Summary : I'm giving this a thumbs down because I'm a fighter, and this definitely isn't a fighters gym.
Sityodtong gym was founded in 1959 in the gym’s original location at Mabtapud, Rayong. Since then, the gym relocated to Naklue in Pattaya city and has produced a total of 57 muay Thai champions including the world famous Samart Payakaroon who now owns Poptheeratham gym in Bangkok.
With a fierce reputation for churning out world class fighters like this, I was eager to begin training at Sityodtong gym. I had just spent a week training at the Por Burapha gym which is an authentic Thai camp situated on an Army base in Chon Buri, but perhaps I was slightly naive to think that Sityodtong would be of a similar ……?
My suspicions were first aroused when I read the sign at the gym entrance which reads “Sityodtong International Training School”. Basically, this means that the gym doesn’t follow the traditional trend of training up young Thais to be champions in their adulthood, rather, they encourage foreigners to come and train at the camp to generate income that way instead. That’s fine if a gym wants to go down that route, but that’s not what it said on the gym’s website.
I got speaking to the owner and discovered that her father who started the gym had passed away a year ago. It was he who had trained numerous champions and put Sityodtong gym on the map. It takes something special to be able to do that and his daughter clearly wanted to take the gym in a different direction. Sityodtong is now a tourist camp. The days of training champions are over.
Don’t get me wrong, it still serves a purpose…just not the purpose it had described on the website. But anyway, on with the review.
When I first arrived at the camp, I asked one of the trainers what time the afternoon session started the nextday. He replied “2pm”. I thought that was a bit early, but when I showed up I understood why; Sityodtong gym doesn’t follow the same training structure as most other gyms. It’s basically one-on-one training with your pad man and then some pad work (if you want). But it’s not group training; everyone turns up at different times and does things separately. There was no sparring and no clinching in the 3 days I was there.
My trainer was decent at positioning pads and kept me on my toes. He would also spend a couple of rounds per day helping me with my elbow and knee techniques so he would glove-up and teach me a few things. Rounds were 4 minutes long with one minutes’ rest to recover. I always got my 5 rounds on pads.
There are two Thai boys training at the gym but they don’t live there. They are pretty small too so if you’re over 55kg then they won’t be much help as training partners. There were around 8 or 9 westerners training in the gym during my stay. A couple of them were fighters from Australia and one was a Spanish fighter but they were mostly tourists.
The upside of visiting this type of gym is that they are usually very clean and the staff are friendly, as is Sityodtong gym.
Not much else to say. If you’re in Pattaya and you want a quick blast on the pads for 300 baht then give Sityodtong gym a go. If you’re looking for somewhere with a friendly, non-intimidating atmosphere to train and maybe lose weight, then Sityodtong is a good place to come. However, if you’re looking for authenticity, tough/fighter training then I don’t advise this gym. A better option for a fighter or more serious muay Thai practitioner would be Sor Klinmee gym which is about a five-minute motorbike ride away.
Floors are matted
Very clean gym
Trainers teach technique and correct mistakes
Owner and staff are friendly and welcoming
Only a couple of young Thai fighters
Training starts late
Virtually no sparring or clinching
The gym doesn’t train as a group
Extremely laid back
Sityodtong Gym Photos
Sityodtong gym doesn’t offer camp accommodation but there are a couple of hotels 5 minutes’ walk away.
One session: 300 baht
Two sessions (daily): 500 baht
One week: 5,500 baht
One month: 10,000 baht
Private training: 600 baht
The soi that Sityodtong gym is located on is really quiet. If you’re staying at one of the hotels I mentioned then you’ll have to walk for 8-10 minutes to find a restaurant. A 10-15 minute walk will bring you to a busier road which has a few restaurants/market stalls and 7/11s but that’s about it. A distraction-free environment at least.
Sityodtong Gym Address: 36/7 Moo 6 Nongprue Banglamung Chonburi Thailand, Pattaya, Thailand 20260
Sityodtong Gym Map
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