Bangkok, Thailand — After spending a couple of weeks in Europe, I returned to Southeast Asia. As much as I enjoyed Switzerland and the Czech Republic, I missed affordable and delicious street food and tropical weather in Southeast Asia. What else could I ask for when there are $3 pad thai and Jiu-Jitsu? In Bangkok, I decided to stay away from Khao San Road, which is an infamous haven for drunk travelers. Instead, I decided to focus on training at Bangkok Fight Lab, which I ended up revisiting before heading to Australia next month.
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Bangkok, Thailand’s capital, is the largest city in Thailand. The city offers not only magnificent temples and palaces but also modern high-rise buildings and vibrant nightlife. You can visit the Grand Palace and a sacred temple of Wat Pho on a hot and humid afternoon. Then, you can head out to busy night markets for incredible street food or Khao San road for a crazy night out. Bangkok has something for everyone, and you will have to decide what that is going to be for yourself.
Located in the heart of Bangkok, Bangkok Fight Lab offers a variety of classes ranging from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to Muay Thai. The academy is led by Morgan Perkins who is a BJJ black belt under Master Pedro Sauer. He received all of his belts under Master Sauer, and Professor Perkins is one of the pioneers that introduced BJJ to Thailand.
At Bangkok Fight Lab, it was common to spot expats and visitors from all around the world, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu classes were taught by Morgan in English. Whether you are simply dropping by after the tour of Bangkok or preparing for your upcoming MMA fight, Morgan and BFL’s students created a welcoming training environment for everyone, which complemented excellent coaching the academy offered.
Training at Bangkok Fight Lab led me to diverse opportunities to connect with fellow BJJ Globetrotters as well. For instance, I accidentally ran into Vara who happened to be at the dinner table with fellow students from Bangkok Fight Lab. It was immediately after I started to write for BJJ Globetrotters, and I have not shared that news with anyone else. Vara simply asked “How’s blogging going?” without introducing her, which confused the hell out of me. Also, I became friends with Javier Trujillo who is an active MMA fighter, and I randomly reconnected with him again in Koh Tao, Thailand at Nathan Orchard’s 10th Planet BJJ camp. Building a new friendship via Jiu-Jitsu like this is why I travel and train!
Bangkok Fight Lab is open seven days a week offering multiple classes per day, so you will have no excuse not to train when you are in Bangkok. I would highly recommend Bangkok Fight Lab after sweating a bucket in Bangkok’s humid weather and right before joining crazy parties at Khao San Road. Thank you, Morgan, Vara, Alex, Javier, and Tammi for an unforgettable experience in Bangkok!
The academy is located in Sukhumvit 50 near On Nut BTS station, and you can easily walk to the facility within 10 minutes from the BTS Skytrain station. The public transport system is relatively inexpensive and well-connected, so you should not have any problem visiting the gym from anywhere in Bangkok. Also, taxis (I would recommend using a mobile app “Grab” in SE Asia) are cheap as well, but be aware of Bangkok’s infamous traffic jam. (Google Map: Link)
Bangkok Fight Lab’s most recent program is posted below:
Bangkok Fight Lab is a BJJ Globetrotters affiliated gym. However, it is always courteous to reach out to the gym before your visit.
Bangkok Fight Lab has an English website that you might find helpful.
- Wat Phra Kaew & Grand Palace — The palace complex and the Temple of Emerald Buddha is a must-see sight for visitors of Bangkok. The Grand Palace was the home of the Thai King and the royal court for 150 years although now it is only used for occasional ceremonial purposes. Located within the precincts of the Grand Palace, Wat Phra Kaew is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple in Thailand with its famous Emerald Buddha. Note that this area is extremely crowded with tourists.
- Rajadamnern Stadium — Along with Lumpinee Stadium, this sports arena is the place to watch Muay Thai matches at the home country of Muay Thai. The stadium offers matches on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. The ringside tickets are about 2000 baht (~$60 USD).
- Khao San Road — Khao Sand Road is known as a mecca for backpackers. Stretching about 1km, it offers various inexpensive hostel and restaurant options. Khao San Road has something to offer to everyone from fake Raybans and T-shirts to cheap beer and Thai food. At night, it becomes filled with liquor buckets and drunk backpackers that will help you create unforgettable (or forgettable) friendship and memories!
- Wat Arun — Commonly referred to as the Temple of Dawn, Wat Arun is located directly opposite of the Grand Palace across the river and regarded as one of Thailand’s most revered temples. It is best known for its massive spire.