Island Muay Thai
Island Muay Thai
4.5
About
The home of Muay Thai on Koh Tao, Thailand. Located in Sairee on Koh Tao, Island Muay Thai training and fight arena provides the Island of Koh Tao with all the needs for visitors, locals and local fighters! Established in 2002 Island Muay Thai is the first Muay Thai training camp and only to provide weekly to fortnightly fight nights.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.5
103 reviews
Excellent
73
Very good
17
Average
6
Poor
6
Terrible
1

Nolajeanne11
Nanaimo, Canada24 contributions
Mar 2020
First time to real muay thai, we usually watch UFC and wanted to see what a real muay thai fight was like. We watched 7 fights including younger fighters and a womans bout. All the fighters were respectful and very talented - highly recommend checking it out.
Written March 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jwfl86
London, UK31 contributions
Apr 2017 • Solo
I spent two and a half weeks on Koh Tao and trained at Island Muay Thai twice a day for the last week. They run two classes each day (c.1.5 hr each) at 8am and 4pm. Starts with 10 mins of stretching and skipping, followed by an hour rotating between pads, bags and sparring. Note that this is an outdoor place so with 30 degrees you will be sweating heavily, so bring water. On average there were about 4-5 'tourists' at each class and then there are 3 younger Thai guys who train there regularly. There are about 6 trainers so you will have plenty of one-on-one time with a coach.

I read some of the critical reviews here and yes, if you really want to learn professional Muay Thai with the best fighters in Thailand, then probably you should go for 2-3 months to Bangkok or Chiangmai and focus on this exclusively. But if you are already on Koh Tao and (like me) want a change after a week of diving, then this is a perfect way to get some great exercise and learn the basics of Muay Thai.

I trained with Hom and Nan and really enjoyed it.

Thanks guys!

Jim
Written April 30, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Petra L
Boblingen, Germany101 contributions
Aug 2015
I had no previous experience with Thai boxing, but wanted to really try it. First I was bit scared. The place had no other visitors at that moment just us. Which at first looked weird but then turned out to be an advantage. I do not remember my trainers name but I have to say he did a great job and was very motivating and showed me a lot. I really felt I was getting his full attention..after my warm up. First he looked quite tired ...but he was not...and after an hour of hour of hard training I had to stop from exhaustion:))))) Which was great ..plus my trainer gave me a massage on the mat by walking on my back and stretching me...he was right..the whole day I felt like new again and had no problem to walk to the other side of the island the same day hiking in super heat;)))
Had a great time and love the photos my husband made during my training:))
Written January 14, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mark K
Suffolk, UK139 contributions
Jan 2015 • Solo
I have trained at a few different muay thai gyms around Thailand and firstly let me say if you want to learn muay thai don't go to Koh Tao.

I trained at Island muay thai over the course of a month and will review the training, trainers, on site accomadation, facilities and fight nights.

First the training - the morning is advertised as 8-10 and the afternoon as 4-6. This should really be changed to 8-9 in the morning (latest a morning session ran to was 9:10) and 4-5:30 in the afternoon.

During the training you start with 10 minutes skipping, then do some stretching and then bag and pad work. You will generally do three 3 minute rounds on the pads with one of the trainers, the emphasis on the pads is to leave you exhausted so you come away knowing you worked hard. Unfortunately there is no advice on technique whilst your being worked on the pads so although your getting fitter you are not getting better.

If your not on the pads then you will be on the bags, all the trainers will have someone on the pads so you are left to your own devices on the bags so again no improvement on your technique.

Once you have done bags and pads you normally do 100 front tips on one of the bags followed by 100 knees. In the morning that is the session done, in the afternoon you may do some clinching or an ab workout after and then be finsihed - there is very little sparring.

There are 4 trainers at the gym - P.Toon (the boss) Nan, Surat, and Summat.

In the 20 sessions I did at the gym I only did 1 round on the pads with P.Toon and that was just boxing. Whilst I was there P.Toon only ever really took the female students on the pads. It was a shame as from what I have been told he was previously a top fighter and respected trainer. He is a really nice man and I get the feeling he is now just coasting along as he is approaching what would be retirement age in the western world.

Nan is the youngest of the trainers (late 20s) and is a real nice guy, he also speaks the best english out of the Thai guys. I enjoyed the pads with Nan and he was the only one who ever did any kind of technique advice even though it wasn't much.

Summat is in his 40s and has a small belly but is still in responsible shape. Again is a real nice guy and if you are there for a while you definitely see him at a party as he likes a night out. Summat is the only one of the trainers who made you constantly think about defense as he would come back with counter kicks but he never really corrected any poor technique.

The final trainer is Surat. Surat is a rather large man who could do with a few muay thai sessions himself. I personally doubt Surat was ever a muay thai fighter, based on rounds on the pads with him. He holds the pads so far apart for a 1-2 that you would need to be punching someone with a head the size of an elephant and he also holds the pad at head height for front tips (a defensive kick which should normally be into the abs to push your opponent away). Whilst on the pads with Surat you will often here him say very good even though I know my kicks needed technical improvement. This may be based on the fact he actually doesn't really watch what your doing, he seems more intrested on what is going on behind you. All in all you don't want to be lumbered with him for sessions on the pads.

Now for the facilities. This is the only place on the island with a ring so if your just after a facebook profile pic it may well be the place for you. Apart from having a ring the facilities really need some investment. The matting on the floor has several little missing parts where they join together, not ideal for a sport where you are often up on your toes (accident waiting to happen). The matting also needs a good clean, bottom of your feet will be black with dirt at the end of the session. There are two matted areas and the area closer to the toilets often has the smell in the air of the toilets. Not a pleasant experience taking a deep breath during a training session and smelling the toilets. On the two matted areas there are 6 bags and these are in good condition. The on site accommodation seems to be fairly new and is well priced and is actually better than lots of other gyms on site accommodation.

Now for the fight nights! Don't waste your time and money wait till your on a bigger island or the mainland. There is generally 5 to 7 fights and only the last 1 or 2 are ever worth watching. The first few fights are not actually Thais, they are Burmese and clearly have never had any real fight training and are just fighting to earn a tiny bit of cash. I have seen better standards of fight in a weatherspoons (cheap UK pub chain for those nor from the UK). There is often a child fight which is not uncommon in Thailand, unfortunately one of the children who regularly fights trains at the gym and clear is being pushed into it. He is and rather chubby child who cries during fights and the training method used with him and the gym is definatley bullying and wouldn't be accepted anywhere in the western world.

There is a guy who runs a dive shop in Sariee who is a business partner of the gym - the previous business partner left to set his own place up about 18 months previously. I saw this guy take some of the local fighters on the pads (always after our training had finsihed) and his training was much better than any of the Thai trainers. The gym has potential if he decideds to invest some capital on the facilities and changes the trainers once P.Toon retires.

In conclusion if your not really bothered about improving technique and just want some fitness go along but why not just go to the crossfit gym for that?
Written April 6, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for the review Mark, good or bad Island Muay Thai appreciates all feedback. Slightly confused that if dissatisfied with your training at Island Muay Thai, why you still chose to train here for 2 months (as you mention on another fitness review in Koh Tao). Island Muay Thai lives on a very small island Koh Tao in Thailand, many of the things you mention in the review are just not possible due to the size of the population on such a small island, especially the fight nights (at 500bht per ticket it's not financially feasible to ship in top fighters from Bangkok or the surrounding mainland). Surin (not Surat) is generally that way due to a medical condition years ago, he regularly pulls up his t-shirt (like many Thai do for cooling), surprised you did not see the massive scar he has across his stomach. The child you mention, I have the pleasure of spending a lot of time with inside and outside the camp, he is a very happy and lively lad, considering how long you had spent in Thailand, odd that you even try to compare western life with all the rules and regulations with Thailand life with hardly any of the rules and regulations and a very different way of raising your young. Regards Cooper Island Muay Thai Admin & GRM
Written October 25, 2015
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sinikka R
Espoo, Finland6 contributions
Dec 2015 • Solo
I felt myself more than welcome to spend that time with trainers. I slept, trained 2 times/day, ate and spent my freetime wih them. I haven't met any people and fighters with big hearts like they have before. I can recommend truly! Hard training and quality teaching, no matter are you beginner or well-known fighter. The gym's doors are always open! I came by myself but i left with family and friends.
Written December 27, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LittleNomad8
London, UK48 contributions
Feb 2015 • Couples
My husband and I took a few lessons with the coached at Island Muay Thai. They were extremely professional and patient. This was my first time trying the sport and I absolutely fell in love with it.

We also had the chance to check out a Muay Thai fight night while we were there. I highly suggest watching a few of the professional fights while you train with Island Muay Thai. It's great to see what it looks like when everything is put together. All in all, it was a great experience, and one that we will definitely do again on Koh Tao.
Written March 30, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Martinmyhre
Oslo, Norway25 contributions
Trained here two times during ny stay in Ko Tao. Great trainers and a friendly, though authentic atmosphere. You Get treated with respect, but are pushed hard by the trainers. The heat in the 1600 training are intense. Were some first timers at both my sessions and they hot a real good treatment. Firstly they assess your skill level and tailor the training after that. Highly recommended!
Written March 1, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bob R
Surrey, Canada9 contributions
Feb 2015 • Solo
This was more like it. Only 500 Baht a ticket. All tickets the same price, first come first served seating. Semi-open, partly covered ring. Ive been to two other Boxing rings in Phukett. Very pricey. Made fro empty seats. But in Ko Tao with this Mui Thai Boxing match held about once a week, it filled up, which is good for atmosphere. The fights were a little more organized in Phukett, and the ticket price did cover transportation, but still it was 300% more expensive in Phukett, and that also didnt fill the stadiums. If your in Ko Tao, take in a Mui Thai match for 500 Baht. ($25 bucks Canadian, $1.50 USD (joke) )Its worth the money. Lots of locals, lots of people, and the fighting is always real. I went last night, had a blast.
Written February 20, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Edward K
Newport, Wales, United Kingdom1 contribution
Feb 2014 • Solo
I trained here for two weeks and absolutely loved it, the trainers are fantastic and you learn in an authentic traditional thai atmosphere. If you do go keep an eye out for the Muay Thai chicken - yes its a resident chicken that seems to have picked up some Muay Thai whilst pecking in the surrounding dirt. The fights are really well put together and always exciting and draw a good crowd. The training cost is also cheap and I was there travelling on my gap year (absolutely penniless) so for me to call something cheap is a big deal. Well worth it, give it a go and you wont regret it!
Written November 25, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

WouterVG7
Ghent, Belgium201 contributions
Sep 2013 • Solo
As the weather wasn’t that great in the period we were on Koh Tao, I decided to stay fit by visiting the island Muay Thai. I paid for a one hour training and enjoyed it to the fullest. After warming up by jumping rope, they pushed me to my limits. The trainers don’t speak English, but boxing is a universal language so it won’t be hard to understand what they’re trying to teach you. Although on the other hand this makes the training less personal.

Overall a fun (and cultural) experience if you have some time left and want to taste this style of boxing in an authentic, no-nonsense environment.
Written December 20, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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