I stayed three days at Kaewsamrit. In the end this is how I could sum up my time. I got a chance to train around some of the best Thai fighters, with some very motivated farang students in a camp where I was made sure to stay busy and try to stay at a hard pace the entire time. Being around good fighters is a big bonus because you get to see the best of the best in action and I honestly believe you get better through osmosis.
All the instructors were very friendly, but to be honest that doesn’t point to much because everyone in Thailand is very friendly. The only drawbacks to training at Kaewsamrit is that it is in a boring neighborhood yet still has ridiculous pollution levels and Bangkok is really hot and humid. Despite being in great shape the humidity and smog really does a number on you and I was coughing up alot of phlegm in the mornings. But overall this is a very strong camp and I do not suggest it for beginners. To someone very new to Muay Thai maybe try a different camp with a more laid back atmosphere before heading here. For advanced students this is a great place where the trainers will correct the small details in your form and technique. You can also be sure that the trainers will push your cardio as hard as it will go as well. They will not let you slack off and if that’s a problem you have then this is a good place for you. The price is a little high but it is fair, this is Bangkok after all. The standard rate I believe is 1000 baht per day for training, a room with fan and 2 meals. That comes out to about a 1000 dollars a month which is a good price for getting a Muay Thai Boot Camp sort of experience.
So on my last day at Kaewsamrit I trained in the morning, and then got picked up by a friend of mine who also came down with me from True Bee but was a native of Bangkok and got a ride to the airport.
Cambodia has so far shown to be a very interesting place. It is poorer than Thailand and is probably reminiscent of what Thailand was like 30 years ago. Quite a few beggars and land mine victims to make your time here uncomfortable, however being from Pakistan it doesn’t bother me. Compared to Pakistan Cambodia is a walk in the park. Inner city Lahore is a jam packed symphony of human misery. I have been around the sites, seen Angkor Wat and the killing fields etc. Since this isn’t a travel blog I will just say that I had a good time and these are things worth seeing :).
What I do want to comment on is my time at Paddy’s Gym. I will give a summary in this entry as I want to devote a proper article on the place in a few days. Paddy’s Gym is a unique place and one that I feel is going to garner a lot of attention in the next few years.
For starters, anyone who has seen Human Weapon should know that they did an episode in Cambodia and Paddy Carson was their main contact. You can catch him in the show and I suggest you watch it to understand how things are in the boxing scene of Cambodia at this moment.
Basically, Paddy Carson is a career fight man. He began training and competing in full contact Karate in South Africa and later started training fighters, including world champions. He has had fighters go up against guys of the caliber of Jerome LeBanner to help give you an idea of what league this guy is in. He spent a lot of time in Thailand and decided to move to Cambodia to get a shot at creating his own camp in South East Asia that would have an impact, a big impact on the South East Asian kickboxing scene.
His Gym is located in Phnom Penh not far from where all the tourist areas are so it is very easy to go there and train, cost me about a dollar each time for the ride. His gym is also a fitness so there are loads of weights and machines to use. Stuff that I put to very good use while I was there since I don’t have access to such things when I stay in Pai. The boxing area itself looks and feels like it came straight out of Harlem or some other inner city boxing gym. It is gritty and humid and the sounds of the city are very clear from outside. It fits in very well with Paddy’s style and training, which from my first impression are very “old school”and I am not saying that’s a bad thing, this guy is a good trainer, a very good trainer and I will be back here in the future.
I am heading back to Thailand now where I will be able to sit down at my own computer and write a more in depth entry on Paddy’s Gym. You’ll see it soon.