, it is important to negotiate what percentage you will get from your gym and trainer, depending on ticket sales this can sometimes be less than what you negotiated.
How many Muay Thai boxing stadiums are there in Pattaya ?.
There are 2 main Muay Thai stadiums in Pattaya, the most famous of the 2 is Thepprasit Stadium, another one in common use is “Pattaya Boxing World” otherwise known here in Thailand as Mini Siam, there are bar stadiums on Pattaya Beach Road and Walking Street, sometimes you will see foreigners having their first Muay Thai fight in these bar rings.
Where are the stadiums in Pattaya ?.
Thepprasit Stadium is located on Thepprasit Road Soi 2, Pattaya Boxing World is located at “Mini Siam” opposite “Bangkok Hospital Pattaya” next door to McDonald’s.
Will your trainer encourage you to fight competitively, or must you tell him you would like to fight ?.
If you’ve got what it takes, then your trainer will no doubt ask you and push you to fight.
Muay Thai is renowned for using multiple parts of the body, including elbows and knees, do these rules apply at all levels of Muay Thai ?.
In Thailand there are full rules which include knee and elbow strikes with 5×3 minute rounds, but when starting fighting, I.e as in the bar fights as mentioned earlier you can agree to fewer rounds, shorter times and even “no knees or elbows to the face” etc, so if you’re a “C class” fighter from Europe you can come to an agreement to match your Muay Thai skill level and fighting experience.
You can book your own Muay Thai experience, and many more activities in Pattaya very easily. Just take a look at this Pattaya online activity and tour booking guide.