The following article was submitted to Fight Quality by Darren Mitchell from bestmuaythaiboxing.com.
Muay Thai is a great sport which can be enjoyed from everyone from the casual trainer, right up to the professional fighter. Whether your goals are to become a world champion, or just have a bit of fun and improve your fitness, here are a few tips to set you out on the right path.
Choose a good gym
The first step to a happy and healthy Muay Thai career is choosing the right gym to train at. It’s vital that you pick a gym with a high standard of training, experienced coaches, and decent equipment. Many gyms offer free trial sessions nowadays, so try a handful of gyms before committing and make sure you get a good feel for the professionalism of the instructors, and how well the gym is run.
You also need to consider how easy it is for you to get to the gym, and what the prices are. If it’s a long way from your home, or too expensive, you could find your motivation to go back drops after a few weeks.
Injuries from pulled or strained muscles can take you out of training for weeks, so make sure you warm up and stretch before every session. It’s best to get the gym a little early so you can do some light bag work or skipping before stretching as much as your body as you can. Flexible legs are essential for Thai boxing so it will pay off to do some progressive stretching at home to improve your kick reach. Try doing some simple groin and hamstring stretches while you watch television for example.
Talk to people
The people who train at your gym have a wealth of Muay Thai knowledge between them, so make the most of it by asking plenty of questions when you train with more experienced people. Although some people may seem a little intimidating when you’re new, most people will be more than happy to share some tips to help you improve all elements of your game.
Focus on technique
When starting a new martial art, it’s tempting to go in all guns blazing and try to hit the pads as hard as you can every session. But martial arts are all about skill and technique as opposed to brute force. The idea is to try and generate the most power with least energy expenditure, and that will only come by improving your technique. Watch the good fighters in your gym carefully and listen to your coaches every word, in order to get your movement correct, and power will come with it.
Practice your skipping
Skipping is a core part of Muay Thai training and you will probably notice that the best fighters in the gym are really good at it. And if you want to become a better Thai boxer, skipping is essential for your footwork, cardio and rhythm. Ideally you should buy yourself a skipping rope and try to practice at home at least 3 or 4 times a week.
Rest and recover
Muay Thai is an extremely physically demanding sport, so you most rest and recover between training sessions. Try to space your training out throughout the week so that you are not training on consecutive days, and get a good night’s sleep as often as you can. Your diet should also be good with plenty of protein, carbohydrates and vegetables to ensure your body is well fuelled.
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Darren Mitchell is a Muay Thai enthusiast and writer for the BestMuayThai blog. Darren has trained Muay Thai for several years at gyms all over the world alongside some world-renowned fighters and coaches.
The views and opinions in this article are those of the guest author and are not necessarily representative of Fight Quality’s own views. We welcome guest posts from knowledgeable and passionate writers, but have no affiliation with the author or connected companies/products.