It's a no go
Summary : I'm not a fan of tourist camps like this one. No Thais means it's a no go.
Firstly, I apologise for the lack of original photos in this post; I messed up my camera settings somehow (sorry). Hopefully, you can get a good idea of the training at the gym from the featured video anyway. I arrived at Jitti gym off the back of a week’s training at Meenayothin gym, which was a great experience.
Meenayothin has just started to get popular with tourists. However, Jitti gym is a very well-known by foreigners so I was intrigued to see what affect that would have on the training there. Originally established in 1991, Jitti gym was one of the first muay Thai gyms in Thailand to accept foreigners in Bangkok and built a reputation as an international gym. At this time the gym was located next to Khao San road but then relocated to its current location in 2003.
With a reputation like that, I thought I would get a good few days training in at Jitti gym. I was wrong. Jitti gym is just another tourist gym in Bangkok. One of those gyms that I am really tired of seeing at this point. Like every gym in Thailand, it has its good and bad points, but the negative far outweigh the positives here.
With not a single Thai training in the facility, Jitti gym is more of a muay Thai training school than a gym. There are about 5 Thai trainers and all of the students are foreigners. I feel that, as a foreigner training in Thailand, I need to be training with good Thais and good foreigners but the level of foreigners here wasn’t high and just felt like a holiday camp.
On my first day here, I turned up at the gym at 06:30, assuming that the morning run would be underway and I could begin warming up to start training. There was nobody in the gym. Training doesn’t start until 08:30 here, which rubbed me up the wrong way from the offset. I think you can tell a lot about a gym by the time they start training. Anyway, the morning training training sessions are basically a couple of pad rounds and ten minutes clinching. Only one trainer turns up in the morning.
Afternoon sessions start at around 4pm with some skipping and shadow work. Pad rounds are 4×4 minutes which seems to be the norm for Bangkok gyms. My trainer for the few days I stayed in Jitti Gym was decent. He didn’t show too much technique when holding pads but always kept me on my toes and let me freestyle a fair bit. He’s the guy you see in the featured video throwing the guy on the ground.
No instruction or motivation was given on bag rounds, you’re pretty much left to your own devices there. Clinching never really looked like it was going to happen so I started asking the other visitors if they were clinching; most of them said that they don’t always clinch at the end of sessions so I asked one of the trainers and he made it happen. I clinched with the other foreigners in the gym for the few days I was there. This would generally last for about ten minutes, before they just decided to finish up and just left the ring. I would then sometimes do another ten minutes with one of the trainers who was a lot smaller but decent.
On a positive note, I couldn’t say enough good things about the owners and staff here; really friendly people and helped me out with maps, directions and telephone numbers when I needed to visit a clinic. The trainers are relaxed and you can have a bit of banter with them while training, which is always good. Another positive comment I would make is that the trainer I was telling you about was really good at explaining the clinching techniques. Anyone who has trained in Thailand knows that this isn’t very common! You usually “just clinch” with little or no instruction. This trainer would stop us when we were in a certain position and give us 3 or 4 variations of counters.
However, on the whole, very disappointing. Oh, and at 500 baht per session, I definitely don’t recommend training at Jitti gym. I asked the owner’s wife how much a monthly training fee would be but she just kept offering me a 10 or 30-session deal so I am unsure as to whether or not you can pay monthly. It just seems like another way to squeeze more money out of foreigners.
Floors are matted
Head trainer gives good advice when clinching
Owners and staff are very friendly and welcoming
Limited training space
No Thai fighters
Training starts late
…No Thai fighters
Rooms on-camp are simple with fan and shared shower (I didn’t get a look at them personally. There is a hotel just 30 seconds walk away which I stayed in but it’s not that nice, and a bit of a rip off at 600 baht a night. Apartments nearby cost about 6000 baht per month.Your best bet is to ask the owner if you want to stay long-term but always do a thorough check of the accommodation and don’t just take the first room you see.
One session: 500 baht
Their website says: One day training and room: 1000 baht | One month training + room: 25,000 baht – but I’m pretty sure this information is out-dated. Best phone ahead and ask the owner himself. Discounts are given for booking in advance
Jitti gym is located in the north of Bangkok with several conveniences such as restaurants, shopping centres, cinemas and muay Thai stadiums are close by. A 7/11 is right opposite the gym and a Family Mart and Tesco Express are just around the corner. The Soi itself is really busy and isn’t very nice to live on.
Jitti Gym Address: The International Muay Thai Training Gym, 12 Soi Chokchairuammit yak 29, Viphavadee Rangsit, Ratchadapisek Rd. Din daeng, Bangkok 10320, Thailand
Jitti Gym Map
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