Wow, what a productive trip! It's possible it could have been more successful, but it's difficult to imagine in what way. With the assistance, guidance and input of our very good friend Master Chansadeth "Cheetah" Chantanao, Arjan Steve and Arjan Simon went to Bangkok to achieve 3 goals:
1. Meet with several camps of solid reputation to develop an on-going relationship to send Five Points Academy fighters for training.
2. Discuss on-going opportunities for Five Points Academy fighters to gain experience by fighting in Thailand.
3. Develop an on-going relationship to bring established Thai trainers to Five Points Academy, both for short term seminars and for more extended training visits.
We're extremely excited to report that we achieved all that and more!
Depending on goals, preferences and budget, we're very pleased to recommend the following camps to our students, in no particular order:
Owner Rob Cox is without a doubt the most Muay thai-savvy westerner in the world. The expatriate Brit has been based in Thailand for 19 years, reporting on the thai boxing scene for western media and working for several well-known muay thai camps. He graciously spent hours in conversation with Arjan Steve and Arjan Simon, discussing muay thai world-wide, opportunities for bringing trainers to the US and the possibilities for training and fighting at Kiat Phontip. This is a fighters' camp located outside the distractions of
Bangkok proper, with a well-respected stable of fighters -- Jompop Kiatphontip, former Southern Thailand champion, Samingprai Kiatphontip, and Rajadamnern Champion Samsamut, to name a few -- as well as trainers with international experience. Five Points
Academy hopes to host Kiatphontip trainer Kru Bao in 2011.
The brainchild of Timothy Dharmajiva, it's safe to say there is no other camp like it in Thailand (it was 2009 Camp of the Year). The instruction under the direction of Arjan Monlit -- trainer of the legendary Jongsanan-- is everything one would expect. The newly constructed camp is a marvel of planning, the accommodations and food superb, again removed from the distractions of central Bangkok. And the fighters are cream of the crop, from established champions like Kem and Sittichai to the up and coming Johmod.
Timothy was every bit as experienced, knowledgeable,forthcoming and selfless as Rob, sharing insight into the state of muay thai in Thailand and around the world, kindly taking the time to introduce Steve and Simon to fighters, trainers and equipment contacts, and generously giving his blessing to a future seminar at Five Points Academy with Arjan Monlit.
Khlap Muay Thai
Recently opened by Arjan Chut, the trainer of K-1phenomenon Buakaw, as well as 3 time Rajadamnern and WMC World Champion Namsaknoy (The Emperor), Chokdee, and many other champions. This camp is in it's infancy, still taking on it's identity, and Steve and Simon are honored to be able to help. As a first step, Five Points Academy has agreed to sponsor Namsaknoy in his training and upcoming bout set for Milan, Italy in December. We also expect to host him at Five Points for advanced fighter training in 2011.
One of the 1st thai camps to welcome foreigners, Arjan Jitti has been the go-to for fighters and those wishing to train like them for 19 years. Arjan Steve got his start here 17 years ago, fighting his first bout under this camp in Chaweng Stadium. A host of westerners including British champion Liam Harrison loyally return to train under the direction of Arjan Jitti, his brother and former stadium champion Sam, and muay thai legend Rajasak. And it's also conveniently located, easily accessible to the sights and sounds of Bangkok.
The coming year promises to be an exciting one for Five Points Academy fighters and students. Train in Thailand at one of these great camps, fight in Thailand, or experience the knowledge and expertise of one of the Thai trainers we'll be hosting at Five Points Academy. Any way you look at it, it's simply awesome. Stay tuned for details!