“You can come here and train in various martial arts. Also you can experience the beautiful beaches, delicious food, and the lovely culture of Thailand and its people.”
– Chris Vamos
Tiger Muay Thai & MMA Training Camp, Phuket, Thailand has become one of the best places in the world to do a training vacation. The beaches, the sunny hot weather, and the spicy Thai food make Phuket a paradise for Muay Thai and Brazilian jiu-jitsu training!
This week, the Jiu-jitsu Times interviewed BJJ instructor, Chris Vamos, who has one of the best jobs in the world – teaching jiu-jitsu on the beach in Phuket, Thailand.
Jiu-Jitsu Times: First of all, Chris please tell the Jiu-Jitsu Times readers a little about your jiu-jitsu background. Where are you from and how long have you been training BJJ?
Chris Vamos: I am from Long Island, NY. I began training in BJJ about 14 years ago under Renzo Gracie black belt, Joe D’Arce and earned my black belt in January 2010.
Jiu-Jitsu Times: You are the head BJJ coach at Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket, Thailand. How did you end up teaching BJJ there?
Chris Vamos: I started traveling to Thailand about four years ago mainly to learn Muay Thai, so I came to Phuket and began my training at Tiger. I really enjoyed training with the various teachers at Tiger and was doing three privates a day with Sanong Wongsuwan, Lamsongkram and Robert “The Terminator.”
They also offered BJJ classes, so I used to train BJJ every day as well. Over time, I became friends with a lot of the students and instructors and they asked me to do a BJJ seminar.
I did it for free to give back to Tiger for all the great training I was getting and also because I wanted it to be a packed room. After my seminar, a lot of the students approached the management and told them that they really liked my class. A short time later, I got a call from the staff saying that they needed a new BJJ coach and I decided it would be a good move for me to take the position.
If you want to go on vacation and be in the best shape of your life when you go back home, then Phuket is definitely a good place to go. You can come here and train in various martial arts. Also, you can experience the beautiful beaches, delicious food, and the lovely culture of Thailand and its people.
Almost every business on Soi Ta-ied (aka Tiger Road) is created for people that want to train and live a healthy lifestyle. It’s really the perfect place to go on vacation, learn something new, get in better shape, and have the experience of a lifetime.
Jiu-Jitsu Times: Phuket seems like an awesome place for BJJ, Muay Thai, and MMA guys to go to live and train. What does a typical day look like for you teaching BJJ in paradise?
Chris Vamos: For me, a typical day begins with a fresh cup of coffee. I ride my motorbike to the gym and start gi class at 9am, then no-gi class at 10am. I try to roll and train with as many students in both classes so I can to keep my skills up to par and also help the students improve.
After class it’s time to shower and then eat.
I’ll usually eat a lot of fruit first thing because I feel that it helps me hydrate after training in the hot Thai climate. There are so many varieties of fruit you can buy at street vendors all year round so I try to take advantage of that.
Right now, it’s mangosteen and Durian season, and I’m eating a lot of both of these fruits. Then I will usually go eat some cooked food so I switch back and forth from Thai and Western food.
After, I will usually take a short nap and relax before I go and do some more training for myself later on. I switch between Muay Thai, yoga, and sometimes running to supplement my daily BJJ training.
Jiu-Jitsu Times: What advice do you have for BJJ and MMA guys who have a desire to come train Muay Thai and BJJ in Thailand?
Chris Vamos: My advice to people that come to Phuket is to not overtrain when you first get here. Students will come and try to train six hours a day right away and their bodies haven’t even adjusted for jet lag yet. I’ve seen many students get sick or injured because of this. You have to slowly build up and let your body get used to the different weather, sleeping, and hard training.
Your body needs time to adjust, heal, and recover. Don’t overdo it right away.
So train smart, listen to your body, get plenty of sleep, stay hydrated, eat healthy and have fun.