In recent years Muay Thai has rocketed in popularity as a training option for those wanting to get fit. This is partly due to the growing following of Mixed Martial Arts and the key part that the ‘art of 8 limbs’ plays in them. It is also due to new schools opening across the country, making it easier than ever for those with a curiosity to take up classes and enjoy the rewards of training in the sport.
Despite its growing popularity there are still many myths surrounding the art that simply aren’t true. In this article, we take a look at some of these myths and seek to bust them once and for all.
Myth 1: Muay Thai is only for the physically fit
Although professional fighters are indeed incredibly fit, you do not need that level of fitness to take your first Muay Thai class. As with many martial arts, technique trumps fitness in Muay Thai and your fitness will increase as you continue to train consistently.
Myth 2: You are going to get seriously hurt
There is no denying that Muay Thai is one of the most devastating martial arts in the world. However, many people train in the art in order to increase their physical fitness and develop a form of self-defence.
There are certainly ways to train without getting hurt, including light sparring and practising with pads or punch bags. Training should be taken at your own pace and a good coach will take into consideration your ability and training goals.
Myth 3: You need to be very flexible
With kicks being a big part of practising Muay Thai flexibility certainly does help; however, this is often developed over time and you will certainly still be able to train without a huge range of flexibility. Many ‘weapons’, including low kicks, punches and elbows, require very little flexibility.
Myth 4: Muay Thai isn’t for women
This is 100% untrue. There are many women that train Muay Thai right here at Vanda Boxing Club and the growing popularity of the sport has seen it race to the top of the list of martial arts taken up by women in Singapore. There are also several prominent professional female fighters competing across the globe, increasing its footprint on the martial arts landscape.
Myth 5: Muay Thai is the same as MMA
Mixed Martial Arts or MMA is exactly what it sounds like, a mixture or martial art styles used in combination. Muay Thai is very different as it focuses primarily on strikes such as punches, kicks, elbows and knees. The clinch is the only grappling element involved in the art and purely acts as a way to control your opponent whilst you deliver strikes.
Myth 6: People who train Muay Thai are mean and aggressive people
This is one of the biggest misconceptions in Muay Thai. In fact, this happens to very rarely be the case. The art takes a large amount of discipline, leading to mean and aggressive people quickly failing and dropping out of the sport.
Myth 7: Muay Thai is not as effective as other martial arts
Muay Thai is known as one of, if not THE most devastating striking art in the world. It differs from sports like judo and BJJ, which primarily focus on throws, grappling and submissions. Effectiveness is a subjective concept and applies to what your training goals are. Looking to learn how to throw some punches, kicks, knees and elbows whilst developing a seriously fit body? Muay Thai will definitively prove effective.
This article has covered some of the common myths found in Muay Thai and helped to remedy them. It is clear that the sport is a great way to get fit, learn self-defence and even compete (for those that wish to). This is regardless of your level of fitness, flexibility or any other factors; taking part in a class is suitable for anyone keen to develop cardiovascular fitness, increase muscle tone and improve their flexibility!