Muay Thai is a powerful martial art that utilises the knees, elbows, fists and shins as weapons; for this reason, it’s called the art of the eight limbs. It improves your reflexes, strengthens and conditions your body making you a much harder target. However, is Muay Thai good for beginners?
Muay Thai provides a solid foundation
Muay Thai is a solid “root” martial art to learn. It forms a very solid foundation on which you can build your martial arts knowledge. It’s a highly effective fighting style and covers a large spectrum of techniques.
Martial arts can be broken down into fighting ranges. The long range consists of kicking styles (such as taekwondo); medium range consists of punches, elbows and knees (for example Karate); and close range consists of throws and grappling (such as wrestling and BJJ).
Muay Thai covers both the long and medium ranges and so provides a good jump start into becoming an all round fighter.
In the MMA world, it is very common for a fighter to combine Muay Thai with a grappling style such as wrestling or BJJ.
Muay Thai is quick to pick up
It’s also relatively easy to make progress over a short timeframe. It doesn’t take long to get the basics of a jab or cross and for you to start putting together combinations on the punch bag. Of course, it takes months and years to perfect proper technique and to develop powerful strikes, but you can quickly pick up the principles in a short amount of time.
There’s also a finite number of punches, elbows and kicks to learn. Of course, these can be combined in an almost infinite number of combinations but there’s a relatively small number of basic building blocks to pick up.
Contrast this with very technical martial arts such as BJJ where every attack has a counter, and there are counters to the counters. This is one of the reasons why it takes so long to master this martial art.
Muay Thai is very safe
It’s also a safe martial art to learn. There’s no requirement to spar. You can simply do all the training involved in Muay Thai – hitting the bags, striking the pads, skipping, conditioning work – without ever having to step into the ring to face an opponent.
If you do decide to spar, you can just go very lightly. You can just use light taps when sparring. This is, in fact, how many professional Muay Thai fighters train. You just need to pick a partner who’s happy to do this.
In other martial arts, it’s very difficult to train in this way. Take wrestling; it’s very difficult to train without sparring with an opponent.
So for those individuals who are worried about being hit, it’s perfectly possible to train in Muay Thai without having to spar with someone.
Muay Thai feels natural
Humans have been fighting with their fists and with kicks for thousands of years. To some extent, this fighting style is engrained in our DNA.
Fighting from an upright, standing position feels very natural and even an untrained individual knows how to kick or throw a haymaker without specific training. This is perhaps the reason why relatively quick progress can be made with this art.
Contrast this with BJJ where you’re rolling around with an opponent. This is a very strange feeling as the natural instinct is to get to your feet.
Muay Thai needs minimal equipment
There’s no expensive equipment needed to start Muay Thai. All you need are a pair of shorts (link to Amazon) and some boxing wraps (link to Amazon). To begin with, you’ll be able to borrow gloves from the club.
There’s therefore very little cost in starting, other than paying training fees.