Save your money
Summary : It's a good price for training in Thailand, but give your money to a gym that deserves it.
KC muay Thai camp is relatively new gym based in Ampur Muang, Chiang Mai which is owned by an Englishman named Kevin and a Thai named Chun (KC). Chun is the head trainer who organises and delegates, while occasionally holding pads and sparring. He is a former Northern Thailand champion with a total of 20 fights.
I arrived at this camp fresh from my first muay Thai fight which took place in some random car park in Chiang Mai. I had travelled over from Santai Muay Thai which was about 10 minutes down the road, if I remember correctly.
I was on my first trip to Thailand and had been here for around 4 weeks at this point so everything was new to me. I never really trained muay Thai at home, just Jeet Kune Do for about 7 years which is entirely different.
The first thing I noticed as I pulled up at KC Muay Thai in a clapped out old tuk tuk was the large, open plan of the gym. It was very well equipped with several bags, large ring and the mats and pads were in good condition.
The Thai fighters in the gym were all kids and teenagers who were 50kg or below, so that meant I was restricted to training only with other westerners during my stay. The Thais lived together in the rooms through the doors you can see in the photo above.
There were about 10-15 foreigners training at the gym from various countries including a group of Norweigans from an MMA gym in Oslo and a few guys from Australia and England too.
The sessions at KC Muay Thai begin with a 4km running route which mostly takes you along a main road, despite the gym’s fairly remote location, which was disapointing. Once back at the gym, Chun usually got us all on ropes for 15 minutes before moving onto shadow boxing, bags and pads.
There were around 5 trainers per session so there were no problems wit the trainer to student ratio. The padwork was OK from what I remember, not much technique taught though. All rounds are timed by Chun who walks around the gym with a stop watch and shouts at people.
One of the biggest problems I had with this gym was the sparring and, in particular, the clinching. With clinching, I was paired up with the same guy every session by Chun. At the time, I had no idea what I was doing, and neither did this other guy. It was like the blind leading the blind when I look back on it. No instruction from any trainers whatsoever.
Sparring was just totally OTT. Actually, I remember Kevin (the owner) watching me getting beaten up by one of his fighters and laughing.
There’s not really any instruction or actual teaching in KC Muay Thai. However, the training is really tough. Chu won’t let you rest for a second when you’re on the bag, or any other activity for that matter.
When I told Chun that I needed to learn some technique, to be fair to him, he did show me and my partner some stuff but I think you will have to make a point of requesting this type of training every day or you just won’t get it.
As my time here went on in KC, I got an increasingly bad feeling from Kevin’s wife. She basically deals with all the finances in the gym, as well as cooking the meals for the visitors every day. But this woman is a serious control freak when it comes to money. I mean, she is constantly reminding you of when your next payment is due and asking you for money in advance. If you get a 10 baht bottle of water on tick from the gym shop, you’ll know about it the very next time she sees you!
I’ve seen this kind of thing before when Thai girls marry foreigners; they come into a bit of money for the first time in their lives and they put themselves on a pedastool and go on a powertrip with it all. A few women like this give Thai ladies a bad name.
Anyway, I got the feeling that KC Muay Thai is purely a business with little traditional values. The facility was actually built specifically for Kevin and Chun just a few years ago so there is no history in the gym, no champions have been made here and that is very apparent.
If you want a fitness holiday then go to KC Muay Thai but if you actually want to learn muay Thai then go somewhere where they’ll actually teach you muay Thai.
There is a block of apartments directly opposite the gym which the owners can rent on your behalf from 2,000-10,000 baht per month. Most of the visitors stayed in a hotel which was a ten minute bike ride away and cost 500 baht per night.
I was on a budget so I opted for the 2,000 baht per month option. It sounds lovely; air conditioned, ensuite apartment, but you’ll never get to sleep in this place. It’s one of those places that doesn’t have real glass in the windows and you can hear cockerals crowing all hours. I mean ALL hours. Insomnia for 3 weeks.
I actually bought some 10mg valiums and popped one as I got in bed, I ended up taking ten of them and stayed up all night buzzing. I have no idea what was in those things, all I know is, I got on a bus to Koh Phangan the very next day and went to the full moon party to rave.
Dishes at the gym cost between 30 and 50 baht per dish which is pretty standard for Chiang Mai. In fact, 50 baht is probably a bit on the steep side. The food is basically the same thing day in, day out, so I got pretty bored of it after a few days. You can also pay monthly for the food to get a discount but I can’t remember how much it was now (sorry).
One session: 300 baht
Two sessions (daily): 500 baht
One week: 2500 baht
One month: 8,000 baht
The camp itself is located in a fairly secluded area with the nearest landmark being a Big C shopping centre about ten minutes walk away. The closest town is 15 minutes away and the airport is actually only a 10 minute drive from the gym.
KC Muay Thai Camp Address: 378 Moo 7, Tambon Mae Hia, Ampur Muang, Chiang Mai, Thailand 50100
KC Muay Thai Gym Map
Download the FREE ebook 20 Tips For Training in Thailand for tips on meeting girls, saving money, maximising your time, and fighting in Thailand.Follow MuayThaiScholar