Looking at this gym from the outside in, it doesn’t look like much...Just a little worn in places.
It has seen better days, let’s face it. Nevertheless Sityodtong and its trainers have produced some amazing talent over the past years, including Yoddecha “Sityodtong”, a great Muay Thai fighter who grew up at the gym since the age of seven.
He was having a very difficult childhood when Kru Yodtong, The Grandmaster of the gym, took Yoddecha in and treated him like one of the family.
SITYODTONG THAILAND YOKKAO TRAINING CENTER
ABOUT SITYODTONG THAILAND
Sityodtong is a place where young boys with little-to-no family can come and live. They eat three hot meals a day and even have their own bed.
The only condition is, they eat, sleep and breathe Muay Thai.
They train twice a day, everyday (except Sunday).
They have a light training session in the morning before school.
Then a heavier training session in the afternoon, followed by a 7-8 km run.
Some foreigners wish they had the life of one of these young boys.
AT FIRST GLIMPSE
Visitors arriving by car or motorbike can park outside the gym in the parking lot.
The first view of the gym is a glimpse of multi-coloured heavy bags varying in size and weight.
Behind the bags are 3 rings where fighters and their trainers can take part in individual practice.
Heavy wooden furniture, covered in an array of mitts, pads and equipment, is dotted around the gym where visitors can grab a seat and watch training sessions
This Yokkao training center is open air which is standard for Muay Thai gyms in Thailand.
An additional gym is located just a few meters away across the parking lot.
This separate area contains a large, well lit ring, raised from the ground.
This is a great place to practice some evening clinching.
In the past this ring was built for showcasing matches to exclusive VIP audiences, now it’s used for training.
However, only a few select trainers can use this ring, just ask for “Kick.”
Also on this side of Sityodtong is the weight training area, a simple bench press, sit up bench, and a few bar bells roll around on the concrete floor.
All still very effective to improve strength and conditioning.
Also on this side of the gym are two “tear drop” style heavy bags.
The energy and vibe from this gym is great.
It’s a place where Thai men, women and children can come and train for free.
It is the quintessential Thailand Muay Thai gym.
The trainers are great and have excellent knowledge of the sport, most were champions at some point.
All the trainers without exception have a tremendous passion and knowledge of Muay Thai.
The coolest part of the gym is the photos the Grandmaster has hung on the walls.
Experienced visitors will already know that most Muay Thai gyms are overflowing with stories from the past.
Each photograph on the walls here tells an impressive story, or perhaps an epic tale depending on who is telling it.
THE COST AND QUALITY
The cost of a training session is 250 baht.
A training session consists of five, three minute rounds.
The trainers are always willing to do more rounds for a little extra cost.
They will often go beyond the ring to help with technique, depending on how busy they are.
It is of course Thailand, so the trainers don’t speak the best English, however they know enough to hone your skills in the ring.