Muay Thai has a long history and is Thailand's national sport. Its development saw the transformation of the body into a multifaceted weapon inspired by the weapons common to the time. The shins became the staff of the pike, used to block and strike. The arms became the raised twin swords of defence, and the fists functioned as the jabbing tip of the spear.
The Muay Thai practiced today varies slightly from the ancient Muay Boran and uses kicks and punches in a ring, with gloves similar to those used in western boxing.
It is referred to as the Science of Eight Limbs, as the hands, shins, elbows and knees are used extensively. A master practitioner has the ability to execute strikes using eight points of contact, as opposed to two points in western boxing and four points in sport-oriented forms of martial arts.
It is a demanding physical and mental discipline, quickly becoming a tourism drawcard. The Phuket Muay Thai Camp is set up so you can get into the sport while enjoying the surrounding beauty. The camp claims to have changed the lives of many locals, with cases of street kids becoming extremely skilled in the discipline.
The camp is nestled on a 1.2-hectare property near some of Phuket's finest beaches. There are wonderful views across Chalong Bay. It is secluded and can be accessed only by residents and students along a private road. Imagine … no traffic, vendors or hungry dogs. Just rainforest vegetation, a waterfall and loads of privacy.
Bungalows have their own yard and balcony and all the amenities of a resort. Accommodation ranges from studio apartments to deluxe villas and all are serviced each day. It is not as hot as other parts of Thailand and bungalows have ceiling fans and are designed to take advantage of breezes.
Trainers speak and understand English and everyone is welcome beginners to pro-fighters can all learn at the camp. There are three programs designed for various levels.
They are open year round and visitors can stay for a day, a week, a month or a year. Official training hours are 7am to 10am and 4pm to 7pm, but you may train as often as you wish. They will design a plan to fit your fitness level and goals.
Around 20 to 30 percent of visitors are women, some of whom are pro fighters, some just wanting fitness.
Phuket on Thailand's west coast.
Muay Thai Camp and Gym costs around $220 per person for a week's training. Accommodation and airport transfers are included.
Thai Airways International has flights to Phuket.
- Perth, $790
- Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, $847
Valid for sale until June 21, 2007 and for travel until June 30, 2007.
Prices quoted correct at May 17, 2005
Muay Thai Camp and Gym
82/5 Moo 4 Parak Road
Ph: +66 76 284 090
Fax: +66 76 383 878
Thai Airways International
Ph: 1300 651 960