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Fight or Flight: The Decision to Fight in Muay Thai Training in Thailand

Updated: Apr 22, 2023


You should never compete in any combat sports when you are pregnant!!

The Good ol' "Swing and gas!" at Thapae Muay Thai Stadium Chiang Mai


Muay Thai is a martial art that originated in Thailand and has gained worldwide popularity in recent years. With its unique combination of punches, kicks, elbow and knee strikes, and clinching techniques, Muay Thai is a highly effective fighting style that has become a popular form of fitness training as well. For those looking to train Muay Thai, Thailand is considered the birthplace of the art and is the ideal destination for both beginners and experienced practitioners alike.

Thailand is home to numerous training camps that cater to both locals and foreigners. These camps offer a variety of training programs, ranging from beginner-level classes to advanced fight training for professional fighters. In addition to the high-quality training, Thailand is also known for its affordable cost of living, making it a popular destination for those looking to immerse themselves in the sport.

While training Muay Thai in Thailand can be a life-changing experience, the decision to fight or not is a personal one that should be carefully considered. Fighting in Thailand is a rite of passage for many Muay Thai practitioners, and the experience of fighting in a real competition is unlike any other. However, fighting is not for everyone, and it is important to weigh the risks and benefits before making a decision.

The first thing to consider when deciding whether to fight or not is your level of skill and experience. If you are new to Muay Thai and have never fought before, it is generally not recommended to jump straight into the ring. Instead, focus on building your skills and technique through training, sparring, and attending local competitions as a spectator. It is important to have a solid foundation in the art before considering fighting, as it can be a dangerous and physically demanding activity. Your home country probably has different fight classes (N, C, B, A class and amateur rules etc) of Muay Thai that build you up to full Thai rules, elbows n all, fights.

Another factor to consider when deciding whether to fight or not is your physical and mental health. Fighting in Thailand is not for the faint of heart, and the training can be grueling and intense. It is important to be in good physical condition and to have the mental toughness necessary to withstand the physical and emotional demands of fighting. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions or mental health issues, it is important to consult with a doctor before making a decision.

Finally, it is important to consider your reasons for wanting to fight. Are you doing it for personal growth and challenge, or are you seeking fame or recognition? Fighting in Thailand can be a humbling experience, and it is important to have the right mindset going into it. If you are doing it for the wrong reasons, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment and potentially risking your health and safety.


When training in Muay Thai in Thailand, be prepared to be asked to fight by your coaches. As you build respect for your teacher through intensive training, you may feel obligated to agree to fight even if you are not mentally or physically prepared for it. I always advise students to prepare for that moment by giving the dilemma some thought and being clear about your desire to fight in anticipation of being asked. Actually visualise your Coach asking you to fight and plan your response accordingly.


You should be aware that Thai gyms may prioritize ticket sales commission from foreigners fighting over your best interests. Although a reputable coach will prioritize your safety and skill level, some coaches may be unscrupulous and push you to fight for their own financial gain. It's important to do your research and choose a gym with a good reputation to ensure that your Muay Thai holiday is both enjoyable and safe.

Having said that Tourist Stadiums do love a foreigner being victorious and won't usually over match, you will probably find your self pitched against a seasoned but out of shape and unmotivated Thai who is happy to collect his small purse as soon as possible win or lose.





Training Muay Thai in Thailand can be a life-changing experience, but the decision to fight or not is a personal one that should be carefully considered. While fighting can be a rite of passage for many Muay Thai practitioners, it is not for everyone, and it is important to weigh the risks and benefits before making a decision. By building your skills and technique, maintaining good physical and mental health, and approaching fighting with the right mindset, you can make the most of your training experience in Thailand.


Post Script Anecdote:

A few months ago I was at Thapae Stadium, Chiang Mai. on corner duty for Burklerk gym. We used to call Thapae Stadium "The Cathedral of Despair" due to its usually low standard tourist promotions.

As I was standing around after one of Ajarn Burklerk fighters had fought I was approached by "Colin Cokehead," you know the kind of guy. Macho as hell and he wanted to fight. He asked me "Where can I get some shorts?" He was clearly pis*ed or high and I wanted nothing to do with it. I directed him to the Muay Thai shop at the back of the stadium. He returned with shorts on and normal shirt and asked who he was fighting..... Say what!!! I directed him to the glove room, I wanted him to be someone else's problem.

About an hour later I saw he was sat by the ring, shorts, normal shirt and gloved up! This didn't surprise me as Kru Gop (Chai Yai Gym) promoter at Thapae does not suffer fools (See Video above) and will throw you into the lions den if you annoy him.)

I thought nothing of it but the guys at Thapae had a new way of dealing with this kind of problem and an ingenious way a that. They simply told him to wait until the end then he can fight. But they just ignored him and everyone left. We were last to go as Ajarn Burklek had 4 fighters on that night and it was hilarious to watch this guy go from a ball of nervous tension wondering what he had got himself into all night to a confused and slightly relived person watching the cleaners start tidying up and closing the show.



Muay Thai Fever is unique in offering an all inclusive (except food) training holiday which tours different camps and city's. We are here in Thailand and will accompany you on the tour. muaythaifever.com/tours


View our other blogposts on Muay thai Training holidays and vacations in Thailand:

  1. The Role of Muay Thai in Promoting Tourism and Culture in Thailand.

  2. Unveiling the Diverse Styles of Muay Thai in Thailand: From Powerful Kicks to Deceptive Tricks!

  3. From Pad to Pro: Unleash Your Inner Fighter with Muay Thai Training in Thailand

  4. Kickstarting Your Muay Thai Journey in Thailand: Unveiling the Best Training Facilities and Camps!

  5. Knockout Cuisine: Fueling Your Muay Thai Training in Thailand's Food Scene

  6. Discover the Warrior within, the Mental and Physical Benefits of Training Muay Thai in Thailand.

  7. Kick Your Way to Fitness: Muay Thai Strength and Conditioning on Your Thailand Holiday

  8. "Kick Your Way to Fitness: Muay Thai Strength and Conditioning on Your Thailand Holiday"

  9. "Respectful Sparring: Muay Thai Holiday Etiquette in Thailand's Gyms"

  10. Kick back and relax: Accommodation, Where to Stay for Muay Thai Training in Thailand

  11. Fight or Flight: The Decision to Fight in Muay Thai Training in Thailand

  12. Group Tour vs. Solo Adventure: Choosing the Best Way to Train Muay Thai in Thailand

  13. Protecting Yourself in Paradise: Prioritizing Healthcare and Insurance During Your Muay Thai holiday

  14. Muay Thai Training Vacations in Thailand for Beginners

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