Worth a bash
Summary : Great location and gym but too many things let this place down.
Bangrajun Muay Thai; firstly, what a location. Wow. Training muay Thai in this gym feels like you’re in a secret haven, hidden away in the jungles of Thailand like Jean Claude Van-Damme. In reality, it is situated just off the Chalong road as you head towards the pier in Phuket. It’s not visible from the road though, and feels very secluded.
You couldn’t really ask for a better location for a muay Thai camp in Thailand.
I spent about 4 months at this camp and was sponsored by the gym during my stay; two months as a fighter and two months as a trainer. I had just wasted a couple of months fighting out of Lion muay Thai and so I made the move over to Bangrajun which was just a few minutes away on a motorcycle. The main thing that drew me to this gym though, was the promise of western boxing classes. My boxing is shit.
As well as being ideally located, Bangrajun muay Thai had good mat space, two large boxing rings and about 7 bags. When I turned up for my first session, I saw one other guy in the gym hitting the bag. That was it. He was a sponsored fighter for the gym too. Over the course of the next few months though, more visitors came, even a few more fighters. But occasionally the gym lacked training partners.
Training began with a 4-5km run around the local area of Rawai which starts at 3:30pm. The route takes you around a large lake right opposite Nai Harn beach and then back to the camp to start a few rounds of shadow boxing, before pad and bagwork.
I mainly trained pads with a French guy who came to the gym to fill in (the only other trainer was tiny). He was a good pad holder, mixing up techniques and giving instruction more than your average Thai trainer would. I always got 5×5 minute rounds on pads with him.
Clinching was pretty good as long as the French trainer was there, other than that there were no experienced fighters to train with. We clinched every day and probably sparred every other day.
The owner of the gym taught western boxing classes here too but he wasn’t much cop, if I’m being honest. He took me on pads and sparred with me every day… until one day he just stopped. Just stopped.
In fact, he didn’t really do much of anything after that. Just sat at the bar on Facebook.
I had a few fights for Bangrajun Muay Thai in the local stadiums and a couple of bigger fights on Thai Fight Ayuthaya and a fight in Cambodia on Bayon TV but, as with a lot of gyms that are run by foreigners here, the owner had no contacts in the fight business so I took it upon myself to get those fights from promoters outside of the gym.
It was like trying to draw blood from a stone when trying to get the owner (Ralph) to do anything when it came to managing the gym. Even something as simple as ordering a new ring canvas. He claimed he hadn’t been able to get hold of one since the gym opened 6 months earlier, so I Googled “ring canvas Thailand” and the canvas was ordered the same day. This guy really didn’t have a clue how to run a gym.
I took over as head trainer at Bangrajun Muay Thai for a couple of months before leaving Thailand due to an injury I had been carrying for a few months. I basically ended up managing the gym for him; everything from running the muay Thai sessions, holding pads, booking in guests, renting the accommodation and running the social media channels.
This is common in Thailand; a westerner thinks it will be a good idea to come and buy and muay Thai camp in Thailand, without any prior experience or knowledge in doing so. I guess it isn’t as easy as it looks.
All of the problems in this gym stemmed from the fact that the owner didn’t know his ass from his elbow. I don’t want to focus on that though, it’s a great facility and a great location.
Unless you come to Bangrajun Muay Thai solely for recreational purposes, you’re going to be disappointed. This gym has so much potential but is being held back by a clueless westerner.
Gym bungalows are very reasonably priced
Poor quality mats
No ring canvas
Most of your training partners are tourists
Owner does a poor job of managing the gym
Ocasionally lacks student numbers
There are two bungalows on the camp which visitors can rent. They are situated right next to the gym and both have three rooms which you can rent separately or, if you prefer, you can rent the whole bungalow. Bungalows include single and double rooms, shared bathroom, shared living space, fan and A/C and free WiFi. Booking is advised prior to arrival.
I stayed in the bungalows the whole time I was here. Great accommodation with great views.
One session: 400 baht
Two sessions (daily): 600 baht
One week: 3,000 baht
One month: 10,000 baht
Private training: 700 baht
Western boxing: 1,000 baht
Room: 450 baht per day
Bungalow: 1,200 baht per day
The camp is located in Rawai, not far from Lion Muay Thai gym. A one minute motorbike ride as you turn out to the left of the gym will take you to Nai Harn beach (below), which is also part of the running route for training.
You are within walking distance of 7/11 but you’ll probably need a bike to get to the Tesco Lotus and restaurants in the area. There is a decent massage place just around the corner from the gym too.
Pictured below – Nai Harn lake is on the daily running route. Opposite that, you have a pretty interesting little reggae bar for when you have down time.
As for nightlife, you have the Laguna club which is about a five minute drive away and a few bars in the Rawai area but nothing special. Of course, if you want a proper night out then just head over to Patong. It’s a 20 minute motorcycle ride and has all the bars and clubs you’re looking for, as well as two muay Thai stadiums which show fights 3 nights of the week at each.
Bangrajun Muay Thai Address: 87/7 Viset Road, Moo2, Rawai, Phuket 83130 Thailand
Bangrajun Muay Thai Map
21.01.2015 | As you can see from the video, the gym has new mats, an extra ring and even a ring canvas! Also, the owners of Bangrajun Muay Thai have now left the gym.
As far as I know, the gym is closed until further notice and may be up for sale. Let’s hope somebody who’s worth their salt invests in this awesome gym!
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