So this post fits in really well with my other post about Rose Gym. Rose Gym as you may have read, is True Bee Gym which is now being run by a new owner and is now called Rose Gym. Well, Chai Yai Gym you can see is where True Bee Gym was sprung from and where the trainers from True Bee returned too when True Bee Gym was closed.
Chai Yai Gym sits in a neighborhood about 15 minutes out from the center of Chiang Mai, most notably Thae Pae Gate. It’s a pretty normal looking Thai neighborhood but it’s got a decent number of restaurants and markets on the main road right outside the neighborhood the gym is located in.
It’s one of the oldest farang friendly gyms in Chiang Mai but is definitely NOT a commercialized place like you will get more of down south (nothing to say about quality as both foreigner gyms that want your money and local Thai gyms that may not expect even 50 baht from you can both be excellent or totally crap). In fact this gym has a very, very Thai feel, something you can read about in my posts about True Bee Gym. There are fighting chickens kept in little coops around the ring (they do not walk on the ring, at least not anymore, I read a post where someone was saying that the chickens were crappin all over the place, NOT the situation right now), the gym is basic, concrete slab a row of beat up bags and a ring in the middle with a corrugated roof, lots of random clothes and laundry hanging around. The gym also has some wonderful but unfortunately slightly crumbling artwork all around the gym of ancient Muay Thai scenes. Very very cool stuff and the guy who did all those paintings is actually making shirts and having them sold at the gym. Worth checking out and some pretty good looking stuff.
Now, back to my first remarks about how this post is related to my post about Rose Gym. The reason I am even here at CHai Yai, is not because I love CHiang Mai so much although I must say for being a proper large city it is one of my most favorite cities in the world and a great place. But no, its not my love of Chiang Mai. I am here because the person I consider my true Ajarn or teacher is here. Pi Ae, Bee’s older brother was my main trainer in Pai and honestly, he’s my main trainer for Muay Thai period. He has shaped more of my game and helped more in my progression in this sport than any other trainer. I have had great trainers all over the place, in fact I would need to give a shout out to Pot from Sinbi Muay Thai as an excellent trainer as well but I never had the same training relationship with him as I did with Ae. Anyway, I think Ae can deserve his own post later but point is, Ae was at Chai Yai and that’s why I headed there. Three of the trainers from True Bee moved back to Chai Yai. Ae, Tree and Bee but Bee, Ae’s younger brother and owner of True Bee Gym was in Holland training Artur Kyushenko, so that alone should tell you what Bee’s level is. Bee actually is a much more famous and more successful fighter and obviously a great trainer but in the end during my time at True Bee, my trainer was Ae.
I had only known that Ae was at the gym so I rode up on my motorbike much to everyones surprise as they were not expecting me. I hear the sound of Ae’s voice say “Somchai!” and two seconds later I hear another trainer from True Bee named Tree pipe up with the same. It was music to my ears. I felt immediately transported back to my time at True Bee and it seemed that I had never left, in fact even more so than my time at True Bee it brought me back to my entire experience in Thailand. It was as if I had never came to Pakistan and was simply waking back up as a Nak Muay living in the gym. Quite Surreal.
Anyway, we shared greetings and I was introduced to the trainers at the gym, most of whom, in fact almost all of whom I had met before. Even while at True Bee, the ties between Chai Yai gym and True Bee gym were very solid as this was the gym Ae and Bee were trainers at before moving on to Pai and starting True Bee. When I came down to Chiang Mai to fight, I was cornered by one of Chai Yai’s guys. When I went to see Tree fight at this random hilltop town, True Bee went hand in hand with Chai Yai’s guys as if we were one gym. And I even fought two brothers who were based out of Chai Yai gym!
For my entire time in Chiang Mai, I trained Muay Thai here at Chai Yai.
I am gonna let this post serve as my introduction to the gym and why I ended up there and will have another post focusing exclusively on the training.