NB!! 2012: I should add that Promthep no longer exist, and have changed their name to Thailand Camp. I can no longer support or recommend this camp for anyone. Please read Danny Avisons blog before you make a decision. For training in Phuket, I have several really good friends, who enjoys training in Sinbi Muay Thai. Also Tiger provides good facilities – please read below.
Argh – home cold home. Just landed in a deep freezer, Icebox – Ice cube machine. Every time I look out the window, I half expect to see a penguin come waltzing by. So far, only thing that happened, is a frozen nose.
Being back and getting my Thai adventure on a distance, makes me mostly sad about missing the endless days of sun, training, eat – sleep and more training. Both Promthep Gym and Tiger Muay Thai delivered what promised: days filled with grueling muay thai training. Lots of technic, power, stamina and tricks -and the more un-charming part – thais making fun of helpless falangs trying to find the muay thai rhythm.
In Tiger Muay Thai several of the trainers used the rounds of shadow box to act ‘falang muay thai’ for each other – and break down laughing at the sight of each other (and us – the falangs). In Promthep – I had Buakaws old trainer arrogant showing me my faults. It lasted just until the morning I showed with a black eye – where he almost delighted remarked: uh.. you.. black eye, no make up, good! good! After that he showed me the correct answer, without the whole circus show – which for me, made the experience better. But writting this – please also take into account, that I know its part of the training circuit in Thailand. So Im neither offended or angry about the experiences. Its simply just a fact of being falang, trying to learn – and when you first do learn, and step into the ring – you do get the respect. My warrior is one of those warriors – and his old trainers still remember and talk about him with high regard – even there has been a million studens after him.
For the black eye – really dont know how I got it. Can only say, I have to keep my guard up. Haha. Only thing thats a bit annoying, is that here in Denmark everyone looks at me, like: ‘look at the poor girl, getting beat up by her boyfriend‘. Which is somewhat a bad experience – being looked at as a victim – when you feel like you accomplish something everytime you get your as* to the gym. Funny how a black eye symbolizes something different in different environments for different people.
Trainer capacity in both camps are great. Tiger has without doubt more trainers than Promthep – and have very good trainers on all levels. The camp features areas for all levels in muay thai – from beginners to fighters. In Promthep everyone trains together – but in the last 3o minutes of training, one can choose between technique and sparring. So that leaves room for both the fighter training for fight and the beginner trying to learn. For me it meant, I made use of both offers – as I might have a fight coming up – I needed a little sparring too. Unfortunately my first sparring session turned out to be a poor cup of coffee – so to speak. Sparring with one of the trainers, I had expected to be pushed much more – to the point of having the resemblance to a fish on land in the breaks. But to my regrets, he started talking more than moving – maybe a clear morning sign – maybe something different, but a dissapoinment to me.
But staying for not even a week in either camp, makes it hard to get the best out of training – and out of the trainers. One of the first questions are: How long are you staying – and I guess based on that answer, they also form their oppinion on how much to invest in you. But – as I also noticed, telling my old trainer Phut in Tiger, that I had a fight coming up, made a big difference in both choice of training partners (got teamed up with a trainer), and in the work load. And I guess, had I had more time in Promthep, same would have happend here – as I saw they took good care of the guys who were fighting.
Life in both camps also separated from the facts of size, surroundings and also a part of the training was conducted differently. As I might have mentioned before – the ‘partner up’ thing in Tiger Muay Thai meant, that one might risk getting a shitty training session, because of a shitty partner. That wouldn’t happen in Promthep, as no one would team you up with another falang to be taught muay thai. Promthep was definitely old school, and had the thais teaching the falangs. But that – and the 4 minute rounds, to Tigers 3 minute rounds was more or less the only difference between training in the two camps.
Size wise Tiger Muay Thai has on any given day between 200 – 300 students in muay thai, mma and weight training area (where NOT everyone is in class however). Promthep might be max 30 – spread on both muay thai and detox students. So chance of getting a social life – or the resemblance of a summercamp is way better in Tiger. If you’re more into an intimate gym, where everyone knows your name, and the trainers keeping a personal eye on you (and your black eye) Promthep might suit your needs better.
However – if the goal is getting in shape and give the body a good ‘beating’, both camps will offer you that – if you get up and go to class. Neither camp offers a morning fresh Ajarn ringing the bell, shouting ‘Get up, get up, get up’. (quote Ajarn Dang).
-On a side note: Promthep does work a lot with food and also carries the famous Green Smoothie, which is used in the Detox diet. So, if the goal are weight loss – I would recommend trying out the green smoothie diet. (It’s delicious)
Anyway being back in the deep freezer they call Denmark, I miss both gyms, my old trainers – Dang and Phut (who are now in Tiger), the good funny people I was fortunate to meet (especially my english gent – who lent me his bike) – and I miss being outside, without the chance of stumbling over a penguin or getting my bum frozen.
Training under the sunny sky, bare foot, sweat dripping and music flowing in both speakers and body – thats the best way of living.