In this respect it’s hard to top Muay Thai. Dubbed ‘the art of eight limbs’ due to the eight striking points – hands, elbows, feet and shins – the Thai martial art allows you to attack from a full clockface of angles, all while building crazy strength, power and endurance.
There are plenty of gyms out there offering classes, so if you’re sick of the weight room or HIIT is losing its lustre, a session on the mat could be a great way to get your blood pumping and adrenaline surging. Check out our picks for the best Muay Thai gyms in the City of Churches and prepare yourself for a combat workout that’ll get you in knockout shape.
1. SOUTHSIDE MUAY THAI
Location: Black Forest, SA
Price: From $34 per week
About: This is a thoroughly professional facility, with a strong emphasis on inclusion and realising personal goals. With over 250sq/m of matted floor space, two boxing rings and eight heavy bags, there’s plenty of room to work on your Muay Thai fundamentals under the guidance of head coach Barry Saunders, who served on the Australian team at the 2019 IFMA World Muay Thai Championships. Can’t argue with that.
2. YOUNG LIONS THAI BOXING & FITNESS
Location: St Marys, SA
About: Come here for an authentic training camp atmosphere without having to fork out on the airfare – not that you can go to Thailand now, anyway. Owner and trainer Ravinder Sidhu will give you a comprehensive grounding in the art of eight limbs, honing your elbow and knee strikes, punches and kicks, along with grappling and throwing. If you’re not a weapon by the end, that’s on you.
3. RIKERS GYM
Location: Glynde, SA
Price: From $120 a month
About: Got dreams that extend beyond raising a sweat and developing the skills to fend off a mugger? You’ve come to the right place. Veteran trainer Jeremy Keeping has over 25 years’ experience in the trade, guiding a stable of fighters to world, national and state titles. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned eight limbs assassin, all classes involve skipping, stretching, shadow boxing technique, pad and bag work, sparring and clinching drills with a partner, followed by strength and conditioning exercises. Work hard, dream big.
4. REALITY SELF DEFENCE AND CONDITIONING
Location: Burnside, SA
About: The focus here is on self-defence and fitness, with classes in Muay Thai, Krav Maga and European kickboxing, as well as Russian kettlebells and Circular Strength training. Head coach and director Matt Beecroft boasts just about every fitness and self-defence qualification going, while head Muay Thai coach, Steve Pietsch, has trained world champions. You’re in good hands in other words.
5. METTLE MARTIAL ARTS ACADEMY
Location: Unley, SA
Price: From $130 a month
About: A holistic martial arts gym offering Muay Thai, Jeet June do, Kali and submission grappling. Muay Thai students are exposed to boxing and kick-boxing combinations, elbow and knee strike variations, clinching techniques, takedowns and sparring progressions, as well as the Wai Khru Ram Muay, a war dance performed before a fight to pay respects to your teacher and parents. A great place to hone fundamentals, blast your endurance base and develop combat nous.
6. STRONGHEART MUAY THAI
Location: Hindmarsh, SA
Price: From $41 a week
About: A pure Muay Thai gym, these guys regularly rotate champion Thai trainers and have close ties with the Revolution Gym in Phuket. With a welcoming vibe, the crew here believe Muay Thai combined with a healthy lifestyle can “help anyone benefit from the physical, mental and emotional challenges we face inside and outside of the ring”. You can’t ask for more than that.
7. CHAU KAIZEN
Location: Prospect, SA
Price: From $25 per week
About: Located in a converted warehouse, this gym has an authentic, gritty feel that’ll inspire you to work hard across a range of combat disciplines, including Muay Thai, BJJ and MMA. There’s also weights and yoga, making it the perfect place to work up a sweat while fortifying your body and mind.
8. GRANDMASTER LEONGS WING CHUN KUNG FU, MUAY THAI & WU SHU ACADEMY
Location: Adelaide CBD, SA
About: Muay Thai may not be the main focus here, but Grandmaster Leong has trained uner Grandmaster Yuttanna Wongbandue, head instructor of the World Muay Thai Association. There’s a little bit of a Kill Bill vibe about the place that doesn’t hurt, particularly if you’ve got revenge on your mind. Added bonus: Leong is qualified in Chinese medicine and offers acupuncture treatments, possibly handy after you take a pounding in class.
9. ARRUDA TEAM
Location: Edwardstown, SA
Price: From $55 per fortnight
About: A multidisciplinary training facility offering both BJJ and Muay Thai from high pedigree trainers. Muay Thai classes are led by the SKA Welterweight State Title, Sam Goodman. He and the team will develop your kicks, holds and strikes, while sending your conditioning through the roof.
10. IRON INDUSTRY GYM
Location: Adelaide CBD, SA
Price: From $31.95 per fortnight
About: While this is a commercial gym largely focused on weight training and cardio, it does offer Muay Thai classes in which you can learn basic movements, raise your heart rate on the pads and even spar if you feel like it. Perfect if you want to use Muay Thai to boost your stamina and shred lard, without wearing an elbow to the nose. Bonus: a heavy red colour scheme and abundance of neon boosts the fun factor.
What is Muay Thai?
Muay Thai is a martial art and combat sport that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. The most common difference between kickboxing and Muay Thai, is that while kickboxing is a 4-point striking system that involves the use of kicks and punches only, Muay Thai is an 8-point striking system involving the use of not only kicks and punches, but also makes use of elbows and knees, and upper body grappling.
How much does a Muay Thai Gym cost?
Muay Thai Gyms can cost anywhere from $25 per class to $150 a fortnight. You can take a look at the approximate class prices above (subject to change). Your best bet is calling the gym you’re most interested in attending.
Can you build muscle with Muay Thai?
While Muay Thai is more about endurance, you can still build muscle. Depending on the type of class, those that include strengthening workouts (where you are actually building up muscle mass) are key. On top of that, you have to consume more calories than you burn, which means eating the right foods pre and post workout.
Is Muay Thai a good workout?
As Thai boxers require both the stamina for long rounds and explosive speed to outfight their opponents, they number among the fittest athletes around. However, their training is always applicable to the sport. Skipping teaches fighters coordination and footwork, while shadow-boxing with dumbbells ensures fighting sans weights is fluid and effortless.
Muay Thai is such a complete sport that a 2h session can burn up to 1700 calories.