Here is some basic information about getting started in and continued Muay Thai training, tips, myths busted and more!!
1. You don’t need to be in shape to start training Muay Thai.
Muay Thai is a skill based sport. If you focus on the techniques you are being taught, drill them with focus and patience you will naturally get more conditioned as you practice, being able to do things faster and harder as you get better. Plus we know you are new, no one expects you to be in top shape coming in and no one will make you feel bad if you aren’t.
2. Expect to Suck at First!
Yes, it’s true, almost everyone sucks when they start training. Learning how to use your body in a new way is not an easy task, remember everyone had their first day. Instead of getting frustrated by not being able to do a strike or combination perfectly, get obsessed with it and use that drive and passion to focus your practice. Sure there are always those students who pick it up faster and look like a pro on the pads in a few months, those are just average people that wanted it more and spent more time working at it. If something was earned through hard effort and rigorous practice it is appreciated much more and that journey from sucky to awesome will stay with you forever.
3. Watch Muay Thai matches.
There is actually science behind this. You will improve at your sport by simply watching other people play that sport. If you are not an avid fight watcher and don’t know where to start ask for names of fighters past and present. We will be happy to share them with you and you can get started on your YouTube watching asap.
4. Shadow box and mean it.
We know shadow boxing sucks in the beginning. It’s one of the things everyone dislikes when they start training. They feel stupid, throwing combos in air and just want to hit something solid. Shadow boxing gives you the opportunity to practice strikes, footwork and new combos with precision, by slowing it down, checking your work in the mirror, fixing mistakes and then speeding it up. To get better it’s very important that you drill things the right way in shadow boxing and not be sloppy. Try working on a combo you did in your last class during shadow boxing or focus on a specific element of your game like keeping your left hand up or extending your hips when you teep.
5. It’s OK to stick to basics.
If you stick to the basics in the beginning and refine them, before you know it a 6 strike combo will not be so confusing. If you are working the bag, take your time and think about your cues and instructor’s suggestions before each strike. Don’t just drill the strikes incorrectly over and over because you are trying to get a workout. Take the complex and break it into small pieces, putting them together one at a time paying special attention to the transitions.
6. Come early, stay late and ask questions.
There was always that kid in school who was in class before you, they always raised their hand and had something to ask, then when class was over they stayed late to ask the teacher to elaborate on a particular point. Yes that kid was a nerd, but that kid probably went on to run a fortune 500 company or discover a new gene, write a best-selling novel, who knows. Those students also probably earn much more a year than the kid that showed up late, closed their book as soon as the bell rang and never participated. Want to be good at Muay Thai? Be a Muay Thai nerd. Get fascinated by the sport, do extra work, take advantage of open gym, ask lots of questions, no one will think it’s weird. The only way to get good is to care too much and put in work.
7. Your shins will hurt.
You will get bumps and bruises. There is no way around this, but there is an end in sight. You don’t need to go kicking trees and hitting yourself with bamboo to make your shins hard. There are a lot of strange “wives tales” when it comes to shin conditioning. Here is a great take: 1) Kick the heavy bag often. 2) When you get a bump, bruise, or pain of practically any kind on your leg, shin, or foot ice it. 3) Rub out your shins & legs with Thai oil before training. Massage out the bumps and bruises (yes this will hurt a little, but nothing worth having comes easy). Then one day your shins won’t really bruise much anymore.
8. Don’t expect to get good training just once a week.
If you really want to get good at Muay Thai start with 2-3 days a week of training. If you want to get really good at it train 5-6 days a week. If you want to be great get so obsessed with Muay Thai that you get asked to stop training because the gym is closing.
9. Support your team.
To get the most out of your training you have to be a part of the community. Come to our events, parties, and especially go see your teammates compete. One of the best parts of Muay Thai is the community. If you just come to your 2-3 hours of class every week and keep to yourself you are missing a vital part of the experience.