Learning Thai Boxing
 

1. Increased fitness and cardiovascular improvements

Training in and competing in several different sports and physical activities over the years has given me a pretty good perspective on what is the most demanding and beneficial in terms of overall health and fitness. Whilst almost all the things that I have done, either combat sports, more endurance or strength based activities, have proven to be great for improving fitness or strength, personally speaking and from what so many others say, nothing is as all encompassing as Thai Boxing training is. Maybe something like crossfit will provide the same or similar levels of overall benefits, probably more in terms of strength, however, Muay Thai gives you a lot more street cred! :0P

Muay Thai is aerobic, anaerobic and places huge demands on the body in terms of stress, in a positive way, if carried out correctly.

Important point; try to train at least 3 or 4 sessions per week to see the benefits and combine it with running regularly.

2. Strength - everywhere!

It goes without saying, if you are familiar with Muay Thai, that leg strength will improve, purely based on the amount you will be expected to kick, however, you also, punch, elbow, knee, clinch and throw too. So, you will be improving muscular strength and endurance in shoulders, arms and even in the neck. Kicking will not only improve strength across all muscles in the legs, it will also improve muscular strength in the lower back too.

Clinch and throws, among other techniques, will massively improve your core strength. This can help greatly with people who suffer from bad backs from sitting at desks or for lengthy periods in a car etc Combined with the abdominal exercises you will be expected to do in warm ups and cool downs, you will naturally start to see huge improvements within a pretty short space of time, whilst at the same time having fun. As opposed to those spending time in the gym trying to get a six pack for vanity!

Important point; don’t wait until each lesson to improve strength, there is more that can be done, however, it may take time to understand how much and how often to do your extra strength and conditioning. DON’T substitute a Thai Boxing lesson for a trip to the gym! If you wan’t to get stronger for your art, DO your art! 

3. Flexibility and mobility improvements

Depending on each individual, their age and their existing levels of mobility etc, it can vary in terms of how long it will take to see significant improvements. However, in most cases we have seen over the years, within a month of regular training, you will start to see and more importantly feel the benefits.

Personally speaking, I relieved back pains and increased mobility significantly in around 2 months of regular training, way back when I started.

As is the case with most martial arts, hips play a vital role in carrying out most of the technique required for each combination or move. Specifically kicking and clinch work, hips will be called upon and will therefore, over time, become more flexible and mobile.

Ok, you may not be doing the splits right way or sticking your legs behind your head (easy now!) but you will see huge improvements over time.

Important point; don’t wait until each lesson to improve strength, there is more that can be done, however, it may take time to understand how much and how often to do your extra strength and conditioning. DON’T substitute a Thai Boxing lesson for a trip to the gym! If you wan’t to get stronger for your art, DO your art! 

4. Relieves stress and makes you smile

Day-to-day stresses, arguments and especially mental health issues can be positively affected by physical activities, science has proven this. Muay Thai is the ideal outlet. It’s often fast-paced, high-energy and aggressive, and not in a negative way. There is nothing like taking out your stresses on a soft object that isn’t a person.

You can’t always guarantee that the session will be easy, but you can almost always, pretty much always, guarantee you will come away glad you went.

Important point; if you do suffer from mental health issues, try not to be afraid to discuss this with your coach. All decent coaches and instructors from reputable gyms will have been used to these discussions, and are there to help.

5. inclusive - one for all and all for…..you know how it goes…

In summary, providing any injuries or disabilities you may have are discussed with a health professional and with the coach prior to training, anyone can take part, at any age and any level of skill or fitness.

Thai Boxers are a diverse set of people; gendered or genderless. Tall, short, plump, skinny and of all ethnicities. One thing that is almost always a constant; a strong community and a willingness to help. Everyone has been a beginner and whilst you may get the odd showoff, egos are kept in check and at the root of it is the art and the love of the sport.

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