You might be one of many who have often thought about trying a Muay Thai class but never followed through because you were intimidated by what you’ve seen on TV.
It’s understandable why you might be. Muay Thai is considered by many lifelong martial artists to be the most effective striking art ever developed. An experienced Muay Thai practitioner knows how to use his knees, shins, elbows, and fists to defend himself. The ancient art also covers the basics of grappling like striking in the clinch, trips, and throws.
However, the intense Muay Thai bouts that you see professionals taking part in on TV isn’t what you will be doing right off the bat. You are not going to be going against anyone else for that matter when you start training Muay Thai. No instructor would be irresponsible enough to coerce a new student into sparring. That is something that is reserved for experienced students who want to spar to improve their techniques or to prepare for competitions.
There are some Muay Thai students who have never sparred. Your first few months of your Muay Thai class will be focused on teaching you the fundamentals of the martial art. You will be learning about proper stances, how to execute basic techniques, and many exercises that work your core and prepare your body for the more demanding techniques.
What To Expect When You First Start Training Muay Thai
Like many other martial arts, respect is huge in Muay Thai gyms. Students are expected to leave their egos at the door before coming to train. Classes are typically broken down based on experience levels, so you will likely be training with other newbies.
It creates a positive environment where you help each out during classes. Many lifelong friendships and relationships have been started in a Muay Thai gym.
Beginner classes aren’t as intense as the more advanced ones. Each student gets to workout at their own pace, so you don’t have to worry about some drill sergeant barking orders at you. A few techniques will be broken down to you during each class, and you get to drill them over and over until you become comfortable with them. Your instructors will constantly remind you to spend less effort trying to throw fast or powerful strikes, and focus on executing proper techniques.
Your only opponents during this period will be air, heavy bags, and mitts. You will work up a decent sweat every time you train, and the classes will never get boring since you are always learning new techniques.
The benefits you get from training Muay Thai include.
1) You learn an effective self-defense system
The effectiveness of Muay Thai as a striking art has been proven many times over. No other martial art comes as close to preparing students for the different things that can occur during a self-defense scenario. You don’t just learn how to use all eight weapons on your body, you also learn how to defend against them. In addition, you learn how to defend and attack from various clinch positions.
2) Your self-control improves
Pay close attention to a high-level Muay Thai contest, and you will notice how controlled each fighter is. Their techniques are well executed, so their strikes seem lightning fast and extremely powerful. It comes down to using physics concepts like leverage, torque, and momentum to generate as much force as possible.
It is why your instructors will continuously remind you to focus on learning the proper technique, and not speed and power when a new technique is taught. Once you master a move, the speed and power will surely come.
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Mastering how to control your body carries over to other aspects of your life. You learn to take control of different aspects of your life and the benefits of doing things correctly. Learning Muay Thai also teaches you many important life values like discipline, perseverance, and the importance of being respectful.
3) It’s a fantastic workout
If you are looking to become leaner, Muay Thai is a great way to go about it. It is a cardio-burning activity that can burn upwards of 1,000 calories for every hour spent training. It is a lot easier to reach a caloric deficit when you are burning that many calories from your workout.
— Evolve MMA (@EvolveMMA) February 8, 2019
Muay Thai doesn’t just burn fat off your body though. It also helps to build muscles. It strengthens your core, and it works every single muscle in the body, making them more toned, stronger, and more durable. As a result, you feel energized, and your body looks great. You also get to sleep better at night since your body is tired and ready for rest thanks to your training.
4) It can open other doors if you want it to
While most people who train Muay Thai have no plans to ever compete, it does open doors for those who are interested in competition. The sport of Muay Thai continues to grow at a fast pace all over the world, opening lots of opportunities for talented students.
Muay Thai practitioners continue to enjoy lots of success in mixed martial arts as well. It has solidified itself as the official striking art of the sport, and you will notice Muay Thai techniques being used whenever you watch MMA.
There is absolutely nothing to be scared of when it comes to learning Muay Thai. It is an ancient martial art that prioritizes respect, humility, and teamwork. No one at any respectable Muay Thai gym will ever ask you to spar or fight if you are not interested in doing so.
Deciding not to spar won’t prevent you from enjoying the benefits that come with training Muay Thai. You will still learn effective self-defense techniques, and you will become leaner and more disciplined even if you ever had a single sparring session.
Wondering what a Muay Thai class looks like? Stop by one of Evolve MMA’s facilities.
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