Just like in any sport of martial arts discipline, it is so important to develop good habits early on in training. Good habits can prevent injury, illness, shorten your learning curve, and help you to see results faster. Below we’ve outlined some basic good habits to maintain throughout Muay Thai training. [Related: 12 Unspoken Guidelines for Muay Thai Newbies]
- Rest up: Muay Thai places heavy emphasis on conditioning. This combat sport requires mental stamina and physical endurance. Do yourself a favor and get to bed at a decent time so that your muscles have time to repair themselves and you can think straight during training. A lot of times when students are experiencing a plateau, it has more to do with the limitations they place on themselves than actual training.
- Chin down: Things can get ugly when you allow to chin to flap in the wind. You are setting up an amazing target for your opponent, get in the habit of keeping your chin down early on if you want to keep all of your teeth in your mouth.
- Eyes open: Sounds like common sense but keeping your eyes open as a strike is coming at you goes against most folks’ basic instincts. [Related: 6 Impulses Every Muay Thai Fighter Must Overcome]
- Breath: When you are learning and afraid of making mistakes, try not to tense up too much. Remember to breath, it will help with timing and technique.
- Stance: Practice your stance in every class. This will help you stay balanced and prevent you from crossing your feet as you move around the ring – which can throw you off balance.
- Mix it up: Try your best to use the drills that you are taught and even mix them up, especially movements that you are most uncomfortable with.
- Cut your nails: Seriously, no one wants to get scratched up by the talons on your hands or feet.
- Clean up: Use anti-bacterial wipes to wipe down your shin guards, wash your wraps immediately after using them, and don’t wear dirty clothes to training. Wash your body too! Don’t get staph or spread it around because you neglected basic hygiene.
- Don’t “go hard”: Muay Thai is not about going hard. We care about technique and when guys or gals are too busy trying to look badass, they can get caught slipping when challenged by someone who has been diligent with technique. So, don’t worry about how fast you can go through drills or how strong you are. Focus on the technique and the rest will come.
- Sacrifice: Even though we advise against “going hard,” you should want to work hard in the gym. Know that you might get bruises sometimes or feel like you are being pushed to your limits, but that is a part of growth and you got this. Don’t be whiny about it. [Related: Motivational Quotes To Keep You Going]
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Not local to Northern Virginia? Check out our YouTube channel to learn good habits from our Muay Thai tutorials by Kru Chris, professional fighters, and the world’s top instructors.