Chief Instructor and Owner Kru Sam (Chilaphanh) Phimsoutham is a Thai/Laos trainer whose mother is Laos and whose father was a Thai General. Muay Thai, but more specifically Muay Boran and Lerdrit, run in his family for generations. His father was also a trainer and a referee in Lumpini and his uncle the same. His first lesson in Muay Boran was given to him when he was four years old. He was not a Muay Thai Champion.
He immigrated to the United States at age seven. At the age of 18 Kru Sam then trained under Master Toddy, whose father knew his father, to become a Muay Thai trainer and teacher. Master Toddy taught Kru Sam an unbeatable system of teaching and continued to train him in this manner for 10 years. He also certified him as “Kru.” Because knowing how to fight does not always translate to knowing how to train others, Kru Sam’s innate ability to teach, his Muay Boran and Lerdrit background and certification from Master Toddy are keys to his success.
Kru Sam brought Muay Thai to the Bay Area in 1991. He introduced the sport by fighting black belts in the Bay Area wherever he could. Word quickly spread and interest in the sport was immediately picked up by legends such as Sifu Harlan Lee, Sifu Shane Lacey and the Lozada family. SFPD Officer Paul Lozada gave Kru Sam his first teaching job at a small academy in downtown San Francisco. Kru Sam taught part time for years raising fighters, including Wrath James White, Alex Gong (RIP) and Richard Tan. They obtained most of their experience in gymnasiums.
When Kru Sam opened up Team USA nearly 20 years ago, he raised his second generation of Champions – David Lau, Anthony Badua and John Ellcessor. These Champions were privileged to experience Muay Thai competitions in productions brought by BJohn Promotions, Scott Coker’s Strikeforce and Dennis Warner’s World Championship Muay Thai. In fact Kru Sam, along with Coach Cung Le and Professor Navarros, brought the first “smoker” to the Bay Area in 1995. Today, Kru Sam is on his fourth generation of Champions and the team continues to grow. With the legalization of MMA, Team USA expects to add its ground game and introduce a team of MMA fighters.
For over 2 decades we’ve offered elite Muay Thai training in the San Francisco Bay Area.
We teach Muay Thai and kickboxing through a highly organized curriculum that meets varying needs. We also offer the very best Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and MMA training for all levels. There are classes available for men, women and children of all ages and sizes. These training (Muay Thai, BJJ, and MMA), to fitness programs and even to Muay Thai for kids and families.
Find out why we stand out from the rest!
What They Say About Us
“Kru Sam is “one in a million.” I don’t think every fighter can say they’ve been trained, cared for, and carefully guided by their trainer in the way Kru Sam has done for me. What he has given me – a true lesson of the art, the sport, a different perception of the fight game, mental/strength, muay thai’s history, tradition and culture,… I am so grateful for and so fortunate to have been taught.”
World Team USA Champion
“The teacher asks his student “Why do we study martial arts?” The student answers, “To be a good fighter.” The teacher replies, “We study not to become a good fighter but to be a good person, for all of life’s lessons can be found in the pursuit.” Thank you Kru Sam for this knowledge.”
World Team USA Champion & Head Instructor
“More than twelve years ago I was introduced to the art of Muay Thai kickboxing by Kru Sam Phimsoutham. Kru Sam’s coaching techniques led me to my first National title. From him I learned may of the techniques that I have used throughout my career including those that I teach to my own students. His patience, skill, and vast knowledge or Muay Thai, combined with the ability to communicate that knowledge to students of varying backgrounds and fitness levels has made him one of the top trainers in the country. It’s no wonder he has produced so many great champions.”
Wrath James White
World Team USA Champion
“I’ve always appreciated Kru Sam, but I never realized the extent of his greatness as a trainer and person until I was gone. NOw that I’ve ventured out on my own I realize that Kru Sam is one of a kind. Although I am miles apart and no longer with him, he still cares for me and all his other fighters that have left. He didn’t have to show us that he still has our backs or do anything for us… BUT HE DID, and expected nothing in return. While I was with him he loved and took care of me like I was family. He put so much work into me. To know that he still cares is why he will always be part of me and will always be in my heart. No matter where i go or what I do – I WILL NEVER FORGET WHERE I CAME FROM!”
World Team USA Champion
“I originally started with World Team USA at the age of 57 because I was losing my balance when walking downstairs. That was seven years ago. I am now almost 65, my blood pressure is 94/60, my pulse is 52, and I can skip down the stairs easily. Best of all, I appreciate the young friends I have made over the years at World Team USA. I am blessed.”
San Francisco Teacher
“Being a new high school teach is immensely gratifying, but it can also be very stressful. Fortunately I found World Team USA. Muay Thai has been the ideal outlet for the tension from my professional and personal life.
When I began training at World Team USA, I noticed results almost immediately. I was able to sweat out the stress and felt more at peace with myself. I’ve always been athletic but there is no substitute for the workout that you get from Muay Thai at World Team USA. What makes it even better is that there is a very good reason for all the hard work. You’re not just getting in good shape; you are also training to protect yourself.”
San Francisco Teacher
“Practicing any kind of “fighting” sport can be intimidating to a beginner, but Kru Sam and his professional teaching staff at World Team USA presents all the techniques of traditional Muay Thai in a highly systematic and effective method. The workouts are very intense, but the underlying philosophy stressed by the school teaches students to work together, leave their egos at the door, and most of all, respect each other. Truly here, finding the best fighters is a matter of finding the most humble persons. There is always a positive learning environment where everyone benefits and improves.
On a practical side, my job is often very physically demanding and staying in good physical shape can be a matter of life and death. Studying Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at World Team USA has helped me achieve and maintain my fitness goals. At 41, I’m in the best shape physically and spiritually than I’ve ever been. Thank you World Team USA!”
Professional Firefighter, SFFD
“In just a few months of Muay Thai with Kru Sam, my son Carlo was transformed. He became Taeger Student of the Year in no time. Through his focused and disciplined training, Carlo developed strong friendships, dated girls with confidence, and improved his grades spectacularly. His two younger brothers, Daniel and Eric, are also taking Muay Thai classes now, with Carlo as their role model. Thanks to Kru Sam, Carlo has grown as a man and grows still every day.”
Lawyer-writer, Member and past President of the San Francisco Communtity College Board
“World Team USA was inviting from the first visit: my first lesson was in a private room which made me happy to not try it out in front of others and show my lack of skill. My instructor was nice and supportive, and I immediately learned the basics. When I decided to continue lessons, everyone from a seasoned fighter to a beginner helped. Kru Sam and the other instructors are helpful and supportive of their students.
From the beginning you are told that you are part of a team, even if you are not a fighter. In fact, each class ends with a request that all students be supportive, encouraging and helpful to their school and teammates. I have also lost a lot of weight and learned how to fight and defend myself. Team USA as given me pride and confidence.”
Attorney and mother of two
“I found World Team USA four years ago, when I was looking for a way to get in shape after the birth of my daughter. I have received so much more than I was looking for: I am in the best shape of my life and I have much more energy to enjoy life. As a businesswoman and single mom, balance is extremely important in my life. This workout gives me the energy I need to meet the challenges of my career and my responsibilities as a single parent.
My daughter has attended the kids classes and we have discovered that she has a strong kick! Muay Thai is a terrific way for kids to learn the physical part of this martial art, but also its values: respect, courage, strength, teamwork.
Kru Sam has created a unique environment where you train with and alongside professional fighters in an extremely supportive, respectful, positive and non-competitive way. I feel fortunate to be a part of this wonderful community.”
Entrepreneur and mother
World Team USA will teach you about your strengths, how to build your confidence, how to relieve your stress and how to find the discipline to reach your goals. Live your dream!
The Team USA staff goes beyond the call of duty to teach our students the self-respect, confidence, and discipline that we have learned through the practice of martial arts.
We wholeheartedly believe that there is no such thing as a superior style of martial arts and no such thing as having the best Muay Thai school. If that were the case, everyone would take only one style of martial art and everyone would be attending only one school. Thus, we offer Muay Thai only to those whose personality, goals and lifestyle fits with Muay Thai at Team USA. We respect every style of martial art in the ring and we offer Kung-Fu as one of two options for Kids.
At Team USA, students learn that through dedication and perserverance, all goals in life are within reach. Students are encouraged to set short, intermediate, and long-term goals. Each level is important for achieving success, not just in the martial arts, but also in everyday life.
We respect that every student has different goals, whether it is to become a World Champion in Muay Thai or just to nurture the mind, body and spirit.
We would like to thank you for your interest in our martial arts academy.
Joining us will be one of the most rewarding activities for you or your family.
Through the years, our unique programs have brought about dramatic and positive changes in so many people that we’re always eager for the opportunity to share them with others.