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Training at Tiger Muay Thai and MMA, Phuket, Thailand

Digital Nomad Goes Insane and Starts Cage Fighting

I’m currently training at Tiger Muay Thai and MMA, in Phuket, Thailand. I arrived here in early January and after my recent trip to Japan, I decided to come back to continue training for a while longer. My primary goal is to get fit and healthy, so what better place to do it?

This picture was taken during a seminar by Gracie Barra black belt, Steve Gable back in January. I’m in there somewhere, can you spot me?

Why I am Sticking Around Tiger Gym and Phuket

Phuket is turning out to be the ideal way to build a temporary base for a few weeks/months. It has everything I need, all very close by and accessible.

  • The Training Camp – I’m training MMA every day at the moment. Shortly, I’ll start training in Thai Boxing. This place has everything you need to get healthy and you can choose from a whole host of classes, or even just use their well kitted out gym.
  • Cheap Accommodation – All the accommodation around here is geared up for people staying by the week or month. You can get a nice place with air-con, cable, fridge, hot shower, wifi and a swimming pool for 10,000 baht per month ($300). I understand that some of the trainers and longer term guys, spend as little as 3,000 baht per month! That is cheap!
  • Language School – I have decided to attempt to learn to read, write and speak Thai. There is conveniently a good language school a short drive away from where I am staying. I have signed up for daily lessons.
  • Awesome and Healthy Food Options – Most of the restaurants near to Tiger are geared up for fighters and people training. Healthy and cheap is the order of the day here. If you get bored of the local restaurants, there are plenty of street food options, or western chain restaurants just moments away by bike.
  • Beautiful Beaches – Aside from the infamous Patong Beach, there are lots of smaller, quieter and nicer beaches around Phuket. Karon and Kata beaches are a nice alternative, along with Rawaii and Nai Harn further south.
  • Shopping Malls – There are 2 large malls, one of which is in Patong which are easy to get to if I want to buy supplies, go bowling or see a movie etc.
  • Kite Surfing School – I spotted this the other day on the way to my language lesson. I believe this takes place in Chalong bay and I am keen to give it a try!
  • Meditation and Chi Gung Centre – This is a 5 minute drive away from me. They offer various meditation classes, along with Chi Gung and Tai Chi. I have wanted to get into meditation for a long time now so this might be a perfect opportunity.
  • Bars and Nightclubs – You always need a blowout every now and again. Patong is the nightlife epicentre of Phuket and is very well known for its bright lights and endless girly bars. If this is not your thing, there are several other options for a night out in Kata, Karon or Rawaii, amongst other places.
  • Constant Flow of Young Westerners – Due to Tiger’s high profile and reputation, it attracts many people on a constant basis. There are always new faces around and it is very easy to make new friends. Also, these are not normally your average party tourist, hell bent on ruining themselves every night, so it definately makes a nice change.

From this location, I am also very close to Krabi, Rai Lay, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Yao Noi and many more awesome islands and national parks. I also have Phuket international airport just up the road.

Rough Goals Whilst I am Here

I don’t have anything set in stone and I am notorious for being indecisive and changing my mind frequently. However, here are a few thoughts that spring to mind.

  1. Get good at MMA so I can hold my own in the cage without getting my ass kicked every time.
  2. Learn to speak thai to conversation level along with basic reading and writing.
  3. Lose my eternal beer belly… finally.
  4. Compete in the forthcoming Never Tap Asia event, taking place near the end of March.
  5. Catch up on my work after a lazy few months.
  6. Save some money by living cheaply, avoiding the booze and keeping my head down for a while.

A Quick Overview of Tiger Gym’s Facilities

Tiger offers a whole range of lessons throughout the day

  • Muay Thai – Split into beginners, intermediates and advanced. Classes are twice a day at 8am and 4pm for 2-3 hours a time.
  • Yoga – 7am start for this one.
  • Krabi Krabong – Twice a week. This is basically a form of stick fighting.
  • MMA / Jiu Jitsu – Beginners and advanced.
  • Body Fit – Conditioning classes.
  • Western Boxing – 3 times per week

In addition to the classes, there is also a weight lifting room, with someone on hand to offer advice and guidance. Many people also take private lessons with the instructor of their choice. There is also free internet, a restaurant serving healthy food and protein shakes and a shop where you can buy all your gear and clothing.

If anyone is thinking of heading down here, or if you need a detox, get in touch and we can hook up here in Phuket.


Have you trained here? What do you think? Any questions? Please leave a comment.


12 Responses

  1. I forgot to mention a couple other reasons why Phuket makes a good base:

    Scuba Diving: There are large numbers of dive shops right on my doorstep at Chalong Bay. There must be 20-30 all in the same spot.

    Temples: Like most places in Thailand, there are buddhist temples everywhere. Ideal if you want to reflect on things, get some inspiration or have a little pray.

  2. Great stuff, I'd love to do this for a while myself and you've also made a good point of the many other spots around Phuket away from the places that have earned it its reputation. There really isn't any reason for anyone to feel dirty about going to Phuket.


    1. Thanks for the comment. My opinion on Phuket has changed alot recently. Most people seem to head straight for Patong and then go away with a very distorted view of Phuket. If you make the effort, Phuket is just as beautiful as the rest of Thailand. I've found some amazing hidden coves and sunset spots, especially round the Promthep Cape. You should come down and join me sometime!

      1. Promthep is definitely a nice area, they were shooting some movies scenes when I visited. Even Phuket Town has some nice vantage points. Assuming I'm able to do the big move this year, I'm sure I'll head back down, thinking of starting in Krabi though.

        1. Sounds good. I love Krabi (and Rai Lay) also. So many places to love in Thailand, its hard to know where to go next sometimes!

  3. Hi

    Currently planning a trip to tiger gym around the begining of April 2011 to train MMA/Thai.

    Would love to chat before hand with anyone or hook up out there.

    Im UK based Soldier and travel between Harrogate north yorkshire and Southport merseyside regulary anyone fancy travelling to tiger with me is more than welcome to link up with me.

    Looking forward to it.


    1. Hi Del, There is a good chance I will be out there again around that time with a group of guys from Newquay.

      Feel free to shoot me a message if you need any help with anything or you wanna hook up.

  4. im looking for some accomadation near tmt for no more than 4000bath a month as all the dorm roomsare fully booked heading out march 11th 2013 if any one knows some placing within running distance
    thanks leo

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