I hear a lot of people recommending Muay Thai training to propsective MMA fans but my own (midwestern U.S.) experience is that there are not a lot of quality places to train. How many instructors are there with training in Thailand or fighters with more than a dozen or so MT rules fights in the gyms you know of?
My personal experience at the MT places I trained at was that there were not enough sanctioned events to build a career as a strictly MT fighter and so most of the guys who wanted to get fights (for experience or for $$) were forced to fight K-1 rules, "long pants" rules or western boxing matches to supplement their MT fight schedule. The couple of guys that were very good/serious had traveled overseas to train (Thailand and Europe) and were considering moving if they continued to fight. Maybe it's different on the West Coast; I'm pretty sure it's better in Europe.
Although I think MT is a great style itself and a very applicable one to MMA, I'm a bit worried that by suggesting it to Americans I'm suggesting that they have 3 fights in 4 years and take instruction from a guy who has 8 fights experience with none of them in Thailand while sparring with 4-5 regular students who may weight 30% more or less than him.
4 that I know of.
Vegas: Master Toddy
Master Chai in LA.
Wai Kru is near Boston and also Team Sityodtong with Mark Dellagrotte also near Boston
those are too far from me.. haha
but i've always wondered the same thing.. i mean.. how many times ahve you trained with or talked to someone who says that they are a muay thai guy? everyone i've ever trained with is not nearly enough violent haha..
honestly the only reason i want to train muay thai.. is not for the techiniques but for the ferociousness of the striking.. and mainly for the training.. i mean.. damn. it compared to clearing rooms in combat. violence of action will sometimes set your oposition off guard and allow you to kill them.. i want the same thing with my striking.. haha