Por Promin Muay Thai, Hua Hin

11

January 6, 2013 by Melissa Ray

Muay Thai training is repetitive by nature. Routine, practice, and drills are all important for good habits to be established, and for the numerous techniques to be committed to memory. However, the occasional change from the normal training routine can be extremely stimulating and keep the mind interested.

Just before Christmas, I had a change of location—spending a few days away from Bangkok in the beach resort town of Hua Hin in Prachuap Khiri Khan province. I also experienced a brief change in gym.

Group shot after morning training at Por Promin

Group shot after morning training at Por Promin

Since early 2008, the only Muay Thai gym I have trained at in Thailand has been Eminent Air Boxing Gym in Bangkok. Of course, I love the training there, and after so many cumulative hours on the gym’s premises—despite a lengthy absence last year due to a cruciate ligament injury—I know the routines and the people extremely well.

However, with much work to do to regain my former fitness and return to my pre-injury weight (as I am kindly reminded by the Thais on an almost daily basis!), I was loath to being too lazy during my holiday in Hua Hin.

So, I saw my trip as an opportunity to try out another gym, gain some different training experiences, and hopefully learn something new. I opted for Por Promin Muay Thai after hearing several glowing reports from previous students including English fighter Darren O’Connor.

Por Promin’s head trainer and owner,
Kin Prayun Thawang

Por Promin’s head trainer and owner Kin Prayun Thawang has credentials that include more than 250 fights at venues including Lumpini and Rajadamnern, and overseas in England, Australia, and Korea, as well as 15 years’ experience teaching foreigners in Thailand, England, and Spain. Having fought as recently as 2010, he is still extremely fit, very fast, and has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share.

I attended two morning sessions at Kin’s gym. On both days training started with a run around the village. The run was slightly more scenic than my usual route in Bangkok—up and down a subsoi of Sukhumvit 101—and the coastal air was undoubtedly cleaner than the city fumes I am used to inhaling.

On return to the gym, after stretching and shadow-boxing, we kicked the bag for a few 4-minute rounds until being called individually into the ring for pad work with Kin or trainer Sek, an experienced Isaan fighter.

por promin training

At Eminent Air, once assigned a trainer, we tend to stick with them throughout. So I do admit to feeling strangely nervous when hitting pads with someone new. Once I’d relaxed, pads with Kin was great—fun, varied, and very tiring. Kin has a huge repertoire of techniques and excellent command of English; so—although I have a good understanding of Thai—he could also explain the intricacies of any particular move in my mother tongue.

For example, one technique we practised involved me throwing a right body kick, which he caught and held, then me elbowing the pad with my right elbow before he released my kick. However, I wasn’t turning my hip sufficiently for the elbow to strike with power. “Open your bum!” he exclaimed, which—as strange as it sounds—was advice that really worked to improve my execution of the technique.

por promin pads

Gilly from the UK (http://waterloostreetgym.co.uk/) kicking pads with Kin while I trained with Sek

After pad work I was invited to join in the clinching. I had not clinched for almost a year due to my knee injury and still had some fears of re-injury and further setback.

But, not wanting to refuse in the new environment, I bit the bullet; clinching with Suzie Wylie (UK) and Toni Antilla (Finland)—both preparing for fights on the Banchamek promotion in Surin on January 5th—as well as Kin and Sek. Of course, nothing untoward happened, and I was pleased to have been encouraged to participate and to have finally overcome a mental barrier that had affected me for so long.

From L to R: Kin, student from Denmark, Sek, Toni Antilla, Suzie Wylie

From left to right: Kin, a student from Sweden, Sek, Toni (Finland), Suzie (UK)

As in most gyms, the final stage of training at Por Promin was assigned for conditioning exercises and stretching, with free weights available for anyone to use.

On my second day at the gym I was also able to experience a couple of rounds on the pads with Sek after training with Kin, which were also highly enjoyable despite my shocking lack of fitness by that stage! Although I did not manage to attend an afternoon session, I was told the routine is similar to that of the mornings, and also includes sparring and extra kicks/knees on the bag for fighters.

I would highly recommend Por Promin gym to anyone interested in training in the Hua Hin area. Hua Hin can be reached from Bangkok in just over 2 hours and is a pleasant coastal town with several attractions including the beach.

Por Promin offers a clean and friendly training environment. Kin clearly has genuine love for teaching Muay Thai and he and his trainers provide every student with individual attention and guidance. Kin’s wife Miriam is also integral to the efficient running of the gym, and her being English makes for ease of communication with international students for directions or enquiries.

I gained a lot from my two sessions at Por Promin. I gained the confidence to clinch again (which was significant for me), learned a few new techniques, met some great people, and returned to Bangkok with revived enthusiasm for training. While I do think loyalty to one gym is important, change and experience of another gym’s training can also be extremely positive, as I found during my holiday.

Please check out Por Promin’s facebook page for further details on the gym, pricing and accommodation.

por promin map

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11 thoughts on “Por Promin Muay Thai, Hua Hin

  1. sylviemuaythai says:

    Awesome review Melissa. I’m often so torn because I do very much want to discover and experience new techniques, and fight environments in Thailand in the long term – especially something in isan eventually – but I also am finding myself in a deeper and deeper joy at Lanna in Chiang Mai. Good to hear your thoughts and feelings. It feels like once you have earned the respect and time of a very good Thai trainer such that they begin to sculpt you, pound on your weaknesses until they become strengths, it would be quite a waste to try somewhere else. So much time goes into carving out your place in a gym, especially as a woman. Great to read your experience and recommendation.

    • Melissa Ray says:

      That’s great that you feel so happy at Lanna. I think there are so many experienced trainers and excellent training facilities in Thailand but it’s the connection with the people that can make a particular gym special for you. I’m interested to hear what draws you to Isaan? Do you feel you would have a more “authentic” experience there? I fought on a OneSongchai show in Buriram once and it was a unique experience. There was some kind of chicken festival at the time and various chickens were paraded on stage before the fights!

      • I feel a connection between Isaan and Muay Thai, in the fighters and the complicated way in which the status of fighters and Isaan people are layered and convoluted. The fighters I have known from Isaan have a quality about them and their experience of learning Muay Thai that feels (and I’ll own that this feeling is mine and filtered through many channels of NOT Thai) different from those of folks coming from pretty much any other part of Thailand.

        As a westerner and a woman I am choosing to navigate the best opportunities for myself within those two limitations and as such my experience is fairly western-friendly gyms and areas. Isaan is, in my mind, not that. And though I recognize and appreciate all the complications and difficulties that could potentially exclude me from the kind of training I would want from a more “authentic” Muay Thai pedagogy, I’m very drawn to the idea of it.

  2. Anna Elmose says:

    What a great review and I off cause totally agree with you, Por Promin is a wonderfull muay thai family.

    • Melissa Ray says:

      Hi Anna, I didn’t get to meet you when I came to the gym but I see you have been doing well! Good luck for your next fight.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hi Melissa. No unfortunately I was in Cambodia for visa:/ but maybe Suzi and I can visit your gym in BKK one day, we are planing to take a long weekend 🙂 take care

  3. Num Noi says:

    It seems like you really had a grand time training in Por Promin, Melissa. Being able to train again after a year of strength-gaining because you acquired a cruciate ligament injury is just priceless and incomparable. It brings back the adrenaline rush and the eagerness to gain the old confidence, stamina and strength for the love of the sport. By the looks of it, I think you’re ready to be back on track.

    • Melissa Ray says:

      Yes, I really enjoyed my short time at Por Promin. And it feels great to be training again! I get such joy from Muay Thai training, I missed having it in my life when I was injured. Hope all is well at your gym and good luck to your fighters. I’m sure it will be another great fight between Jomhod and Pentai tomorrow!

      • Xinru says:

        Dipping into your publication I have dicrsveoed solutions for some problems that have been bugging me for some time now. Its not easy to find coherent publications on the web as plenty of those texts are made by someone with little interest in the subject. Your article is excellent and definitively worth reading. I’ll sure be back to check for updates in the future.

  4. luis filipe vilar. says:

    ok.very very good.

  5. money fast says:

    Howdy! This article couldn’t be written much better! Looking at this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kept talking about this. I most certainly will forward this information to him.
    Pretty sure he’ll have a very good read. Many thanks for sharing!

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