Tiger Muay Thai and MMA Training Camp in Phuket, Thailand was happy to welcome VIP guests on Tuesday for a day of training, fun, and plenty of laughs. But these guests weren’t professional fighters from the UFC, Bellator or Strikeforce. They were kids…

For the second straight year, the British International School in Phuket held their end of the year celebration at Tiger. Fifty students and a handful of teachers arrived in camp with an excitement that only the conclusion of a school year and the start of vacation can bring. And they were eager to learn from Tiger’s trainers.

The first part of the morning was spent in the beginner’s Muay Thai ring, where the kids learned a series of techniques. It was a nice change of pace for the trainers – former champion fighters used to conducting strictly regimented classes – who now found themselves teaching a group of anxious primary schoolers. But big smiles on every face told the story as these new pupils practiced their punches and kicks under the mentorship of some of the best Muay Thai fighters in the world. It was a hands-on lesson in one of the most valued aspects of Thai culture—a lesson that can’t be learned in any classroom.

After Muay Thai, it was on to some mixed martial arts—something few of the students had even heard of before. This time they were under the tutelage of Tiger’s best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructors. Rafael Pinto and Wiktor Svensson taught the students a few basic maneuvers and allowed them to practice rolling together in Tiger’s newly unveiled MMA training facility. It was a unique thrill for the young grapplers.

“This place is way better than school!” Exclaimed one of the kids. “It was so fun learning how to kick and to punch and how to do takedowns. I learned how to do takedowns. Watch this!”

At the end of the day, the students were given a lesson in the history of Muay Thai and a demonstration of the traditional Wai Kru, wrapping up what was a rich experience for students and teachers, alike.

“We had such a great time,” said Kieren McGill, one of the teachers to participate in the day’s activities. “The lessons were all very well done and the gym has been very accommodating. We’ll definitely be back next year.”

Everyone at Tiger looks forward to it too.