4 Ways to Be a Great Training Partner for Muay Thai

All martial arts require good sportsmanship and Muay Thai is no different. If you love Muay Thai then you know how good it makes you feel when you train and spar. This cannot be true for everyone however as some people are not lucky enough to have good partners. Training and sparring with your classmates requires that you have a good personality. A good person always teaches others and in the case of Muay Thai, he/she always does their best to be a good training partner.

Here are four ways to enforce the idea of how to be a good training partner in Muay Thai:

1: Don’t Be a Jerk

No one likes people who are arrogant and display how good they are at something as if they’re the best. If you want the other person to feel comfortable sparring with you, then keep it light hearted. You don’t have to be cracking jokes in the middle of the session, just say something to ease the tension (if any) between you and your partner. This is especially helpful when sparring with a person of opposite sex as being a bit loony can give you two the jolt to spar better rather than keeping your distance. When the time is right, smile and crack a little joke, but make sure that you don’t make someone a target of your joke as it will be very disrespectful.

2: Give Others a Chance by Thinking Positive

As sparring is crucial to Muay Thai training, chances are that you might pair up with a member of the opposite sex. This can make most people nervous, especially if a guy is paired with a girl. Guys will be hesitant to kick or punch a lady and won’t want to be the ones who ‘raised their hands at a woman’. Relax! This is Muay Thai; anyone who takes up Muay Thai knows what they’re getting into. When sparring with a person from the opposite sex, just make sure that you follow the rules of Muay Thai. If you’re more experienced, give them a nudge in the right direction and let them hit you a few times to make them feel comfortable. This will show them that you are a positive person and are giving them a chance to learn.

3: Don’t be a Know it All

When learning Muay Thai at a gym, you are there to learn from the instructor. No matter how many YouTube videos and Muay Thai fights you may have seen, don’t try to be a know-it-all and try to show everyone you know everything there is to know about Muay Thai. Everyone is there to learn from the Muay Thai instructor so instead of trying to show off new techniques, go with the class. In time you will realize how little you actually know, as training and learning from a real instructor is never going to be the same as watching videos on the internet. Flow with your teammates and if you think you can do a technique in a better way then make sure that you consult with your instructor quietly instead of boasting loudly about your immense knowledge.

4: Keep a Cool head

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Martial arts are all about learning patience and discipline. Sparring in Muay Thai is about learning and getting the feel of how a real fight would be like. Don’t lose yourself in the heat of combat and hit your partner with powerful blows to knock them out. Remember, this is not a match, it is a training session and you’re both there to learn. If you hit too hard then the other person will get bruised needlessly and will most likely make a complaint against you. No one will want to spar with you again and you will lose credibility. If you want to hit hard then do it in the ring or on the bags. In such times deep breathing is always helpful and can help calm your nerves.

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The 8 Destructive Weapons of Muay Thai

mt guy 4In finding the real self-defense value and effectiveness of a martial art, it is the type of weapons available in the arsenal that make the difference. In Thai boxing, the fighters are able to use the body’s most destructive weapons to their advantage. In Muay Thai, the 2 feet, 2 fists, 2 elbows and 2 knees are known as the 8 weapons. When put together these weapons are a lethal combination.

The feet are used for long distance striking, the fists and knees for medium distance attacks, while the elbow is used effectively as a devastating short range weapon. An experienced Thai boxer has solid defensive techniques for protection from the 8 weapons. One proven Muay Thai defensive technique often used as a counter move in ring combat, is known as “the wall of defense”, in which the fighter protects himself by lifting a knee to make contact with a lowered elbow to form a protective wall. This human wall has the strength to absorb the attacking strikes coming from any of the 8 weapons. Whether short, medium or long range, any of the 8 weapons, if used correctly, can touch the opponent with lightning speed, precision and accuracy.

Roundhouse Kicks

Lightning quick roundhouse kicks targeted at the head are regarded as the most flashy and effective attacks in a Muay Thai fight and scores high points from the judges. The most effective strike is when the attacker’s shin, not foot, is thrown into the side of an opponent’s head. The roundhouse kick can easily break a tensed up forearm on impact. Therefore, Thai boxers wisely prefer to absorb the roundhouse strike rather than maintain a rigid defensive stance.

Flying Knees Since Muay Thai is a close-quarters combat sport; effective grappling and knee techniques are needed. A good close-quarters fighter can be very effective in taking the wind and the will to fight from an opponent. A knockout strike is almost guaranteed when an opponent’s head is brought down to an upward-thrusting knee. Muay Thai fighters are the masters of kick fighting. But it’s their shins that are the hardest part of their body and used to chop an opponent down. The knees are also used to devastating effect, as are elbow and fist attacks.

Punching

Fighters from Thailand have successfully shown their punching proficiency by producing a number of world WBC and WBA boxing champions. In Muay Thai fights, power punching is seldom seen since it doesn’t score high points. It’s the elbow strike that separates the Muay Thai fighter from other martial artists. A lightning fast elbow strike is the weapon of choice for a fast knockout and held in high regard by the judges and spectators.

Clinch

Aside from being able to effectively strike with your hands, feet, knees and elbows in Thai boxing, being able to grapple and control your opponent in the clinch is necessary. Unlike western boxing where holding the opponent is illegal, Muay Thai allows the fighters to grapple for position and control. When two Thai fighters cling to each other in during the fight, they use their knees, fists and elbows to attack one another. Being in the clinch is hard work and requires a good amount of conditioning to hang on to a fighter who has the defensive techniques to keep his opponent at bay. If two Thai boxers clinch without striking, the referee will separate the two fighters as grappling without action is not allowed in a Muay Thai fight.

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A Brief History of MMA – Muay Thai

buddhas_thailand-t2In spite of the importance of the fists in mixed martial arts competitions, and in spite of the fact that boxing has always been a full-contact event, MMA requires more than just the fists to strike with. Thailand has a tradition of mixed martial arts events going back to the earliest records. While boxing is arguably the national combat sport of the English-speaking world, Muay Thai is without dispute the national sport of Thailand. There is even a Muay Thai Day celebrated on March 17 in honor of the sport and its place in Thailand’s national culture and history. 

Muay Thai is unique among historical full-contact sports due to a combination of several factors: the laxity of its rules, the length of time it has been practiced, and its enormous popularity throughout the millennia since its inception. Unlike the Roman pancratium, Muay Thai did not lose its popularity to other events; it has remained strong right up until today. It is thus the greatest example of a living, full-contact, mixed martial arts tradition. Modern kickboxing and the mixed martial arts style shoot boxing, both originating in Japan in the twentieth century, were inspired by it.

Nearby countries also practice the sport but under different names and sometimes with more extreme rules. The Burmese Lethwei traditionally had no rules at all. Even biting was allowed. A knocked-out competitor was asked upon revival if he wished to continue the fight. Only the acknowledged submission of the adversary enabled a competitor to win. An adversary’s simply refusing to submit no matter what occurred, including death, would result in a draw.

Muay Thai traditionally allowed striking with any part of the body. This meant that fists, elbows, knees, shins, feet, and the head were all used. Grappling was also allowed and was used for holding the opponent to deliver strikes and to slam the opponent to the ground. No part of the body was off-limits to attack, and some fighters specialized in striking the groin with the knee, foot, or other parts. Kicks were often aimed at the knee of the opponent’s supporting leg in order to break it.

As Muay Thai evolved as an art with military application just as wrestling styles did, the prohibition against continuing the fight on the ground is understandable. Fists were often wrapped in sturdy rope, and adding sharp materials to the rope was not unknown. Victory was attained by beating the adversary to such a degree that he could not continue the match. Thus, developing toughness was a key element in training. In more recent times the rules have been altered in favor of protecting the competitors more. Points are now tallied, head butts and groin strikes prohibited, and modern boxing gloves worn.

 

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