Muay Thai is a martial art originating in Thailand that is well-known for its array of ruthless fighting techniques utilizing virtually all parts of the body as potential weapons (fists, shins, elbows, knees, toes, heels, head, and forearms). It has proven to be one of the most effective fighting styles in the world today due to its continual evolution and progression as a ring sport, meaning that only the most practical and efficient techniques are able to survive in an art that has as its prime motive the aim of conquering any opponent with speed, power, strength, skill, superior physical conditioning, and mental toughness.
Let’s face it though, most people don’t want to end up fighting in a ring, much less train eight hours a day, six days a week, most weeks of the year in preparation for such an event. However, even though the opportunity to test one’s skill in the ring may not be particularly high in life’s priority list, Muay Thai is still an extremely fun and effective way of getting into shape and learning useful self-defence techniques at the same time. The sense of empowerment that results from mastering a few skills and reflexes that may potentially save you or a loved one’s life is one great reason to take up this martial art, not to mention the numerous fitness benefits one can gain from Muay Thai training. It is, in my opinion, a holistic form of exercise if done properly and safely supervised because it involves training your cardiorespiratory system with stamina and endurance activities, strength and power training, core conditioning, proprioception and balance training, flexibility, neurological and reflexive training, and the list goes on. The repetitive impact from punching and kicking bags and pads has also been shown to improve bone density and joint health if done in a gradual and careful manner.
The maintenance and/or achievement of a healthy body weight and physique are other possible benefits of Muay Thai training. It is definitely a sport that will help you burn a significant amount of calories in a short amount of time due to the nature of the high-intensity and high-workload style of training. However, you can also take things at your own pace and just work on mastering specific techniques or skills with grace and agility. It is really up to the individual to decide what they want to achieve out of the training, the martial art is just there as a starting point and canvas for expression. Furthermore, Muay Thai teaches self-discipline, determination, and patience. It can be as challenging or as easy as you make it – you are given the chance to have complete control over your body and its abilities. Life is but a journey of self-improvement and education, therefore I believe that Muay Thai is one of many exciting ways you can discover your potential and build upon your personal strengths and overcome any weaknesses. So if you have ever been curious or inspired by Muay Thai, it is never too late to start. Give it a go, you never know what you might learn.