Training at Sitmonchai, Kanchanaburi

IMG_1016I have recently finished a week of Muay Thai staying at Sitmonchai which is in the beautiful countryside in Tha Maka Kanchanaburi which is about 2hrs drive  from Bangkok.

I have been trying to make a trip to Sitmonchai for the last few years as I have  heard great things about the gym and I have a wonderful friend who works there. Sitmonchai fighters are known for their aggressive fighting style and high KO rates. They have a signature style ‘pun pun kick’ of heavy hands and lethal low kicks which is a style that I really love as their fighters are so skilled and have so much heart. I would be mad not to go and train there as it’s been on my bucket list for a while.

This is my sixth trip to Thailand to do Muay Thai. I am always a little nervous when I go to a new gym but I didn’t have to be as the atmosphere at Sitmonchai is very much that of a close family thanks to the owner Pee A and all the Sitmonchai crew who look after everyone. As soon as I stepped out of the mini van and had a look at the gym I couldn’t help myself from breaking out into a huge smile. The gym has a great energy and atmosphere.

The training structure is very similar to other gyms. There is the morning and afternoon sessions which are broken down into running, skipping, pad work, bag work, clinching and sparring. What I really liked about Sitmonchai is they also factor in weights into the training sessions.

The trainers at Sitmonchai are all amazing, they each have their own style and particular techniques they specialise in so it was great to be able to train with a few of them. I also loved the fact the sparring sessions are done with the trainers so you really get a lot out of it. One of the reasons I have wanted to train at Sitmonchai is because of Pornsanae who is one of my favourite fighters (now retired from fighting). He is the Head trainer at the gym and I had the opportunity to do some boxing padwork with him. Another of my favourite fighters is Thepnimit ‘Mr Knock’, he has a very aggressive forward fighting style and I have trained with him before when he came to the UK a couple of years ago to do some seminars, including at my gym back home Urban Kings.

I surprised myself by going running in the mornings before training and a few afternoon runs (which were boiling hot). I am not a fan of running but I enjoyed being in the countryside, seeing the locals and trying to avoid the local dogs who sometimes chase after you!

At Sitmonchai you are really looked after and don’t need to worry about anything. We had two delicious meals every day cooked by Ma, I even got a couple of cooking lessons whilst I was there. Your laundry also gets done each day, when you train twice a day you run out of clean pants very quickly!

I loved the daily life of training in the morning, having breakfast with everyone,  waiting for the fruit man to arrive (if you were lucky you would get the ice cream man paying a visit too), take a nap and then get ready for afternoon training. We all ate dinner together and would then watch movies or Muay Thai fights whilst making friends and chatting. On Tuesdays and Thursdays there is a night market so we would wander over to buy snacks and hang out.

In the mornings I loved to sit outside and watch the sun rising, drinking a coffee and having Toto one of the gym dogs keeping me company.

During my week we also got a chance to go to Bangkok and watch MX Muay Xtreme as Tia, one of the fighters was fighting. On Sunday, our day off we went to Erawan National Park to hike and see the seven waterfalls, it was so beautiful.

There are so many things I appreciate about my time at Sitmonchai and I wish I had stayed longer. Being in the countryside, training and living with such a great group of people makes you so appreciative of what we have back home.  It also makes you understand what is important in life – family, love and friendship.

I would like to thank everyone at Sitmonchai for looking after me and making me feel so welcome. I would like to say thank you to the following:

– Pee A and his family for always looking after everyone. Making us feel at home and for having such an awesome gym

– Ma for keeping us well fed

– Abigail for being my beautiful friend and   doing such an amazing job at the gym as foreign liaisons manager. You make everyone feel so welcome and look after us

– Thepnimit for being my trainer and always being so generous and gracious with your teaching

– Omo for the rounds of low kicks. I loved them!

– Pornsanae for my boxing pad work. I know you liked punching me in the stomach all the time because it’s like jelly and you found it funny 🤣

– The KST crew from New Zealand who were there on fight camp and were my adopted ‘kids’ for the week. Good luck with your upcoming fights 👊🥊

– All the Sitmonchai fighters and students. It was an honour and a lot of fun to train and hang out with you

Sitmonchai has a special place in my heart. I will be back ❤️

You can find out info on the gym at http://www.sitmonchai.com

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