Two years ago, when a friend asked me if they should bring their Gi with them to Chiang Mai, I told them not to bother. Even Black Belt legends like Nicolas Gregoriades would leave their kimonos at home when coming to Chiang Mai, but last week my buddy Chris who is a purple belt based in S. California asked if he should bring his Gi with him from the states, and the answer is finally YES.
|That's me and my buddy Chris on the right!|
There are some legit blue and purple belts and even a couple black belts in Chiang Mai now. My buddy Chris Lioe who has been a purple belt for 2 years has recently moved to CM and will be training regularly.
Bruno Carvalho is the resident Black Belt at Team Quest here in Chiang Mai.
Roger Gracie's First Black Belt, Nicolas Gregoriades comes back and forth and spends a decent amount of time living and training in Chiang Mai.
BK Kesler is a Brown Belt based out of Gym Bangarang a bit outside the city but trains regularly at Team Quest.
Also there are a bunch of regulars and visitors who come through Chiang Mai on a regular basis, adding to the mix. Who's here changes quite often, but there seems to always be a few really good guys to roll with now that BJJ is back in Chiang Mai.
Where to Roll?
There are two main places to train BJJ in Chiang Mai. The first is the only official and structured place to do it which is Team Quest Thailand located near the Airport Plaza in Chiang Mai.
Prices start at 4,000 baht ($133US) per month for unlimited MMA/BJJ classes and open mat sessions. They also sell basic Gi's at TQ but I would bring your own from home if you have one. They have three Gi classes a week as well as a few No-Gi classes that's more geared towards MMA.
CMU BJJ Club:
There is also a BJJ Club at the local university. At last night's open mat session there were two purple belts on the matt with the rest of us white belts and beginners making it interesting and fun to both watch and learn. The training here is on the same mats at the University's Judo club and is pretty much free to attend.
However it's non-structured and geared more towards local college students and beginners. Since it isn't an official class, think of it more as bonus mat time if you're in town.
|Last night's open matt at CM University|
If you're a fan of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu I can finally say that you should bring your Gi with your to Chiang Mai. Sure it's a bit hot here, but at least your Gi will air dry quickly after training sessions. =)
If you're looking for structure and training, I would 100% signup for a month at Team Quest and check them out. But if you're just looking for some mat time it's good to know that the BJJ Club at CMU is an option.
A new gym just opened a few months ago here in Chiang Mai and it's quickly replaced CMU as the go to place to roll. They have free open mat every Saturday and Sunday and great classes during the week in a brand new facility.
Check out the new Chiang Mai Fight Fit for the newest brazilian jiu-jitsu school in Thailand. They have a ton of rental gi's, a consistent amount of rolling partners and is overall a great BJJ club. They also offer Muay Thai and MMA classes but I only go for the Jiu-Jitsu.
Here's their current schedule:
Personally I've been training at Chiang Mai Fight Fit but mainly because it's close to my apartment in Nimmanheim. If I lived closer to the airport, old city or Hangdong I'd also train at Team Quest as they have a world class black belt there.
Wherever you end up training, hope to see you guys on the mat!
Author of 12 Weeks in Thailand: A Must Read if you're coming to Thailand to train!