Martial arts have become extremely popular the world over as a form of sport, meditation and leisure. They have been embraced and adopted in Western culture and their worldwide popularity can be seen in the fact that there are martial arts at global events like the Olympic Games. Muay Thai is an offshoot of these arts that has effectively taken on a life of its own in various countries and remains a popular way to stay fit and experience Eastern culture regularly. People who are new to the sport may best describe it as a type of kickboxing although there are many other elements to consider.
Taken from the Sanskrit terms Mavya Tai, the words Muay Thai literally means the art of 8 limbs. The sport uses the entire body through mixed routines of kicking, punching, elbowing and attacking with the knees. In western boxing, the hands play the biggest role and in western kickboxing the feet will also become a factor but the joints are not as prevalent. Both Muay Thai and kickboxing have had a profound effect on each other.
Why Thailand is the Perfect Place to Learn
Muay Thai is a martial art that stems from Thailand itself so what better place to learn than where the sport originated? The beauty of going back to the source is that the old customs are still remembered and you will learn authentic moves that are less influenced by western kickboxing. Similarly, your trainers place an emphasis on the original art and preserving tradition and you will have more of a meaningful experience learning Muay Thai in this way. Because martial arts are so popular in the East, people have been practicing them from a young age and your trainers will be extremely experienced in the art and therefore able to give you the best instruction on how to improve your form and master the sport.
It is also here that you will learn most about the history of Muay Thai and its origins. Because the sport originated in Thailand, it is connected to Thai history and you will be able to learn about the sport and also the mind-set and beliefs that come with involving yourself in it.
Most dojos will welcome foreigners, although there are some who are not comfortable sharing their knowledge and expertise with the ‘West’. These are few and far between because most trainers see a love for the sport or a desire to learn as opposed to a person’s origins. Here are some options:
Horizon Muay Thai Boxing Camp is an amazing way to get into the swing of things. They will accept anyone from around the world with the means and the desire to learn Muay Thai. One of the great things about this gym is that you will be practicing Muay Thai in the most beautiful surrounds. In martial arts there is the idea of being at one with something other than yourself, usually a type of energy that you will access and the location of the gym will play a role in this. This gym offers a range of packages so that you can personalise your stay and your time learning there.
As much as we would like to go to Thailand for long periods, most of us are bound by work or a responsibility at home which is why Horizon is so appealing. You can also try the Tiger Muay Thai gym or Rawai Muay Thai camp. The sport is popular in Thailand and there are a number of gyms to choose from.
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