We came in with zero knowledge about this wonderful Thai martial art, and finished more confident. We would definitely go back to continue training.
If you’re a beginner and would want to train at Master Toddy’s, here are some tips that can help you have a better first-time experience than we did.
Learn how to count to 10 in Thai.
All of you ( i.e., you and your fellow trainees plus the coaches) will start counting in Thai after each round/set. You don’t want to be the one who keeps checking the others to see who else is clueless.
Use this post and start memorizing today.
Training is the follow-what-I-do type. Read up on the basics of Muay Thai.
When we received the confirmation e-mail from Master Toddy’s, we were promised to learn the fundamentals of Muay Thai, which include the following: 11 cobra punches, 4 axe elbows, 3 powerful knee strikes, and 3 Thai whip kicks. There was also a “free private lesson” waiting for us.
We did get the private lesson on our first day, but it was nothing fancy.
The lesson was done inside the ring, and it was a one-on-one session with an instructor to teach us two techniques that we’d have to practice at the start of every training – the “eye of the tiger” and the “toro” techniques.
After that “private lesson,” we were expected to attend two group sessions everyday – one at 7:30 in the morning, and another at 4:00 in the afternoon. The sessions run for two hours. If you skip a class, you won’t get reprimanded, but it’s your loss.
Perhaps it’s the instructors’ limited knowledge of the English language that makes the training a follow-what-I-do kind of learning. It was more demo than talk.
The only time we were treated to an English explanation of a technique was when Master Toddy himself – who has good command of the language – comes by and checks on us. If you get lucky and have a fellow trainee who speaks both Thai and English, you can ask unlimited questions.
That said, it’s better to do some research to at least know what happens during the training. This article is a good resource.
The gloves at the gym stink.
It’s not a requirement, but if you plan on training for more than a week, get your own gloves. You’ll be in the ring two times everyday except Sunday.
If you’re traveling light across Southeast Asia, it’s understandable that you want to keep your backpack as light as possible. You can always mail the gloves back home.
You don’t have to own a pair of Muay Thai shorts.
You might be tempted to buy Muay Thai shorts, but it’s not a requirement. Sure, you’ll look like a legit Muay Thai trainee, but if you’re on a budget, use your quick-dry shorts instead.
Group sessions always follow a routine. First, you’ll do some stretching, then you’ll practice the “eye of the tiger” and “toro” techniques. Next comes shadow boxing. After, you’ll spar with another trainee, and then with an instructor.
It’ll be exhausting, so you need to be prepared mentally and physically.
Do some cardio exercises at least two weeks before the training. Go out and spend some time jogging. If you can’t, you can always jump-rope or do some jumping jacks indoors. Check out the link to choose from other cardio exercises that you can do at home.
Learn to breathe properly.
Headed to Chiang Mai next?
At the Old City, there are other Muay Thai gyms to continue your training. Here’s a list of cheap hotels in Chiang Mai near Old City.
How to get to Master Toddy’s
Take the BTS Sukhumvit Line, and get off at Bearing station. Take Exit # 3. Walk about 5 minutes to 7-11 along Sukhumvit 107 Road.
There, you’ll find motorcycle taxis with drivers wearing an orange vest. These taxis will take you to Master Toddy’s. Just say “boxing,” no explanation needed.