Your first day at school can be a nerve racking experience. New people, new uniform, new teachers and unfamiliar surroundings create that sense of nervousness that we can all relate to.
I remember the first time I walked into a Muay Thai gym – I had the same feeling at the first day of school! The first session is essentially the greatest challenge to overcome.
For anyone starting Muay Thai, attending the first session is always intimidating. There is plenty of noise from the pads, and the smell of liniment flows through the gym.
The one thing that we all have in common, is that we all started as complete beginners and knew absolutely nothing about Muay Thai. However, as you start turning the rope and learning some technique, the nervous feeling soon passes, as you ease into the session.
So, to help you along the Muay Thai journey, here are some tips for those new to Muay Thai, or for those that are hesitating to start:
1. You will suck at first
Now, if you have concerns about being clumsy, it’s perfectly fine. Unfortunately, the most basic movements make you feel completely uncoordinated!
We all know how you feel as everyone has been in the same position, so you don’t have to be hard on yourself.
The coaches and trainers will correct your technique and guide you through the learning process. Just have the listening ears on and try absorb as much knowledge as possible.
2. You don’t need to be fit to start Muay Thai
It is the job of your coach to get you fit – not yours! No one expects you to be fit, and no one will make you feel bad if you aren’t.
Learning Muay Thai is about developing your skill set, and with that your fitness, strength and conditioning will naturally improve. Sure, you will find the training challenging, however, this is the reason why you started!
3. You don’t have to fight or spar to train in Muay Thai
Unfortunately, there is an unwelcome stigma attached to Muay Thai regarding a requirement that to train in Muay Thai, one must fight. Not everyone wants to be hit in the face – so if you don’t spar, no one is going to think any less of you.
Fighting and sparring is not for everyone and we acknowledge and appreciate that everyone is different. Hence, the majority of people train solely for fitness, health and recreational purposes.
4. Respect and bow
Tradition is important, so bowing to fellow training partners and coaches is essential when attending a training session.
We all must never forget where we came from and where we are going; hence, the values of respect and honor must be followed.
5. Rest, recover and don’t over-train
Muay Thai is very addictive. In no time at all, you will want to train every day.
However, resting is very important. Inadequate rest and over-training can lead to a greater occurrence of injures, that are generally more severe.
Muscles grow when your body is at rest – therefore, adequate sleep is vital for recovery. If you aren’t resting enough, it’s hard to get stronger.
Most of all, listen to your body and rest from training when you need to.