The Basic Principles of Muay Thai
Muay Thai is the national and cultural sport of Thailand, originating in Thailand several hundred years ago as a way to utilize the entire body as a weapon during combat, and now today, sport. Since then the practices of Muay Thai, its techniques and methodology have spread across most of the Eastern and Western world with thousands of gym spread across the globe in both cities and rural areas. Muay Thai is one of many Mixed Martial Arts incorporating traditional Martial Art techniques with other techniques from various other Martial Art practices including Karate and Tae Kwon Do, making it a popular sport to learn with varying techniques, traditional methodology and close contact methods.
When you first decide to learn a Martial Art, you’ll find there a vast range of gyms and clubs available each offering a different style of Martial Art, and a different style of teaching depending on your level of personal ability, and experience. But if you choose to begin training in the enjoyable Muay Thai, you’ll be wondering what the basic principles of Muay Thai are, including fighting styles, the potential for injury, what the basic rules are, how Muay Thai would fit around your personal fitness level, current lifestyle and whether Muay Thai is the right Martial Art for you.
Muay Thai is a style of Martial Arts that some people have likened to the practices and techniques used in Kickboxing. Unlike Kickboxing, Muay Thai is based more on utilizing your entire body during defence or offence techniques and employs a lot more grappling and close contact techniques than Kickboxing techniques. This style of technique used throughout Muay Thai training, and the modern practices adapted today within localised gyms and Muay Thai clubs around the world, makes Muay Thai a Martial Art that is suitable for anyone at any experience level. You can choose to train as much or as little as you like and to whatever outcome you choose when you decide to train in Muay Thai making it a flexible choice that would be suitable for anyone depending on their level of commitment, dedication and versatility to learn.
Both men and women alike can train in the techniques of Muay Thai and depending on what your own reason is for training in Muay Thai, how dedicated you are to training, and your personal ability level, you can train at any level of endurance that is right for you.
One of the things to consider before choosing Muay Thai as the right martial art to learn for you is to consider your own personal dedication level. Whilst this is important in any choice you make in life, you should always consider how dedicated you will be to your martial art and what outcome you want to achieve from training. Muay Thai originated in Thailand as a way of utilizing the entire body as weapon using close-combat techniques throughout the threat of war, making modern Muay Thai training, still close contact and deadly. These close-contact techniques, whilst protection is available, can cause injury during training and during official, or non official fights, and is something that should be considered before beginning any level of Muay Thai training.
Due to the Muay Thai origin of close-combat fighting techniques and the art of utilizing your body as a weapon during any adverse circumstance, there is always the potential for injury throughout any level of Muay Thai training.
Training throughout Muay Thai progresses in difficulty as your own personal ability and personal experience level progresses. Succeeding in any Muay Thai training will require a peak physical fitness level due to the intense and explosive fighting techniques used throughout Muay Thai, making the basic principles of any Muay Thai training, physical fitness training, mind training and consequently, maintaining that fitness throughout your Muay Thai journey.
Whilst injury is something to be accepted throughout any Muay Thai training journey due to the close contact fighting techniques used, there is a range of protective gear, for nearly every part of your body available to Muay Thai fighters. There are also common, everyday practices used throughout Muay Thai such as hand wrapping for protection, as well as enhancement of Muay Thai techniques to minimize any injuries caused to fighters.
Like other Mixed Martial Arts, Muay Thai is only as difficult to learn as you make it to be. Depending on how successful you are throughout your Muay Thai journey will depend on how difficult you find your Muay Thai training. Muay Thai is a physically demanding Mixed Martial Art, requiring every part of your body to be at its peak state in order to maximise your training potential, and so this endurance requires a considerable amount of physical fitness training alongside lifestyle changes. Eating healthy, training and conditioning your body are all the basic principles of Muay Thai training before the more intense techniques are used to begin utilizing your body as a weapon, in line with Muay Thai rules and traditions. Your own personal commitment level to your Muay Thai training alongside the environment you are training in, will depend on how difficult you find the Muay Thai training to be. Throughout your Muay Thai journey, you will be slowly progressing towards more advanced techniques and movements and so from the basics of your Muay Thai training, the difficulty level will progress as your experience progresses making it a fairly easy Mixed Martial Art to learn that is flexible to your own personal ability level, dedication level and experience.
As Muay Thai has developed into a sport over the decades, there have been more modern rules and regulations created in the professional fighting scene today. Whilst there are still some traditional Muay Thai rules and regulations common in the modern practice of Muay Thai today, there are also new, modern rules and regulations present as well that have been developed to not only enhance the sport and the fights that are occurring but to also protect fighters during any official fights as well.
Some of the more modern, basic rules of Muay Thai include specific glove sizes and weights depending on the particular weight class of the individual fights, dress code including shorts and other apparel, age of fighters, which must be of at least 15 years old and their weight, which must also be a minimum weight of 100lb. These are only a snippet of the more modern, varied range of rules and regulations that are present in modern Muay Thai, official fights.
Whilst modern rules now exist throughout official Muay Thai fights, there are still some traditional and cultural practices that take place and exist within Muay Thai rules and fights. Some of these practices include the Wai Kru, which involves paying respect to the instructors of Muay Thai; this practice is accompanied with the relevant, traditional Thai music and various instruments; and piece of apparel, the Mongkol, a sacred cord which can be worn around the head during the ritual of the pre-fight where fighters pay homage to the ancestral teachers of Muay Thai. The Mongkol is a classic Muay Thai tradition originating through the several hundred years of history that Muay Thai has, and whilst the wearing of the Mongkol during any pre-fight rituals is still permitted in modern Muay Thai rules and fights, the Mongkol must be removed before the start of a fight for safety.
This fusion of modern rules with traditional practices and cultural ideology are the basic principles of Muay Thai making it an interesting Martial Art to learn that is soaked in history and ancient methodology. The combination of ancient Muay Thai practices and techniques with the modern methods and ideas of Muay Thai today make it a versatile Mixed Martial Art that is spread right across the entire globe through popularity and interest.
The basic principles of Muay Thai will vary depending on the environment you’re training in and the dedication level you are willing to commit to your Muay Thai training. Muay Thai has evolved throughout the years into a Mixed Martial Art that is common practice in the Western world and training practices may vary from the traditional techniques used in Thailand, to the techniques used in England, or America. Whilst Muay Thai training varies, the basic principles, methodology and values stay the same thanks to its intrinsic appeal and tradition soaked history. These basic principles make Muay Thai what it is today as a popular, recognized sport to both men and women across the world and give it the sense of appeal that most find interesting and culturally captivating