Now that I’ve been at Rawai Muay Thai for little over a week, I’ve been able to better understand camp life and formulate a few hypothesis on the people who come here. Firstly, who would come to such a camp?
As you can imagine, many people who come want to be Muay Thai fighters. It’s just like enrolling in school except that the lectures involve a lot of sweaty high kicks. These guys (and a few women) stay for many months, are highly focused and are here to train. Hard.
The Body Shapers
Then, you have people who’ve come because they want to get into shape. So perhaps they see the camp as something like a Bikram-style Tae Bo Boot Camp. Indeed, this would be a good place to get in shape as we do 200 push-ups and sit-ups as part of the daily 3.5 hours of cardio. This group is slightly less motivated and may skip the odd class. But they too seem to stay for a few weeks to months.
Then you have what some student fighters refer to as the tourists. These are people who come for a short time just to say that they trained with professional Muay Thai fighters. Not to say there’s anything wrong with – many of these people will go big then go home. Personally I think it’s a great idea and wish there were more opportunities for attending training camps for specific skills. I would learn Kung Fu, lion-taming and anything which involved fire. Oh and ninja stuff. And maybe plumbing because that sounds like a useful skill.
But there was one last group which puzzled me. These are people who pay to stay on camp but hardly attend classes. It’s almost as if they like the idea of learning Muay Thai than actually doing it. Maybe it’s similar to how I like the idea of solving a Rubik cube but don’t actually care. Or wanting to learn a foreign language but keep getting bored after one lesson.
But on Saturday night, at the owner Tuk’s birthday party, it all made sense. There were all these unfamiliar female faces out, peacocking for male attention. Put it this way, I’ve never seen a stripper-pole dance-off before. Incidentally, the German girl who won had excellent moves, which is more than I can say for her sparring skills.
To be fair, if I were a girl and I was at a camp where it was 90% men, I’d probably be happy to hang around just for benefits too. It’s genius really. Had I thought about earlier, I would have probably signed up for a nursing camp instead.