Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tiger Muay Thai vs. Phuket Top Team

Which one is better?  Which gym sucks?  Personally, I really don't care.  I'm just here to train and get in shape.  But there seems to be a bitter rivalry between the two gyms especially between Tiger Muay Thai's head MMA coach Magical Ray Elbe, and one of the owners of Phuket Top Team's Boyd Clarke.

If you read the older entries of my training blog, I have nothing but good things to say about my time at Tiger Muay Thai.  I trained at TMT twice, once for a 10 days and then again for 3 months.  As for Ray Elbe, I can understand why some guys dislike him, but personally I've always been cool with him and he has been good to me.  He even gave me free tickets once to see him fight at Martial Combat in Singapore.  I paid for the flight and hotel myself but it was very cool being backstage, ringside and being invited to the after party as part of his entourage.

Me and Ray after the Martial Combat Show 
So as far as Ray Elbe goes - I respect him as a fighter, and he has been good to me.  If it wasn't for him I never would have met guys like Royce Gracie who taught a 1 day seminar at TMT   (I paid the full 2,000 baht) and Nicolas Gregoriades who ended up becoming a very good friend of mine.

As far at Boyd Clarke goes - I  don't know him very well yet but he seems like a guy who is very passionate about MMA and had a dream to open a MMA gym and do things his way. 

Whatever rivalry there is between Ray and Boyd, and if either did something to screw each other over, shame on them but that has nothing to do with me and I do not want to get involved.  

My only goal here in Phuket is to train Muay Thai and MMA and to get in shape.  And the only reason why I am currently training at Phuket Top Team and not Tiger Muay Thai is because it's next on my list of gyms to train at.  After this I may train at Santai or Lanna Muay Thai in Chiang Mai, Sitmonchai near Bangkok, and maybe even Fairtex if I can afford it.  

Doing some pad work during Muay Thai Training

Bottom line on Tiger Muay Thai and Phuket Top Team: Which one is better? And Should you switch gyms?

Both are good gyms with excellent facilities and great trainers.  Tiger Muay Thai is a bigger gym with more members and has the pull to bring in big name guests to do 1 day seminars.  Phuket Top Team is a smaller gym with less members.

Unless you are unhappy with where you are now, there is no reason to change gyms.  

At the end of the day, remember that just like me, you are a paying customer here to train and this isn't high school.  You do not need to pick sides or get involved with the drama.

My suggestion to Ray, Boyd, and the owners of Tiger Muay Thai and Phuket Top Team - squash the drama.  There is enough of a market for both gyms to be successful and having both gyms here only attracts more people to come train in Phuket.  For me personally, I was on my way up to Chiang Mai.

Warm Regards,

My Fight Camp.

Update: If you want the full month by month breakdown and the final definitive answer to which gym is better Tiger Muay Thai or Phuket Top Team the answer is in my book at www.12WeeksinThailand.com


  1. We'll have to grab lunch while your still on the island brotha.


  2. i want to come for 2 weeks in october do mma, hard choice where to join...

  3. I have been in Thailand for 4 months and would recommend Tiger for MMA or Dragon just for Mauy Thai. This is after training at Phuket Top Team for 4 months. Too many cons and no pros at PTT with too much immature bullshit

    1. Can you tell why not to go with PTT please ....I want to go for mma still do not know wish one to take PTT or TMT

  4. Really find the blog so helping now I know how much will the trip cost me for 3 month but still kind of thinking .....I am 18 years old am a mma fighter more as a grappler want to improve in stand up wish gym would think will be helpful more for me ....... And wanted to if next month a high season thanks

    1. Hey Youssef, read the book www.12WeeksinThailand.com - In it I explain in long detail what the pros and cons of both Phuket Top Team and Tiger Muay Thai are, my experiences at both, the costs of living and training at both, and I end with which one I think is the better gym. But I don't say that publicly on the blog because I don't want to get on either gym's bad side, especially if people don't read the whole story behind my choice. If you want to know, read the book.

    2. How can I but on iPad

    3. You can read it on your ipad either through downloading the Kindle App, or by downloading the PDF version. You can buy either version here: http://www.12weeksinthailand.com/where-to-buy-the-book.html

  5. Hey, nice article.. My question is, I'm 46 years old and never trained.. I want to get in shape and learn a disiplne. I want to go to Thailand for this. Do you think I'm too old for this endeavor?
    Thx in advance

    1. Hey Keith, there are plenty of people 45+ who train Muay Thai or BJJ. Check out Anthony Bourdain as an example: http://www.flograppling.com/article/36183-how-tv-chef-anthony-bourdain-became-bjj-s-biggest-ambassador He's 59!


Hey if you've read this far, you might as well at least leave a comment. Even just to say what's up! If you have any questions about training in Thailand just ask it here in the comments and I'll answer so everyone can benefit from it.