Big thumbs up
Summary : Excellent gym. One of the only gyms that does a decent job of mixing tourist training with fighter training.
I will always have a soft spot for Wech Pinyo Muay Thai and all the people in it. This is where it all began for me; I was down on my luck and down to my last 5,000 baht when the owner (Wech) took me in and let me fight for the gym. It was here that I decided to pursue my dream of becoming a fighter. I lived at the camp for 6 months in total and fought 10 times for the gym.
Wech Pinyo Muay Thai is situated in a small town called Lamai on Koh Samui island. The gym was first opened in 2002 by Wech and Jun under the name “Pinyo” before Jun left to set up his own gym, Jun muay Thai. Wech is now the owner and head trainer of the gym and still has a couple of trainers that have been there since the gym first opened. The camp itself is located right across the road from Lamai beach.
Personnel at the gym change often. Wech is a really nice, welcoming character. He is also a hardass who runs a really tight ship when it comes to his gym and his staff. A lot of the trainers and fighters dislike this and leave pretty quickly. That being said, I’ve still never trained at a gym run as efficiently as Wech Pinyo Muay Thai. OK, it doesn’t have the world champion Thais or top class foreigners, but this certainly isn’t a gym where you’ll feel neglected or get bored quickly. The trainers here will ensure you are learning and, if you’re fighting for the gym, you’ll be well-prepared – trust me!
By the way, Wech is the guy teaching in the featured video. It’s not from my YouTube channel but it’s a video I made while I was living at the camp.
The training here can be tough if you make sure you tell the trainers you’re serious. Out of all the gyms I’ve trained at in Thailand, I still think that Wech Pinyo Muay Thai still has the best atmosphere in the evening sessions and is probably the toughest camp I’ve trained at and fought for. One of the reasons for that is that Wech cares, and you won’t get that in many gyms in Bangkok or anywhere else.
The morning training sessions are taken by the head trainer, Mono. Mono is a former Lumpinee stadium no.1, but I forget the weight he fought at. Mornings are pretty laid back; a 4km run, a few rounds on pads and a few rounds on the bag. Afternoon sessions start at 4pm with a 4km run around Lamai. You’ll run quite a nice running route through the village, past the lady boxing stadium and back to the gym via Lamai beach. Wech takes control of the afternoon sessions and they are usually pretty structured and relatively intense.
Wech starts most sessions with 20-30 minutes of technique work where he shows different drills and then gets his students to follow. He goes quite in-depth in his explanations, unlike a lot of Thai trainers. What he teaches, though, is pretty basic so it’s more for beginners really. Once you’ve been there for a month, you’ve seen it all.
Sparring usually takes place every afternoon (although it’s not compulsery) and involves 3 rounds of kick-boxing and 3 rounds of western boxing. “50% power” is re-iterated throughout by the trainers.
The pad rounds in Wech Pinyo Muay Thai are 5 minutes and visitors usually get at least 3 rounds each. When I was living in the gym and my fight was approaching, Wech would give me 4×11 minute rounds with one minutes’ rest in between, which just shows his dedication to his fighters. Wech’s brother, Lek, is also a trainer at the gym and is a bit of a comedian so pair up with him if you want a bit of banter whilst training!
Bag rounds are unsupervised and can drag on a bit if the gym gets busy as you may be stuck on them for more than 5 rounds. There is usually enough bags to go around, though. Once everyone has hit pads, clinching will commence. Wech takes clinching seriously and ensures it happens every session, unlike any other gym I’ve been to down south.
Of course, being a tourist gym on Koh Samui, the majority of your training partners will be tourists. Although, Wech always has around 5 decent Thai fighters at the gym for the visitors to train with. I got some awesome clinch training in with the Thais during my time in Wech Pinyo Muay Thai. I went from absolutely hating the clinch to loving the clinch in 4 months.
Sessions finish with some crazy drills that Wech puts together involving carrying people around the gym and weight-training. Most of the foreigners leave at around 7:30pm but me and the other Thais living at the camp sometimes used to train until 8:30pm.
To sum up – great gym. Very disciplined, so if you need an extra push in training then you will get that here. You’ll be shown techniques and corrected during practice by the owner and trainers. The only thing that may be lacking is the top class Thai fighters but there usually is a few decent Thais on the books. If you’re looking for a gym on the islands, this is my recommendation.
Floors are matted
Very structured and disciplined
Tough training for fighters
Some decent Thais on the books, considering its location
Most of your training partners are tourists
Thai fighters may not compare to Thais in Bangkok
Can sometimes get overcrowded
The rooms at the Wech Pinyo Muay Thai are located above the gym and are simple fan rooms with a shared a shower and toilet. There are five rooms in total and free WiFi is included in the rental price.
There are plenty of other accommodation options available in Lamai within walking distance which includes cheap apartments that can be rented daily and hotels which range from about 1,200-15,000 baht per month.
One session: 300 baht
One week: 2,500 baht
Two weeks: 4,000 baht
One month: 7,000 baht
Training and Accommodation
One week: 6,000
Two weeks: 10,000
One month: 16,500
*Includes two training sessions per day and two meals per day.
The gym is within walking distance from all major conveniences such as motorbike rentals, 7/11, Tesco Lotus, night market and bars. Every Sunday night is a “walking street” market which is a two minute walk from the Wech Pinyo premises. Anything else you may require can probably be purchased from Chaweng which is about a ten minute motorbike ride away.
Wech Pinyo Muay Thai Gym Address: 163/8 Moo 4, Lamai, Koh Samui, Thailand
Wech Pinyo Muay Thai Gym Map
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