ATTN: Muay Thai Newbies – If you are venturing into the Thai martial art of Muay Thai for the first time, read through a few tips to help you navigate through your first few months at a Muay Thai gym. [Related: Your First Muay Thai Class]
* These unspoken rules don’t apply to our super fun MMA Kids classes!
- No shoes on the mat.
There is never be a time in life where shoes or flip flops will be allowed on a Muay Thai mat. Take this unspoken rule a bit further by taking care of your feet. If you’ve had a long day, rub those dogs down with hand sanitizer before class.
Bathe daily, use soap, use coconut oil, foot powder – whatever gets the job done. Don’t cough or sneeze on people. You get the point :).
- Shaved legs are a thing.
Yes, leg shaving (or nairing/waxing) is popular among male and female Nak Muays. Some say it is to prevent hair stubble from grating against a sparring partner’s skin, causing a rash. Others say hair-free skin is easier to bandage in case of cuts or wounds.
- Expect lots of conditioning.
Burpees galore, pushups, jump rope, ALL the cardio! No other martial art seems to emphasize conditioning as much as Muay Thai. Muay Thai can be much more brutal than BJJ or Karate, which is why bones, muscles, and your mentality must all be conditioned.
- Hold your form.
Ever seen a Thai Boxing class where the entire class takes up a “prayer hands” or Namaste form? This will often be after conditioning and drills, your arms will feel like jello but don’t even think about losing form. You will get yelled at and no excuse will be valid.
- You won’t be able to “kick ass” after a few classes.
At most gyms, traditional Muay Thai is offered without modern self-defense techniques. At T.A.G. Muay Thai, Kru Chris also trains law enforcement and military, so though you may not be able to kick ass after a few months, you should be able to do a much better job of defending yourself. Have realistic expectations. Mastering technique takes time.
- When you do begin sparring, winning is not the goal.
After you have adjusted to conditioning and drills, it will be time to spar. Your partner will be more advanced. Sparring is not about winning at this stage, it is about learning. Be observant and try to match their speed while keeping in mind that intensity should be kept around 40-60%.
- Your entire body will be sore and you’ll bruise.
Some people eat bananas before class to minimize bruising, others turn to traumeel, or run for the ice as soon as they get home. The bruising and soreness will pass :).
- Your coach will not be a shoulder to cry on.
If you have questions about technique or the art of Thai Boxing, talk to your coach or Kru. If you have complaints that aren’t related to actual injury, keep it to yourself.
Guys, wear compression shorts or fitted briefs under your gym shorts.
A Muay Thai gym is no place for loose-fitting boxers. Keep your junk inside your shorts.
- Basketball shorts or leggings will do until you purchase a pair of Muay Thai shorts.
Your gym might have Muay Thai shorts that you can buy, but if not, you can also find them here. [shameless plug]
- Speed and power may slow your progress.
Don’t try to throw the quickest or “strongest” strikes, it will only delay your progress in technique. Rather than speed, work on timing.
Want to advance your Muay Thai technique from home? Tune in to our Muay Thai tutorials on YouTube. If you live in Northern Virginia, you are welcome to stop by for a 14-Day FREE Trial!