8 Reasons Why You Should Learn Muay Thai
Muay Thai, also known as “the art of eight limbs”, is Thailand’s answer to traditional boxing and one of the most popular forms of martial arts to have hit the scene.
Instead of relying on fists only, this martial arts turns elbows, knees and shins into weapons and is quite the visual spectacle too. Little wonder then, that it’s spread from The Land of Smiles to countries all around the world and is one of the fundamental forms of fighting taught in gyms.
At first glance, Muay Thai may seem intimidating and violent, but it’s really an excellent way to get fit. Far from being a blood sport, Muay Thai is actually rooted in respect and brings the body that much closer to peak physical condition.
Still sceptical? Here are some reasons why Muay Thai should top your to-do list:
Women are always welcome
Gone are the days where martial arts were reserved solely for men. Head into any Muay Thai gym today and you’ll see a good number of ladies hitting the pads and sparring with each other; the surest sign that this sport will suit you, no matter your age or gender.
No prior experience needed
Even the most seasoned Muay Thai fighter started off unable to throw the perfect punch. As the late Bruce Lee once said, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times”. Start off slow but steady, hone your techniques, and always put in the hard work. The results will come.
Gear up comfortably
While the professional fighters don competition-specific shorts and ankle supports, a regular enthusiast will do just fine in a sports tee and non-restrictive shorts. Ladies, feel free to go for leggings if that makes you more comfortable. Boxing gloves and hand wraps are available in most gyms, but for hygiene reasons, it’s best to have your own. The best part about Muay Thai? You’ll be training bare-feet, so keep those trainers at home.
Zero room for pride
Need to keep your ego in check? Try Muay Thai then. A single session will leave you gasping for breath, feeling sore and most of all, humbled. Any preconceived notions that Muay Thai is a walk in the park will be quickly dispelled the moment you get into the swing of things.
Zap those calories
Muay Thai isn’t just about punching and kicking. Every class starts with an intensive warm-up, which includes running, stretching and even skipping. Then there’s shadowboxing and drills before one-to-one training with the instructors. You’ll be working up a sweat and burning up to 1,000 calories in no time. Not too bad.
Defend, defend, defend
Some forms of martial arts involve acrobatic movements which are great for performances but impractical in real life. Not Muay Thai. Whether it’s dodging blows or stunning an opponent so you can make an escape, every Muay Thai movement serves a purpose if you’re caught in a bad situation.
Train your reflexes
Mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor famously coined the phrase “precision beats power, and timing beats speed”, and that is true of Muay Thai. It hones the instincts and reduces reaction time, keeping you always ready wherever you are.
Stress be gone
By physically exerting yourself during Muay Thai, your body produces endorphins which not only aid your workout, but provide stress relief. In addition to that, Muay Thai is a great distraction from work and perfect for engaging the mind in something rewarding. Little wonder why fight gyms seem to be packed after office hours.