Tips for those considering this combative sport – and newcomers! 🙂
Muay Thai is all about cardio. Unlike the weightlifting that gym peeps do, Muay Thai practitioners may not necessarily have a lot of strength (but it’s really fine).
A good thing to have would be stamina & flexibility though *so start working those joints*
Having trained in Muay Thai for almost two years, I would say it can be likened to a serial killer who’s out to exterminate you. And whilst you barely survived the harrowing event, you’ve become a sort of adrenaline junkie who’s thirsty for more thrills.
Many times, I’ve asked “Why do I do this to myself? Why am I here? Am I insane??”
But the allure of Muay Thai is that it’s really a fluid and dynamic martial art – you learn a set of routines, train your ‘core’ and pick up the basic skills; but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The art of 8 limbs: you can fight in any way whatsoever; even with elbow jumps, knee jabs, flying kicks..you name it.
It pays to be on the smaller side, especially in Muay Thai because you have the advantage of being more agile. Other forms such as Brazilian Jujitsu just don’t cut it for me – I know I’ll get pummelled – given that it’s all about pinning your opponent down.
And I can’t even pin down on where my beloved kpop idols are; so I’m clearly not cut out for that xD
But Muay Thai allows for compromise, at least to some extent. What you lack in strength, you make up for in – runs, skipping, shadow boxing, padwork etc.
Whilst all these stations are highly timed and versatile, it trains the different parts of your muscle, and tightens your abdominal & pelvic region.
Sometimes, you can feel sores and awkward hip alignments (but that’s really just bcos I get a little too eager at times) and end up inviting more injury than what’s necessary.
The instructors at Evolve Mixed martial arts are mostly world champions, which is pretty intimidating; but they’re awfully playful and humble – enough to make you forget you’re training with A+ league.
It wasn’t until I got my Level 2 band (it took 9 months) did I realise how swag I actually was – and that I probably should have tried harder at NAPFA (lol spelling halp). Because I’ve met buff guys who’ve ended up wheezing and panting #regretlifechoices
Nonetheless, the entire class runs in this order:
Number of participants:
- small: 5-8
- medium: 8-15
- large: 15-20
- ultra-large (i.e. you’re just tryna squeeze urself somewhere): 20+
From the aforementioned class sizes, the number of instructors will vary from 1-4.
I used to think that small/medium sized classes were better; but on days you just feel “out of it”, it’s actually an inherent blessing to end up in a larger one. This is simply because they are way too many people for the instructors to handle, and the stations are really swift so you can get over the torture pretty easily.
Moreover, the probability of other people having higher or equivalent levels to you (cough: lvl 3/4 – which is rare) is much higher, which leaves the demonstrations and padwork to them and you get away scot-free :))
I’ve been in a smaller class, and this is what goes down most of the time:
– on luckier days; I end up getting yelled at for not kicking hard enough (despite the fact my shin feels like it’s gonna split) and my STM i.e. short-term memory; is unravelling at the seams, because I have to remember all the routines
– on less lucky days, you end up leading the class – which is the kinda crazy, since you’re in charge of pacing.
This is especially so for running (which has always been my forte, obviously – that’s why I always end up panting like a dog in heat) and also count loud enough for those trailing behind you to hear.
Imagine my plight.
But it’s all part and parcel of teamwork – the instructors, especially Kru Nek – loves to enforce this rule. If anyone doesn’t count, the torture will repeat itself. And since I’m not exactly Adele with such a powerful lung capacity, I’m always struggling to be audible.
But there are always perks, such as a fitter physique and some routines I personally enjoy:)
- Skipping is my new favourite: you really get nice legs by jumping
- Kicks (x50-60) per side: makes your hips more flexible
Though I sort of zzz/despise:
- running: this is the downright worst – my 1-pack fatty globes are clearly out to get me; I feel like they weigh me down:/
- jump knee: disclaimer – it’s just a painful version of jumping because you have to grope the bag & just…no
And there are some things I’m impartial to: like squats (but seriously, I can’t get the posture right). I look up at the mirror and regret everything; because I look like I suffer from constipation.
Likewise, planks (though when you sniff the floor, it’s potent enough to sober you up)
I’d also advise people to get shin/ankle guards, not hand wraps; because you have gloves for that. Personally, I only use ankle guards because they really prevent serious bruises when you’re kicking, and minimise the impact of your flesh hitting the bag – especially if it’s got rough edges.
Finally, I’d like to end off by saying that really..Muay Thai isn’t a one size fits all. It’s really just about your personal development, and you can plan/regulate your training in any way – e.g. slimming, muscle toning, cardio.
Have fun!! ^.^