Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Where can you train old style muay thai in the U.S.?

"Is there a gym that teaches old style muay thai in _____ (insert city)?" I receive emails almost everyday that asks me that question. And I more often times than not have a very hard time answering that very question myself.

When someone asks me this I do leg work. I'll go online and research the area that my reader is from. I've researched muay thai gyms from Philadelphia, to Tampa, to Austin to Spokane. Yet, there are really only a handful of individuals in North America (I know of) who have training in the older systems of muay thai.

Since Tony Jaa brought muay boran into the mainstream with his movies Ong Bak, and the Protector, I've seen a huge spike in interest in the older systems. But what I've seen, at least here in the U.S. is the same techniques from the same choreographed muay boran demo that's been on YouTube for years. And trust me, you'll begin to see the mega gyms like Fairtex, Tiger Muay Thai, and probably even UFC gym cash in with muay boran programs where you'll learn to "fight like Tony Jaa."  Join now and receive a FREE TapOut t-shirt for only $35.00 - no, sir, you get the shirt for free when you pay me $35 dollars. But wait, there's more!

My readers, who I appreciate so damn much,  I need your help. If you have encountered, or trained at a gym that uses muay thai as its base, but trains for the street, or a school that trains specifically in muay boran, muay chaiya, muay chao cherk, lerdrit, or krabi krabong - and does not offer MMA or BJJ classes as well - let me know! Even if you know a hidden gem that's old school in how they train, where they don't have walls covered with pictures of the school owner hobnobbing with celebrities, where they don't try to sell you a  120cc bottle of Thai liniment for $30. Those are the schools I'm looking for. Let's find 'em, and give them the publicity they probably hate, but deserve!

Either leave a comment on this post, or send me a note at donnie (at) oldstylemuaythai dot com.  Let's help each other find the dream gyms we know are out there.

I'll start with the gym I teach at - Muay Thai Academy International - Santa Clara, CA - no nonsense combat training based on the older styles of muay thai.