Muay Thai v Kickboxing

Muay Thai v Kickboxing

Yodsanklai Showcases How to Beat a Kickboxing Opponent

One of the biggest rivalries in stand up striking is Kickboxing vs Muay Thai. Given the fact that most Kickboxers fighters don’t train with elbows, clinching, or throws, it is only a fair fight if Thai fighters fight under the Kickboxing rules. This means that in every “Kickboxing vs Muay Thai fight,” it is essentially a Kickboxer vs Muay Thai Fighter who isn’t allowed using half of his weapons.

Recently, more Thai fighters have been fighting in Kickboxing promotions, in pursuit of a bigger pay day. For Muay Thai fighters who don’t have good boxing skills, this can often result in Knockout losses.

This fight between Yodsanklai vs Marat Grigorian showcases the classic matchup of Kickboxing vs Muay Thai in a Kickboxing setting. Check out the full fight below:

Yodsanklai Fairtex vs Marat Grigorian @Kunlun Fight:

Differences in Blocking Kicks

Yodsanklai instragram

A very noticeable difference between between Kickboxing and Muay Thai is the way fighters block body kicks. Instead of using their legs to absorb the impact of the kick, Kickboxers use their arms to absorb the damage of the kick. While this does a good job of protecting the side of the body from any impact, the arm and elbow take a lot of damage from the kicks.

Repetitive kicks to the arm over time will weaken a fighters punching ability as the fight wears on. Over time a fighter will have less knockout power in the later rounds of the fight.

Yodsanklai exploits this difference against Marat Grigorian, beating his opponent with relative ease. There was no time in the fight where he was in danger from Marat, a fighter who packs a strong punch. (Marat recently Knocked out Aikpracha)

The Basics Win Fights

Right Jab Instagram

Since Yodsanklai Fairtex is a southpaw fighter, his left kick is his weapon of choice. He demonstrates that you don’t have to be fancy to win fights, you just have to be effective at what you do. Instead of throwing a variety of flashy kicks, the whole fight he smashes his left kick against his opponent who is unable to block it.

Throughout the entire fight, Yodsanklai uses 3 basic moves that win him the fight: Right Jab, Left Straight, Left Body Kick

No flashing spinning back fists, flying knees, head kicks or anything else. His opponent was not blocking his body kicks, so why would he change something that was working? Even though Yodsanklai has a lot more tools at his disposal, he knew that his opponent had a lot of knockout power in his hands.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”

Marat’s strategy the entire fight was to come forward with aggressive punches and try and get a knockout win. While this strategy is effective against Thai fighters who lack boxing skills, it is not a winning strategy against Yodsanklai.

Yodsanklai once again showcases why he is the best Thai fighter that is currently fighting foreigners at the higher weight classes. His mix of timing, power and speed make him a tough matchup for anyone, regardless of their fighting style.


How do Muay Thai Fighters earn in Thailand?

If you study of Muay Thai, chances are you do it for the love and not the money. More than likely you’ve heard since day one… “This sport isn’t about becoming rich.” But still, most Muay Thai fighters are struggling to get that break, to land the fight that will put them on the map to finally score a big day payday.

But how much is that payday exactly? In MMA, we see great champions are making huge amounts of cash and even huger sponsorship deals. More than likely, those at the top of the sport are at least earning in the six figure range, sometimes more. So how do these contracts compare to a top of the line Muay Thai fighter, holding a belt in the prestigious Lumpinee or Rajadamnern stadiums?

A current Lumpinee champion makes roughly 60,000 baht per fight (Around £1,200) Only after the gym takes their cut of profits, fighters are typically left with around 20,000 baht for themselves (£400). Doesn’t seem fair or much does it?!

There are ways for Thai fighters to earn significantly more money through gym bets. You might have seen certain fights advertised as having a 1,000,000 baht prize placed on them. These are usually large bets put on particular fights for gym owners to make an extra bit of money if they feel like their guy has a significant advantage going in. If a fighter invests his own money into the bet, it’s possible that he will receive a cut of the earnings. Of course, this is a very dangerous game. Losing means sacrificing an already minuscule paycheck, and perhaps being forced to fight more frequently to make up the difference.

Despite Thailand being a land where the cost of living is much lower than much of the western world, £400 per fight is still not very much money, especially at the highest possible level of the sport. Not only that, but the 60,000 baht pay day is only for top of the line competitors that have already established names for themselves.

Fighters that aren’t champions usually receive somewhere between 10 and 15,000 baht (£200 – £300). It can vary depending on how much interest there is for a fight, betting, and other factors, but typically the price range stays within those two numbers.

For farang (foreign) fighters, the paydays are much less. A foreign fighter will earn between 2 and 5,000 baht per fight if they are competing at Lumpinee stadium. This comes out to less than £100 per match-up.

There is more demand for farangs in the outlying markets, like Phuket and Koh Samui. Foreigners can make significantly more in Bangla than anywhere else, because that’s what the gamblers and audience come to see.

The real market for Muay Thai lies outside Thailand. International fighters can often earn more than double what Lumpinee champions pull in, despite the quality of competition being much lower. It is not incredibly difficult for a decent Thai to make over 100,000 baht per fight. It’s also much easier for farang fighters to come by competition their own weight, at a price that allows them to live above the poverty line.

Because of the low pay for Thai boxing within Thailand, many former Lumpinee or Rajadamnern champions end up in demeaning or ill-fitting jobs after their careers are over. There is not enough money saved up to retire comfortably, nor do they have many skillsets beyond the scope of muay thai. To make a living, skilled nak muays absolutely must take up a coaching position. Finding a teaching position inside the country is difficult, considering the market is already flooded with extremely high level trainers. Going international is an option, but many former fighters don’t want to be away from their friends and families for extended periods of time.

Right now, gamblers in muay thai are making huge amounts of money off the fighters, who are seeing very little of it for their efforts. We can only hope that the future sees either a change in the wages for some of the greatest athletes in combat sports, or newer organizations give stadium fighters the amount of money we all know they are worth.

How to score in Muay Thai

How to score in Muay Thai Workshop


Sunday 29th March @7:30pm

With Kru Shaun Boland

This is a hands on course which will cover correct and effective scoring techniques in addition to teaching the rules & regulations governing Muay Thai scoring. This course will benefit fighters, coaches and anyone who wishes to receive a better understanding of scoring in Muay Thai.

Course content

  • Introduction
  • Muay Thai scoring criteria
  • Scoring strategies (offensive & defensive)
  • Fouls
  • How to effectively score using:
    1. Kicks
    2. Knees
    3. Punches
    4. Elbows
    5. Clinch
    6. Off balancing
    7. Trips


Normal training session fee for Chao Phraya licensed students.


Pornsanae Sitmonchai Retires

Muay Thai Legend Pornsanae Sitmonchai Retires

Life After Fighting:

When Pornsanae Sitmonchai stepped into the ring in Bangkok’s Omnoi Stadium last Valentine’s Day, not even the owner of his gym knew he intended it to be his last fight. The Sitmonchai team prepped him backstage, wrapped his hands and rubbed him with oil. Pornsanae, normally exuberant and outgoing, pulled into himself and concentrated on the battle ahead.

It was a high-stakes fight; he was defending his Omnoi title. He freely admits he’s afraid of losing every time he steps into the ring, “but this fight was different,” he said. “It was even worse because I knew it was my last.” It was a lot of pressure, and he was bearing it mostly alone.

He’d been on the fence for weeks about retiring, hadn’t even fully decided to retire until a few days before the Omnoi match. About a week before the fight, he approached his close friend and fellow fighter Jun (Thepnimit Sitmonchai), and told him about his plan to retire. He asked Jun not to tell P’ Ae, the gym’s owner. Jun agreed to keep quiet. He and Pornsanae had grown up together, training and living alongside one another at Sitmonchai for the past nearly 20 years. For the few days leading up to the fight, Jun and a handful of Pornsanae’s other closest friends at Sitmonchai were the only ones who knew this fight would be his last.

None of Pornsanae’s friends was surprised to hear he wanted to retire. At age 34, Pornsanae has amassed around 300 fights and a reputation for a wildly entertaining, aggressive, unrelenting fighting style. With that style, however, comes the danger of injury, especially the cumulative effects of knockouts and concussions.

Recently married and now with a young family, Pornsanae had been questioning his decision to keep fighting since his daughter was born nearly two years ago. In the ring, his aggressive tactics suggested fearlessness. Outside the ring, however, he worried about the effects such a career might have on his health. “When I was younger,” he said, “I was never afraid of anything. But now that I have a family, I’m afraid I’ll die soon if I keep fighting.” His interactions with other pro fighters, mostly Western-style boxers, gave him pause. “You can tell when you talk to these boxers that most of them don’t function at a hundred percent anymore. It scares me that someday I might become like that.”

The first sign of trouble happened during a plane flight in early 2013. Pornsanae had just lost a fight by decision to Michael “Tomahawk” Thompson in Australia. It was a full-rules, caged Muay Thai show in which the fighters wore MMA gloves, far smaller than the gloves Pornsanae had been using in his 20-year career.

On the plane home from Australia, Pornsanae’s head started aching. This was unusual for him, and he worried about what it signified. Thompson hadn’t knocked him out, but Pornsanae had been given two standing eight-counts during the three rounds. Once back in Bangkok, he hurried to the hospital.

He told the doctors he’d been fighting since he was 11 years old—more than 20 years of shots to the head. The doctors understood his career as a Muay Thai fighter meant he had to continue fighting to support his family. They told him to keep coming back for regular checkups, gave him pills they said would increase blood flow to his brain.

Pornsanae’s fans and fight critics were taking notice. Comments and blog posts started showing up, calling for him to retire, alleging that Sitmonchai Gym was forcing him to fight. In Thailand, however, it’s not always a straightforward transition from earning a living as a fighter to earning one as a trainer, or any other job. Hundreds of high-level Muay Thai boxers retire every year, often with no certain method to support themselves. Some fighters become trainers; many do not. Motorcycle taxi stands and fruit stalls are populated with former fighters trying to get by.

Like many other fighters approaching the end of their career, Pornsanae felt the pressure. “You get to a point where you can’t fight, so you have to find some new experiences, do something else. I can’t be a boxer forever, and I have to find other ways to make money. Most of all, I have to think about my family.”

“People were analyzing his knockouts and fighting style, talking about his life and what he should do, without actually talking to him to see what his wants and needs were,” said Abigail McCullough, foreign liaison of Sitmonchai and a resident of the gym for the past five years. “They have no idea what his life is like. I was getting pissed off at these people who were writing about Pornsanae’s life from their positions of privilege, espousing to know what’s best for him. It’s creepy moral arrogance. It’s all well and good to say he should be retiring, but are you going to pay for his kid’s food? If you’ve been here [in Thailand] any length of time, you know these fighters fight for survival. It’s how they provide for themselves and their families. Other people’s values, all the critics saying he needs to retire from fighting, it doesn’t apply in his world. Everyone knows he’s getting old and that he needs to stop fighting. But this is the current state of Muay Thai. It’s changing all the time, and now luckily these retired fighters are finally getting better options for their post-fight careers. But the transition is not always easy.”

When he stepped into the Omnoi ring for the last fight of his career, Pornsanae wasn’t thinking about what he’d do after fighting. He told himself this was it, his last fight, so put in one hundred percent. He wanted to leave a legacy, what he called “a beautiful history.”

From the red corner, Pornsanae squared off against his opponent, Petch GL Suit. The fight lasted only two rounds. Pornsanae knocked Petch down with an elbow in the second round. Petch jumped back to his feet quickly but shakily, received a count from the ref. Looking to end it before Petch could fully recover, Pornsanae pushed forward, fired a sharp low kick, stepped in and leveled Petch with his punches.

Petch collapsed onto his back. The ref waved it off, fight over. Pornsanae raised his hands and danced around the ring, leaped onto the neutral corner and faced the cheering gamblers in the stands, mouth agape in the half-crazed ecstasy of knowing he did it, he retired as a champion, an old fighter at 34 and now permanently a legend in Muay Thai.

Back in the dressing room after the fight, Pornsanae broke the news to gym owner P’ Ae that he was officially retiring from fighting. P’ Ae and Pornsanae had grown up sharing a room; they were like brothers. Keeping the secret from him had been hard. Pornsanae apologized for not telling P’ Ae sooner, saying it would have been too stressful before such an important fight. P’ Ae was understanding, and completely supportive of his decision to retire.

Pornsanae was relieved to let his secret out to everyone at the gym. Making the decision to retire and then keeping it from his fight family had been an emotional burden. “He was afraid even to tell me,” said Abigail, Jun’s partner and close friend of Pornsanae. “But the truth is, we all wanted him to retire. We wanted him to take care of himself, didn’t want his health to suffer. He himself had said a few times that he was getting too old.”

According to Abigail, one of the biggest hurdles to Pornsanae’s retirement was money. “He didn’t have anything that would pay as well as his fighting career so we all knew he was inclined to keep fighting. He has a new family so of course he wants to make as much money as he can while he still can.”

What prompted Pornsanae to hang up his gloves once and for all was a call from Evolve MMA in Singapore, a highly regarded gym famous for its coaching staff of retired champions. The day after Pornsanae’s Omnoi fight, Evolve MMA announced he would soon be joining their team as a trainer.

In his 23-year career, Pornsanae has seen the sport of Muay Thai go from being nearly exclusively Thai to internationally famous. This foreign interest in Muay Thai is providing him a smooth path from famous fighter to highly sought trainer. Pornsanae, who was born into a poor family in rural Kanchanaburi Province, will be making a base salary of approximately 100,000 baht a month (about $3,100), not counting additional private lessons. He’ll potentially make more in a month than many of his countrymen make in a year. Not bad for a high school dropout who grew up fighting for a living.

Pornsanae is scheduled to depart Thailand in March 2015. He plans to work the next few years in Singapore, taking a break every four months to visit his family in Thailand. Working as a fighter and now a trainer abroad present challenges to his family, but both the financial and emotional stability of his family are paramount to him. “When I was growing up,” he said, “my parents were never very warm and we were not very close. Now that I have my own family, I want to give them the warmth I didn’t have growing up. Unfortunately while I was fighting, I had to be very focused and disciplined, so I didn’t have much time for my family. Now I’m going away to Singapore, which is necessary because I have to provide for my family, but I plan to come home as often as I can, and have them come visit me too.”

Knowing the kind of person Pornsanae is, some of his gym friends have started making bets as to how long he’ll last at his new job. “Some of us think he won’t last more than a few months away,” Abigail said. “He’s such a homebody! He hates being away from home.”

The high salary and good working environment are appealing to Pornsanae, but what he’s most looking forward to about Singapore, he says, is being so close to Universal Studios. “I can’t wait to bring my family there. I’ve been to a lot of countries, but Singapore is my favorite because Universal Studios is right there and I can go all the time now.

“I won’t stay in Singapore forever, though,” he said. “I’m doing this to earn money for my family, and we will ultimately stay in Thailand. Kanchanaburi is my home; Sitmonchai is my home. I will always come back here.”


Life of a Pad-Man

Life of a Pad-Man

A Muay Thai Trainer’s Remorse

He was splitting coconuts with a machete outside his elderly aunt’s cement-block house when we approached. He acknowledged me politely and gave my friend Frances a wide, welcoming grin.

“This is Dam,” Frances said. “He’s the best trainer I’ve ever worked with.”

He invited us to sit on a woven grass mat laid out on the cemented porch. “Here,” he handed us a pot. “Have some coconut water.”

Dam’s aunt emerged from her one-room house, stepped into the sunlight and squatted next to us. “What you want for dinner? We have fish,” she said, hobbling around for the ingredients. Permanently bent at the waist from a lifetime of working in rice fields, unable to stand up straight without pain, she lives her life close to the ground, fluidly moving between sitting, squatting, and half-standing.

“Dam stays here sometimes,” Frances told me. “He bounces around and stays with various family and friends in the area. He’s homeless. Dam was living in Bangkok until I called him a few months ago. I told him I wanted him to come back to the village, be a full-time trainer at our gym Giatbundit.”

Dam had been working as a motorcycle taxi driver in Bangkok, holding pads for the kids at his friend’s gym in the evenings. When Frances called and offered him a job back in his hometown, he packed up his Bangkok life and came home.

Extended family of Dam by marriage, Frances began training with Dam at Bor. Breechaa Gym in Bangkok about 10 years ago. “Best trainer I’ve ever worked with,” she said again. “Good talker too. He’ll ask you for a bottle of Lao Khao, and then he’ll tell you some stories, whether you want to hear them or not.”

“What’s Lao Khao?” I asked.

“Thai rice whiskey, cheaper than moonshine.”

This was my first time meeting Dam but I thought I’d heard his name before. I remembered my interview with Namkabuan, a former champion and now gym owner in Buriram. He had mentioned someone named Dam, said he was the “number one pad-man” in Thailand.

“Yeah,” Frances said, “it’s the same guy. Everyone knows he’s a great trainer, and everyone knows he’s also a drunk. He’s famous for both.”

We had stopped by Dam’s aunt’s house for Frances to pick up clams and crabs for dinner, but I wanted to know more about Dam. He was tall, bigger than most of the other people I’d seen in the village. There was a sadness to him hidden among his initial exuberance. Here he was, the best trainer my friend Frances had ever worked with, now homeless in his own village among the rice paddies.

“He’s bad,” Frances said. “Dam’s a broken man. I’ve been hearing stories about him since I first arrived in this village nearly 10 years ago. We train here in the village now because he got kicked out of Giatbundit. He punched out a fighter, broke his teeth, because the fighter said something about how he shouldn’t criticize others without looking at himself first.”

Frances calls him a product of his surroundings. “They say he’s a drunk, yet they pay him in Lao Khao.”

His childhood was spent fighting in Isaan, under the guidance of a local gambler who appointed himself as Dam’s de facto manager. With no gym and no trainer, Dam learned by fighting, watching other boys fight, shadowboxing in his backyard and hitting a spare rice sack stuffed with whatever he could find. “It was a luxury to hit the rice bags,” he said. “They broke down quickly, and they were hard to find because they were needed for farming.”

He told me about the slow evolution from fighter to trainer, starting in his early 20s when he moved to Bangkok and volunteered to hold pads for the other fighters when he felt the gym’s trainers weren’t giving them enough attention before big fights.

“I just wanted to help out,” he said, “and later I realized I was better suited to being a trainer than a fighter. It’s a hard life, though. I was training top names who were winning big fights, but I was barely making enough to live.

“That’s the problem with being a trainer at a a lot of gyms: you’re never paid well, never paid on time, no steady salary. Gyms naturally go through ups and downs, and it affects your wages. It’s common not to get paid at all. You’re given a place to stay and food to eat. You don’t dare ask for more.”

He looked sad, almost defeated. “Okay,” I said to him, “I want you to tell me a story: I want to hear about your biggest regret.”

His hand loosened around the coconut and he held the machete still. “My biggest regret?” he said. He paused, took a deep breath. Tears began to well in his eyes. I looked to Frances, mouthed, “Is he okay?” She pushed him for the story.

“I was 18,” he said, “supposed to fight twice in one day. In the morning I fought and won on Channel 4 in Khon Kaen, then we drove to the other venue at night.

“My opponent was an Isaan champion. I felt so lucky to fight him. I wanted a title shot, and I’d already beaten him once before. I knew beating him a second time would give me a shot at the title.

“Everyone thought I was going to win. I remember the odds were five to two, in my favor. They called the fight a ‘dream match-up’ because my opponent was a famous local champion who had a lot of big-name gamblers in his corner, and I was an unknown, but the local gamblers knew I’d already beaten him and they thought I could beat him again. Even my family was there, and they put their money on me too.”

Dam paused. He stopped and rubbed his eyes, trying to hold back tears. His aunt pushed him and told him to start helping with dinner. Dam ignored her, too engrossed in his story. “I don’t want to remember,” he said.

“I was gearing up to face the champion. And then… they told me I had to throw the fight.

“The owner of my gym said they needed money. ‘The other boys at the gym don’t have enough to eat,’ he said. ‘You have to throw this fight so we can feed the kids.’ The odds were in my favor, so whoever bet against me would have made a lot of money if I didn’t win. My own gym bet against me secretly, then told me to lose.

“I was only 18, barely more than a kid myself. I had everything going for me back then. But I had to do it. I had to throw the fight. When the owner of the gym asks you to do something, you do it. You have to. He owns the gym, he owns your contract, he owns you. ‘The kids need food, the kids need food,’ he kept saying. And it was true, the gym was poor, the other boxers did need food. I wanted to help.

“So I did what they said I had to do.

“I wasn’t even paid for the fight. The boss said he needed my purse for the gym. There was nothing I could say or do about any of it.”

Dam stopped talking abruptly to wipe tears from his eyes. I looked at Frances uncomfortably. No one had ever cried during an oral history interview before.

She was unfazed. “Alcoholics living in the past,” she said, “and now they’re stuck with no way to make money and move on from life after Muay Thai.”

Dam tried to compose himself before continuing.

“You want to know what the worst part of fighting is? It’s not the pain or the cuts on your face or the training or anything like that. The worst part of fighting is the humiliation when you lose, when everyone knows you should have won, when you know you should have won. Having to walk out of the ring with everyone jeering and booing at you, calling you worthless. Stupid. Weak.

“They all yelled and screamed at me, threw their beer cans at me after that fight. I just had to keep quiet and take it. I couldn’t defend myself, couldn’t tell them that it wasn’t my fault, that I didn’t want it to be this way. My family was there watching me and I couldn’t even look them in the eye as I left the ring. All the money my friends and family lost on me that night… I can never pay it back.

“But that’s how you have to throw a fight — you have to make sure no one can tell and that everyone thinks it’s real. I kept it a secret for years, from everyone I loved. I was so ashamed.

“It happened 30 years ago, but I still think about it often. It messed me up in the head. In the heart, too.

“Look at me now, I have nothing to show for any of it. I was a good fighter, and I trained top fighters, helped others become champions, and I never got my own shot for anything bigger. I’d be a different man now if I hadn’t thrown that fight.

“Being a trainer is hard, being a fighter is hard. People use you and then cast you aside. It’s a harsh world. Now I have a young son, not even a year old. I don’t want him to go through what I had to endure. I won’t ever let him be a Muay Thai fighter.”

Frances was the first to break the silence on our drive out of the village.

“You know his son?” she said. “He’s just a baby, but he’s going to be a fighter, no matter what Dam wants. He was born into that life. Dam couldn’t escape, and his son won’t escape either.”


Thinking of fighting

This is a short movie taken at Daria Albers last fight at King of Kings KOK. This movie shows it’s not only about the fight. It’s the mental part, the emotions, the team and the people around you… what makes all of us, love it so much.

Thinking of fighting?

Originally posted by Sandy Holt at Bolton Muay Thai, Thinking of fighting – “What does it feel like, how high up the tree do you want to climb? When a student wants to test themselves to the max in the fight area? After all those punishing weeks, training daily, dedication, discipline both physically and mentally and torturing yourself…. This is what you fell as an individual!

Featuring Miss Daria Albers from Darnell Knoch‘s HAMMERS GYM in Germany. This gives a ‘REAL’ insight into How the last Moments before you climb into and inside those four Ropes and the very lonely square ring”!!

The World’s top Muay Thai Camps

Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand, but it has become a global phenomenon with camps operating all over the world. A few Western fighters have started to make a name for themselves on the international scene. Even only a decade ago, it was almost unheard of for a foreign fighter to possess the skills good enough to win a title at Lumpinee Stadium or Rajdamnern Stadium. Thanks to trailblazing pioneers such as Rob Kaman and Ramon Dekkers in the 1980s, Muay Thai is now a global sport. While the Thais still dominate the game at the highest levels of Muay Thai in the world, the sport’s popularity has ignited across the globe.


Thailand remains the heartland of the sport and no country can come close in terms of the quantity of elite level competitors which The Kingdom continually churns out. An estimated 5,000 professional Muay Thai camps are spread all over Thailand and are situated in virtually every town. Children start at a very young age such as 5-6 years old and Muay Thai is even taught in schools. In any given year, there are an estimated 250,000 to 300,000 elite professional Muay Thai fighters competing around the country. Only the very best 500 fighters or so in Thailand make it to the big stadiums like Lumpinee or Rajdamnern in Bangkok. And still, most fighters end up failing in the big leagues. The numbers are even worse for foreigners in terms of odds for success.  For this reason, it is no surprise that most of the top camps are in Thailand, but there are some notable exceptions due to widespread proliferation of Muay Thai knowledge.


Here is a list of the world’s top Muay Thai destinations for authentic Muay Thai.

Evolve MMA

The Thai media in Thailand have crowned Evolve MMA’s Muay Thai instructor team as the greatest dream team of legends in history.  Evolve MMA in Singapore has the most decorated team of Muay Thai trainers found anywhere in the world, including camps in Thailand. It currently includes big-name legends of the sport like Namsaknoi Yudthagarngamtorn, Attachai Fairtex, Orono Wor Petchpun, and Nonthachai Sit O as well as an vast array of multiple-time Rajadamnern and Lumpinee champions including Muangfalek Kiatvichian, Chalee Sor Chaitamin, Saenghiran Lookbanyai and Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichok, Singmanee Kaewsamrit, Chaowalith JockeyGym, and many others. It also houses many champion trainers from Sityodtong Camp.

Evolve MMA offers Muay Thai classes in Singapore for the complete beginner to the advanced Lumpinee-level professional fighter. If you are looking to learn Muay Thai in Singapore, Evolve MMA is arguably one of the best Muay Thai gyms in the world. If you are looking to compete and win in Lumpinee Stadium, Evolve MMA is worth a visit to sharpen your skills against some of the best in history.


The Petchyindee gym has been one of the best in Thailand for several decades and a brand new location is currently under construction featuring state-of-the-art facilities. It will include accommodation for tourists. Historically, Petchyindee has not open to the general public, but it will be next year. It is already home to the Petchyindee stable of fighters which includes two of the best fighters of the decade in Sam-A Kaiyanghadao and Nong-O Kaiyanghadao while training is overseen by multiple time Lumpinee and Rajadmanern champion Sagat Petyindee.

Petchyindee also throws co-promotions at Lumpinee Stadium on a regular basis with their star fighters. Their fighters are well-known for their technical mastery of Muay Thai and are well-known as cardio machines. When it opens its door to foreign tourists, it is well worth a visit to see how one of the best camps in Thailand trains its legendary champions.


Sitsongpeenong is a camp that caters to Westerners with air conditioned, indoor facilities. However, do not be fooled by the luxurious settings. It has a world-class fight team which currently includes multiple-time tournament and title winner Kem Sitsongpeenong, current Thailand champion Sittichai Sitsongpeenong and former Lumpinee champion Thongchai Sitsongpeenong. It is a serious camp with serious Muay Thai. Fighters at Sitsongpeenong are known as very well-rounded with strong kicks and excellent punching power, a rarity in the world of Muay Thai. If you want to learn authentic Muay Thai, Sitsongpeenong is definitely one of the best.

There are facilities in both Bangkok and Phuket, catering to students of all levels and Sitsongpeenong regularly sends fighters to compete at all the main stadiums in Thailand with many of them highly ranked in their respective weight classes.


Despite being located on the outskirts of Phuket’s most notorious red light district, Singpatong has an excellent reputation and has helped launch the careers of top Thai and Western fighters with Pentai Sitnumnoi, Peneak Sitnumnoi and Damien Alamos all winning Lumpinee titles in recent years. Peneak was the 2011 ‘Fighter of the Year’ and the head coach, Numnoi Singpatong, has a crop of up and coming Thai youngsters coming through as well as being extremely open to Western fighters who want to come and train. The open atmosphere of this camp makes it a place to visit for the beginner and the serious fighter. Singpatong training is classic Thai-style with lots of roadwork, heavy bags, pads, and clinch work. Cardio is strongly emphasized at Singpatong.  You can learn excellent basics as well as advanced technique at Singpatong.


Located on the outskirts of Kanchanaburi, this Muay Thai camp is in a remote location, but is known for its laid-back atmosphere. However it is still home to some feared and respected fighters like Pornsaneh Sitmonchai, who has a reputation as being the most exciting Muay Thai contenders in Thailand today, and teenage prodigy Yodkhunpol Sitmonchai who recently secured a contract with international kickboxing organization Glory. Due to its remote location, the training is very spartan and hard. Roadwork is heavily emphasized with endless rounds of pad work and conditioning. The trainers at Sitmonchai have decades of experience at Lumpinee and Rajdamnern stadiums.  Do not expect special treatment as a visitor. The training is as tough as they come. If you want an immersive Muay Thai experience, Sitmonchai is one of the places to go.

Jitti Gym

Jitti Gym in Bangkok is owned by the well respected Jitti Tanongsak and while it isn’t known for producing Thai fighters it has helped launch the careers of some of the top Westerners in the sport including WBC and WMC champion Liam Harrison. Known for its family atmosphere, Jitti Gym is also home to Andy Thrasher who became the first ever non Thai to win a Toyota Marathon in 2011 and is welcoming to complete beginners as well as seasoned pros with basic accommodation available.

Tiger Muay Thai

Tiger Muay Thai is best known as a tourist destination for those who want a combination of training and fun on the beautiful island of Phuket.  The Muay Thai classes cater to students of all levels and the trainers include former Lumpinee champion Rattanachai Jadngooluem and former Rajadamnern champion Lamsongkram Chuwattana. It also has a very serious MMA program with elite competitors and instructors such as Roger Huerta and Brian Ebersole.

13 Coins

Attached to a large hotel in Bangkok, 13 Coins is run by the eccentric Mr Coke and is home to several top fighters with former ‘Fighter of the Year’ winners Saenchai PKSaenchaigym and Saengmanee Sor Tienpo both training here as well as Pakorn Sakyotin and western boxers like Kwanoichit 13coinsexpress and Pungluang Sor Singyu.


Lanna Boxing Camp, better known in Thailand as “Kiat Busaba”, is a professional boxing camp in Thailand’s northern capital city of Chiang Mai. Owned and managed as a family concern,we have worked hard over several years together with our young Thai boxers to achieve success at the top level of competition as well as being considered one of the best Northern Muay Thai Training centres. In the pleasant surroundings of our camp, as we train everyday, we offer the opportunity for people to train professionally and gain insight and understanding of the ancient art of Muay Thai.

… and of course

Chao Phraya Muay Thai 😉

Chao Pyraya (Lincoln) in Lincoln is run by the well respected Kru Leigh Edlin and while it isn’t very known as yet for producing professional fighters, it has a fantastic atmosphere and superb training and facilities. It is Chao Phraya Muay Thai Academy’s aim to introduce and promote the art of Muay Thai, Thai Culture & History within our class structure and syllabus. In addition, the academy aims to promote fitness, confidence and well being through our exercise and training prescription, welcoming to complete beginners as well as seasoned professionals.

Sourced from:

Buakaw v Kehl Scandal

K-1 MAX 2014 Final – Buakaw v Kehl

Buakaw Banchamek vs Enriko Kehl

Organisers of scandal-tainted K-1 Max wait to hear from Buakaw

On Sunday morning (October 12), a message posted on Banchamek Gym’s Facebook page said: “I apologise for making my supporters puzzled. You’ll soon understand me.”

Organizers of the scandal-tainted K-1 Max mixed-martial arts tournament are waiting to hear from two-time champ Sombat “Buakaw” Banchamek before deciding whether to sue him for walking out of Saturday’s…

Buakaw v Kehl

Muay Thai superstar Sombat “Buakaw” Banchamek battles WBC third-ranked Enriko Kehl of Germany in Saturday’s K-1 Max Final in Pattaya. Buakaw forfeited the bout when he refused to appear for a fourth deciding…

Buakaw, 31, forfeited Saturday night’s fight in Pattaya when he disappeared without explanation from the ring following the third of three scheduled rounds. Despite Buakaw widely seen as having the fight against World Boxing Council third-ranked Enriko Kehl of Germany, judges ruled the bout a draw and ordered a fourth “sudden death” round.

By then, Buakaw had left Eastern National Indoor Sports Stadium and was disqualified. By forfeiting, the missed the opportunity to become the first three-time K-1 Max champion and the 22-year-old German was crowned the new champ in the 70-kilogramme division amid boos and jeers from the crowd.

Mr Kurarc said the K-1 team was surprised by Buakaw’s disappearance and did not know the reason why he left.

“We want to hear from Buakaw the real reason he left and thoroughly investigate the case, so there is no legal action at the moment,” he said. “We will wait for Buakaw to contact us. Otherwise we will try to contact his manager.”

The Thai fighter, who has not spoken to the media, has scheduled a press conference for Tuesday afternoon at his Banchamek Gym. In the meantime, a message regarding the controversy was posted posted to the Banchamek Gym Facebook page.

“Buakaw refused to return to the K-1 ring because the rules had been changed just a few hours before the fight,” the statement claimed. It added that the changed rules banned one of Buakaw’s signature in an attempt to make the fight – in which the Thai fighter was favoured heavily – more even.

Buakaw’s gym claimed the rule change was made due to the influence of international online-gambling websites.

“There was an effort to make the fight more even because the stakes were high,” the statement said. “K-1 isn’t a legal sport and there’s not one professional sport organisation in Thailand that authorises from (South Korea) to hold it here. How did the foreign mafia come and organise worldwide sports betting in Thailand? Who should take responsible for this?”

Originally scheduled for July 26, but delayed due to the May 22 military coup, the K-1 finals were being held for the first time in Thailand. It is run by the private K-1 organisation, which hosts fights similar to Muay Thai boxing. However, the bouts use different rules and point systems and fewer moves are allowed, leading aficionados to call K-1 a “watered down” version of Thai boxing.

Buakaw won the title in 2004 and 2008. The two previously fought at Max World Champions, held in Khon Kaen on Dec 10. The Thai fighter won by unanimous decision.

Mr Kurarc insisted the rules of Saturday’s fight were the same used since Buakaw won his first title in 2004. By walking out of the bout, the Thai fighter breached his contract with K-1 Global Holdings, which Mr Kurarc said runs through September next year. He said Buakaw was paid in full Sept 22.

K-1 has seen its standing among fight fans drop precipitously in recent years amid allegations of widespread match-fixing. According to Thai media reports, Buakaw forfeited the fight the final also was “rigged.”

The fighter reportedly went to a police station last Tuesday to file a complaint about online gambling in connection with the upcoming finals.

K-1 MAX 2014 Final : Buakaw Banchamek vs Enriko Kehl


Muay thai legend Buakaw breaks silence on walkout

baukaw v khel

K-1 fighter suggests rule changes overshadowed his title fight

Controversial fighter Buakaw Banchamek yesterday defended his decision to walk out of his title fight on Saturday, saying he preferred to let the audience decide the bout’s outcome rather than the judges.

The 32-year-old’s latest antics stunned viewers when he abruptly left the ring after the regulation three-round bout against Germany’s Enriko Kehl for the K-1 under-70kg championship ended in a draw.

As a result of his vanishing act, the German was handed the title, to the bewilderment of the crowd at the Indoor Athletic Gymnasium in Pattaya.

On Monday, organisers K-1 Global Holdings told a press conference that they were hoping to hold talks to clear the air with the two-time champion, before deciding whether or not to sue the Thai for breach of contract.

Buakaw, no stranger to controversy, publicly commented on the incident for the first time yesterday when he met the media at his Banchamek gym, stressing several times that he did not want the judges to rule on the outcome of the controversial bout.

“I don’t want the [judges’] verdict on the bout. I wanted the audience to decide it for themselves. I prefer not to let the officials judge me.

“It was my own decision [not to continue the fight]. My manager and my team knew nothing about it. I did what I believed my fans and supporters would understand,” said Buakaw.

The Surin native, who made his debut in the muay thai K-1 code a decade ago, insisted he had no intention of breaching his contract and was grateful to a sport that had catapulted him to fame.

Deliberately breaching the contract “never crossed my mind. I’m fully committed to the contract. They had my respect because people knew me from K-1.”

The Thai boxer hinted at feeling unease with a change of rules prior to Saturday’s fight, saying he had no choice but to abide by it.

“I accepted the rules set by the K-1 committee. They spoke in English but I’m not sure whether my translation was correct or not.

“Since I began fighting in K-1 in 2004, they have banned the use of the elbow but allowed the fighters to use the knee. I knocked out a Japanese opponent with my knee before I went on to win the championship in my first year in sport.

“Then they changed the rules, placing restrictions on the use of the knee. They let a boxer hold his opponent before landing the knee just once per fight. More than that could result in disqualification.

“I knew there was a management change in the K-1 organisation. I’m not sure whether that had something to do with the sudden change in the rules or not.

“I have no idea whether the rule changes were made in order to improve the standard or for a different purpose. Officials asked me during the pre-fight briefing whether I had any questions. I just waved my hands to signal ‘no’. I was looking to box as usual.”

Buakaw did open the door for talks with K-1 officials to find a solution to the walkout. He said he would look at whether he still had a contract with K-1 before starting any talks.


Saenchai v Meleady



Even if they are bigger than him, his skill level is just too good. Stephen Meleady has a big heart and never quits, but was simply outclassed in this fight. I can imagine the frustration it must feel to go up against somebody with Saenchai’s skill set!

Favourite Muay Thai Fights

Favourite Muay Thai Fights

Artur Kyshenko vs Yodsanklai Fairtex Rumble of the Kings 2011

Yodsanklai Fairtex is currently on a 13 fight winning streak, he has not lost since November of 2011. The last man to defeat the Thai legend was Ukraine’s Artur Kyshenko. The pair fought on Rumble of the Kings in an exciting back and forth fight.

For fans who are used to seeing Yodsanklai dominate, they will definitely not see that in this bout. He seemed to be hurt a few times, but was able to survive and then return fire to Kyshenko. Sit back and enjoy the fight. This was definitely one of the bigger wins in Artur Kyshenko’s career as a sound game plan showed he could hang with a legend like Yodsanklai.