Summary : Good technical shadow work but just "ok" in all departments really. A bit on the expensive side too.
After my not-so-amazing experience at 13 Coins Gym, I headed to Sasiprapa Gym in Bang Kapi, Bangkok. It’s one of the more established gyms in Bangkok, having been around for more than 40 years so I was keen to check it out. Although the camp provides accommodation, I decided to stay at a hotel about 5 minutes from the gym as I lived in muay Thai gyms for over a year previously and prefer not to these days. Staying at the camp is certainly a good experience if you’ve never tried it, but I’m over it.
However, just gonna throw this out there – after having more than a few near-death experiences going to and from the gym, I’ve now come to the conclusion that all Bangkok motorbike taxi drivers are insane and that I need to stop accepting rides from them. Bear that in mind when choosing accommodation!
Sasiprapa gym is managed by Thakoon Pongsupha, eldest son of Grand Master Chanai Phongsupha who created the gym in 1975. Thakoon will help out with technique every now and again, but doesn’t really get too hands-on with the training.
When I stepped through the gym doors I was surprised to see very few Thais training and a large number of foreign visitors. The ratio was probably about 4:1, with only 2 or 3 Thais. There is currently a fighter named “Buriram Sasiprapa” who is an absolute beast. He’ll kick the hell out of the pads all day long and still not take a deep breath. You’ll see him in the YouTube clip below. I know there are a few good Thais here but they were not present during my stay. I know Rungravee had just fought so he was taking a break, but I’m unsure of the other Thais whereabouts.
Sasiprapa gym itself is quite small with only one ring and about 8 bags. The floors are matted but a little unclean.
I stayed here for a few days and was allocated a trainer for the duration. The morning sessions start at 08:00 or sometimes later and the afternoon sessions at 16:00. I really dislike late starts as I have barely any time to sleep before getting up to eat before the afternoon session. I’m not sure why they start so late to be honest, but I should probably just stop crying about it and crack on. Anyway, sessions start with shadow boxing, but not just a “going through the motions to waste 10 minutes” type shadow boxing. At Sasiprapa, the trainers are very attentive and will watch you closely while you train and correct techniques as you go along. Come to think of it, I basically had a trainer following me around the gym the whole time giving me pointers…
I got 4 rounds on pads in every session; 3 rounds on Thai pads and one round on focus mitts. My allocated trainer was OK, a really nice guy and was competent enough in his holding positions but not really that inventive and it became a little stale and predictable after a couple of days training with him. A few of the foreigners had fights coming up so they would do some light sparring while others began clinching. There were a few good western fighters staying at the gym when I visited; Danny Edwards, who is a highly ranked UK fighter from K-Star Legacy Gym in Birmingham was training, having just fought in the Max Muay Thai event so it was good to get a bit if clinching in with him. However, the clinching generally only lasted for 15 minutes, if at all.
There isn’t really a set regime at Sasiprapa Gym and, now that I think of it, I don’t actually know who the head trainer is. Kru Sit would take me over to the bags and get me to drill out knees, kicks and elbows after I’d finished clinching or hitting pads. He’d never have you standing with nothing to do. He’s 54 years old so he doesn’t hold pads but he is a really enthusiastic trainer.
One of the things I wasn’t happy about, however, was having to drill basic techniques with other foreigners. It happened a few times but I just cracked on. I don’t get anything out of this type of training, especially if I’m training with an unskilled foreigner. To be honest though, what else would there have been for me to do? There were barely any Thais in the gym. There was only one Thai fighter available (and big enough) to train with the foreigners so if he wasn’t clinching then you were just left with drilling stuff on bags or partners.
Also, at 700 baht per day, Sasiprapa Gym seems way over-priced. I can’t see any justification for paying that amount of money for 3-4 hours of so-so training. Some of the morning sessions were finished after one hour and no session was longer than 2 hours. I feel as though this gym is cashing in on their past success; it won gym of the year in 2007 and has produced numerous champions over the years. But now it is just flooded with paying foreigners and very few Thais to take the gym forward.
Good attention to detail when training technique
Always kept busy
Very Few Thais
Often left training with other foreign visitors
Sessions are short
Not much clinching
Sasiprapa Gym Photos
There are 6 rooms available on-camp and lots of other accommodation within walking distance of the camp. In fact, there is a block of apartments directly opposite the gym which some of the fighters were staying at. I think they were long-stay (around 6,000 baht per month).
One session: 400 baht
One month: 12,000 baht
Sasiprapa is located in Bangkapi, close to Rajadamnern Stadium. Within a 5-minute walk from the camp there are 7/11s and a few market stalls but nothing spectacular.
Sasiprapa Gym Address: Soi Min Sakhon 9, Khlong Chan, Bang Kapi, Bangkok, Thailand
Sasiprapa Gym Map
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