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Temps de lecture : 3 minutes

by Serge TREFEU (2024)

Master Khei, whose name is Chiwin Waenrungroj, is nicknamed “The boxing teacher under the highway”. This extraordinary man dedicated his life to Muay Thai, teaching for 50 years. At 75 years, he continues to give boxing lessons at his camp, the Lan Muay Krusua Gym.

Master Khei with his students

Located under the South Highway in the poor district of Klong Toey in Bangkok, this camp is the result of the initiative of Master Khei and General Phichit Kullavanit, private advisor to His Majesty King Rama IX. Together, they launched the project “Sport against drugs” in 1999, aimed at protecting the youth from the influence of drugs in the neighborhood.

The motto of the camp, “Sport is your gang, Muay Thai is your gang”, has kept many children away from the traps of the street. Although most did not reach the status of great boxers, they became respectable individuals, many of whom embraced honorable professions, some even integrating the forces of order.

At the age of 16, Mr. Chiwin Waenrungroj began his career in boxing, fighting his first fight in Thung Khru Temple, located in the Eastern Region. He then continued his training at the Erawan camp in Lopburi, with several fights in the central region of the country. After ending his fighting career, he began a career teaching Muay Thai in Bangkok for many years, before founding the Lan Muay Krusua Gym camp in 1999.

Thanks to the generosity of donors, Mr. Chiwin Waenrungroj was able to equip his camp with boxing equipment. Subsequently, he trained some excellent boxers who were recruited by prestigious boxing camps in Bangkok. This allowed him to generate income and improve the facilities at his camp.

The camp has a large ring with five punching bags

None of the children from the Klong Toey district attending Master Khei’s camp are required to pay for training. Instead, they receive modest amounts of money, encouragement to continue their training and not to give up in the face of the physical and mental rigors of boxing.

The majority of boxers at the camp are children, aged between 5 years and 14 years old

Khru Khei embodies humility and devotes his time to the education of children. He teaches Muay Thai classes in the afternoon at the “Wat Saphan” school, located just 300 meters from his boxing camp. In the evening, Monday to Saturday, from 5 p.m., he offers free boxing training sessions under the highway. He takes care of cleaning and tidying up his camp himself, while his wife prepares drinks to quench the children’s thirst during their training sessions.

Khru Khei has been teaching Muay Thai for many years in Wat Saphan primary school, Muay Thai is in the school program in the sports section

For decades, the Waenrungroj couple have lived modestly in a tiny house near the highway, at Soi 56 on Sukhumvit Street. Khru Khei’s wife sold food on the streets, and he worked as a land agent. Today, they survive on their meager pension, demonstrating their dedication and commitment to the Klong Toey children’s community.

Khru Khei can no longer teach as vigorously as before due to a congenital illness that continually weakens him. Every day he loses blood when he has a bowel movement, which makes him more fragile. His doctor strongly advised him to rest and give up boxing. But Master Khei is stubborn and his passion for the mission to which he has dedicated his entire life, teaching Muay Thai to children, burns as intensely as ever. He is determined to continue until his last breath, refusing to give in to obstacles and illness…

At 75 years, sick, Khru Khei still has the strength to give boxing lessons by holding the paos to his students

Fortunately, people like boxer Mudet Chinsukeeporn are helping by mentoring the children at the camp and preparing some of the boxers for their fights.

If you would like to support Master Khei’s admirable work, please do not hesitate to visit his boxing camp in Bangkok to train or to offer your financial support to this exceptionally dedicated man. Your presence and contribution will help perpetuate his legacy and continue to inspire young people in the inner city of Klong Toey. Every gesture counts to support this extraordinary individual in his mission to change lives through Muay Thai!

Children teach each other lessons in paos
Work on the punching bag
Khru Khei is an authentic Muay Thai teacher who enriches his students’ experience by teaching them not only the physical techniques of Muay Thai, but also its history and culture. And “Way Kru” and “Ram Muay” are essential aspects of traditional Muay Thai practice


(Under Klong Toey South Highway next to Wat Saphan School)

Soi Munlanithi Himathongkhum

Rimtangrotfaypaknam road

Klong Toey District

Bangkok 10260