I just read an interesting post on a website that listed 10 reasons you should choose your Muay Thai Gym. This actually seemed more geared towards people in the states picking a gym, as opposed to picking one in Thailand, and since it was a gym that listed it on their site, you can assume that they met all the qualifications that they listed. lol.
It is a good point though, that there are factors that people should consider when picking their gym. Unless you have trained at the cam, or personally know someone who has, you won’t really know what to expect when you arrive at the camp to train, or even why you should pick Camp A over Camp B.
Here are some good tips to consider when picking your Camp.
1. Time Vs. Money – For many people, one of the biggest reasons they choose their camp is the price. You may compare a couple different gyms, with one being lets say 8000 baht, and the other being 10000 baht. A lot of people will make the decision to go with the cheaper gym, simply because of price. But what you need to consider is time. Let’s say the gym that’s 8000 only has 2 sessions a day, totaling 4 hours each day, meanwhile the gym that costs 10000 has 2 sessions, which are 3 hours each day. Essentially over the course of a month, you get more for your money with the gym that costs a little more, because you end up getting an addition 50 hours of training time. However, you do have to ask yourself how much you are planning on training. If 2 hours a day is enough for you, then go with the cheaper gym, and enjoy the beach. If you are serious about your fitness, training and possibly fighting, than consider the gym that gives you more time.
2. Location – This is extremely important. You have to consider not only where the camp is, and your travel to the camp, but also what is around the camp. Are you going to be able to fly directly into an airport with the camp a short taxi drive way, or do you have to take a long bus trip or ferry ride to get to your camp? What is even more important is what the camp is located near. Are their food and pharmacies and other shops within walking distance? If not, you may have to spend extra money on either renting a motor bike, or paying for taxis during your time there. Keep this potential extra expense in mind.
3. Facilities/Trainers – If you have never been to a camp before, you should try to look at pictures, or read a list of equipment they have at the camp. You want to look for how many rings and heavy bags they have. If they only have 1 or 2 rings, you may find yourself doing sparring or pad work outside the ring, due to space. You also want to find out if they provide equipment for you to train with, or if you must provide your own. It could either mean you have to pack more with you, or buy it when you arrive. Another thing that is over looked are mats. Do the floors have mats, or are you training on concrete? If they do have mats, you may want to ask how often they are cleaned, as you don’t want to get a skin infection. Finally, you want to find out what the student to trainer ratio is for the camp. The better the ratio, the more one on one time you get with the instructors.
4. Read Reviews (Good and Bad) – Do a Google search for the name of the camp you are considering, followed by the word “reviews”. Most camps will have a decent amount of reviews whether it be on message boards, blogs, etc. Read ALL the reviews you can, both the good and the bad. Don’t ignore either because you already favor the camp. If someone has something bad to say, there is probably some truth to it. That shouldn’t necessarily steer you away from the camp, but you may want to keep it in mind, so you can address it if it happens to you. At the same time, if you find 10 good reviews, and 1 or 2 bad reviews, the chances are it’s a worth while camp.
5. Contact The Camp – Contact the camp via email or phone, and ask them any questions you have. They are the number one source and will give you the exact answer. Also, if you contact them via email, and they respond, you have some writing from them that you can refer to should a problem arise. You can also tell a couple things from this. If they respond quickly, and thoroughly, then it is a good sign that they are well organized. You should also be able to tell how well the office/administration staff communicates in English. That is important as you could avoid any unnecessary miscommunications.
6. (Don’t Just) Read The Website – This is almost a catch 22. You want to read the website, as it will give you an accurate depiction of how organized and professional the camp is. You would be surprised how many Muay Thai Camp websites I have seen that simply don’t have their training prices or anything regarding accommodations on their site. Even if the camp itself doesn’t have accommodations, they should list local places on their site. If they do, they are making it as easy as possible for you to have a seemless, enjoyable experience. If not, it sends you a more negative depiction of the camp.
However, even a camp with a great website, may not necessarily be a great camp. I’ve seen websites that are professionally done in a really nice Flash design, but has limited facilities and very small clientele. There is an advantage in that, as it will give you more one on one time with the trainer, but it also limits you on things like sparring and your social experience. With that being said, as I stated above, do your diligence and research the camp(s) that you are considering, beyond just their website.
I hope that information helps you out in your adventure. If you have any questions or contacts please feel free to visit my website.
http://www.dansmuaythaimma.com – Traveling The World Training Martial Arts!
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