There are a number of different styles of martial arts out there, from boxing to jiu-jitsu and everything in between, but there is one form that surpasses the rest, and that is Muay Thai.
Muay Thai is the most effective striking art form in the world. The emphasis on sparring and competition is what sets Muay Thai apart from the rest of the martial arts. This is why it a great way to train your body and mind at the same time.
Keep in mind that Muay Thai should not be treated as just a cardio exercise, as it is much more than that. After reading this blog, you’ll know everything there is to know about this art form.
What is Muay Thai?
Muay literally translates to “combat,” and Thai comes from the place where it was developed, which is Thailand. It dates back thousands of years when Thai elders trained the younger generation the art to help protect the nation against invaders. Muay Thai is known as an 8-point combat art since it employs different parts of the human body as natural weapons such as fists, feet, elbows, and knees. It can be used for both close and long range situations. It was used by guards and police for the king and his family during the time.
These days it has become a sport with different weight classes and international tournaments. UFC is a prime example of this.
Muai Thai Training Structure
When you are training for Muay Thai, you don’t go straight into punching and kicking; it’s a long journey before you can actually take a person down.
The Muay Thai training structure is a long and grueling process, which takes years to master. It is essential to find a good gym to train for Muay Thai as every gym has a different schedule and training structure.
Even though it may be different for all gyms, but the basic outline of the structure is relatively similar and is broken down into eight different aspects.
Road work in simpler terms is running, where you have to dedicate a certain amount of your daily gym time to running. This serves as a great way to improve your body’s energy system and build up your cardio.
It is essential to build up your stamina for the training that is to come as you slowly progress in your training.
When you start, you are required to put time into shadow boxing. This is usually done in front of a mirror so the person can work on their stance, guard, and rhythm while throwing techniques. Initially, it is important to slow yourself down and work on your form rather than go for sheer force. Seeing yourself in the mirror gives you a chance to see how you look and what you need to work on.
Don’t think about throwing a double roundhouse kick, instead work on throwing a technique swiftly and going back into original stance. This helps solidify your fundamentals and develop your techniques.
Pad work is an integral part of any Muay Thai training, where an advanced student will hold pads, and you will be required to practice your techniques while being corrected.
During this training, it is important to slow down again and work on your stance and technique rather than packing a punch. Speed and accuracy win matches in a Muay Thai fight because everyone has to have the ability to land a punch, but the technique is what sets the person apart.
The heavy bag is one of the most important pieces of equipment when training since you practice your striking on a heavy bag. This is a great way of building stamina and can also be used to condition your knuckles and shins. If you are looking to toughen up your shins, the heavy bag is the way to go.
Drills with a partner can be a great way to get comfortable with combat. The important thing to learn from drills is to work on your speed and guarding. Since drills are performed with no force, it can serve as a great way to focus on your techniques without having the risk of hurting yourself.
The whole point of training drills is to develop reflexes, reactions, and timing when you are up against an actual opponent.
The Muay Thai clinch is the wrestling and BJJ side of MMA, where the two fighters are in close combat and battle to take control of the position. During a clinch arm control, sweeps, knees, and elbows come into play.
Sparring is the process of using all your learned techniques in the ring. There are two types of sparring which are Muay Thai and boxing sparring, where one focuses on all techniques, and the latter only focuses on punches to improve striking.
One thing that separates Muay Thai fighters is their toughness and conditioning to take a hit. Fighters who have conditioned their bodies to take the pain, which means that they can withstand an enormous amount of damage without going down. As a beginner, your goal is to focus on slowly developing a strong body over time. You will notice that your shins will be screaming in anguish when you first start. That is entirely normal and something you have to live with. Unfortunately, there are no short cuts to conditioning your body in Muay Thai. The more you kick and get hit, the tougher your body will become over time.
Muay Thai requires responsibility and like any workout requires patience to master. It is not only a workout for your body but also your mind.
It is one thing to have muscles, but if you are looking to gain strength and agility, Muay Thai was made for you.