Whether you’ve booked with us already, or you’re seriously thinking about it, here’s everything you need to know about a Muay Thai training camp at Sumalee Boxing Gym.
Muay Thai hasn’t just become one of the most hyped-about and popular disciplines in the world of Martial Arts – it’s become utterly addictive. Everything about it grabs you by the mind, body and soul, and then shakes you in the most epic way possible. It’s the dedication, the discipline, the health benefits and fitness-boost, and the chance to see yourself improve, grow and become the warrior you once dreamed of becoming. It’s that chance to try and master the fabled “Art of Eight Limbs” – and there’s no better way of doing this than heading off to a traditional Muay Thai training camp to immerse yourself in the lessons and learn from the best.
For everyone who has discovered Muay Thai, that is the dream. Packing your bags and jetting off to a retreat on the island of Phuket to kickstart your training. It’s enough to get anyone excited. You don’t know exactly what to expect, but you know it’ll be the biggest and greatest move you’ve made since performing your first high kick.
And the first part of that last sentence is where we’ve got you covered, because after you’ve read this article, not only will you know exactly what to expect when you come and train at the Sumalee Boxing Gym, you will see what separates us from the other Muay Thai camps out there (and if you still have questions afterwards, simply get in touch).
So, let’s get on with your enlightenment, shall we…
1. What To Expect From Your First Time At Sumalee
Pretty much a home away from home – but on the tropical island of Phuket, where you get to train, learn and understand your body more than ever. Everything about our “camp” is geared toward one thing: creating the friendliest atmosphere. The guests, trainers, owners, facilities, training, yoga facility, on-site massage service, nutritional advice, classes – everything has been curated to make you feel oh-so-welcome. That’s the unsung beauty of Muay Thai in general.
There’s this feeling of inclusivity; this atmosphere that you don’t get with any other Mixed Martial Art; this family-feeling that will make you want to extend your stay and return again, and again, and again. That’s the feeling you get in camp, and that’s the bond you’ll build with your trainers and everyone you share your experience with.
2. For Those That Have Never Tried Muay Thai Before
If you’ve not yet forayed into the world of Muay Thai, we couldn’t be more jealous. The feeling you get when you first discover this sport is almost euphoric. It’s like when you hear someone has yet to watch Breaking Bad and you think, “Man, I wish I could watch that show again for the first time.” Of course, like anything else, you won’t know if Muay Thai is for you until you try it. So jump on Google and see what classes are around you (and, given how crazy-popular this sport has become, there’s bound to be some). Not that you have to try your hand (and shin) at a one-on-one session back home to get involved with us.
If you’re already taking in the tonic for tired eyes that is Thailand – heading to the beach every sunset, popping the sights on your Insta-stories, adding photos of the food to your feed and doing that really Thai thing of eating Pho for brekky – why not use some of your downtime in Phuket to stop by the Sumalee Boxing Gym.
Have a taster session, or go 1 on 1 with one of our trainers, and get an authentic taste so many people would go bananas for. There’s no better way – or place – to get stuck in and see if Muay Thai is for you. You won’t be the first to have done it this way, nor will you be the first to stay longer than planned.
Of course, it’s not just Muay Thai training that we offer. We have everything you could want from a fitness vacay. Yoga studio, nutritional advice, massage, swimming, calisthenics and more running routes than you can shake a pair of Nike trainers at.
3. Here’s A Rough Idea Of What It Costs
No matter what your budget, or how much you’re cool with spending, you can rest assured that we have more price options than your favourite ice cream parlour has flavours. We have *standard packages (*accommodation and two training sessions a day) ranging from 1100 baht a day for a twin room to 56,000 baht a month for a suite, and premium packages that can be tailored to your wants, needs and level of kicking butt.
We also offer training only packages for anyone that’s staying elsewhere but has fallen hard for our training and outdoor swimming pool, which range from 400 baht for half-a-day to 11,000 baht for an epic month of training twice a day. And then there is our new pieces de resistance: our yoga retreat, on-site massage service, and personalised nutrition packages, all of which you can read more about on our website.
Basically, how much you spend all depends on you, how much you want to spend, how long you want to stay, which of our facilities you want to use and how much you want to improve while you’re with us.
4. The Sort Of Physical Condition You Need To Be In
This is the thought that makes most of our new arrivals go a little weak at the knees – and for no good reason because we cater to you. We consider your experience, take a look at your level of fitness, and then go from there. We couple our yoga classes with our Muay Thai offering to boost flexibility, strength, fitness and recovery. We use our dedicated nutritional team to help you reach your goals, whether they are t increase performance, lose weight, improve eating habits or to improve your health through diet. We rely heavily on our on-site massage service to enhance your physical mobility, relieve any muscular pains you might be suffering from and improve your immune system.
Being in good shape and having a basic fitness foundation is going to give you an awesome advantage when you arrive. Muay Thai is as physically demanding as a mixed martial art can get. You’re asking your body to do incredible things, grow and improve, and you’ll be undertaking about 3-4 hours of intense training a day, sometimes for 6 days a week. It’s the ultimate fitness holiday where you get to pick up a skill and run with it.
Of course, we’re not saying you need to be the next marathon man who can run 27 miles without breaking a sweat. But being able to smash out a 5-click jog would put you in a great place to soak up our training and improve from the get-go. The key here is your lungs. You’ll want your lungs to be awesome. You’ll want your lungs to be #cardiovasculargoals because the fitter you are when you arrive here, the more you’ll squeeze out of your time and training.
5. The Most Popular Length Of Stay At Sumalee
Let’s get straight to it – there is no one-length-fits-all solution. Everyone who comes to our training camp comes with different goals in mind. Some people come for a couple of weeks of intense training, others book in for a few days to keep up their training while passing through Phuket, and we’ve had people become part of the furniture (yeah, we’re talking about residencies of a year and more). It all depends on what you want to achieve in your Muay Thai journey while you’re with us.
That said, if we had to recommend a length of stay, we would suggest training with us for at least a month. That way you will be able to see your growth as a fighter, measure your improvements, understand your body more and learn the fundamentals of Muay Thai training, like how to eat like a Muay Thai fighter, how to get the most from your training, the importance of stretching, and how yoga can improve your skill level, reduce your chances of injury and enhance your recovery time, especially yoga.
6. What To Expect From A Typical Day At Sumalee
To suggest there’s a typical day at Sumalee is a bit oxymoronic because, if there’s one thing the Sumalee Boxing Gym prides itself on, it’s doing things differently. It’s helping you step away from your comforts and norms. We don’t do typical – we give you life-changing adventure that will make you hate sitting at a desk, and here’s what that adventure entails:
Training days usually start at dawn’s crack, around 7.00am, and they usually start with a freshly-made coffee – strong and black – followed up by a group run somewhere between 3 and 5km. Of course, you don’t have to partake in an early-morning run if you don’t want to. This is a Muay Thai retreat, not a military boot camp. It’s about enjoying your time here and deepening your love and respect for Thai boxing.
Our first training session then kicks off around 7.30am, keeping you happy and sweat-soaked for anywhere between 90-minutes and two hours, and that’s when you get to enjoy the most incredible shower of your existence and a nutritional breakfast aimed at helping your body recover. It also gives you the perfect time to chat with our other guests, stretch off your session and probably have one of our trainers show you how to play pool (spoiler alert: they are as epic on our pool table as they are in the ring).
Next up is your downtime, and it’s yours to do with what you like. Hang out by the pool, take in the relaxing views across the Phang Nga Bay, use our yoga studio to help your muscles recover, grab a bite to eat at our Ringside Restaurant or Crêperie, stroll around the unspoiled coconut plantations, soak up a massage, explore the local community and add yet more photos of the unreal sights to your Insta-stories. It’s a time for relaxation, recuperation and refueling, so make sure you use this time to good effect, and chow down on an energy-boosting meal in preparation for your 4pm training session.
Alternatively you can take part in our yoga program with group yoga sessions in our beautiful yoga shala from 11 am. There’s also time to fit in a massage from our Thai qualified masseur to reap the benefits of massage therapy.
Usually, the afternoon session lasts two hours, giving you plenty of time to work hard, unwind hard and take in everything you’ve achieved, everything you’ve been taught and the epic journey you’ve taken yourself on. You will have also earned yourself a cold one, so grab a local beer and enjoy another ‘Top 10 Sunset’ before settling in for a night of much-needed sleep, ready to do it all again tomorrow.
7. Getting The Most Out Of Your Sumalee Experience
If we had to give you one piece of advice, it would be this: take it all in. And take it in slowly. You are not racing anyone, you’re not trying to beat anyone (unless you’re gearing up for the ring), and you’re not trying to prove anything to anyone but yourself. Our training camps are all about helping you to become the best you, the strongest you, the sharpest and most improved you possible, and recognising this will help you get the most out of your experience.
It’s about understanding where you are on your journey, as well as your fitness levels, flexibility, nutritional understanding and mental strength because these will all play a role in your improvement. If this is your first time with us, don’t arrive thinking you’ll be the next Samart Payakaroon within a month. To get the most out of your training camp, you need to be in-tune with your body and what it can handle. Do that and you will enjoy yourself more, learn more, recover faster, understand how to pair Muay Thai with other disciplines, remain injury free and, best of all, have more time to explore the best pocket of the planet — Phuket, Thailand.
8. A Word Of Advice For All Newcomers
Enjoy it. Take your time. And don’t get caught in the snare so many first-timers do, which is to bite off more than they can chew. To maximise your experience, the best thing you can do is understand where you are, what is possible and what goals are genuinely attainable. It’s about knowing your level, realising your fitness, analysing your experience and booking a training package that suits those things.
The worst thing you can do is ignore the fact you haven’t trained for a while because you’ve spent the past few months travelling, eating, drinking and indulging yourself, and then book our train hard Platinum package. Chose the Beginner’s Package instead. That’s a sure fire way to overdo it.
Yes, your aim is to improve and get fitter while you’re with us, but you probably want to explore Phuket too. And to do this you need time. You need time to train, time to recover, time to eat properly, time to sleep and time to relax. Go too hard and you’ll injure yourself, and it’s hard to enjoy yourself when you’ve been injured by a lack of self-care.
9. Nothing You Sign-Up For Is Mandatory
The term “training camp” seems to rattle a few nerves, but it really shouldn’t. Like summer camp, band camp, skate camp or any other type of camp, our guests tend to come and have the most amazing time. They come, have fun, train, get in shape and leave with a frontal lobe full of epic memories. They have an epiphany trip, whether they meant to or not. So if you’re wondering how many people arrive at our training camp, give up and then go home, the answer is: none. They have way too much fun for that.
The one thing we wanted to do was create a Muay Thai sanctuary that suits each individual. So instead of creating programs that vary in difficulty or intensity, we make sure you’re improving at your own pace. Yeah, you’re going to be pushed, be given goals and told you’re awesome enough to keep going, because that’s how you progress. But you will never be pushed into doing something that is beyond your skill level.
We pride ourselves on the sessions we’ve created; sessions that are both challenging and, well, fun. And if you think you’ve picked a package that’s beyond your abilities, fitness, experience or skill, don’t sweat it – you can simply drop one of your sessions, whether that be your private training or the group classes. Like we said, nothing is compulsory.
10. Everything You Need To Know About Visas
If we’ve said it once, we’ve probably said it a thousand times: the longer you can train with us, the more you will get out of your Muay Thai journey. The only possible hiccup is your visa. For anyone that wishes to train with us for more than a month, you need to apply for a tourist visa before packing your bags and heading to Phuket. But that doesn’t mean you can only stay for a month. Visa extensions are as common as Pad Thai dinners. Of course, how long you can extend for depends on your nationality, but a quick Google search will be able to tell you what’s typical.
As for your ‘Visa Run’ options, we couldn’t recommend Penang, Malaysia enough. It doesn’t matter if you jump on one of the daily flights out of Phuket or you’d prefer to take an organized bus trip, it’s as simple as arriving in Penang, checking into your accommodation, applying for a 2-month tourist visa and heading back to Phuket. And after your 2 months has come to a close, you can extend for an additional 30 days at Phuket Immigration, all for just 1900 Baht. Trust us when we say: there are ten reasons you should make this your visa run.
11. We Have A Group Of Experts To Improve Your Experience
One of the things we’ve always maintained with the utmost importance is the need for a high-calibre team that can offer the most complete experience of any training camp anywhere, which is why our team is made up of Muay Thai trainers, yoga instructors, masseurs, and personal trainers – everyone you need to create a personalised training program and diet. It was the challenge we gave ourselves when we first started out, and it’s a challenge we believe we’ve met without a. single. reservation.
We couldn’t be prouder of the young, committed and enthusiastic team we have assembled and, between them, we can boast Championship belts, BSc’s in nutrition and enough decorations to fill the walls of our gym. But what we’re most proud of is the dedication our team shows and the reviews we’ve received as a result.
12. Finding The Perfect Balance of Training And Exploring
When people come to us, they tend to do so with one goal in mind: they want to improve. They want to train hard, learn more, become a better fighter, take their yoga up a level, work on their diet and leave feeling awesome. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take in the pinch-yourself sights – and the longer you’re with us, the more chance you’ll have finding this balance, while getting the most from your stay.
It’s all about using your time effectively, and that all starts with refuelling and resting after each training session so you’re ready for the next one. But once you’ve got that down to a fine art, start scheduling which sights you want to see, what adventures you want to have and what memories you want to make, and then set aside some days to do so. And if you’re wondering what day is best for unleashing your inner-tourist, the answer is Sunday, when our gym is closed for classes and Phuket is yours to soak up in any which way you like.
13. We are more than just Muay Thai
Something you will have no doubt picked up on whilst reading this insight is how we offer more than just Muay Thai training. That was always the intention. Too many camps focus on this and this alone, but what we’ve learned is how important nutrition, diet, yoga, stretching and massage are in the growth of Muay Thai enthusiasts at all levels.
Thanks for reading! If you have any other questions or queries, do look at our FAQ or send us an email. And if you’re hoping for more tips, tricks and bits of advice, make sure you follow Sumalee on Facebook and Instagram, and sign up for our special offers on the Sumalee Boxing Gym website.