Beginning early January 2018 we jumped into three months of Muay Thai training with one class under our belt. In August 2016, we took a class in Chiang Mai and little did we know at that time it would be the basis for our next adventure bringing us back to the country we love less than a year later. As we wrap up our first month, I sit here reminiscing over the empty jars of tiger balm and aching muscles without a single ounce of regret. Muay Thai has been, without a doubt, one of the most challenging sports I've ever pursued and as a result one of the most rewarding. In these four short weeks I have drastically transformed with several unexpected lessons in tow. Thai Boxing has been incredibly fulfilling thus far and has demonstrated the importance of patience and persistence.
One of the most enjoyable parts of learning this new life skill has been breaking down the fundamentals and understanding how to move the body in unison to channel strength. Muay Thai is a combat sport consisting of moves that utilize every single muscle in your body. It requires a wide range of flexibility to correctly and confidently perform these foreign positions, all while simultaneously maintaining balance. Soreness sweeps over you almost daily, literally to the tips of your toes, and yet you are eager for the next training session. However, recovery time is an absolute necessity. It's especially difficult to enforce when the mind is saying you're ready but the body is unable to keep up. Three and a half weeks in I pulled my hamstring resulting in a 10 day absence and all that could be done is to wait, which is terribly difficult when the single reason you're there is to train. Learning to be patient with myself has been the biggest hurdle in both recovery and technique. At times, self-frustration may overshadow any progress made. It can be a hard reality to accept that technique will develop over time and improve tremendously with flexibility. And the best way to achieve that is with an extreme amount of patience and persistence.
Repetition and a persistent stretching regime are crucial factors in technique development, even if the results aren't immediately evident. Those first couple weeks your self-confidence fluctuates tremendously, but putting in additional time will speed up the progress. And surprisingly, you are able to give that extra time without any hesitation. Some self-discipline is needed here and there but the results make it worthwhile. Training becomes somewhere you choose to be, not where you have to be. Before you know it, running starts to be part of your daily routine and some days four hours of training are completed well before 12pm. If it's something you want, you are going to have to adamantly work at it and Muay Thai has demonstrated that both in and out of the ring. Success will come with hard work and perseverance. As we head into month two I am healed and anxious to face the next challenges it will bring. Here's to more bruises, aching muscle and tiger balm. Chai Yo!!
First time training Muay Thai?
If you are able to, I highly recommend training for a minimum of 6 to 8 weeks. It's not until week four where you fully gain the confidence that you are doing things right. If you stay for only four weeks you'll lose out on the other aspects of the sport like defense and sparring. Or worse yet, get injured missing several days of training. Do yourself a favor...take a longer vacation and fully experience Muay Thai!
Also, be sure to check out your gym before committing your entire time there. You want it to be the right one for you and there are an abundance of gyms in Thailand. Rawai Muay Thai in Khao Lak has been an overall great experience, fantastic location and exceptional trainers.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions!