A sport and form of self-defence, Träning thaiboxning is a stand-up martial art. Muay Thai (meaning “science of eight limbs”) incorporates punches, knees, elbows, and kicks into a swirling melee of a fight. It is a powerful and effective weapon that relies on the human body’s strength and agility rather than brute force.
While traditional western boxing uses only punches, Muay Thai has an elaborate clinch system that allows fighters to gain leverage and power over their opponent. This advantage has earned the sport a reputation as one of the most effective in the world. While Muay Thai is primarily a striking style, its kicking and clinching techniques can be used to devastate opponents on the ground as well.
Training for Thai boxing is rigorous and requires discipline and focus. The physical demands of the sport are extremely intense and are designed to develop explosive power, stamina, endurance, and flexibility. It is not uncommon for a beginner to lose 10 pounds in the first few weeks of training. The training is a combination of cardio, core and strength exercises. A variety of punching, kicking and running drills are performed to prepare the body for fighting.
The ring, or mat, is usually constructed on an elevated platform and can vary in size from 4.9 by 4.9 meters (16 ft) to 7.3 by 7.3 meters (24 ft). The ring is fitted with ropes and 4 corner posts for safety and the fighting is done wearing head guards, elbow pads and padded vests.
Before a fight, the fighter performs a ritual called Wai Kru Ram Muay. This involves a series of movements that honor their trainer and pay respect to the Buddha. The fight is then commenced with the fighter shouting out a prayer to their lord for protection.
Besides sparring and drills, the fighter also trains by practicing specific techniques on a bag or pad holder. They are also taught to combine blocks and teeps, which are techniques that protect the face from injury. The nak muay must also practice catching kicks. When a kick is thrown, the fighter must think about someone catching it and hold that image in their mind for as long as possible.
Lastly, the fighter must condition their abs to deal with the impact of knee strikes and punches. A number of crunches are performed including the basic sit-up, twisting crunch, and cable crunch. The trainer may also have the fighter do jumping jacks, burpees and other conditioning exercises that will increase their strength and explosiveness. They may even be asked to run and sprint on a treadmill or hill. All of this is done to get the fighter in optimal fighting shape for their first fight. There is no set time for when a fighter will be ready to compete as it depends on how fast they learn the techniques and whether or not they can apply them effectively in the ring. A trainer will often “sink or swim” with their fighters, throwing them in the deep end and seeing if they can handle the pressure of the ring.