If you are interested in starting Muay Thai it can seem quite daunting.
It is very different to other types of fitness training or sports, and there is a lot to learn. If you want to know how to get started so you can prepare, then you are in the right place.
We have put together this guide to tell you everything you need to know about starting Muay Thai. Keep reading to find out more.
What Is Muay Thai?
Muay Thai is a form of martial art which is also called Thai boxing. It originated in Thailand and has been around for hundreds of years. It is one of the most aggressive forms of martial art because it focuses heavily on striking.
There are eight different contact points that you can use to strike your opponent- elbows, knees, hands/fists, and legs/feet. There are also throwing moves, submission moves, and ways to use your opponent’s body weight against them.
There are some defensive moves in Muay Thai, but the goal is to aggressively strike the opponent so they don’t get much opportunity to attack you, meaning that self-defense is a last resort.
When you learn Muay Thai you will learn how to advance towards your enemy, how to land powerful strikes to disable your opponent and injure their muscles, how to control and shift your body weight, and how to become resilient to pain. It will improve your overall fitness and give you a total body workout.
Is Muay Thai Right For You?
Muay Thai is a great martial art for beginners because the moves are quite simple. However, the training is very intense, as the skill comes from having the stamina and the explosive power to perform the moves quickly and efficiently and with great accuracy.
If you do not have great cardiovascular endurance then you can still take part in Muay Thai, but it will be very challenging. You will see your fitness improving quickly, but it might be overwhelming.
If you have any physical issues such as weak or vulnerable joints then you should consult with a doctor before taking part in Muay Thai. The intensive training and sparring could make your condition worse.
As long as you are generally in good health then Muay Thai is a great choice. It offers a full body workout and a variety of different things to learn which makes it fun and interesting.
How To Get Started
If you are interested in Muay Thai but you aren’t sure if you would like it, you could have a go at a free online tutorial video. There are lots of them online.
This will not be the same as a proper class, but it will give you an idea of some of the moves that you will be learning. It will be more like shadow boxing, as you won’t be practicing with an opponent. If you like it, then you should look for local classes in your area.
Most Muay Thai instructors will allow you to book an introductory session before you commit to a block of classes. This will be shorter than a standard lesson and usually less intensive, but it will give you a good idea of what to expect from a full class.
You should wear loose and comfortable clothing and ask any questions that you have about Muay Thai to help you decide if it is something that you want to pursue.
If you enjoy your introductory session then you can sign up for a course of classes and get stuck into your Muay Thai training.
Each instructor will have different rules about what to wear to sessions, what etiquette they expect etc, so make sure you find out this information before your first class.
How To Prepare
You need to make sure that your body is warmed up before your class. The instructor will usually take you through a warm up, but there are things that you can do to make sure that your body is as prepared as possible for the intensive workout.
Try and go for a gentle walk before the class – 10 minutes will be fine but if you can walk for longer that is ideal. This warms up your muscles and prepares them for exercise.
When your muscles are still warm from the walk, do some gentle stretches to improve your flexibility. It is important to stretch before taking part in intensive training or martial arts, as this helps to prevent injury.
Make sure that you are hydrated and that you have eaten enough food before your class to give you energy. You should eat a nutrient rich meal with protein and slow release carbohydrates.
You need to give your body enough time to digest the food before the class so that you don’t get indigestion, so don’t eat anything within an hour of the lesson.
What Equipment Do You Need?
There is no official uniform for Muay Thai. Some classes may have a branded t-shirt that they ask people to wear, but this depends on the instructor. Most places will ask you to wear loose and comfortable clothing.
Once you have done a few sessions you will probably need to buy some Muay Thai gloves. Your instructor can advise you on the best gloves to buy. You may also want to get yourself a pair of Muay Thai shorts.
Unlike other martial arts, there is no formal system of progression for Muay Thai. Some classes may have their own ranking system to help them determine the experience level or skill of their members, but this is not a unified system.
You might see some Muay Thai fighters with a colored band on their arm – this is because Muay Thai fighters traditionally wore a band of material from their mother’s clothing on their arm for protection.
Muay Thai is a great martial art for beginners. Once you have found a local class then it is really easy to get started.