by Robert Lobitz
(New York, USA)
For professional mixed martial artists, athletes or general fitness buffs, it is becoming more popular to go to the source of one of the most brutal arts in the world to learn first hand.
On Phuket Island in the deep south of Thailand, is the Rawai Muay Thai Camp, a professional Thai boxing camp that only became available to foreigners in 2003. It has earned a reputation as one of the most populartraining gyms in Southern Thailand for foreigners, particularly female boxers, since many camps still do not train women.
The camp offers fitness training, yoga, detox, diet and nutrition programs for every level up to professional athlete. While adjusting to the high humidity of Thailand, most foreigners find they naturally have less appetite and need to adjust their meals from a previously unhealthy diet mainly consisting of white four, breads and pastas to the more healthy traditional thai cuisine or one of their recommended diets.
The day begins with a 30 to 60 minute run through some of the most beautiful tropical scenery in the world. You then return to the gym for the morning training session which could include use of the muay thai heavy bag, kicking pads, sparring or sitting on the floor and being taught strategy and technique.
The session ends with 30 to 40 minutes of yoga, weight training or stretching, depending on what your goals are. Your body generally just needs a light meal (resulting in quick weight loss) then around 3:00pm you return to the gym for another 2 to 3 hours of training. Generally by the end of each day, you are so exhausted; you immediately go to sleep so the desire to go out drinking, partying or to attend to other unhealthy habits becomes a non-issue.
Rawai Muay Thai Camp at Naiharn Beach
The workout you are put through develops hand-eye coordination, strength, balance, cardio and of course, Thai boxing skills. Many MMA(mixed martial arts) or boxing gyms in western countries use boxing equipment rather than the traditional leather heavy bag or tools that have been used for centuries to develop speed and strength. Using the right equipment with proper form is what has helped champions like George St-Pierre to perfect his technique.
While in most western countries, if you pay a gym membership, it goes to a huge corporation. At Rawai, your money directly goes to the resident boxers that train you and the facilities you are living in. Every penny is well worth it.
There is nothing like getting fighting fit while learning Thai boxing from the original source. No matter what your fitness goals, the Rawai gym will customize a program that will exceed your expectations of what is possible!.