Muay Thai, a martial art form that originated from Thailand, also known as the “Art of Eight Limbs,” which is focused on strikes using the eight points of contact: feet, knees, elbows and fists. It uses the power of rotation in the hips to deliver dynamic and strong punches, elbows, blocks, and kicks.
Muay Thai is also an effective health and fitness training. It can improve one’s health and give a physically fit and strong body. Muay Thai workouts and training not only get a trainee in the best fighting form, he can also benefit from them health-wise. This may be the reason why a lot of people are interested and attracted in Muay Thai. Even if they are not training for a Muay Thai fight, they are after the health benefits the training will give them. People who go into Muay Thai training can build stronger and more defined arms, legs and stomach. In many ways, the training also helps to gain a sense of inner strength and emotional balance.
Muay Thai training is known for its rigid training program which includes an innovative variation of sparring, jabs, power punches, and defense techniques and all blends of aerobics exercises. Muay Thai training camps in Phuket, Bangkok and other places in Thailand come up with best training package that would not only entice Muay Thai enthusiasts to enroll but would encourage fighters to better their craft in the sport. These intensive workouts will help the Muay Thai trainee learn the proper execution of the different Muay Thai fighting techniques and help keep them physically fit and stronger.
Other than preparing the body for the physical stress and stand the impact of the opponent’s strikes, there are fitness, social and defense benefits that Muay Thai provides.
Fitness Benefits of Muay Thai
- Well-proportioned body. People who are into Muay Thai training are taught to perform warm-up exercises to improve blood circulation. Muay Thai training speeds up the body’s metabolism and burns off fat. Over time, one will notice a significant decrease in fat and a remarkable increase in muscle toning, and an overall improved sense of well-being.
- Strength and Agility. Regular Muay Thai training helps build up stamina and put one’s body in good shape. Arduous routines which are part of the training will help keep the body stronger. And because the training requires constant training and drilling, one will develop his mind and body for a quick response in effectively reacting to the opponent’s strikes.
Part of Muay Thai training is learning about practicing discipline, respect for rules, and obedience to the instructor. By implementing various methodologies, one will eventually possess good manners, good spirit, honesty, sense of justice and self-confidence.
- Helps develop courage, determination, and self-confidence. People who train in Muay Thai perform regular exercises which are very important in keeping the body toned to be driven to the limit of exhaustion. Without physical stamina and the required will and determination, the kind of rigorous training developed for Muay Thai can easily get a person to give up. Therefore, one has to condition his mind to be tough in order to complete the training program. And that will develop a sense of self-confidence which will grow as one becomes more in tune with the workouts. With proper training, one is equipped with the ability to defend one’s self against opponents or adversaries.
- Intelligence and Wisdom. Muay Thai involves innumerable tactics, tricks, and techniques. If one is serious about his Muay Thai training, he will learn all the tactics to counter the attacks of the opponent and at the same time deliver powerful strikes to the opponent. Muay Thai also requires the fighter to develop wisdom in using the techniques, learning when the punches and the kicks should be thrown to the opponent to achieve maximum impact. A fair degree of intelligence is developed together with learning one art of self-defense.
Muay Thai is a combat sport that originated in Thailand. It has its own unique techniques, which make use of the body as the weapons, more specifically the fists, elbow, knee and feet. Collectively, these weapons are called Na-wa-arud. Learning the basics of Muay Thai will get the fighter know about the many techniques using all the body parts to fight off the opponent.
For the advanced fighters, the different defensive techniques are used against the attack, which are classified into six types namely, blocking, redirection, avoidance, evasion, disruption and anticipation.
An effective blocking technique in Muay Thai is called the 45 degree block which is used in stopping elbows, hay maker punches and even high kicks. When you step in with 45 degree block, you end up in knee or elbow striking range. This is a great entry technique to counter off a strike.
This is done using the defender’s soft parries to change the direction of a strike such as a downwards tap to a jab so that the strike misses the target.
This is done by moving a body part out of the way or range of a strike so the defender remains in range and position for a counter-strike. For example, the defender moves their front leg backwards to avoid the attacker’s low kick, then immediately counters with a roundhouse kick. Another example is the defender can lay their head back from the attacker’s high roundhouse kick and then counter-attack with a side kick.
This is done by moving the body out of the way or range of a strike so the defender has to move close again to position a counter-attack. An example would be a defender jumping laterally or back from attacker’s kicks.
This technique is used to pre-empt an attack. An example with a defender using disruptive techniques like foot-thrust, jab or low roundhouse kick, generally called a “leg kick as the attacker attempts to close distance.
This technique is used by the defender catching a strike. An example would be catching a roundhouse kick to the body or counter-attacking it before it lands – meaning that the defender’s low kick to the supporting leg below as the attacker initiates a high roundhouse kick.
The concept of wall of defense is used defensively in Muay Thai in which shoulders, arms and legs are used to hinder the attacker from successfully executing techniques. A critical element in Muay Thai is blocking and it compounds the level of conditioning a successful practitioner must possess. The upper portion of a raised shin is used to block low and mid body roundhouse kicks while high body strikes are blocked with the forearm/glove, elbow/shin. Mid section roundhouse kicks can also be caught or trapped, allowing for a sweep or counter attack to the remaining leg of the opponent. An ordinary boxing guard and techniques similar to basic boxing technique are used to block punches. Blocking a punch is done by using the hand on the same side as the oncoming punch. A motion described as “combing your hair”, raising the elbow forward and effectively shielding the head with the forearm, bicep and shoulder are used to block thrusting hooks.
Muay Thai being a combative sport asks a fighter to learn good defense system. Learning how to make good defense is part of being a successful and best fighter. Making tactical attacks is not just the ingredient to win a fight; good defense is part of it. Muay Thai training camps in Thailand molds a fighter in developing instinct, defensive blocks, aggressive attacks and killer counter attacks.
To hone a good fighter, Muay Thai gyms in Phuket, Thailand make sure that every single lesson that a Muay Thai fighter wannabe needs to know to become a real Muay Thai fighter is taught in every training session. The intensive workout Muay Thai camp Phuket provides entices any sport enthusiast to try the sport and train from where the sport originated.
Gaining popularity worldwide, Muay Thai is a combat sport and a martial art like no other. It originated from Thailand using stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques. It has been a popular sport for many young Thai and foreigners who take pains in learning and mastering the furious punches, lethal kicks, crushing elbow strikes, artful feints and powerful grappling. Muay Thai is a proud heritage of the kingdom of Thailand.
Muay Thai training camps in Thailand are spread over Phuket, Bangkok, Pattaya and Chiang Mai. These Muay Thai training camps offer training programs for beginners, intermediate and advanced training. Famed and well-known champion fighters normally supervise the training programs in Muay Thai training camps they have affiliations with. From beginner’s training, one can move up to the intermediate level where more complex techniques using all eight weapons (elbows, knees, shins and legs) are learned. The more complex techniques are incorporated to improve cardio/endurance, strength, speed and masterful ability to execute Muay Thai strikes and blocks properly.
From intermediate, the trainee will move to advanced training wherein more diverse striking Muay Thai techniques are taught. Some of the advanced Muay Thai techniques learned in advanced level include:
- Superman Punch. This punch is executed after throwing some low leg kicks to the opponent, intended to knock him out. It is used to surprise an opponent and get them worried about what strike is coming next.
- Spinning Back Fist. The spin is performed by putting one foot crossed behind the other, then pivoting the hip and having the elbow follow through. It is a sneaky technique that can catch the opponent by surprise. It can cause a lot of damage to the opponent if executed properly.
- Spinning Back Elbow. Very similar to a spinning back fist, a spinning back elbow can knock out the opponent with a powerful elbow strike.
- Flying Knee. This is done by jumping straight upwards horizontally aiming to strike the opponent’s chin, similar to an uppercut punch. It is used when close to the opponent and during a clinch, when the opponent is against the rope or wall.
- Switch Cross/Hook/Uppercut. When the opponent sees a quick switch in stance, it means a switch round-house kick or knee is coming. But with this technique, a switch cross, hook or uppercut is not seen coming.
- Muay Thai Sweeps. When standing, sweep is used to take an opponent to the ground by knocking their legs out from under them. The force of the sweep runs perpendicular to the opponent’s leg or rises as it strikes the leg, lifting the foot from the ground. It can also disrupt the opponent’s balance long enough to make an opening for a punch or kick.