Sunday, December 9, 2012

Phuket Top Team 4 Month Review and New Video

I started training at Phuket Top Team in June 2011 a week before the gym officially opened, and I trained there for three months the first time around and came back to train for another month more.

There are pros and cons to each gym, but I really loved the concept of PTT.  Boyd Clarke the owner basically worked his ass off in the mines in Australia and saved up enough money to follow his passion which was to open his own MMA gym.  There was a ton of controversy with Tiger Muay Thai vs. Phuket Top Team when they first opened, but i'm glad it's over now.  I'm willing to bet that both gyms have more customers and are making more money now because there is that extra inventive and choice to train in Phuket.  PTT has to thank TMT for being the first and the original, setting foot for the MMA scene in Phuket and in Thailand in general.  

Who I recommend to train at Phuket Top Team:

If you want smaller classes and more personalized attention and if you don't want to be part of the huge fraternity house of TMT then Phuket Top Team is a great choice.  Personally I started training at PTT because I wanted to train at a brand new gym that has an indoor wrestling area.  Because of Phuket Top Team, Tiger Muay Thai stepped up their game and built one of their own, who wins?  Everyone, especially us, the customers.  Also I believe that PTT has the best Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program in Thailand as of right now so if your heart is in rolling with a Gi, then PTT is your best bet.  

Who may not like the gym:  If you expect everything that be organized like a corporation would, PTT isn't it.  Classes are smaller and more free flowing which you may love, or you may prefer a gym with more structure.  My only complaint while training at PTT was the rounds weren't properly timed ever, especially during sparring.  Instead of five 3-minute rounds, or three 5-minute rounds we would often get one 7-minute round followed by one 2-minute rounds.  So if you're the type that likes extremely structured workouts and office management PTT might not be the place for you.

Here's the latest gym tour video of Phuket Top Team:

What's New at Phuket Top Team:

The second ring in Muay Thai is complete.  It was just being finished when I left PTT but now it's up and running.  The indoor MMA Cage is also complete and brand new, a really great addition to the already awesome Phuket Top Team gym.  The MMA Strength and Conditioning program has also finally been put into full effect.

The Pros and Cons of Training at Phuket Top Team:

Pros: Family owned gym, small business management.  Doesn't try to nickle and dime you on everything.

Cons: Not always well organized with things like office stuff, accommodation, etc

Pros: No Egos, Only Dedication - The anti-fraternity, you'll make good friends and be at a cool gym, without the drama.

Cons: With only 8 rooms on site, not including the bamboo huts that some of the thai trainers stay in, PTT isn't as social as TMT other gyms as people live spread around.

Pros: A lot closer of a walk to the two most popular restaurants, Tony's and Ja Ja House.  A twenty minute walk from TMT is only five from PTT.

Cons: You'll end up eating at one of those two restaurants three meals a day, seven days a week just because it's so convenient.

Pros: Phuket is a beautiful island with access to beaches and other islands such as the Beach at Koh Phi Phi.

Cons: Everything is more expensive in Phuket. Things like accommodation, tours, and taxi rides are double the price as it would be in Chiang Mai.

After a BJJ Class last year at PTT.

Team Quest vs. Phuket Top Team

Some people have been asking if they should train MMA at Team Question in Chiang Mai or at Phuket Top Team. If it's your first visit to Thailand if you are coming for three weeks or less, I would recommend training in Phuket.  However if you're here long term for 3 months to a year and want a much cheaper place to live, I love Chiang Mai for being more peaceful, authentic Thailand, less touristy and literally half the price for day to day living.  

As far as I know, Phuket Top Team has a more established MMA program especially with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  Since I haven't had the chance to train at Team Quest yet, I would have to recommend Phuket Top Team for training MMA in Thailand, at least for now.  

In Summary:

I really enjoyed training at Phuket Top Team and recommend it to everyone.  I liked it so much that I went back for two training camps there.  It's hard for me to answer the "Which gym is better, Phuket Top Team or Tiger Muay Thai" question that everyone keeps asking me, because to be 100% honest, I liked both gyms equally.  I think I liked TMT better when I was younger, and as I get older I like PTT more.  So if you're 18-23 and it's your first time in Thailand, you might enjoy training at Tiger Muay Thai more, especially if you can get a room onsite.  However, if you're 24 or older, you'll most likely enjoy training at Phuket Top Team more.  

If you're really into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and plan on bringing your Gi then Phuket Top Team is a no brainer, go with PTT.  They even have a 3 months from white belt to blue belt program.

As for MMA legends, you may not get big name UFC fighters visiting the camp, but Phuket Top Team has very active fight team.  And they're there to actually train for fights and not just show their face and teach one day seminars. 

I really enjoyed my 4 months training at Phuket Top Team and I'm sure you will as well.  Best wishes and leave a comment if you have any questions or anything to add to this review.

Warm Regards,

Johnny FD
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If you haven't already, make sure you read my Travel Guide to Training Muay Thai in Thailand before you come.  


  1. Just came across your blog while researching camps for a beginner female. I read your review of Tiger and just wondered what your thoughts are on PTT for women?

    1. Kiwi in Oz, it depends on what you are looking to train. Muay Thai? Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu? Or just cross fit style fitness?

      As for female friendly, TMT will be more like a fraternity/sorority structure. You'll be with 20 other girls and have more cardio fitness type classes.

      At PTT you'll train more like one of the boys. There'll only be 2 or 3 other girls and even though they now have a circuit training class, most of your workouts aren't going to be cardio based, you'll actually be expected to punch, kick, and bruise.

      Let me know which one you decide on and if you have any other questions.

    2. AnonymousJune 20, 2013

      How condescending are you? "more cardio fitness type classes" "you'll actually be expected to punch, kick, and bruise" what do you think a girl who is coming to an MMA camp wants to do? Jesus.

  2. Totally disagree regarding age groups
    PTT is surround with so called adults but yet they are really immature and petty for a family and friend run business (back stabbers). Also to note the fact that they'll rob you of every cent and give some lame pathetic excuse that their high season is 12 months a year, so don't think of any discounts, training, renting bikes,accomadation etc at PTT.
    TMT, PTT and Dragon Mauy Thai are all on the same road just over a km long if anyone is thinking of training (TIPS) TMT and Dragon would be the place for training and Tony's for food, accomadation and bike rental etc.
    Advice from me who has lived on the street and trained here for 6 mths

  3. I have been considering to go and train at PTT and im always cynical about Island gyms as the percentage of them are boot camps. I have fought muay thai on many occasions in Thailand before but i have been training more BJJ/MMA and would like to do more.

    My main question is can PTT arrange an MMA fight for you?

    1. Out of all the MMA gyms in Thailand, you have the best chance of getting an MMA fight arranged through PTT. But it's still up to your skill level and time.

    2. Ill be over in about 8 weeks and i got about 8 weeks to spare, ill definitly try it out.
      Thanks for the response :)

  4. AnonymousJuly 21, 2013

    Hey. love your Blog very informative and I now cant wait to go over there. I am in Phuket for 1 month from the end of August till the end of September. And I want to train at PTT. I read a lot on your blog and other places to never pay in advance and just turn up. But I thought for the accommodation since it was so cheap and I am not going to be staying anywhere else I might as well book. Now I was emailing Boyd through all the stages of availability and booking and he was very quick and thorough with his replies but my last exchange with him was when I said I had paid and he said he would get back to me and let me know once it was all done, I have heard nothing from him for almost 1 week and I have been emailing him. This is slightly worrying for me as I see on your website that a con is that they are unorganised in this area and in the comments above someone is saying they will rip you off and use any excuse to send you on your way. Now I obviously don't want this happening as I dont want to turn up at night after travelling 25 hours to a country I dont know and I don't know how to speak Thai and I dont Know anyone. Anyway I was just wondering what your thoguhts were on this and any advice? and do you think PTT will be busy when I get there?

    1. Hey man, I'm glad you've decided to go train in Phuket. I'm sure Boyd will get back to you before your trip in August. Thai time is often a bit relaxed so sometimes things take a week or two to happen. Most likely what happened is that he's not sure if there will be an available room during that time instead of emailing you back he's waiting until he knows for sure.

      Worst comes to worst, just show up and stay in a hotel near by for a few nights until you sort something out. It'll be busy there but you'll always find something.

      By the way if you haven't read the book already, do it before you go, it'll save you tons of headache, time and money, plus it'll give you a more detailed idea of what to expect. You can buy the book at - Enjoy your trip and I'm glad you've been enjoying all of the information on the blog.

    2. AnonymousJuly 22, 2013

      Hey. Thanks for the quick reply. yeah I thought that he might be away at a tournament or something for a few days. Well in our exchange of emails he said to me that there was 1 room left for onsite budget so I booked it immediately and he said thanks for the payment I will look into that but paypal is normal instant and it would have taken him 30 seconds to check. Anyway I hope everything will turn out for the best. How much are hotels in phuket??

    3. Two hotels on the same street half way between Tiger Muay Thai and Phuket Top Team are Floraville and Cocoville, check their websites for prices.

      Also read the blog entry about taxi from the Airport to PTT before you come:


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.