Khongsittha Muay Thai, Gym Review by Muay Thai Athlete.
I get into the cab on on the bottom floor of Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK), my clock still set eleven hours back. It is well past midnight as I get out of the taxi at the Kiatthada House & Resort adjacent to the Khongsittha Muay Thai gym. An older Thai gentleman grabs my bags just as I begin to worry that I arrived too late in the night. My room had already been booked online so I head straight in after being assigned a number. I grab my bags as the Thai gentleman reaches for them – they quite possibly outweigh his small frame.
Accommodations and Surroundings
The hotel-like accommodations are much nicer than I am used to in Thailand. A king sized bed, hot water, A/C, and even a small workplace beside the balcony, perfect for writing or relaxing in-between future sessions. I test the WiFi and it seems to be working very well for Thai standards, which often times is an unbearable connection.
Khongsittha Muay Thai is located in the Lat Phrao area of Bangkok, Thailand, an area I have not been familiar with in the past. It is located to the North-East of central Bangkok, far enough from the tall buildings, but not quite as far out as the grassy farmlands surrounding Bangkok. The distractions are minimal and the night life isn’t very prevalent here (at least a 20-30 minute cab ride away); although, a live music bar opened up nearby from the updates I have heard.
As fighters we rely on our discipline, but when we have minimal distractions, it forces us to communicate with one another and to create a stronger bond as a team. It allows you to have extra time to recover between and after sessions, to focus on your goals, and to spend extra time in the gym that would otherwise be rushed.
With that said, there are options that will keep you entertained day in and day out if that is your preference. But first, let’s talk about the core purpose of the camp, the training.
The appeal Khongsittha still holds in my head to this day is a two parter; the programming and the professionalism.
Yes, I said programming within a Muay Thai gym in Thailand
In addition to the two main training areas which hold two full-sized rings and various heavy bags, there is an entire section of the compound dedicated to strength and conditioning.
The programming is done by none other than Brett Taylor, the head Strength and Conditioning Coach at the Thailand Institute of Sport (Sports Authority of Thailand) all in cooperation with the Thai trainers. This created a unique blend of periodized training I have never experienced in Thailand. Dependent on the intensity of the session, the run may range anywhere from 5-10km. Every Saturday the fighters take an ice bath directly after the morning strength and conditioning session to aid in recovery. Sprints in compliment to the lengthy aerobic work are also implemented into the training regimen.
The Muay Thai training sessions themselves are similar to what you may have experienced in most Thai gyms. A run or jump rope to warm up followed by wrapping of the hands, shadowboxing, pad work, bag work, and 20-30 minutes of either clinch or sparring. At the time that I was there, we had our own personal trainer who ran 20 minutes of core and aerobic conditioning to finish off the sessions.
The trainers at Khongsittha bring the professional feel to the regimen, although always smiling and having a good time, they all dress in professional attire and work in-sync with the head trainer and the owners. This means that when you are matched for a fight, there is a well-cared for process in place. You are not being thrown in with the wolves for the sake of making the gym money or to fill a spot.
Personally favorite trainer was Pong who always has a smile on his face, even when pushing me to my limits. Another selfish reason why I would run over to him for pad work and clinch was because he is a tall Thai trainer.
Kru Ruey was my runner up as he was much smaller than I, despite this, he was probably my favorite personality in the camp with the quickest freestyle pad hold reaction time I have ever experienced.
The fight opportunities available are the same as for the Thais training within the camp. The two Thai fighters that I most commonly worked with made consistent appearances on Thai Fight, Super Muay Thai, Maxx Muay Thai, and MX Muay Extreme [Muay Thai with MMA gloves].
For those of an amateur level, there are also local shows such as Asiatique for the beginners.
Things to Do Between Training Sessions
In the local area there are a number of Thai restaurants, a night market, and even an organic coffee shop with speedy WI-FI. If you are looking to venture out to the nearby mall, you can do so by foot within 20 minutes, or take a 5 minute cab ride that will cost you only 50 Baht (Less than 2$ USD).
The mall is a chain within Thailand called Central Festival, it is an immense shopping center that contains an organic food market, food court, restaurants, coffee shops (including Starbucks), and a next-generation movie theater. The movie theater has IMAX, 3D, 4D, and VIP screens, serving coffee and other goodness throughout the experience.
One of the owners is good friends with Buakaw and a commentator on Super Muay Thai, which gives you opportunity to go and see almost any of those shows live in the studio. If you are looking to head over to the major stadiums or any other shows there is always someone within the staff that is happy to help, just ask.
Final Thoughts on Khongsittha Muay Thai
Khongsittha seems to be a good blend of training for those who are serious about Muay Thai, but aren’t looking to rough it out in an old school gym – in return skipping a few issues that may arise from that type of training and guidance in terms of communication. The gym is clean and embodies all that you need, although you are not near the beach, you can use that to your advantage as mentioned earlier. It is a good place to train hard and to stay focused, but comfortable when resting.
Learn More About Khongsittha:
Address: 23 Sukhonthasawat Rd. Ladphrao, Bangkok 10230 Thailand
Monday – Sunday: 09.00 – 12.00 and 15:00 – 21:00
Phone: +662.932.9911 (For English inquiries: +669.272.96907)
Paul Banasiak is a Professional Muay Thai fighter/addict, 9x champion, trainer, and fitness professional currently living, training, and fighting in Thailand. After leaving medical school without looking back, he decided to fully follow his passion of helping others become the best version of themselves, creating MuayThaiAthlete.com. A website for those who are already passionate individuals that want to take their life, mindset & training to the next level.
Today we begin forging our bodies and
strengthening our limitless minds.
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