SIAM FIGHT MAG

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THE SAKNIPON GYM CAMP

The SAKNIPON GYM Special report by Serge TREFEU (2010)

The Saknipon camp is to Buriram, in the heart of Isaan (northeast of the Thailand), land of warrior…

Saknipon, of the name of his owner Mr Nipon who created him, exists for a long time to Buriram. The “camp” if we can call him a camp is made a small cubicle which serves as place of training, a simple metal shutter acts as door…

He is clamped between a hairdresser and a grocer’s shop among the numerous workshops which furnish the long avenue which leads to the main station of Buriram. Just behind, stuck on the camp, the railroad line where cross trains every hour.

Punch bags and traditional tyre of truck for body-building of calfs are downright on the pavement. The boxers warm up by jumping in the rope on the pavement in the middle of the passers-by…

They are seven nakmuays to train in this camp more than Spartan. Four of enter they sleep in the unique room which serves as bedroom. She is tiny, without air, without window, furnished only with an old mattress. Only decoration on the dirty walls of their room, a poster of the champion Buakaw, the Star about whom the success makes all the small boxers dreams…

In this camp which does not much to look, two legends of Muay Thai began here, Coban Lookchaomaesaitong (twice Lumpinee champion, 5 times World champion) and Namkabuan Ratchapeutcafe (Lumpinee Champion)!

Coban began of accesses in the former camp held by Mr Nipon. Coban were nicknamed “The Crusher”, was a real terror of the boxing rings of the 90s with its redoubtable punch. With about 300 fights which hundred of victory by KO, he beat the best Thai of his time. As well as great foreign champions such as Ramon Dekkers, Tommy VD Berg, Danny Bill and Dida Diafat!

Other big champion Namkabuan was a great technician who beat the biggest of his generation!

Large effigies out of wooden of these two stars are proudly installed each side of the entry of the camp…

Another great champion started in Saknipon it is frightening Panomtuanlek Hapalang (Lumpinee Champion) and the last champion left from here is Fahmai Skindew Gym which gained recently belt TV7 in 63 kg!

The trainer of today, native of Buriram, are Kongsayon. He has more than 200 fights to its credit of which the half with stadium of Lumpinee. He trains the two current pearls of the camp Kotee (90 fights) and Panthong (100 fights). These two small champions who do not have than 14 years each one now carry out most their fight in the capital, in stadium of Lumpinee and Omnoi!

He also three nakmuays of 9 years which have about twenty fights each and one of 12 years which adds up approximately 40 fights. They often fight in the village feasts of the region and in the stadium of Buriram which is opened once a month.

In the morning from 5:30 am, at dawn, they make their 10 km jogging in the deserted avenues of Buriram. After noon they will make again a 10 km jogging but this time this in streets livened up by the city.

Every boxer makes then 7 rounds of pao of 3 minutes then 3 rounds of punch bag. In the morning they end at 9 am and do not make session clinch. On the other hand for the training of after noon, in clinch, for one hour they are quite going to torture the places of their small body…

They end their training with the jump rope and generally 15 in 20 minutes of jump on a tyre of truck. They training six every seven days, Sunday is the rest day well deserve…

Thanks to the reputation of Coban which often fought abroad and which then became to trainer in the USA, some “farangs” (foreign), an Australian, English, Japanese, French, came to hit of shin in Saknipon Gym.

For only 200 bahts, you can come to train twice a day in Saknipon. Don’t wait you certainly not at the luxury, nor the exceptional training but just the luck to be able to hit in the punch bags which forged the shins of both legends that is Coban and Namkabuan!