About JAI

What:

“JAI” is a Thai word which translates into: Strength of heart, body and soul. It represents who we are and what we aspire to hep our students achieve. At JAI, we teach Thai Boxing in a positive and encouraging way, while honouring its traditional values of respect and humility. But it’s not all work and no play! We believe in injecting healthy doses of Thai-style cheekiness and fun into every workout.

Read more about what JAI is and how it relates to us here

Who:

Each of our staff epitomises the “JAI” spirit through our love for Thai Boxing and a genuine desire to pass on our skills to our students

Our mission:

To provide a modern, fully equipped Thai Boxing training facility where students can reap the physical and mental reward of the art of Thai Boxing.

 

History of JAI – founders message

In early 2009, I had a dream. The dream was to bring some of Thailand’s best trainers and fighters across the world to New Zealand, where kiwis could learn Thailand’s national sport from its ambassadors.  We would work together in a gym where people could learn from the experts, and fall in love with the sport as much as I had. It would be a space where complete beginners of all ages and fitness levels could be taught by Thailand’s past champions and trainers of champions in a non-threatening environment. Where senior students worked together with people new to the sport. And where future champions were born, and anyone with a strong desire to succeed could have the potential to become a champion.

I quit my job as a journalist and spent six months searching for the dream team who would help me achieve this. I trained with over 100 former champions in close to 20 gyms across Asia.

I spent six months visiting over 30 gyms training with and observing over 100 different former Thai champions and trainers of champions as they instructed, pushed and mentored their students. I took notes, chatted with students and narrowed my choice down to a handful of trainers, whom I felt would be able to train students in a foreign environment. By “foreign environment” I didn’t just mean New Zealand’s Four Season’s in One Day temperature changes, but in a country where people had grown up on outdoor sports like netball, rugby, cross-country running and biking.

Countless bumpy bus rides, insect bites, bruises and lost in translation moments later, and I struck gold.

Fast forward a few months and I was back in Wellington, covered in a potent mixture of sawdust, oil, varnish and paint from painting walls, sanding wood and lugging timber. It was then,that our lethal weapon – head trainer Wimbledon arrived in the country. With just two weeks till our official launch on 16 November, Wimbledon cooly eyed our empty space (with only the base of the ring ready and no mats) and a 16 unfilled  boxing bags in the corner. He rolled up his sleeves and joined in, lifting, shifting, painting, sanding to create the space we train at today.

Instagram

I started at JAI earlier this year having done Karate my whole life since I was 6 years old. I knew Muay Thai was one of the most physically demanding martial arts and I wanted to give it a go – but most of all I wanted a new hobby, something to be passionate about and can look forward to when you’re having a crappy day at uni. I started with fun and friendly cardio KIK classes, but the trainers also had a keen eye for technique, which proved very helpful, especially for myself converting martial arts needed extra help changing my fighting style. I started sparring after a while, and I knew I had found my passion! It gives me an adrenalin buzz, keeps me fit and I have met some wonderful people including the awesome trainers. (Got some awesome bruises, which have hardened me up a bit too.) I think it’s important to have something you are passionate about separate from work or university, and I believe JAI can provide you with exactly that. Whether it for fitness or you want to fight in the ring, I recommend JAI for anyone who wants to set a goal and challenge themselves. It will help you be a vibrant and motivated person, and also help you drop a few dress sizes
Tomo Greer, 19, student