Gym 19 – The Fight Lab, Bangkok

I’m excited – It’s my first gym visit in Thailand!

After a tuk-tuk ride to the Skytrain station, few stops later and a quick walk, I’m almost at The Fight Lab, in Bangkok. I’m staring at Google Maps but there doesn’t seem to be anything obvious around, just a busy street and a shopping mall.

I take a wander in the mall, pretty much all of the shops are closed or closing. I glance at my watch – 15 minutes before the class starts, and jog up the stairs. Finally, I see what looks like a gym full of people on the 2nd floor and head to reception.

“Hello!”, The receptionist says cheerfully.

“Hello! I’m here for the BJJ!”, I cheerfully respond.

“Oh! Sorry, this is the old location, the MMA gym has moved out, they are now based in Prakanong.”

My cheerfulness drops! Self-lesson number…….um…I’ve lost count: Read the email carefully and don’t always put your trust in google maps.

Where are you going?

Take 2! (The following day after dropping an email to apologize for the no-show the night before)

I’m excited – It’s my first gym visit in Thailand!

After a tuk-tuk ride to the Skytrain station, few stops later and a quick walk, I’m at The Fight Lab, in Prakanong, Bangkok :-)

I’m impressed by the gym even before stepping through the door! The gym seems to be a massive, converted warehouse. Fully designed with graffiti art along the perimeter.

The Fight Lab

The Fight Lab

It doesn’t get any less impressive once you’re through the doors either. Past the reception area (complete with café / juice bar) and changing rooms you enter a 310 square meter training facility. Jiu Jitsu Area, Boxing Ring, MMA cage, and a ton of space, equipment and tracks for crossfit and conditioning training.

The Fight Lab

The Fight LabThere is a small beginners class finishing up, and I start stretching out on the side of the mat and chatting to a fellow traveller from New Zealand, originally from Hungary who was travelling to Europe for a family visit, but taking a couple of months out to make the most of it and drop in a few places in the meantime. He had already been in Bangkok for a week – mainly dedicated to training. If there was no BJJ at the Gym, he was taking part in the Muy Thai classes instead :-)

The Fight Lab

The Fight Lab

We exchange a few stories about New Zealand (I can’t believe how long ago that feels now) and then it’s time for the class to start. The class today is being taken by Lee Livingstone, a fellow Brit, MMA Coach, former MMA fighter, and BJJ black belt under Romero Cavalcanti.

Me and Lee Livingstone

Lee Livingstone

After a set of warms ups (well exercises to get you even warmer in the 85% Bangkok humidity!), Lee goes through a set of escapes from the knee-on-belly position.

I pair up with a local guy called Ken, and we go through the drills.

“Get the first 2 down!”, Lee calls walking through the mats. “The first 2 should be your bread and butter, the last 2 escapes are more advanced and should be pulled out if things aren’t working”.

We finish up the class and start rolling. It’s hot and hard work. You can even see the water vapour in the air flying off the fan to the side of the mat!


Roll Roll Roll

At the end of my 4th roll, I see a new face start to stretch out towards the far end of the room. A big guy who hasn’t said 2 words to anyone yet.

“Go and roll with that guy when you get chance”, my Hungarian friend comes up and nods over towards the new guy.

I look back over and see the black belt he has just wrapped around his waist.

“That’s Peter. Also from Hungary. Been here a few weeks and just likes to come in and roll at the end of the class”

“Sounds good, I’ll try to grab him for the next roll”

“Yeah, make sure you take it easy on him!”, he laughs.

Taking it easy on Peter

Taking it easy on Peter


Someone else, taking it easy on Peter

Thanks everyone at The Fight Lab for having me down! Going to finish up the post with a few roll videos. Apologies, the camera cuts out during the final roll vid with Peter……if you search for ‘Cat toying with Mouse’ in YouTube you can get an idea of how it ended.

As usual, please get in touch with any improvements, advice, suggestions…..just to say ‘Hi’, via the ‘Contact Page’.

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