Imagine you took the most commercialized fitness gym in your home country like “The Good Life” or “Fitness First,” turned it into a Muay Thai gym and transported it to Thailand. This is probably as close to a comparison as you can get.
If you are like me, you probably heard of Tiger Muay Thai because of their marketing. In terms of marketing, there is no bigger and better gym than Tiger. This gym spends $$$$ making sure they have the biggest search engine presence on the web, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. They have a full video production team that is constantly pumping out fresh stuff to make sure that you are aware of their brand name.
Tiger Muay Thai was partially sold to mega rich Thai owners who are looking to make it the globo gym of the world. They have plans to create Tiger Muay Thai franchises around the world like the UFC branded gyms or other big brand fitness gyms you see. With the huge money now backing the gym, don’t be surprised if you see a Tiger Muay Thai popping up in your home country.
If you want to learn where to train in Thailand read this article: How to Choose the Best Muay Thai Training Camp
Tiger Muay Thai is the largest Muay Thai and MMA camp in Thailand by a long shot. When I say large, I am talking about up to 400+ people registered at the camp at once. While a regular Muay Thai gym would be happy with 20 students, this gym is absolutely killing it with their numbers.
At any given period you will have hundreds of students ranging from all different walks of life training at Tiger. When it comes to facilities and equipment, there is no gym in Thailand that can match Tiger Muay Thai in terms of size and variety. If you are the type of person that likes your all-inclusive holidays to Mexico where you don’t have to explore the local area and want to live in the camp, Tiger is definitely your place. The gym provides everything you need to ensure that you don’t have to do much in terms of preparation before your trip to Tiger.
Besides the gym itself, the Tiger road is full of fitness cafe’s and other gyms that are all within walking distance. This is a health lover/CrossFitters paradise. You can visit the massage joints, bars and other places that are all opened up to cater to tourists around the area.
Tiger has so many options to choose from, you will probably get lost in the variety. While I come from the train of thought that if you travel all the way to Thailand you should learn Muay Thai because that’s what they are best at, other people want to do MMA/ CrossFit etc.
A big focus of the gym is the MMA sections of the training. Tiger brings in foreign MMA coaches and instructors from around the world to ensure that people looking to train MMA can have the best experience possible. The advantage of training at a place like Tiger is you get a lot of sparring partners to work with at the gym.
Is Tiger for You?
Tiger Muay Thai is not for everyone. If you are someone who wants to support the little gyms and go to a place that has a more family environment and less of a massive factory feel, then you will probably want to check out some more of the traditional camps that are around.
Tiger is so big that they probably have more students than the next twenty Muay Thai gyms combined. People who like going to a place that has the biggest and baddest facilities around, will definitely want to check out Tiger. If you are the type of guy training at a big corporate gym like Fitness First, LA Fitness or the Good Life, then you probably would like Tiger.
However, if you make a trip all the way to Thailand you should also check out some of the more traditional camps around. That way you can see what real Muay Thai camps look like, in addition to the big Western ones.
The truth is that Tiger has a lot of good Muay Thai trainers, but a lot of students get lost in the shuffle because they are one in hundreds of other students who are training there. A big complaint that some people have with Tiger is the sheer size of the camp. Some people feel that they get lost in the shuffle when it comes to training at Tiger.
Tiger gets a lot of mixed reviews. Some people swear by it with their lives and other people really hate it. It really comes down to what you expect out of a Muay Thai camp and the people you end up training with. It all comes down to personal taste in the end.
Given Tiger Muay Thais sheer size and huge income, they can afford to house a HUGE number of good trainers and fighters. Tiger also has some of the best fighters in the island of Phuket. Because of their sheer size and new investors, they are able to offer full paid sponsorships that help to boost their brand and ensure that they have fighters on most of the fight cards around the island. Sponsorships are readily available for those who have the talent and work ethic to train and fight hard.
This is why you probably notice a lot of fighters at Tiger Muay Thai. They sponsor a huge list of fighters and house them with free food and accommodation: something that most normal camps simply can’t afford to do.
Tiger Muay Thai is situated on Soi Tad-ied in Chalong. It is about a 45 minute taxi ride from the airport which will cost you anywhere from 700-1000 baht depending on your negotiating skills and the time that you fly in. Within walking distance of Phuket Top Team and Dragon Muay Thai, people training at Tiger will often encounter students at other gyms.
A benefit to having 3 major gyms in the same area is the amount of accommodation, restaurants, and other services that have been developed to keep up with the increased tourist population. This means you will never be far away from a massage or eat anytime you are sore or hungry.
The small soi Tai-ed as been called the fitness capital of Thailand because there is a huge number of Muay Thai/MMA and CrossFit gyms all along the road. Within a 5 minute walk you can hit up at least 5 gyms along the way.
This road is famous for their protein shake cafe’s and healthy restaurants. If you are looking for a decent meal, you really don’t have to travel too far to find one.
The downside of the Tiger location is you will probably need to rent a motorbike if you want to see other parts of the island. Besides the many restaurants and massages along the Tiger road, the area is nothing special. You need to visit Rawai, Kata, Karon, and Patong if you want to see a beach or see other parts of the island.
For those students who are willing to brave driving a motorbike, Nai Harn Beach is 15 minutes away and offers spectacular views. There are other popular attractions such as the Chalong Temple and the Big Buddha. Once a week Tiger has some students run to the top of the Big Buddha, which an endurance challenge for those who like to push their bodies to the limit.
Because the camp is so large, the training at Tiger is divided into 3 sections: beginner, intermediate, and advanced/fighters. People generally start with the beginner class and are then asked to join a different group. The Muay Thai training is from 8:00-10:30 am and 4:00-6:30 pm. The beginner section is more focused on technique and learning the basics while the advanced classes have an emphasis on clinching and sparring.
Being the largest muay thai gym in Thailand, Tiger offers some of the best trainers around. Many of the trainers were top level Lumpinee and Ratchadamnoen in their prime. Everyone is guaranteed pad rounds with a trainer and many students opt to do private lessons with a trainer of their choice.
Besides the Muay Thai training, Tiger Muay Thai offers MMA and a whole host of other fitness related activities. If you are planning on coming to Thailand to lose weight, these are all great options. However, if you are planning on training Muay Thai I would stick to Muay Thai and focus on your skills there.
In my opinion all the other stuff can end up being a distraction and prevent you from focusing on honing your Muay Thai craft. Remember that you can train BJJ and hit the gym at home, but you will never get access to world class trainers from Thailand unless you are in Thailand. That is why I always tell people to focus on their Muay Thai first and foremost above everything else.
Are you coming to Thailand for CrossFit? If you are only coming to Thailand to train CrossFit I’ve heard a lot of good things about Unit 27. They are CrossFit specialized gym that has a good reputation among fitness people.
One of the advantages of training at such a big gym like this is that you get to spar with a LOT of different guys from around the world. Since big gyms often attract more fighters, you can get in a lot of work with guys from all over the world you come from different martial arts backgrounds.
If you aren’t into heavy sparring then you can visit some of the intermediate classes and work on your technique. There is pretty much a class that caters to everyone’s needs at this gym.
Tiger offers a wide variety of accommodation for students who are looking to stay at the camp. There are 3 different types of accommodation available on site. These range from shared dorm rooms to single bungaloes that are available to students. They also provide referrals to students who are looking to stay off site at another hotel or guesthouse. If you are interested in staying on site you should visit the Tiger Muay Thai website to get more information.
The gym has undergone a number of renovations over the past few years and they continue to offer best in class facilities. The recently renovated all of their basic accommodations so they all have AC units and offer pretty good value for the price.
- Largest Muay Thai camp in all of Thailand – Biggest facilities on the Island
- Huge number of trainers to choose from
- All inclusive – They offer everything here from mma training, food, accommodation etc.
- Good fighters on the local Phuket Circuit and International
- Sponsorship opportunities for elite fighters
- They offer something for everyone. If you aren’t into Muay Thai you can work out at the gym, train wrestling, or even western boxing.
- Tiger road has a lot of great food, massage and restaurant options all within walking distance of the gym
- Largest Tourist Camp in Thailand – If you are looking for an authentic Muay Thai experience look elsewhere
- People complain about getting lost in the shuffle – The camp is so the largest in Thailand, it doesn’t have certain charm that other camps have
- Not an Authentic Muay Thai camp. Tiger was started by foreigners to cater to foreigners. This is not the traditional Thai style of gym that you might expect
- The location requires you to take a taxi or rent a motorbike if you want to visit another part of Phuket that offers beaches etc.
When it comes to choosing a Muay Thai gym, there is no one size fit solution for everyone. While I would never train at a mega commercialized gym, I know those gyms are the most popular back home, so it doesn’t surprise me that they are popular in Thailand as well.
If you are into the big “all inclusive” type gyms back home then Tiger is the place for you. They offer everything under the sun including fitness training, boot camps, mma, boxing, jiu jitsu and Muay Thai. If you want to come to Thailand to train MMA then this gym should definitely be on your list of options.
For people who are looking to follow the heavy crowds and go where the majority of people are going to train, Tiger is your number one option. Like I said before, this gym has more students and trainers than most of the other gyms combined. So if you want to train with a place that has large numbers this is your joint.
A lot of people like Tiger, while other people can’t stand it. People who are looking for a smaller more authentic Thai style camp should probably be looking at other gyms, as this is the largest and most commercial gym in all of Thailand.