3 Benefits of Muay Thai Kickboxing
If you want to hit the gym, lose weight, or learn something new, Muay Thai could be great for you. There are many self-defense options, each with their own style and history. If you’re new to sports, it helps to explore these options to find the best fit for you. Knowing what to expect helps you choose the right classes and be ready for your first lesson. Let’s dive into Muay Thai, learn about its fascinating start, and see what beginners should know.
A Brief History of Muay Thai
Muay Thai, Thailand’s national sport, dates back to the 16th century. It involves standing strikes and clinching, where fighters grapple closely. It’s like kickboxing but includes clinching, knee and elbow strikes. Originally, Thai soldiers practiced it for combat. The first outsider to record Muay Thai was Simon de la Loubere, sent by King Louis XIV to Siam (now Thailand) in the 17th century. Known as the “art of eight limbs,” it uses fists, elbows, knees, and shins. It began as a soldier’s combat skill and turned into a spectator sport. By the mid-19th century, as interest from King Rama V grew, Muay Thai spread throughout Thailand, becoming popular for fitness, fun, and self-defense as peace increased.
Muay Thai really took off in the 20th century. In the 1920s, King Rama VII helped set official rules, like having referees and timed rounds. The sport became very popular in the 1980s and 90s, attracting hundreds of fans and big money bets. It gained global recognition and, in 2015, joined the International University Sports Federation. This led to the first University World Muay Thai Cup. By 2022, there are almost 4,000 Muay Thai gyms around the world.
The Beginner’s Guide: What To Expect
Muay Thai has a big history and is loved all over the world. People train in Muay Thai for fitness, fun, or self-defense. If you’re starting, know that Muay Thai is great for everyone, no matter your age or gender. If you want to get active, Muay Thai is a good choice. Training in Muay Thai has many benefits.
Excellent form of fitness
The training in Muay Thai can be very demanding right from the start. With a strong emphasis in cardio training, you could find yourself put to the test. While it can be exhausting, you’ll find this training brings in not only better physical stamina and muscle strength, but also the many benefits that come with consistent training outside of the gym including increased energy levels, better sleep, and improved mood.
Create a community of fellow Muay Thai members
Training classes can create opportunities to meet new people and build a camaraderie with others that hold the same interests as you. Together, everyone is working towards a common goal that can create a strong bond that can grow to exist outside of the gym as well.
Builds Mental Stamina
Training in Muay Thai challenges you a lot. If you keep at it every week, you’ll get better and set higher goals for yourself. This routine teaches you discipline and motivation. These qualities will help you in other areas of your life too.
If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably ready to dive into what Muay Thai has to offer and what to expect in your first class! To get ready, it helps to do some cardio before starting. Muay Thai is all about high energy and pushing your limits from the start. Workouts like running, swimming, or HIIT can boost your stamina and get your heart ready for action.
Once you started training… now what?
Once you’ve started your training, you will begin by learning the basic techniques. You will get comfortable practicing with the 8 weapons of Muay Thai:
- Fist strikes
- Muay Thai kicking
- Clinching (aka stand up grappling) otherwise known as Muay Thai’s unofficial weapon
At the beginning of your training, an important tip is to focus on your form first instead of the power of your strikes. Like any sport or physical art, perfecting your technique is essential to growth and mastery as well as reducing any risks of injury. Start with light punches and kicks and then slowly work your way up to a stronger speed and power. This will allow you to perfect your form which will then give you better power down the line.
Whether it’s to learn how to fight, or simply to increase the fitness in your life, Muay Thai can be the solution. A reputable martial art with a legendary history, this method of self defense utilizes every part of the body to create a full body workout and experience unique to all others. For beginners, while knowing what to expect can be beneficial, your training experience will be unique to you and your body so remember to listen to it once you begin your training. Hydration, determination and motivation is the key!
Ready to jump into Muay Thai Kickboxing Classes?
Start learning the Art of Eight Limbs with our Free Two Week Trial!