Injury insurance for Muay Thai training in Thailand
Thailand exports a number of valuable goods and products around the world; automotive exports, electronic goods, and agricultural products such as rice, shrimps, tapioca, rubber, and sugar. One of the most popular exports, however, is Muay Thai – the local combat sport that uses stand-up boxing-style fist striking, combined with the use of the knees, feet, shins, and elbows. Known as the “art of eight limbs”, Muay Thai has become a common form of both martial arts, self-defense, and a method of fitness the world over.
This week’s Pacific Prime Thailand article takes a look at some of the most popular Thai boxing camps and fitness retreats around the country, explains common Muay Thai injuries and remedies, and discusses what you need to know about injury insurance regardless of whether you’re an expat living in Thailand or simply a traveler looking for a Muay Thai experience.
Finding the right Muay Thai camp for you
While there are countless gyms and fitness centers around the globe offering Muay Thai lessons, many people flock to Thailand, the home of the art, to have a true, authentic experience. As a result, there are a significant number of fighting gyms and fitness retreats around the country, catering to all types. If you’re looking to fight competitively, gain extra fitness, or simply improve your technique, Thailand’s camps have it all. Below is a list of some of the more popular venues around.
The capital of Thailand is home to a number of high-quality gyms that are frequented by high caliber local and foreign Muay Thai practitioners alike. The city is also a hub for watching Thai boxing fights, such as at Lumpinee Stadium or Rajadamnern Stadium, but those of you looking to train yourselves can consider:
- F.A. Group Muay Thai Gym is for advanced/experienced students looking to train with good quality Thai and foreign fighters. The camp is located in Chatuchak near the Mo Chit BTS station and the Chatuchak Weekend Market (JJ Market).
- Khongsittha Muay Thai Gym caters more to foreign beginners and recreational Muay Thai students with modern facilities and good trainers. The gym is located in Lad Phrao in Bangkok.
- Muay Thai Sasiprapa is one of Thailand’s longest-running gyms and is said to have a strong focus on technical instruction. The camp is located in Bang Kapi.
- Elite Fight Club is a luxury fighting gym that is home to many top foreign Muay Thai fighters, often seen around the gym. Offering several classes per day, you can also sign up for a training and accommodation package. Sparring takes place on Saturdays. The gym is in the Waterford Diamond Tower in Bangkok.
One of the added benefits of Muay Thai training in places like Phuket is that you’ve also got the chance to relax and unwind near some fantastic beaches. There is the famous Soi Ta-Eid, otherwise known as “The Soi” or Fighting Street, in Phuket which has three Muay Thai gyms along it as well as a number of fitness facilities for people to enjoy. There are also fitness retreats outside the main city that offer a range of health programs:
- Tiger Muay Thai does both Thai boxing and MMA, with a number of its fighters contracted in the UFC. The gym takes people from all fitness and technique levels and has over 30 professional trainers. The gym is located on “The Soi” in Chalong, Phuket.
- Sinbi Muay Thai offers experienced trainers that cater to all levels, full fitness facilities, and the opportunity to fight in a club should you want to test out your skills. Located near Rawai Beach, visitors can enjoy the sights and sounds of the sea whilst sweating off the calories.
- PhuketFit is a health retreat located on the south coast of Phuket, offering Muay Thai training alongside programs for weight loss, detox, and fitness. Board and nutrition can be included and the staff are ex-fighters and trained in things like TRX. The retreat is located in Rawai.
- Sumalee Boxing Gym provides a wellness experience for foreigners, offering both Muay Thai and yoga classes as well as accommodation and nutrition. Many of their trainers are active fighters who work with novices and advanced students alike.
Located on the Eastern Gulf, there are a great number of Muay Thai gyms and camps available for those traveling here. Pattaya is also home to the Pattaya Boxing World stadium that hosts top-quality fights and cultural experiences. Popular gyms and fighting clubs include:
- Honour Muay Thai Gym is a newer facility that offers fight-focused training, however suggests that all students joining should be able to run at least 10km. Accommodation, food, and training can all be supplied. Honour Muay Thai is located in the city of Pattaya, next door to the Thepprasit boxing stadium.
- Sor Klinmee Gym was founded in 2009 and is home to a family dynasty of Thai boxing fighters. Training includes bag and pad work, running, as well as sparring and conditioning for all levels. It is located in Pattaya, 15 minutes from the main bus terminal.
- WKO stands for World Kumite Organization and is often mistaken for a karate or kung fu school. The gym is home to Robert McInnes, however, who became the first-ever Westerner to become an official referee at Bangkok’s Lumpinee Stadium and the trainer of WBA world champion, Yodsanan Sityodtong. The gym is located on Pattaya Klang.
The largest northern city in Thailand, Chiang Mai is a popular tourist area for visitors to the country. Fortunately for those looking for fighting gyms, there are a number of them available in and around the city. If Chiang Mai seems like more your sort of destination, then check out:
- Santai Boxing Gym hosts a good mix of local and foreign students, trained by ex and current fighting instructors. Lessons here are available for all levels; with total beginners and seasoned veterans all welcome. The gym is located in San Kamphaeng in Chiang Mai.
- Lanna Muay Thai is a foreign-owned and run Thai boxing gym that has been operating for over 20 years. It has the respect of many local Thai fighters and stadiums, with many of those training here fighting in major Bangkok venues. It’s located in Chiang Mai near Nimmanhaemin Road.
- Por Silaphai Thai Boxing Gym boasts having two-time Lumpinee Stadium champion and Thailand national champion, Jomyut Phitakkhruchaidaen, as an instructor. Providing accommodation and two daily training sessions, they support both beginners and professional fighters. It is located in the city area of Chiang Mai (Amphur Muang).
More gyms and camps around Thailand
Muay Thai Camps Thailand is a great resource for finding Muay Thai camps, including in other areas (such as Koh Samui, Krabi, Koh Phangan, and Isan). It holds some basic descriptions for a number of popular and recently established fight gyms around the country, as well as information on whether accommodation is included and what training can be like.
Top 5 common Muay Thai injuries and remedies
Arguably one of the hardest martial arts any athlete can undertake, Muay Thai requires you to fully utilize different parts of your body, from shins and forearms, all the way to elbows and knees. No wonder why it takes years of training and conditioning to become a professional Muay Thai fighter. As with other types of contact sports, injuries are, to a certain extent, unavoidable. Here we offer an overview of the 5 most common Muay Thai training injuries.
1. Ankle sprains
Ankle and foot sprains happen when you twist them accidentally when running, doing pad work, sparring, or any other form of training.
To prevent ankle sprains, you should do more ankle and calf strengthening exercises like calf raises. And if you are already injured, you should follow the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, elevation) and wear ankle guards for extra cushion for soft ankles in the future.
2. Wrist sprains
Spraining usually happens when you hit the bag at the wrong angle, which bends your wrist the wrong way; or when your hands are not wrapped properly.
Since the wrist is a fragile part of your body, once you sprain your wrist, it’s best you take it easy and give it time to rest. You should also learn how to punch and wrap your hands the right way.
3. Stiff neck
Your neck will feel extremely sore when you constantly resist your opponent’s locks. While there is no way to prevent this from ever happening, you can stretch your neck, shoulders, and back before every clinching session.
4. Bruised ribs
During clinching or sparring, you may get kicked, punched, or kneed in the ribs. Again, itis hard to completely avoid this kind of injury. As time goes by, your body will become more resilient to these strikes. But before that happens, you should boost up on your defensive techniques to defend or evade these strikes.
5. Bruised shins
As you may already know, Muay Thai requires a lot of kicking and you’ll have to condition your shins to do roundhouse kicks or block a kick. During the conditioning period, your shins will get busted up but they will harden up over time. To prevent serious injuries, you should condition your shins gradually and use shin guards when sparring (but occasional drilling without shin guards is also acceptable).
Injury insurance: will my policy cover Muay Thai injuries?
When it comes to exercise, there’s always going to be an element of injury risk. Taking up a tough, physical contact activity like Muay Thai means you’re more likely to suffer an injury, but will your insurance cover treatment? Coverage can be a grey area; most likely insurers will more readily accept claims for smaller injuries such as a sprained ankle or a pulled back muscle, but claims for serious head injuries or severely broken bones can be harder to file. The difference can also be in the type of coverage you have.
If you’re an expat living in Thailand, it makes a lot of sense that you hold a full, comprehensive health insurance policy. Sustaining an injury with such a policy is a lot easier to deal with. Many local and international health insurance plans will provide coverage for sports injuries in most instances. The key factor to consider is whether or not you were training for Muay Thai, or competing. Training injuries can often be covered, sometimes under a rider, yet those of you competing in professional or semi-professional fights likely won’t be.
If you’re traveling to Thailand for a Muay Thai experience, consider the gaps that most travel insurance plans leave in terms of health coverage. Such plans are short-term and inexpensive, but they also reduce the risk to the insurer by only providing very small benefits. They are essentially designed to get travelers well enough to travel home to seek care, so you’ll likely find that engaging in any dangerous sport (such as Muay Thai) will not be covered by your travel plan.
The other thing to think about is the sorts of facilities you’ll be comfortable seeking treatment from should you need it. Thailand is home to some top-quality hospital facilities, but these aren’t necessarily public hospitals. The private sector is generally your best bet for finding fast, efficient, and expert care from international professionals that speak a range of languages. Travel, local, and international plans can give you the freedom and ability to choose a private hospital should you need one.
We’ve written about the types of insurance available in Thailand before, so check out this page if you’re concerned about which type of plan might be right for you.
Securing the right insurance coverage for your Muay Thai experience
When it comes to securing adequate injury insurance coverage for your trip to Thailand, using a broker can be the best decision you’ll make. Brokers work with a range of local and international insurers, and can find a plan that provides your Muay Thai trip with the coverage you need, at a price that’s in your budget. When it comes to training and exercising at any gym, retreat, or club in a foreign country, Pacific Prime Thailand would always recommend obtaining injury insurance as a minimum before you go.
Whether you’re looking for travel insurance, COVID-19 insurance, international health insurance, group health insurance, corporate insurance, or individual insurance, our reliable team of experts can help you find the best plan for your needs and budget.