Benefits of Training in Muay Thai in Thailand

  • Muay Thai is Thailand’s national sport, originating more than 2000 years ago.
  • Most of the trainers have been training since they were as young as five years old; many are former Thai boxing champions.
  • Muay Thai is the preferred striking method for MMA fighters and for self-defense.
  • Training takes place in a distraction-free environment.
  • Other participants with differing experiences and skill levels enrich the training experience.

Muay Thai Defined

Muay Thai is referred to as the “Art of Eight Limbs” because it makes use of punches, kicks, elbows, and knee strikes, thus using eight “points of contact,” as opposed to “two points” (fists) in Western boxing and “four points” (hands and feet) in sport-oriented martial arts.

Muay Thai (called Muay Boran in ancient times) was originally developed by the Thai army to defend the Thai king and the king’s people in hand-to-hand combat against the Burmese and other intruders. As a result, Muay Thai has become an integral part of Thailand’s culture and history. 

Since Muay Thai is the number one striking method for UFC fighters, also known as Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), many of the camps in Thailand now offer MMA classes as well. The MMA classes emphasize Muay Thai techniques that focus on the MMA style of combat, utilizing wrestling, Brazilian Jui Jitsu, and ground and pound.

The Training

Muay Thai has a heavy focus on body conditioning. It is specifically designed to promote the level of fitness and toughness required for ring competition; however, it can be scaled for any skill or fitness level. Training regimens include many staples of combat sport conditioning, such as running, shadowboxing, rope jumping, body weight resistance exercises, medicine ball exercises, abdominal exercises, and in some cases weight training.

Training that is specific to Muay Thai skills includes training with coaches on Thai pads, focus mitts, heavy bag, and sparring. The daily training includes many rounds (three to five-minute periods broken up by a short rest, which is usually one to two minutes) of these various methods of practice. Thai pad training is a cornerstone of Muay Thai conditioning, which involves practicing punches, kicks, knees, and elbow strikes with a trainer wearing thick pads that cover the forearms and hands. These special pads are used to absorb the impact of the fighter’s strikes and allow the fighter to react to the attacks of the pad holder in an “alive” manner. The trainer will often also wear a belly pad around the abdominal area so that the fighter can attack with straight kicks or knees to the body at any time during the round.

The Beginner Program

The Muay Thai beginner program is designed for individuals with little or no previous experience in Muay Thai or any other martial art. The emphasis is on teaching the fundamental techniques of Muay Thai and boxing and allowing for a thorough understanding of the movements.

Skills taught include punching, kicking, balancing, proper rhythm, and increasing speed and power.

The Intermediate Program

The intermediate program is designed to refine techniques and push the level of fitness to that of a professional fighter. The focus is on advanced Muay Thai techniques. Drills are incorporated to improve cardio, endurance, strength, speed, and overall ability to execute proper Muay Thai boxing strikes and blocks in both offensive and defensive forms.

Advanced Program

The advanced program is for those who have had extensive training along with amateur and/or professional fights. With an emphasis on higher levels of technique, the advanced fighter will improve skills and push cardio to a level of a professional Muay Thai fighter!

This program is extensive, concentrating more on ring skills, discipline, cardio, endurance, and stamina for a five-round fight. Extreme commitment and effort are required.

Running, sparring, ring, pad, and bag drills are all part of the advanced training. Each session consists of a minimum of five rounds on the bags, three to five rounds sparring, and five rounds of pad work with a trainer.

Immersion Training

There is something different about immersion training where you eat, sleep, and live it; where you are surrounded by a culture that has been embracing the art for thousands of years; where you are around others who are on the same path as you; and where you can focus on learning, growing, and bettering yourself. The distractions of home are left behind!

Consider this, the average training session at most martial arts gyms in North America is one hour. The average person typically can only train 2 to 3 days per week because of other obligations. In Thailand, there is the opportunity to train up to 8 hours per day. That means, just 6 days of training in Thailand is equivalent to 48 days of training in the US, roughly 16 weeks or four months!

Immersion works! You will gain serious skills and get into the best shape of your life — all while experiencing an exciting new culture!

Daily Schedule

Time Training
7:30 – 8 a.m. Running, stretching
8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Muay Thai technique
9:00 – 10:30 a.m. Muay Thai training in ring, on the pads, and on the bags with the trainers; sparring and clinching sessions for intermediate and advanced levels
10:30 – 11:00 a.m. Cool down, stretching
3:30 – 4:00 p.m. Running, stretching
4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Muay Thai technique
5:00 – 6:30 p.m. Muay Thai training in ring, on the pads, and on the bags with the trainers; sparring and clinching sessions for intermediate and advanced levels
6:30-7:00 p.m. Cool down and stretching