Is 30 too old for Muay Thai?

Thirty is too old to start Muay Thai if you’re looking to become a professional fighter.  Most pro fighters in Thailand start at 6-8 years old and by the time they enter adult tournaments, they have accumulated thousands of hours worth of fighting.

Malcolm Gladwell came up with the rule that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert in a particular field.   This translates to about 10 years worth of practice.  

Given you’re at your physical prime in your late teens to early twenties, you really need to start any particular sport at around the age of ten if you want to become a professional at the height of your physical prowess.

Starting a thirty is just too late if your looking to become a professional Muay Thai fighter.

That said Muay Thai offers fantastic benefits: it develops amazing  cardio vascular conditioning, flexibility, reflexes, hand eye coordination, and strength.

Thirty is by no means old but you are past your physical peak.  It’s a sad fact of life that the body physically declines with age.  However, this decline can be slowed with physical exercise.

Given the benefits I’ve just outlined, Muay Thai training is an excellent way to help preserve the body and keep it in good working order.

Many people are put off Muay Thai because it has a reputation of being a highly violent fighting style involving kicks, knees and elbows to the head and body.

By the time most people reach thirty, they are beginning to establish a career.  Turning up to work the day after a Muay Thai sparring session with a black eye may not go down particularly well.

It’s important to remember that you don’t have to actually fight to obtain the benefits offered by Muay Thai:  you can simply do the training that’s involved.  You can punch the heavy bags and mitts,  do the cardio work, and work on your flexibility.  Most Muay Thai gyms will let you train without actually having to spar.

Another benefit of Muay Thai is that it’s a very effective fighting system.  It an ideal style to learn as a method of self defense.  It’s combination of elbows, kicks and punches can incapacitate an aggressor very quickly.  I’ve written previously about the various techniques in Muay Thai here.

Muay Thai is also very quick for a beginner to make rapid progress.  This is ideal if you’re in your thirties where you may not have masses of spare time to practice. You can get to a reasonable standard in a relatively short period of time.

However, the main reason for training is because it’s fun to do.  Muay Thai feels like a very natural thing to do – people have been fighting with their fists for thousands of years.  You’re also around like minded individuals all focussed on getting better at the same thing.  

Also just because you’re thirty doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to hold your own against younger opponents if you do want to spar.  Plenty of out of shape twenty something muay thai fighters out there.  What it probably does mean is that a greater amount of your time is going to have to be spent on building and developing your stamina and endurance.