World Kumite Organization (WKO), Pattaya, as the name implies, is actually a karate dojo. The pleasingly graceful four-storey building features state of the art fitness equipment, juice bar, lounge, dojo, and kai muay on the top floor.
Home to Muay Thai legend, Sakmongkol Sithchuchok, WKO holds training (in Muay Thai) once a day, from 3:30PM-5:00PM. Not quite your usual kai muay but when in Pattaya, you should not let the opportunity to learn from Sakmongkol pass.
By a stroke of luck, Hamilton, my nak muay friend from Singapore (Congratulations on your second round TKO victory in Japan!), and I got to train a bit at WKO under kru Sakmongkol. The very first time I touched gloves with the latter, I told him straightaway that I was a beginner. Smart move after seeing him in a couple of exchanges with Hamilton, but seriously, I still consider myself a newbie.
Training with kru Sakmongkol involved hitting pads for four rounds (which I completed), hearing from him what you are doing pretty and ugly (because he will not mince words), learning how to move to avoid getting hit (figure his less than 20 losses in over 250 fights), and developing IQ in the ring.
The highlight of the time spent at WKO was kru Sakmongkol’s grin at the end of the session and the words, “You are not beginner!” It was like listening to kru Nu (through Sylvie) of Petchrungruang persuading me to fight.
WKO may not be a nak muay ground but you will not be shortchanged, techniquewise.