Last March I found myself on yet another tropical beach after traveling through Asia for two months. I was thinking about what to do with my last week in Thailand before leaving from Bangkok. Should I go to another island or should I do something else? Why not have my first Muay Thai experience?
I’d secretly been considering trying Muay Thai ever since I didn’t manage to get into a gym when I was in Pai earlier. So I started doing some research. I sent some emails out to different gyms located between Koh Chang, where I was at that moment, and Bangkok, and I got a few replies. The emails that Bryan from Master Toddy sent me, immediately convinced me that Master Toddy’s in Bangkok was the place to be for me. I had no Muay Thai experience or experience with any kind of martial arts at all, I was on a tight budget and I had little time, but none of that was a problem. So I left the islands and the beaches behind and headed towards Bangkok to stay at the gym and have my first Muay Thai experience, the best decision I made during that trip.
I wasn’t expecting to get hooked after only one Muay Thai experience, but that’s exactly what happened!
I arrived on a Friday night and my first private lesson was planned on Saturday. Bryan had advised me to get two of those, in order to get to know at least some basics before joining the group training on Monday. I was a little nervous before the first training session, but as Bryan had explained: the philosophy at Master Toddy’s is to make you want more, instead of making you fear your next training. A positive way of training where the focus is on improving your technique rather than on wearing you out as soon as possible. As soon as I got in the ring I realized that had not just been a sales pitch and I felt right at ease.
Then it was Monday morning, the start of group training and to be honest, I was feeling kind of anxious again. After two months of only doing some running and some crunches I was facing training five days in a row, two training sessions a day, four hours a day. But most of all: I was going to be training in a group with experienced fighters! But then, it couldn’t have been nicer. The permanent fighters at the gym are so used to a changing group and to people with no Muay Thai experience whatsoever, that they made me feel comfortable instantly. And by training for four hours a day, I quickly got into better shape again.
I learned a lot, both from Master Toddy, the trainers and the fighters as well, and I’ve had such a great time being in this part of Bangkok.
In between training sessions I would go for some lovely street food, and I often went to the swimming pool that trainer Nut had showed me. Being close to the sky train (BTS), downtown Bangkok is just a train ride away.
I started to like this place so much in just a week! With all these great people from all over the world training there and of course the trainers and Master Toddy, who were all so kind and wonderful. It made me decide to try to prolong my visa and change my flight and I managed to stay for another week, which was just as awesome as the first one. I learned a lot more, gained some more Muay Thai experience, bought some of the coolest training outfits at the gym, I even got a traditional Thai tattoo on my neck when I went along on a visit to a traditional Thai tattoo artist.
All in all, going here was, as I said, the best decision I made during this trip. I was unable to prolong my stay any longer, but if I could I definitely would have.
I’m back in the Netherlands now and I just started doing Muay Thai here. Of course, training here doesn’t match up with training at Master Toddy’s in any way. And following the gym on Facebook, seeing what happens there makes me wish I were there again every single time.
Just as many others do, I’m planning to come back to this place again and again, and just based on my Muay Thai experience I would recommend it to everyone.
Written by Janneke Brouwer