Martial arts classes range from a variety of different styles. There are traditional styles like Karate, Taekwondo and Kung Fu. There are also the combat sports styles like Boxing, Kickboxing and Muay Thai.
The structured format of traditional styles can create a great foundation for newcomers. They have grading systems where students can track their progress and therefore can be more popular with kids.
Combat sports styles are more competition-focused. Martial arts classes like Boxing and Kickboxing are more suitable for beginners and people who are looking to compete. As a result, kids, teens and adults who are thinking about competing tend to gravitate to these styles (although this is not a hard and fast rule).
With the rise of combat sports in the mainstream (eg. UFC), proven systems in the ring and cage continue to grow in popularity. Many great mixed martial artists have used several bases of striking. None have been more popular than the combination of Muay Thai & Boxing.
Today, we’re going to check out 6 reasons why Muay Thai is one of the most popular martial arts styles in the world.
1 Focus on the basics
Muay Thai (aka ‘The Art of 8 Limbs’) focuses on simple techniques that utilize the hands, feet, knees and elbows to create the fundamentals. The simplicity of these fundamentals is what makes Muay Thai so enjoyable for beginners.
Don’t fall for it though. While these fundamentals might seem easy to grasp from the beginning, you’ll quickly realize the immense depth of the Muay Thai system. As far as Martial arts classes go, Muay Thai offers some of the most effective techniques that any style can offer. Clinching is also a big part of Muay Thai which is an advanced skill that fighters hone over a period of time.
Mastering the basics will take considerable time, but it’s application can be effective from the very beginning.
2 High Cardio workouts
The best cardio session is the one that you actually do. Fortunately, Muay Thai is a highly engaging and social activity that also offers a killer workout. Choosing an activity that you enjoy for cardio is a great strategy to keep you coming back!
If you’re looking for Martial arts classes that will improve your cardio just as much as it will your skills, then Muay Thai is the best solution for both!
3 Full body workout
As mentioned above, Muay Thai is a Martial art that utilizes the whole body during classes. Punches, kicks, knees and elbows will keep you active from head to toe.
You’ll learn techniques using sharp western boxing combined with knees, elbows and round house kick combinations (popularised in Muay Thai). These techniques are a consistent feature in many high ranking athletes in combat sports.
If you take one look at any Muay Thai fighter, you’ll see the incredible shape that they’re in. This balanced, athletic physique is possible thanks to their consistent whole-body training during workouts.
4 Self Defense
Muay Thai isn’t just for improving your cardio. It’s also much more than a full-body workout. The skills that you learn in Muay Thai martial arts classes are also effective for self-defence.
Muay Thai techniques evolved for use on the battlefields by ancient Thai warriors. It has since proved itself effective through rigorous competition. The same techniques that work against trained fighters are the same techniques that will help keep you safe should you ever find yourself in a self defense situation.
So while you’re getting fit and working on your cardio, you’ll also be learning a valuable skill that will stay with you for life!
5 Established community
Muay Thai has spread its reach all around the world. In 1993, IFMA (or International Federation of Muaythai Amateur) became the governing body of amateur Muay Thai. There are now 130 member countries worldwide with more than 3,800 Thai boxing gyms outside of Thailand!
This incredibly strong worldwide community ensures that Muay Thai stays at the top of the the most popular martial arts.
6 Stress relief
There’s nothing more satisfying than hitting the gym with your Muay Thai training partners and letting off a bit of steam. Hitting the heavy bag or smashing a hard pad session can be the perfect remedy to relieve the day’s stress. Regular exercise releases Endorphins otherwise knowns as the ‘feel good chemicals’. Here’s how Medical News Today define Endorphins:
‘Endorphins are chemicals produced naturally by the nervous system to cope with pain or stress. They are often called “feel-good” chemicals because they can act as a pain reliever and happiness booster.’
Muay Thai martial arts classes are the perfect place to push your body’s limits and release Endorphins. After a hard workout there’s no doubt you’ll be leaving with a smile from ear to ear.
There are plenty of different styles and martial arts classes to choose from. For those that are looking for a tried and true system, Muay Thai is a great option for all of the reasons mentioned above. Wherever you are in the world, you’ll surely be able to find a Muay Thai gym located near you!