Muay Thai is known as the combat martial art that originated from ancient Thai era. This martial art form uses stand up striking along with different clinching techniques using no weapon but just the use of fists, elbows, knees, shins and feet. Those who train for Muay Thai learn minor and major techniques which use the entire body movement, rotating the hip with each punch, elbow, block and kick.
The popularity of Muay Thai crossing the borders of Thailand, has made a lot of people become aware of the many benefits this martial art offers aside from gaining the fighting skills for professional competitions. For aspiring Muay Thai fighters, the objective is to learn the proper techniques in order to win in professional Muay Thai competitions. Their rigorous training includes routines focused on body conditioning such as running, rope jumping, body weight resistance exercises, shadow boxing, abdominal exercises, medicine ball exercises and weight training. This training regimen should promote a level of fitness and toughness required for ring competitions. Strengthening and conditioning of the different body parts used in Muay Thai fighting are the focus of training.
However, Muay Thai is not confined to people who want to be professional Muay Thai fighters. It is learned by ordinary people who want to use Muay Thai training and techniques for self-defense. A lot of women have turned to learning Muay Thai to better equip themselves with the skills they can use, not in Muay Thai ring or arena but on the streets where criminal elements target women for their prey. With the skills they learned from their Muay Thai training, these women have gained confidence about how they can defend themselves against aggressors or potential attackers.
Other people learn Muay Thai purely for fitness purposes. The body conditioning routines help keep the body fit, strong and properly toned. The exercises required help keep the body in good physical condition, which overall, enhances the person’s well-being.
In Muay Thai, one also gets to learn moral values and self-discipline. Along with the exercise routines, Muay Thai also teaches humility, self-confidence and modesty. Muay Thai is ritualistic in nature and it incorporates important values and lessons into the art of Muay Thai. The ritual dance of homage (wai kru) which the fighter performs before the competition is a ritual showing a student paying respect to his teacher who helped him/her become a Muay Thai fighter. The ritual is an act of paying respect, not just to the trainer, but also to the parents, and family.
In essence, this ancient martial art form is about culture, honor, respect, discipline and self-control.
Muay Thai training teaches the person to practice:
Discipline. Following the training regimen regardless of the difficulty is important in order to perfect and master the techniques.
Respect and self-confidence through a structured approach. The training program is designed such that the person learns to respect other people. And by learning and mastering the skills, he gains self-confidence, which is very important in Muay Thai fighting.
Self-defense skills. All the techniques learned in Muay Thai training may be used in situations that warrant defending oneself from attackers. Even if the skills are not for professional fighting level, they will be enough to cause harm to perpetrators.
Teaches student to move quickly and fluidly and to act and think fast. Flexibility and quick thinking are also taught in Muay Thai. As different fighters have different techniques, one has to be able to make quick decisions to avoid getting hit.
The importance of ensuring that you employ the appropriate degree of self-control and discipline at all times. Over-all, Muay Thai training instills a sense of self-control and discipline. Learning the skills to fight does not become a ticket to start a brawl or challenge people for no reason. A Muay Thai trainee recognizes situations where mere provocation is not enough reason to engage in a fight.
With all these benefits, it is not surprising that a lot of people from all over the world are now incorporating Muay Thai training into their systems and daily routines. Muay Thai training allows a person to develop physical strength, coordination and stamina, and at the same time enhance one’s determination, patience and self-control.