Krudar Muay Thai
Krudar Muay Thai is a relative newcomer in the old world of Thai Boxing instruction, and has built a name for itself quickly over the past few years. The club's name is an amalgamation of the term kru (teacher) and the first name of Darwin Miranda, a former student of ajahn Suchart Yodkerepauprai of Siam #1. But despite this gym's ties to tradition, there's something fresh about it. No, it's not the scent in the air. In fact, I suspect no amount of Febreeze would get rid of the smell of sweat -- proof positive that they work you hard on these premises. I mean fresh in the sense of novel, of something that hasn't existed before.
I dropped in on one of Krudar's mixed classes where you can find both beginners, as well as more seasoned fighters with stats behind their names. Fast-paced and varied, this hour-long workout covers so much ground it seem like you do absolutely everything under the sun. But let's not kid ourselves. Fun as it is to work with partners and pads, you definitely walk away feeling the burn. Beginner who are brave of heart are also invited to join group runs around the neighbourhood before classes.
At Krudar, there are only the essentials: Mats. Pads. Ring. Ropes. Bathroom? Barely. Lockers? Tiny and limited. Giant fan? Only feels like it works if you're standing right in front of it. That said, there's one thing that makes you forgive all these material shortcomings: amazing energy.
Unlike the grizzled, weathered corner-men/trainers at traditional boxing clubs, Krudar's instructors are sweet young things who radiate this unstoppable energy that class participants just soak up and amplify. Krudar's admittedly a young gym, and there's something puppy-like about its eagerness to please. August is self-improvement month, during which Krudar actively seeks out room for their own improvement.
Anonymous surveys at the door allow members to spill their guts about what they love, hate, and want more of. Sure, Air Canada does the same with those annoying pop-ups online, but there's no undercurrent of sycophancy here. It's an extension of the founder's sincere quest for self-improvement through practice.
Krudar has itself that winning formula of great teachers, friendly members, and classes that feel more like social clubs. Let's hope it hangs onto this throughout its growing success.
Writing by Charlie See. Photos by Jesse Milns.