I often say that the best thing about Muay Thai is the popularity of this sport and the fact that you can train in every country you visit.
We really wanted to return to Madeira as we have already visited a few years back, and fell in love with this beautiful island. We have also already started training Muay Thai in 2018 in Bali, so we thought it would be a great idea to combine the travel and training.
We have googled the places we can train in Madeira and contacted Jose- the owner of ADMTM to see what they have to offer:)
ADMTM (Associação Desportiva de Muay Thai da Madeira) means Sporting Association of Muay Thai in Madeira) and is located mainly in Camara de Lobos but also held classes in Funchal- the most tourist place on Madeira island.
We had a chance to train at both locations- in Camara de Lobos and Francisco Franco School in Funchal. Both locations are easy to access and have interesting training schedules.
ADMTM has been founded in 2002 by Master Ferdinando Abreu, who was responsible for the introduction of Thai martial art in Madeira Island and has its head office based in lovely Camara de Lobos city (a very popular place among tourists).
From the year 2006, ADMTM is run by José Abreu, a Graduate of Physical Education at UMA University, and Muay Thai X Khan and II DAN Kickboxing.
The gym has around 150 members of both sexes and also outside the island visitors who love to come back just for training.
The club is coached by 1 first-degree trainer and 4 instructors/monitors. The classes are divided based on training levels and also age- as kids’ classes are taught separately. You can also find amateurs and professionals who train to take their skills to the next-competition level.
ADMTM organizes several events, from in-house competitions to ‘levada’ walks and trails across Madeira Island!
Our first training took place in Camara de Lobos which was the Muay Thai class for adults- combined beginners and more advanced.
The place was easy to find and once we got there the class for kids was already finishing, so we had time to look around. You could tell straight away it’s a place run by people with a passion for Muay Thai featuring loads of different trophies and medals on the wall in the reception area, a huge assortment of training clothing that you can purchase on the spot- very good quality materials and nice design.
You could see adults gathering already for the class that will take place after the kids are done. From the entrance to the left side, there is a small but well-equipped space with gym exercise machines for cardio and strength training.
At the end of the gym, there is a small ring area for sparring sessions and some harder training when they prepare one of their youngsters for the tournament. On my first training, I had the pleasure to do some pads work with gym owner Jose and it nearly killed me😊 It was intense but so worth it. It gave me the ability to check my cardio and strength after a longer break I took from training.
The rest of the class was divided into those that only started recently and those that had more experience in the bag. The beginners had a separate coach to show them basic techniques that they could drill. Others that had more experience in the bag were grouped in pairs learning with each other by holding pads and practicing some good drills. They start you off with bag kicks that amount to probably a hundred (with 50 kicks of each leg).
However hard I find it very good practice and well-structured discipline as kicks are probably the hardest to learn but doing it as a warm-up before the actual training gives you a pretty good chance to learn quicker than those who do not kick as much😊also, in between the training you could hear the coach shouting to drill some more kicks here and there😊According to my smartwatch I have burned around 1000 kcal in one-hour training.
A similar structure was held at the classes in Francisco Franco School in Funchal. Loads of kicks and drills, specific days for sparring sessions, and separate ones for clinching, which again I find crucial as not everywhere you are being taught the art of a close fight.
They have a lot of young kids and teenagers that are already making huge progress with some of them representing the country in the national tournaments abroad and bringing home those medals. This is tremendous to see that younger generations are keen on putting in the work to accomplish great things.
Overall I can honestly say that it was one of the top gyms I had the pleasure to train at with friendly folks and great coaches with flexible training availability at certain days and locations.
If you are ever visiting Madeira- and you legitimately should as it is one of the most beautiful places you can see, pop in to ADMTM for a session of Muay Thai and fell in love with the sport (if you haven’t tried before) or sweat like you never did before😊