Combat sports are renown for the way they challenge you mentally and, of course, physically. The concentration and focus required to master technique and avoid getting bopped between the eyes means you often don’t realise how hard you’re working or how many calories you’re incinerating – although the puddle of sweat you create after a good session on the mat should give you some idea.
For brutal combat efficiency combined with lung-busting conditioning, 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 blitz an opponent with blows from a full clockface of angles, all while building astonishing strength, power and endurance.
With the sport experiencing a surge in popularity in recent years thanks to the UFC, there’s plenty of gyms out there ready to give you a flogging – in a good way! So, if you’re sick of shifting iron or logging miles on the track, a session on the mat could be a great way to get your blood pumping – not to mention your adrenaline surging – while getting in fighting shape. Check out our picks for the best Muay Thai gyms Brisbane has to offer and prepare yourself for a combat workout that’ll get you in the best shape of your life.
|ART OF EIGHT||Salisbury||$37/week||artofeight.com.au|
|WALTON THAI BOXING||Brendale||Upon request||waltonmuaythaiboxingmma.com|
|KARMA MUAY THAT||Wynnum||$29/week||karmamuaythai.com.au|
|KELLY MUAY THAI||Oxley||$34.95/week||kellymuaythai.com.au|
|THE FIGHT CENTRE||Slacks Creek||$40/week||muaythaibrisbane.com|
|LIMITLESS COMBAT SPORTS||Caboolture||$40/week||lcsgym.com.au|
|INTEGRATED MMA||Stafford||Upon request||integratedmma.com|
|SASSOM FITNESS AND MMA||East Brisbane||$42/week||sassom.com.au|
1. ART OF EIGHT
Location: Salisbury, QLD
Price: From $37 per week
About: Keen to progress through the ranks of Muay Thai, maybe even compete one day? Look no further than Art of Eight to get a thorough grounding in striking technique from seasoned trainers. You’ll build up your stamina with pad work and striking drills, while honing combat strategy in sparring sessions. A grading system will help you keep track of your progress to fuel motivation, plus there are dedicated seminars covering advanced techniques not offered in classes.
2. IRON FIST
Location: Mansfield, QLD
Price: $39 per week unlimited classes (6 months)
About: Get your hands up! You can expect advanced and challenging techniques right from the start at Iron Fist. You’ll either find this motivating or wonder what you’ve got yourself into – the coaches here seem pretty confident it will be the former. Remember, you’ve got to check yourself before you can wreck yourself, or anyone else.
3. WALTON THAI BOXING
Location: Brendale, QLD
Price: Upon request
About: You come here for the opportunity to train with current South Pacific Champion Brad “The Weapon” Walton. Walton and his team will help you build dynamic striking power while refining your grappling technique, ensuring you sweat buckets, torch lard and walk out of the gym with new levels of self-confidence, maybe even swagger.
4. KARMA MUAY THAI
Location: Wynnum, QLD
Price: From $29 per week
About: Karma’s motto is “all you need is obsession”, which gives you an idea of what to expect when you enrol in a class here. Catering for beginners right through to those looking to test themselves in competition, Karma and his team will hit you with fight fundamentals as well as burnishing your endurance base. Work hard and you can expect good karma. Slack off and, well, you probably won’t want to show your face here again.
5. KELLY MUAY THAI
Location: Oxley, QLD
Price: From $34.95 per week for unlimited classes
About: If you want a pure Muay Thai gym, no MMA or BJJ, just straight up eight-limbs action, this is the gym for you. Beginner classes aim to build balance, agility, strength and precision, while helping to boost your cardio, strength, core and flexibility. Housed in a corrugated iron shed, it’s got the charm and grit you want while working your body like a blade on stone. As the trainers here say, you get out what you put in.
6. THE FIGHT CENTRE
Location: Slacks Creek, QLD
Price: $40 per week unlimited
About: A glittering 325-square metre facility with over 200m of padded floors, multiple floor-to-ceiling bags and dedicated weights and cardio areas make this an awesome place to get in fighting shape. The gym promotes Muay Thai as a fun way to get fit, making it great for beginners while also offering competition slots if you’re prepared to wear a shiner or two.
7. LIMITLESS COMBAT SPORTS (LCS)
Location: Caboolture, QLD
Price: From $40 per week unlimited
About: What distinguishes this gym is its range of facilities, particularly its state-of-the-art, in-house recovery systems featuring infrared saunas and massage treatments. Classes focus on developing foundational movements and defensive fundamentals, as well as sessions dedicated to sparring. Work up a sweat while your body gets a pounding on the mat, then hit the saunas and massage studio after to recover – chances are you’ll need it.
8. BULLDOG BRISBANE
Location: Virginia, QLD
Price: From $35 per week
About: Founded by Steve Guinane at the Balmain PCYC before relocating to Brisbane in 2015, this is another Muay-Thai-first facility, although it does offer cardio boxing and PT as an option. Catering to beginners through to those who want to compete professionally, the renowned Bulldog franchise boasts over 11 world titles and 50 local and state titles, so you know you’re in good hands.
9. INTEGRATED MMA
Location: Stafford, QLD
Price: Upon request
About: As the name suggests this is a holistic MMA training facility with a range of high pedigree trainers. Muay Thai classes are led by the gym’s striking coach Steve Compton, one of Australia’s most experienced striking instructors. He’ll help give you a thorough grounding in Muay Thai fundamentals like kicks, holds and strikes, while boosting your conditioning to unprecedented levels.
10. SASSOM FITNESS AND MMA
Location: East Brisbane, QLD
Price: From $42 per week
About: Described as “a modern gym with an old-school feel”, Sassom combines founder Marcus Collings’ love of fitness training and martial arts, offering Muay Thai, MMA and BJJ. Great for those who want to work on their overall fitness in a modern gym setting, while getting a grounding in a variety of martial arts.
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.
How do I find a good Muay Thai Gym?
Just take a look at our list above! We will be covering all of the major cities across Australia so stay tuned.