Muay Thai and kickboxing in HK

Posted: June 10, 2014 in fitness, POV
Tags: , , , ,

In my pre-HK life I spent many hours in the gym.  My desire to learn war arts started in 2003 with a healthy mix of russian sambo, jeet kune do and philippino arnis.  I loved training bladed arts but soon realize the devastating aspects of it also prevented me from using it unless I go out late at night to pick fights.  In 2008 I started to train bjj and kickboxing, it’s easier on the body and there’s always ample training partners.  Since moving to HK in 2013, I have been training exclusively at Hanuman Muay Thai in Hung Hom.  They hire ex-Thai champions to run the classes and if you attend the early classes between 3-5pm, it’s practically a private lesson.

Muay Thai/kickboxing seems to have blown up in recent years.  It’s a great way to stay in shape and beats the monotony of lifting weights and cardio at fitness centres.  The trick is to find gyms where you see a halo effect on the trainers.  Some of the trainers are great fighters but bad teachers, others are awesome teachers but terrible fighters, it’s hard to find trainers which are great fighters and great at passing their knowledge.  The guys at Hanuman in HK have done a great job in finding trainers which encompass both aspects.  If great fighters were automatically great trainers, the world would be awash in ex-pro athletes and their second careers training the next generation.

“A-Mo” in his past life was the Lumpinee champion, his fight name is Hansuk.  You can find his fight videos on youtube but people only seem to post the videos where he is the recipient of devastating knock-outs.  Brutal KO.  You can find A-Mo/Hansuk at Hanuman –

Hanuman has a large space in the industrial areas of Hung Hom.  They do a great job of finding the best trainers in Thailand to teach at their gym in Hong Kong.  They have yet to update their website with the newest crop of trainers but Hansuk is still there.  Saner was the fight choreographer for Tony Jaa movies and a monster if you decide to go hard during sparring.  Tam can now be found at Warrior Muay Thai in North Point and Tik is running the show at X-Battle in Quarry Bay.  The best part about training Muay Thai in HK is the instructors are still pro-fighters.  They enter local HK competitions as prize fighters and destroy the competition.

I don’t care how many fights you have in you.  It’s still nothing compared to a Thai fighter.  Hansuk is fighting Brandon who is half his age and he’s dancing around toying with him.  The HK gyms do a good job of organizing inter-club tournaments where their students get to step inside the ring with other students.  White collar boxing has been quite the rage the last few years with office workers doing intensive 3 months stints at boxing gyms with the end goal of going against another office monkey.  A rough determination is made by gyms to pair up their fighters and a fight card is released.  Participants should not step into the ring unless they have years of experience perfecting their craft.    At the last inter-club fight, I saw a fighter with 3-4 months of training (at most – zero technique, telegraph punches, no leg checks and zero defence) step inside the ring with a well versed amateur fighter.  The guy was able to survive the onslaught for round 1 and in round 2, he was knocked out in front of his pregnant wife.  A clean KO, never seen a fight lose consciousness and go straight to sleep, live nonetheless.  Not a lasting impression you want to leave behind.

HK is ideal as the gyms pre-screen the trainers.  You get to have ex-champions teaching you the ropes.  If you venture off to Thailand, it’s intimidating as most of the trainers and people training there are gearing up for amateur/pro fights.  You will be fodder and fed to sharks as sparring partners.  In HK, the exact opposite takes place.  The trainers are there to help you, if you plan to compete, they can prepare you for it.  The best part is watching the instructors perform the technique.  There’s no way I can do it with their quickness and power, not even with endless funding will I ever be able to attain their level of the art.  I’ve seen gym participants go at it without shin guards with everyone cheering them on.  I would much rather see one of the participants go without shin guards with any one of the instructors, that would make it admirable and worthwhile accomplishment.

I never understand the idea of beginners wanting to test themselves.  Leave the ego at the door.  It makes the learning process easier and more fun.  Everyone at the gym was a beginner at some point.  Don’t tell yourself to get in shape then join a gym.  You join the gym to get in shape.  Everyone is there for the same goal.

Most boxing gyms have a first class free as trial offer.  Best bet is to look for instructors which can tailor a plan that works for you.  A tall fighter will have a different game than a shorter fighter.  South paws vs. regulars.  Boxing is easier to learn but harder to master.  Footwork is key.  Muay Thai has so many variations, it puts all the students on a level playing field.  I have since left Hung Hom so now it’s time to find a gym that is equal to Hanuman but on the HK Island side.  I need big space, thai instructors and zero ego.





  1. Jiu Jitsu says:

    Very energetic post, I liked that bit. Will there be a part 2?

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