Muay Boran is a Thai martial art that is still relatively unknown in the west. The movies of Tony Jaa have helped to showcase this impressive combat system, but there can be confusion as to what this style actually involves and where to go to learn it.
It is only relatively recently that westerners visiting Thailand had much of an opportunity to receive instruction in this Thai martial art but things are changing. Due to the growing demand for Muay Boran some of the more popular Muay Thai camps (in places like Phuket) are now providing courses for their students. There are also a number of traditional training camps that are willing to teach this traditional art to foreigners.
The options for learning Muay Born in Thailand would include:
Muay Thai Conservation Centre
The Muay Thai Conservation Centre is located to the rear of the National Stadium near Siam Square.
The main instructor at the school is Master Suphan and he is dedicated teacher who does his best to tailor the class to meets the needs of the students. He is able to provide private tuition at a reasonable price – 300 THB per hour. The Muay Thai Conservation Centre has a set syllabus that students can follow, and there is also a grading system. Master Suphan is flexible with private classes and he is willing to tailor the lesson to suit the needs of the student.
Baan Chang Thai Arts School
Baan Chang Thai Arts School is located off Sukhumvit Road on Ekamai Soi 10. This venue provides instruction in a type of Muay Boran known as Muay Chaiya. This is a southern style that is believed to have been developed 250 years ago. Baan Chang Thai Arts School mostly offers public lessons at the weekends, but it is also possible to ask for a private class at other times. Ajarn Lek is the main instructor at the school.
Rose Gym in Pai is also able to offer lessons. They offer a 6 week or three month introductory course. Participants are also expected to learn meditation. It may be possible to obtain a three month educational visa for those who choose the three month course.
Muay Sangha School is located approximately 5 km from the centre of Chiang Mai. This school is dedicated to preserving Muay Boran for future generations, and they have a strict code that they expect their students to follow. In order to attend lesson at Muay Sangha it is necessary to pass an interview.
Tiger Muay Thai
Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket offers lessons with Kru Oh. Anyone who is training at this camp is able to attend these lessons, and they provide a basic introduction in this traditional martial art.
Rawai Muay Thai Camp
Rawai Muay Thai Camp also offers private lessons with their resident expert Khru Chanupon. He is skilled in Muay Chaiya. Classes are available from 10:00 to 11:00 on Wednesdays and Fridays – they cost 500 THB per lesson (as of mid 2012).
Written by Muay-Thai-Guy.com contributor, Paul Garrigan