My name is Abiuga Aroni. I have been doing Muay Thai for the past 3 years now and I love it. Itâ€™s fresh, fun, exciting and is a good way to destress me at the end of a long day.
As someone who sits at the computer working all day and is easily bored, I needed an exercise regime that was just wasnâ€™t staring at a treadmill, or pushing weights in a gym. I wanted something that was dynamic, would let me mix it up, would work different muscles and would challenge me in different ways as it went on.Â Muay Thai turned out to be that.
What is Muay Thai?
Muay Thai is roughly translated to the â€śThe art of 8 limbsâ€ť, it is also known as â€śThai Boxingâ€ť.Â It uses the four points of the body â€“ The hands, elbows, knees, and legs. It is very similar to Kickboxing.
It originated in Thailand as a form of self-defense but in modern times has become a combat sport. And because it pushes athletes bodies so much, it is a great workout even for those not interested in fighting.
How can you get started?
To get started itâ€™s as easy as joining a local club or fight gym. Depending on where you are, you may have one in your area or have to catch a bus to the closest one.
Most gyms are very welcoming â€“ they have to be in order to gain clients. But most clients are too. Most people are willing to take time out of their session to help a beginner with the ropes. Muay Thai is more about brotherhood (and sisterhood) than anything else â€“ because when you train (and suffer) together with someone, you develop some sort of kinship. You may run into meatheads, but that is unavoidable with anything really.
What should you expect?
A lot of punching and kicking for one which will actually be quite easy. You donâ€™t need to be a pro to throw a punch and get moving â€“ and your technique will surely improve with time.
There will also be a lot of different exercises such as pushups, situps, squats and sometimes running.
But the beauty is, all fitness levels can get started.
Why is it great?
Itâ€™s great because it works on your balance, hand-eye coordination and body coordination under stress. The varied movements also work on different body parts simultaneously â€“ punching works out your arms and core. Kicking works out your core and legs and so on and so forth. You are getting a full body workout with all these different movements.
So by mixing it up and challenging you in different ways, it keeps things interesting and engaging.
Finally, there is nothing better to destress you than hitting some pads. Itâ€™s a great way to get aggression and stress out of your system. Youâ€™ll find yourself more relaxed on following days and able to tackle daily tasks in a calmer manner.
What are some drawbacks?
Apart from getting you really fit, there are very few drawbacks. However, it is in some ways still a niche sport and thusly hard to come by in some countries and towns. It can thusly be expensive as some gyms will overcharge for the services they provide.
Finally, it can hurt if you donâ€™t have the right type of equipment. And it will hurt when you kick the pads depending on your level of intensity. However, you do eventually adjust to the pain and your legs get stronger â€“ but this is something that can dissuade a lot of beginners.