Tiger Muay Thai & Mixed Martial Arts Camp is serious stuff. This is not the sort of place visitors wander into for a few hours to learn a few moves, enjoy a workout and then wander out again. Tiger is the most dedicated Thai Boxing camp in the country and by extension, the world, and trainees arrive from all over the globe to learn from dedicated Muay Thai champions and mixed martial arts experts.
Mixed martial arts (MMA) is the fastest-growing sport in the world and Muay Thai the deadliest of its branches. With that in mind you’d expect a lot of stray testosterone flying around and grim, bashed-in faces at Tiger but not a bit of it. There’s a positive, warm, friendly but businesslike atmosphere to the place as people come here to attain a goal that’s not easy to achieve – a balance of supreme physical fitness and dizzying levels of fight talent.
Situated on almost two acres of land in the central part of Phuket, Tiger was set up in 2003 and is divided up into weight and fitness sections along with areas dedicated to the various levels of fight potential. Here, you won’t get a pro or an advanced student in the same ring as a beginner except of course in a teacher-pupil context.
Tiger receives about 250 – 400 trainees a month with a girls-to-boys percentage of 35 – 65%. English is the lingua franca and a noticeable number of trainees are repeat visitors. There are a number of high-level instructors and coaches (about 34 Muay Thai coaches and foreign coaches from around the world who specialize in fitness, Brazilian Jui-Jitsu and MMA). Additionally, Tiger hosts professional fighters from around the world on a daily basis who train here for their fight camps.
The Muay Thai courses are broken down into group classes which run twice a day and beginner, intermediate, advanced and professional fighter invite-only classes. Trainers are also available for private lessons and travel around the globe to train fighters in their home gyms.
In the heart of the camp sits an open-sided fan-cooled restaurant ‘The Tiger Grill’. Again, you’d be tempted to predict that it’s all brown rice and raw vegetables here but the American executive chef is surprisingly and pleasantly inventive and conjures up healthy yet delicious dishes such as grilled chicken with mango, arugula salad and wasabi sauce. Specially recommended is vegetarian pizza.
It’s not all about fighting at Tiger. On Tuesdays the camp jogs up nearby Nakkerd Hill to the iconic Big Buddha and back while on Thursdays there’s beach training at Nai Harn Beach. You can also stay here during your course in accommodation varying from basic dorms to air-conditioned comfort.
All in all, Tiger is impressive. When it comes to course preparation, teaching levels, dedication and equipment standards, all the boxes are ticked and it really is what it claims to be: one of the world’s best mixed martial arts training camps.
Tiger Muay Thai Camp
- Location: Soi Tha-ied, Ao Chalong, Amphur Phuket
- Tel: Day office: 076 367 071 or 076 367 072 - Night office: 088 116 8066