So, you’re thinking of taking up Muay Thai and don’t mind taking a few knees to harden up the stomach. Cool. Or perhaps you already are taking Muay Thai and in the middle of sparring you’re wondering, “Why am I taking Muay Thai again?” Whatever the case may be, many of us have our own reasons why we practice the Art of 8 limbs. Whether it be to take it professionally, get in shape, or simply have fun with a new hobby here are the Top 5 Reasons to train Muay Thai and the benefits it has to offer.
1. CAMARADERIE: That’s right the friendships you build and trust among the ones you spend time with is one of the most important benefits you can get from the art of Muay Thai. The team feeling and being a part of something you strive for has a huge impact on your new journey. From the outside or within your current circle of friends, you may feel alone on taking the next step which may make things difficult to accomplish. Once you begin at the right gym you should have a sense of acceptance and bond with your training partners and coaches. The best Muay Thai schools welcome new students; they understand what it was like to be the newbie.
2. FITNESS: Did you ever hear: Choose a job you love, and never work a day in your life. Well it’s true and working out should not seem too much like “work.” Let’s face it, one of the major reasons people join gyms is to get into shape. No one should spend their time in a commercial big box gym surrounded by machines that give no feedback. Training Muay Thai will be one of the most engaging, interactive total body workout sessions you can ever get and after your first class you’ll see why. Not everyone is going to fight or wants to but you should be getting into shape right alongside the ones who are. The average student loses between 8-12% of real body weight in the first 3 months when combined with proper nutrition. Once you start seeing your progression advancing, your body fat burning away, your stamina increasing, all other healthy habits will begin to fall in place. Doing an activity this engaging on the human body will make other healthy habits easier to get into. Following a healthier diet will be easier, being mentally focused from paying attention to class and drills will be better, and overall energy that you need throughout the day will be there.
3. DISCIPLINE: Distractions are everywhere and can happen quite frequently throughout the day. Situations will arise that distract a person’s intentions by caving into desires or very commonly reacting with emotion instead of a more thoughtful, rational, controlled response to a situation. If you “have no reason not to” then you will. How does this work? Let’s look at some major factors when someone loses control or focus or never had any to begin with. If a person wants to lose weight and has little to no discipline, then unfortunately the task will probably not happen. Overeating is a huge problem in western culture and it does not help if your friends, family, or peers are in the same boat or encourage it by peer pressure by acting as if it’s normal. You need to counter these types of things with a a solid foundation, a strong desire to do good, and a like-minded support team to guide you along the path.
4. SELF DEFENSE: Simply living as humans or animal needs a defensive mechanism in order to survive. Whether it be speed, strength, camoflaugue, etc., every tool helps and it doesn’t hurt to have it. Knowing Muay Thai can give you an edge when faced with the challenge of life or death. Even walking around at night can be scary and knowing a martial art can help you feel a lot safer, but obviously not totally safe. It’s something that goes wherever you go, can travel with you anywhere, no security checks can take it away from you, and there’s no source of power should the weapon be lost from your hands and may very well be caught by the assailant. In a dire situation whether it be yourself or a loved one that is being attacked by a mugger or bully, your training can give you the courage, knowledge, and skill to protect anyone. To a general degree, going through a sport that hones your reflexes and surrounding area awareness can save your life as well. It can be something like evading an obstacle at the last second on the road, or ducking under a pie thrown at you, the effects of muay thai can help you stay safe.
5. SPIRITUAL: Rooted with a few spiritual practices, Muay Thai grounds itself with rituals that help cleanse and strengthen the fighter. These routines are practiced, empowering and give more of a spiritual meaning. Traditionally, before two fighters fought in the ring they performed a pre-fight ceremony called the “Wai Kru.” This dance-like performance serves many purposes including: paying respects to the king and country, their teachers, loosens the body, and relaxes the nerves for the fighter. This ceremony also “seals the ring” indicating that after this ritual, it’s just you and me. Before the fighters take to their corners they wear a headdress called a “Mongkol” that represents which gym they’re from and grants them protection. In addition they also wore an armband called a “Pratjit” that is said to bring good luck. Transitioning into personal affairs, practicing Muay Thai can humble yourself while learning with teachers and peers develop different viewpoints to handle situations, find your limits and set the bar higher each time. People travel far and wide to learn more about themselves, develop faith, seize life and try to make a difference. We go through setbacks yet we insist to find meaning in our existence. The mind can be problematic, guiding the spirt through a mental labyrinth. However, with creative arts such as Muay Thai, through its philosophies and principles, can open doors and break walls that are in the never-ending path of self-discovery.
Want to learn more? Try a Free Muay Thai class to begin your journey !