Its not been an easy time for Muaythai gyms in Thailand since March 16th.
Most Muaythai gyms in Thailand live from foreign guests who learn the national sport with the local fighters. With this income, we as a gym operator can promote young talents and support them with accommodation, food and a small basic salary. At the Punch it Gym we continued this even 3 months after the Corona-shutdown.
Most of the fighters come from poorer backgrounds or some of them even grew up in the gyms. So there were never or hardly at school and have no great alternatives to Muaythai. The fighters largely live for food and lodging and make their living fighting in local stadiums. Most of the stadiums are also where the most tourists are. Normally the fights take place twice a week. The fighters then earn their money for further living and family. They usually earn a little less than an average monthly wage in Thailand, which is between 5. 000 – 10. 000 Baht per fight.
However, due to the lack of tourism, the stadiums also had to close, and fights can only be carried out in the TV productions. But for a lot of fighters it is not possible to get to such offers, if we as the gym operator do not support these routes. Added to this is the lack of training that we can no longer provide full support for the young fighters. So, there was nothing left for most of the fighters but to look for a job somewhere and work as cheap workers on the construction sites or on a farm.
Whoever runs a Muaythai gym does not do so for financial reasons in most cases. There are more lucrative businesses here. We as gym operators do this by promoting our passion for sport and for such young people and offering them a better life. For this reason, it naturally hits us even more when we see how such young fighters can no longer train with us. However, most of the gyms have to fight to survive and cannot support the athletes.
The basic plan would have been that we set up a special Muaythai school for young people aged 15-18 at the end of 2020. So, six to seven young Thai fighters could live, train and attend English classes three times a week. The project was launched in early 2020 under the name Punch it Young Fighter Foundation. Unfortunately, we had to stop the whole thing due to the loss of sales over 80%. The idea was that we would finance the project through the Punch it Gym and the Brand Punch it. Now we must reorganize and hope for the support of the Muaythai fans around the world. Launching a fundraiser was also an issue. But at the moment you can also support the project by purchasing a Punch it product in our online shop Martial Arts Shop. A large part of this income goes into this project. Of course, we are always open to new ideas and inputs on this topic.
We hope that the situation will change soon and thank you very much for everyone who has supported us in recent years and will continue to do so with all our heart. #muaythaifamily