Muay Thai training with Top Sangmorakot in Bangkok

This week I am in Thailand, the home of Muay Thai. I chose to travel to Bangkok to train with Top at Sangmorakot Gym in Bangkok. He comes as a highly recommended trainer and has also spent time teaching in Perth, Australia.

The gym itself is located within the gates of Wat Sitaram temple. The architecture of the temple is stunning in colours of red, gold and green, providing a nice outlook from the gym.

Traditional Muay Thai training

Training is twice a day, in the morning starting at 7am and in the afternoon starting at 3pm. If you read my previous post, you will know that I spent the last few weeks in Perth getting ready for training over here.

The sessions follow a traditional Thai format. There is a group of Thai boy fighters living and training at the gym and also visitors from around the world at any given time. Australians frequently come for training and when I arrived there were also visitors from New Zealand, France and Hawaii. It’s a very welcoming environment.

To give you an idea of what the training is like, this is what I did yesterday afternoon. I started with 15 minutes of skipping. This helps to build strength and endurance in your calves and feet. It also burns my shoulders but it really does help. The Thai boys actually skip for 30 minutes.

Then it was a few rounds of shadow work, focusing on sharpening up technique. The trainers watch and give tips while you’re at it. After shadow I did five rounds on pads. I’m still adjusting to the humidity so it’s no walk in the park and my strength and power is lacking. But I’m constantly learning and making adjustments that are proving to be helpful.

After pad work, we did some light sparring and then technique on the bags. Top had me finish off with some conditioning work on the bag, which was two minutes of teeps (push kicks) with focus on power and timing, four sets of 50 knees then 30 hard kicks each leg. I thought it was over but then Top, smiling, reminded me to do sit-ups.

Although it’s not easy, we all train together and it feels like a family. That’s the best part.


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