Best Muay Thai Gift Ideas 2019
(Updated 5 November 2019)
This is the best time of the year. Black Friday sales are coming, and the holiday season is just a month away. What better way to show you care than a thoughtful gift and shopped at great prices.
Here are my top 10 gift ideas for your friend or loved one who is an avid Muay Thai fan or fighter:
At some point, anyone training martial arts will feel sluggish, languid and low on energy. Everyone who trains a challenging sport like Muay Thai goes through one of these days from time to time. It can feel a lot easier to skip training and indulge in a burger and beer instead.
But really, all we need is a little motivation. An inspiring quote or a poster of our favorite fighter can be that nudge and ignite the flames in our hearts to be the best that we can be. A motivational poster is a simple, but definitely meaningful gift.
Muay Thai Movies
Muay Thai is not a very popular subject in movies, compared to Chinese kung fu or western boxing. But there is actually a selection of really well-made Muay Thai-inspired movies. Spending an evening catching a movie about Muay Thai can be a cosy and lovely way to bond with friends or loved one who love the Thai martial arts. Here are a few of my personal favorites:
Van Damme’s 1989 Kickboxer was one of the earliest exposure many fans got of Muay Thai in popular culture albeit it isn’t the most accurate depiction of the sport. The film is full of Asian stereotypes but then again, it was the 80s. It may not necessarily inspire anyone but it is one of the most entertaining movie about kickboxing. Old kung fu master, beautiful love interest, evil villain, this has all elements of a classic martial arts movie. Not forgetting the banana tree kicking. Owwie owwie ouch ouch.
Ong Bak: Muay Thai Warrior is a 2003 feature film starring Thai action star, Tony Jaa with stylized and superbly choreographed Muay Thai moves. The film led to 2 sequels, generated new and renewed interest in the sport, and spawning a new generation of Muay Thai fans and fighters.
Global Muay Thai icon, Buakaw Banchamek, is a national hero. Outside of the ring, Buakaw is frequently spotted in commercials and tv shows. In Broken Hero Sword, Buakaw takes on his first-ever lead role in a film where he plays a hero (of course) set in 17th century Thailand. He puts his incredible physique and fighting skills to good use for this role. No comments on the acting skills or the thinly-scripted plot but the action is great with Muay Boran-style fight scenes. All said, this is a must-watch for fans of Buakaw, who is pretty anyone who likes Muay Thai.
This was a long time coming for Muay Thai fans hoping for a more realistic portray of the sport in film. A Prayer Before Dawn generated a lot of hype in the Muay Thai community before its release and it more or less delivered. The movie is about British national and drug addict, Billy Moore who is put into one of the world’s worst prisons (in Thailand). It centers on Moore’s battle with drug addiction and how he manages to seek both refuge as well as freedom through Muay Thai.
Muay Thai Books
We are not savages. Sure, we grunt a bit during training, but we aren’t illiterate animals! If the gift is intended for book-lover who happens to be a Muay Thai fan, you have plenty of options. There are literally hundreds of books published on Muay Thai. A major of the literature on Muay Thai revolves around techniques and training strategies but there is nothing as inspiring as reading about a fighter’s life and stories. There is a dearth of biographical books detailing native Thai fighters whose stories are often dramatic and fascinating. However, there are a few books written by Western fighters on their experience training Muay Thai that are truly captivating.
“Muay Thai: Peace at Last” by Michael Goodison details the writer’s travels and preparation for his fight in Thailand. It gives a lot of insight and tips for fighters interested to travel and train Muay Thai in Thailand. Another book that is set against the backdrop of Thailand and features a Muay Thai fighting protaganist is “The Boxer’s Soliloquy” by frequent Vice.com contributor and Max Muay Thai English commentator, Matt Lucas. It features a poetic storytelling tone and makes for a very engaging read. Although more about MMA than Muay Thai, “A Fighter’s Heart” by Sam Sheridan is an engaging read from start to finish and will inspire those in pursuit of martial arts excellence.
Check out more of my book recommendations at: Best Muay Thai Books
Muay Thai T-shirt
A t-shirt is one of the most practical gifts. They can be worn both in and out of the gym. People who train Muay Thai are proud of the sport and often wear the love on their sleeves, literally. Be it a gym sports jacket or a printed t-shirt depicting elements of martial arts. Many fight brands such as Fairtex, Boon Sport, Yokkao etc. and Muay Thai gyms like Buakaw’s Banchamek gym offer sports or cotton tees that are as practical (in the gym) as they are stylish out on the streets. A gift of Muay Thai tee shows your meticulousness and attention paid to his/her passion. Many of these tees are really neat looking so while you are at it, you can get one for yourself too.
For many Muay Thai or martial arts enthusiasts, training is a major part of our daily routine. An ideal gym bag will go through thick and thin together, housing a good bulk of training gear, roughing through daily commute.
Choosing the right bag can be a challenge, given the vast amount of choices. For my personal recommendations, you can read this article: “Best Gym Bag for Muay Thai”
Customize Muay Thai Shorts
No apparel or gear defines the Muay Thai fighter as uniquely as the Muay Thai shorts. Customized shorts is the most personal gift for anyone training the arts. You can add not only the name, but also any word(s) that best describe him/her.
There are quite a number of online retailers that offer customizing service. Everybody who trains Muay Thai dreams of getting custom shorts eventually. Having our name on the shorts gives us that little bit more motivation to head to the gym and kick some bags in style. Here are some of the websites that offer customization service:
Muay Thai Gloves
This is a no-brainer. You simply can’t go wrong with gloves as a gift for anyone who trains boxing or kickboxing of any kind. Like every hobbyist who searches for that elusive piece to complete his/her collection, fighters are always on the lookout for the elusive perfect pair of gloves. Training is almost a daily ritual and we all need a good pair of gloves to provide appropriate support and protection for our hands. Many of us also hit the gym to work on looking fitter, better and getting that body that we dream of. Besides improving our skills, we train to look good too. There is always room in a fighter’s collection for more pairs of gloves to match our workout gear.
If you aren’t sure what size to get, go with 14oz. They will work well as training gloves for average-sized folks and perfect as sparring gloves for the small-sized guy or gal. For someone who borders on the heavier side, say 180lbs, 16 or 18oz gloves will be more appropriate. For gloves recommendations, you can check out some of these articles: “Stylish Boxing Gloves”, “Best Muay Thai Gloves for Beginners”, “Muay Thai Gloves Showdown“.
Full Body Massage
A deep, full-body massage is one of the best ways for fighters to facilitate muscle recovery from fatigue, strains and injuries. Massages offer relief from aches, relax the body, and can even reduce inflammation. A good massage offers a well-deserving respite from a week or weeks of hard training.
You have two options: either purchase a treatment by a professional masseur or purchase a bottle of Thai massage oil and be the masseur! Not only is the latter a cheaper option, it is an intimate and heartfelt gesture. This is a gift that can’t simply be bought with money.
Holiday in Bangkok
The Mecca for all Muay Thai fans. From attending world class Lumpini Stadium fights, glorious Muay Thai gear shopping, training with legends to great food, wild nightlife and amazing sightseeing, Bangkok has it all. Thais are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet and not just because they want your tourist money. They are genuinely nice and sincere, across the board. The weather can wear you down, the traffic can drive you nuts, but if you haven’t been there before, this could be a great adventure for the two of you.
If you are planning your Bangkok hotel, I recommend 2 things: 1) You can read our extensive guide on finding the most ideal location or 2) Simply go to Agoda to find the top hotels and deals – I use it to book the hotels for ALL my trips to Thailand and have never had a problem. You can check the hotel ratings, prices and other users’ reviews easily. Don’t forget to book your hotel through my link below (or click here). That way, you don’t spend any extra penny and I get a little commission from your booking that helps to keep this website running.
Phuket Muay Thai Vacation
Nothing says “I love you” better than a holiday of twice-daily, couple grunting, physical activity in a tropical paradise. Yup, I meant training Muay Thai together, of course! Phuket is an island in the sun, with soft sand beaches, picturesque views, cheap massages and yummy Thai food. Here, you can train hard, play hard and dine hard as a couple. As they say, “couples who train together, stay together”.
Phuket has many Muay Thai camps catering to foreigners of every training need and level. Whether you are a pro fighter or an absolute noob, all the camps will welcome you with open arms. The more popular camps include Tiger Muay Thai, Sinbi Muay Thai and Rawai Muay Thai, with trainers, facilities and accommodation to match the highest of expectations.