All That Are NOT Muay Thai
Chiang Mai boasts a number of organizations and businesses devoted to martial arts and better living through their practice. Martial arts training is known for its stress of the relationship between body and mind, as well as its possible application towards combative sport and self-defense. In Chiang Mai, some schools are more spiritually inclined and others are more about the actual mechanics of fighting, leaving the rest up to the trainees. It’s possible to find a practitioner of nearly every martial art in Chiang Mai with a bit of research.
For spiritual growth and practice calming the mind, Tai Chi is a great method to pick up. Tai Chi is probably the discipline with the most schools in Chiang Mai right after Muay Thai. It is meant to enrich your inner strength and relaxation, according to Sifu Sam from China, who is a hi-level instructor of Tai Chi. He teaches at the local park, Suan Buak Had in the southwest corner of the moat, and also at Hillside Condo 4. Located near that same park, are other practitioners like Sifu Rod, as well as Sifu Liang. Sifu Rod also does Reiki and yoga, whereas, Sifu Liang, originally from Hong Kong, practices for health and strength along with his co-teacher, Master Ed, who has a diverse background in yoga and other healing arts. Just a bit outside of the Old City, off of Kaew Nawarat Road, Master Keith of Naisuan House also focuses on mind, body, and relaxation, with over 30 years in martial and healing arts. Master Keith’s classes are set in a private rooftop garden. Adding to these diverse takes on Tai Chi are Master Joe and Master Kai who teach Tibetan Kung Fu and Tai Chi at their studio off of Moonmuang Road in the northeast corner of the moat.
Chiang Mai surely offers a lot in the way of learning Tai Chi. It has to be noted that most of these schools will overlap in their peaceful life-balancing philosophies. It’s up to you to find an instructor and school that fit your needs and personality. Though Tai Chi lessons are quite expensive compared to some of the other martial arts in town, most students find that they have received great value in return for the price of their classes. This can clearly be seen from the many testimonials on the different schools’ websites.
A much more physical take on martial arts alternatives in Chiang Mai is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) training. Since the formation of the Golden Triangle International Martial Arts school a few years back, many fighters and practitioners of various disciplines have passed through to cross-train and compete through their group. Participants from around the world enjoy that BJJ and MMA are known for their realistic take on street fighting and self defense. Some of their classes are taught in comfortable street-like clothing rather than in a standard uniform or ‘gi’ to give this real-life sense to the training. For those seeking a world-community feel, cross-training in arguably the newest and most exciting modern art, this could be for you.
Finally, if you are interested in other martial arts like Aikido, Karate, or Tae Kwon Do, they are all represented here as well. The city can boast several Tae Kwon Do studios, and even one Karate studio that teaches in Wang Tan Village and at Chiang Mai University (CMU). It’s at the university that you will find several different arts clubs dedicated to the various other studies mentioned above. It is possible for regulars in town to join these clubs and go train along with university students. The studio also has classes at Fa Luang University in Chiang Rai, and students only at American Pacific International School on the Somoeng Road.
Chiang Mai has many martial arts choices. You can find the discipline and instructor that is right for you with a little research, whether you’re looking to enrich health, learn self defense, or both !
Tai Chi Chuan Chiang Mai (Sifu Sam)
Outdoors – Suan Buak Had Park
Indoors – Exercise Room, Hillside 4 Condominium, Huay Kaew Road
Tai Chi Thailand (Master Keith)
Address: 3/7 Rattana Kosin Road, Soi 1
Body and Mind Healing School (Sifu Rod)
Address: 26 Bangrungburi Road, Soi 1
Chiang Mai – Qian Wu Tai Chi Chuan Association (Sifu Liang and Sifu Ed)
Address: 65/1 Arak Road
Kung Fu Chiang Mai (Master Joe and Master Kai)
Address: 9 Moonmuang, Soi 9
Golden Triangle International Martial Arts
Address: 10/4 Railway Road (Inside the Bossotel Parking Lot, across from the Train Station)
Tel: 086-206-7884, 080-858-7946
Japan Karate Institute Wado Kai
CMU: Student Union Building, or
Baan Wang Tan Village, Hand Dong Road