If you have ever looked around for a suitable Muay Thai Thai gym to train at, you may have noticed two things: Muay Thai training fees are more expensive than a regular weights and cardio gym fees, and the price can vary drastically from the gym to gym. Here are a few factors that can impact the pricing of the gym’s fees, and may help you figure out how much Muay Thai training will cost you.
Location and Facilities
A large gym with brand new equipment, in the centre of a busy city, is going to cost significantly more to attend than an old gym in someone’s backyard in suburbia. Often times the teachers are no better in the bigger and busy gyms (in fact once upon a time it was the family owned-and-run gyms that produced the greatest talent) but the newer and bigger gyms offer convenience. If you are the sort of person that wants a class to be available at various hours to fit your busy schedule, you will have to pay for the flexibility through higher Muay Thai membership fees.
If you are going to Muay Thai classes only for the purpose of getting fit, you are guaranteed to get results with consistent training, but you will also pay more than you would to go to a normal gym and use their cardio equipment. Many people choose to pay that little bit extra to train Muay Thai for fitness because it can be a much more entertaining way to exercise compared to the normal repetitive motion of most cardio machines.
Even though Muay Thai and boxing often get thrown in the same category as “gym”, they need to be viewed as more of a sport or a skill that you will be learning, rather than just fitness. A martial arts trainer usually has spent years dedicating himself to his art and offers a skill that cannot be easily mastered. This is a big reason why it is more expensive to attend a real martial arts class than a boxercise class.
There is nothing wrong with attending classes that have more of a fitness focus, but just be aware that it is unlikely you will learn any real techniques. The point of those fitness classes is to make you tired, not teach you skill, and they no doubt serve their purpose well. However, at a real martial arts gym, you will learn the skill at the same time as you gain fitness. Why not have both!?
Cost for Fighter vs cost for casual Enthusiast
This can be looked at in two ways: the overall cost of Muay Thai, or value for money. The fighters often have similar weekly fees to attend the gym (sometimes a little extra), but will be going to classes much more frequently to prepare for their competitions, whereas a casual enthusiast may only attend classes 2-3 times per week. Let’s not forget that the cost of boxing and Muay Thai training can extend beyond membership fees. There is also the purchasing of training equipment, the cost of which can vary greatly. How will you know which gear to buy and if you are overpaying?
If you are training frequently, it is a very good idea to pay for good quality equipment, as you want to protect your body with the best equipment available, and cheap equipment will deteriorate rapidly. Fighters should always buy leather equipment, as synthetic materials do not stand the test of time. If you are a small person(and therefore not hitting as hard), and/or not training often, you may get away with spending less on your equipment as you won’t be putting it through as much wear and tear. Just remember – you get what you pay for!
Some top of the range and good quality brands to look for are Punish, Fairtex, Twins, King/Topking, Raja, just to name a few.
Some middle of the range brands that will more than get the job done, but don’t have the same prestige or reputation as the ones mentioned above, and therefore don’t cost as much are Sting, Morgan, SMAI.
Stay away from buying your gear in a store that doesn’t specialise in sports.
Again, this will vary greatly depending on the factors mentioned previously. If you are looking for the best quality training available, there are current and former world champions that teach one on one Muay Thai lessons for over $100 per session. The services they provide can vary from fight training to weight loss, to life coaching. If you are simply looking to get fit and lose some weight, but don’t have the budget, you may be better suited to a personal trainer who isn’t a world champion, but in the long run, the process may be slower.
BE AWARE of regular personal trainers that claim to be able to teach you to fight. You don’t want to fall into the trap of thinking you are able to defend yourself, but really the techniques you have been shown don’t work, because your trainer is incompetent and inexperienced. The best way to avoid this is to ask for “real fight experience”. Stay away from people who claim to have “over 1000 street fights” or make any other outlandish claims without anything to back it up.
Questions you should be asking are:
“Have you ever fought in the ring?” And “Where did you learn Muay Thai?” If they have never fought in the ring, or never trained other successful fighters, stay away from them. And if they learned at a Kung-fu school, but are going to teach you, Muay Thai, you should consider other trainers. Of course, there will be the odd exception to these suggestions, and there will occasionally be a phenomenal teacher who has never set foot in a ring, but if you have no prior experience in the sport yourself, use these suggestions to help you make your decision about a trainer.
If you are still unsure about which gym you want to attend, most will offer a free trial lesson, or you can pay casual rates to try before you commit. It is frowned upon in the sport to frequently change gyms, so it is best to find one you like first, then stick with it.