“Muay” means to “Fight” and “Thai” is Thailand and “Muay Thai” comes from “Muay Boran” which is Thailand’s ancient fighting defense system that has become Thailand’s National Sport. Around 1920 “Muay Thai” (Thailand Kickboxing) adopted safety rules, gloves and an official boxing ring. This National Sport is very unique in Thailand, it is the Grand Dad of Kickboxing, there is Muay Thai Fighters/ Champions in all 76 provinces in Thailand, there are fights almost everyday … 365 days a year in Thailand and in some cities there are 3 to 4 fight events going on in one night!! In Bangkok there are over 1,000 gyms, in Phuket- Pattaya- Chiang Mai there are many gyms for foreigners. In Ao Nang Krabi there are many new Muay Thai gyms that have brought the best of the best Muay Thai champions to our paradise area.
My name is Daniel Docto aka “DOC”, I am a local resident in Ao Nang Krabi, I learned Muay Thai from a Thai Champion that lived in America USA and now I practice and teach the Sport here in South Thailand.
We got invited to visit a village in Krabi with an amazing Muay Thai Camp. The camp is called S.Chocknittaya, the leader is Khun Sithisak Lutox & Wuut Lutox, the promoter Ring Klongdaow Stadium & Rungthong Ratchadamusic and the train is Sompon S. Chocknittaya. They are at 69 Moo 10 T. Klongpon A. Klougtom Krabi South Thailand 81170 and phone is 081-8994-7070. We met Kru Bung (Kru means teacher and his cell: 084-889-0133) in Ao Nang Krabi and he thought we would love visiting a village Muay Thai Camp that he is training at in the heart of Krabi.
We drove about 1.5 hours from where we live, it is so beautiful in the Krabi area and to be honest we thought for sure we were going to get lost. Kru Bung met us on the main road, we drove in land for about 10 minutes and for sure we would have never found this place on our own. The village was next to an open field where many Thais play foot ball and there were about 10 little houses that were visible from where we parked our truck. About 30 people that came to see us, no Farangs/ Foreigners train at the Camp so it was a special time having us there. The camp had students/ fighters from 3 years old to 23 years old, girls and boys and they were so excited to see us.
It is amazing that you can go into the rural area (trees and plants everywhere) of Krabi and find a boxing ring behind a concrete house or shack … only in Thailand because it truly is their National Sport. In front of the house we met a man cutting down huge coconuts, he definitely was a South Thai, tall strong build, very dark skin and a big white smile that always reminds you that you are in the “Land of Smiles”. He gave us some coconuts and cut one open for us to try … delicious and it was so big. My wife Zina then made friends with the young Muay Thai girls and they could not wait to show their training skills to her.
We watched the Muay Thai Camp go into full on training for about THREE hours!! Some went for a run, they jumped rope, shadowed sparred in warm up techniques and then started to practice on the big leather bags. Then the trainers got into the ring and called in each fighter for some “one on one” training. The three year old fighter always got our attention, he could really do the movements and after many laughs he just kept on doing his own workout.
The trainers in the ring used Thai Pads, they were a walking punching bag and when the fighters kicked the pads they made a loud sound like a baseball bat hitting a large garbage can … amazing power. Then the younger girls showed us they could kick 30 plus times in a row … that made us tired just watching. The trainers made their students work very hard, they pushed them beyond their limits, submission and humbleness was always shown.
I love the fact that there is no Belt ranking in Muay Thai, the Champions work with the beginners and it is just one big happy family as the box, kick, elbow and knee each other … amazing. One Champ that was 23 years old was working with a 13 year old, he was light sparring him because he was going to do his first fight in 2 weeks. The Champ took his time, made the younger fighter practice strong basics and many times they were smiling as the beat on each other. This does not happen where I am from, in my country we beat each other up and only the strong survive.
They finished their workout with Clinching, Push Ups, Pull Ups, Sit Ups, Knees against the bag and more kicks against the bad … again we were tired from watching them. Clinching is like stand up wrestling, this is how the fighters develop a very strong upper body, they strengthen their base- fighting stance and practice knee strikes by slapping their thigh against the body … the sound it makes is very impressive. Between rounds and at the end of sets of training they do push ups and it adds up to over 100 at least. In South Thailand we see a lot of fighters doing pull ups and at this camp they climb a heavy rope that went all the way up a tall coco nut tree. I tried to do it, my hands could not hold my weight and again it shows how amazing and strong these young fighters are. They did at least 100 sit ups as a cool down, one young fighter put a boxing glove on and punched his older partner in the stomach as he did the sit ups … I could see he was enjoying being in charge of this exercise. Then ending the workout they did 100 plus push kicks and knee strikes against the bag. Some of the South Fighters do over 1,000 knee strikes on the bags to get into shape for their fights.
They humbled us by making us dinner and the mosquitoes came to eat us for dinner!! We ate a great South Thai food dinner right next to the Muay Thai ring and everyone joined in even though they we sweating from the amazing workout. Only in a Thailand Village can you experience this type of Sport … again that is amazing Krabi South Thailand. We headed back home, the prayers of the local Temple followed us and again we were so blessed to experience Thailand’s National Sport of Muay Thai in amazing Krabi.