I was the very first customer yesterday on the first day of the soft opening week, and I thought I'd leave my thoughts on my experience.
I am a total newbie at Muay Thai or any other kind of martial art. I'm a moderately fit 29yo guy trying to get in better shape so I thought that I would give a go at Muay Thai (MT) and take advantage of the promotion.
Despite being the very first customer of the studio, it didn't feel so. I was greeted very warmly by the owners of the studio who all speak better English than I do, having lived overseas for some time. I was asked to register online using the tablet provided at the counter and then asked to provide medical information and emergency contact details before signing a "contract" stating that I understand that I need to be well rested before each session, avoid having meals too close to the session and so on. This was all in Indonesian but they helped me with the translation and confirmed that an English version was underway. It all felt very well prepared.
The lifetime membership fee was Rp100,000 and each session is normally between Rp75,000 and Rp100,000 for 1.5h session. However, thanks to the softopening promotion, I get 7 days of free access to the club and can join as many sessions as I want for free during that time. I'll be limiting myself to 2 sessions during the week as I don't think my body could take it
After the registration, I was asked to buy some hand wraps. Even though they provide training gloves for beginners, it is better to use your own hand wraps for hygiene purposes.
I was also given a small gift as part of the soft opening promotion which was welcome.
The registration was done on the ground floor of the facilities where the shop, registration counter and lounge (soon to be equipped with video game consoles) are located. There is also a lot of parking space outside. The building is brand new, located in new rukos built in Alam Sutera. In that particular complex, there are still many vacant rukos surrounding the studio.
After that, I was taken upstairs to show me the rest of the facilities. The 2 other floors are pretty much identical, each with a training room with soft floor mats, punching bags, sit-up bars and large mirrors. The only difference is that one floor has the change room and toilets/shower for women, and the other one for men.
A note on the change room and shower/toilet: The change room is fairly small but is equipped with a shelf to leave your stuff which is monitored by CCTV for security. The toilet includes a regular toilet and sink as well as a shower box. The bathrooms are brand new and very clean with nice touches such as free shampoo, conditioner and shower gel as well as nicely rolled hand towels as you could see in a hotel. I quite welcomed this facility after the training session as I was drenched in sweat.
The training session wasn't conducted by the owners themselves but by a professional MT martial artist, the kind of guy that could kill me within 5 seconds. There are 2 instructors at the facility but the second one doesn't start until next week.
My instructor didn't speak English but was very nice, and with the owners chiming in every now and then, the process went very smoothly. We started with some light warm-up and stretching, then some technical explanations of different strikes and then to actual practice where the instructor would speak out the move and I'd have to do them, striking him on the pads he was holding. I am sure there is a specific term for this type of training but I don't remember it. In between, there were some strength training sessions involving sit-ups, push-ups and the like.
I found the training session very interesting. It was very taxing but I was so excited that I didn't realize how tired I was until it really hit me. It was great fun getting instructions from a professional who was paying very close attention to my technique, correcting my feet positions and movements every time I screwed up (which was a lot).
At some point, I got a nasty blister on my right foot which I think I had before and burst out from rubbing on the rubber mats. No big deal, except that it felt very uncomfortable. I told the owners and they immediately scrambled to fix me up and brought me some betadine and band-aids. Within 5 minutes I was good to go again.
After some more training, we had a light cool-down and finished the session. I then headed to the nice shower to get all freshened up.
Today, my upper body is a bit sore but not as bad as I thought it would be. I put it on the efficient warm-up and cool-down sessions. I guess it also means that I could have pushed myself a bit more but hey, it was the first time. In the end, it sets a good benchmark for the next session.
The training session wasn't very structured on this occasion because it's on a drop-in basis with no set time. I mentioned this to the owners but they told me that this is just for the soft-opening week. Starting next week, there will be specific session times that need to be booked in advance. It's possible to book them online using the very slick website made by one of the partners.
If you'd like to join in on the action, I'd recommend doing it quickly. They told me that they favour quality of quantity and to do so they limit each session to 5 people max per instructor and there are only 2 instructors.
It's possible to just drop by and try to join a session (if there are still spots left) for Rp100,000. But sessions can also be bought as a package:
5 sessions for Rp450,000 or 10 sessions for Rp750,000. If you buy the 10 session package, you get unlimited access to the facilities for your own training. So you can just come and use the punching bags and enjoy the training atmosphere, but for actual training sessions with the instructor, that will have to come out of your package.
In terms of location, the studio is conveniently positioned. It's in Alam Sutera near the Jakarta-Merak Tol, meaning that anyone living in BSD City, Alam Sutera, Summarecon can get there easily. But people living a little bit further along the toll road should also get easy access. I live in BSD City and it took me 20 minutes but I imagine someone living near Taman Anggrek would take just as long by taking the toll road.
Overall, I really enjoyed this place. The owners and instructor are very friendly and they had no problem creating a relaxed and fun atmosphere. They are really trying to create a small community there where members will not just come for training but also simply to hang out with their training buddies.