Tiger Muay Thai and MMA Camp
Tigers Muay Thai and MMA Camp in Phuket, Thailand.-video done on small digital camera/please excuse angles and quality
If you are going to Thailand to train you have many options. I chose Tigers because of the informative website www.tigersmuaythai.com and the fact it would scratch both itches of World class Muay Thai and great Submission instruction.
The Facility itself is huge. A big open air (most everything is open air) gym with multiple rings, weight areas, a cage and about a bazillion heavy bags. Yoga, Boxing, Body fit (think cross fit) and a weapons class were all offered along with Muay Thai and MMA.
If you are at Tigers for any length of time, you cant help but get into shape. If you wanted a unique way to prep for a fight, you could do worse.
The overall experience was amazing. I learned a lot about myself and the art of Muay Thai.
These are some tips I have for any would be travelers.
Tips on Physical Prep
This is a tricky one. Eat well, train hard, hit your pads, jump rope, run and all that good stuff, but be ready for some crazy heat and humidity. When we went in April the Temp was 95 degrees and 100% humidity. Two weeks earlier I was running in 40 degree Seattle rain and could see my breath. It’s an x factor that is hard to prep for.
Many people I talked with at the camp were training for 5,6,7 even 8 weeks and all said it takes about 7 or so days just to get used to the environment. Unfortunately My group and I were only at the Camp for two weeks so we couldn’t take a whole week to acclimate.
Some people were warning me about shin conditioning and I was a bit nervous for this, but honestly I never found it to be a problem. If you hit pads on a normal basis you should have no trouble.
At 29 I have a career a mortgage and a wife and child, so huge multi hour workouts per day were out of the question when doing my preparation.
Never the less I built my wind up over 3 months with solid pad work, good MMA conditioning drills and basic jogging. Heat and all we were able to workout 4+hrs a day at Tigers and still have energy for swimming after at some of the amazing nearby beaches.
The flip side to this is you could take one class a day and do other stuff the rest of the time, but we were there to train, and I assume you would be as well if you flew half way around the world.
On paper The Tiger workouts would seem very reasonable, but just remember to drink your water and go slow the first few workouts till your body gets used to the heat.
Tips on Mental Prep
What can I say but be humble, show you want to learn and “empty your cup”.
Are you an MMA fighter with 10 KOs in your last 10 fights? To bad cause your right round kick isn’t straight enough.
Do you throw hooks that would impress Mike Tyson? To bad your knuckles are pointed the wrong way.
My point here is that this is authentic Muay Thai. I used to think I trained Muay Thai, but really I Train MMA, with the stuff I like from Boxing blended with the stuff I Like from kickboxing. After a Private lesson With Advanced Head Trainer “moo” He Noted some frustration in my eyes and paused the workout. He pointed to the MMA cage and then me and said “same”. He then pointed to the Boxing class area and back at me and said “same”. Finally he pointed at himself and then back at me and said “Muay Thai Same, but Not Same”. This theme was something I would get used to over the course of training. A novel concept for all MMA practitioners, take what works for you, leave what doesn’t.
On the Other hand I found the BJJ/MMA class to be very familiar, and Im sure most lockflowers would feel at home here.
Tips on What to bring
Sunscreen- getting a sunburn would suck; they are painful and get infected easily.
Antibacterial soap- this is a BIG one guys. We saw some nasty stuff in form of rashes and staph, be careful. What worse way to spend your training time then with and infection sitting in your hotel room. Tigers is great about cleaning mats and equipment, but it’s so hard in the tropical environment to keep sterile.
Power Bars- Protein bars were no where to be found, I like a little something pre-workout or for just down times and was very thankful I brought a few extra bars.
Electrolytes- I brought a box of emergan-c powder and mixed it with my waters for a.m. training and felt it really helped me. Gatorade is available at many places as well.
Water- They sell water all over the place and its cheap enough, so stalk your hotel room up when you arrive and bring 2x the water you would normally drink to your first few workouts, nothing worse then draining your water and having 2 rounds left!
The last few Tips I have
If saving money is your #1 priority book Tigers budget fighter rooms, but if you have a few extra Baht, try to stay at Dream village or 2nd home. “Toni” the owner looks after his customers, keeps them out of trouble and books day tours to beaches or sight seeing, Toni’s Restaurant is also a cheap alternative with a similar menu to all the restaurants in a 5mile radius and the taste and service is much better.
I would for sure try the night market on the weekend, awesome food, just use your noodle about what you eat (get it). BBQ chicken, awesome….that thing that looks like a breaded alien, not so much.
If you plan on staying for more then a few weeks you may think about renting a scooter, this is a popular choice (for suicide) to get around, but be careful it’s a very aggressive driving climate, and on top of that at night out of no where a thunder shower can surprise you.
If you get a private lessons, unless you really connect with your trainer right off the bat move on and respectfully try a different trainer for your next private. I worked with three different trainers, and all were very different. One I just couldn’t get into and Two that totally rocked. I was upset I waited so long to switch trainers because I just assumed one would be like another, wrong!
Attend the BBQ beat down at the camp if your schedule allows, the food is great, the fights are fun, and it’s a chance to talk with your class mates without having to punch them or choke them silly .
Tigers offers a video service of your training. I am torn on my thoughts on this. I almost bought a package, but after watching the film crew dictate your training I was a tad turned off by it. The finished product is a bad ass highlights real of you kicking butt, but let me tell you there is some magic in the editing process…
My Training at Tigers was an amazing experience. I did MMA in the morning (I Was king for the day during a grapple tourney!) and sweated my butt off working pads in the afternoon. We went swimming after class and the salt water cleansed our wounds and eased our aches. If it were not for the heat, my family and friends…and a steak -MY KINGDOM FOR A GOOD STEAK OVER THERE- I could see how a guy could get used to that lifestyle.
PS any specific questions on the camp or trainers PM me and i will answer best i can