Are you thinking about attending some Muay Thai classes, or have just started training? If the answer is yes, please read below for some pointers on how to make the hard stuff a little easier.
1. Your first class
I remember the first time I walked into a Muay Thai gym. The cracking sound of the pads and smell of liniment was unlike anything I had ever experienced before. For me, attending the first training session was a challenge in itself. Over a number of weeks I drove to the gym 3 times with the intention to do my first training session, but then got scared and drove back home. It wasn’t until the 4th attempt that I had enough courage to enter the building!
For anyone starting Muay Thai, attending the first session can be nerve racking. I had an image in my head that a Muay Thai gym was full of people beating each other up! I quickly found out how wrong I was, when I was introduced to a room full of people keen on sharing their knowledge and showing respect. And, as soon as you get moving and ease into the session, learning technique will become your number one priority, and any nervous feelings will soon pass.
Absolutely everyone attending a Muay Thai gym started out as a complete beginner. Hence, the people around you know exactly how you feel when you step foot into the gym for the first time.
2. Practice makes perfect
When I first started training, I felt so uncoordinated and struggled to grasp many of the techniques I was taught. Your first few months of Muay Thai training may be similar, and its perfectly okay to feel this way. Unfortunately, what you think is the most basic of movements will make you feel completely uncoordinated!
Consistency is very important in terms of learning and practicing technique. Of equal importance is the feedback your trainer provides on how to improve your technique.
As you learn more Muay Thai technique your skill set will grow, along with your fitness, strength and overall conditioning. The training will be challenging, testing you as you grow.
3. Show respect
Tradition in Muay Thai dates back centuries. Such tradition is embodied within many human cultures, and in Muay Thai showing respect to tradition and to others is essential.
Your first Muay Thai class will introduce you to the tradition and respect of Muay Thai. The first thing that you will learn, is that to show respect you must bow to your trainers and fellow training partners. Whilst this may seem like a challenging concept to grasp, you will quickly learn how and when the bow is to be used.
4. Listen to your body
When I first started training, it only took a short period of time to become totally addicted to Muay Thai. So much so, that I soon found myself training every day.
For anyone who finds themselves in this situation, it is important to listen to your body and rest from training when starting to feel sore or stiff, or struggling to fully recover from prior days’ classes.
Resting is very important, and can assist with minimising the effects of over-training and injury prevention.