Muay Thai For Beginners
Muay Thai for beginners can be very daunting, but this guide is meant to help point you in the right direction to get you started with your Muay Thai training.
Would you like to get in better shape, boost your confidence, or pick up a new martial arts technique?
Muay Thai training could be the perfect solution.
I’ve been active for a while now and truly feel that Muay Thai is one of the most effective styles for a combat sport. In fact, the focus on timing and bodily control could benefit you in other areas – including other fighting styles.
If you want to learn more about this awesome martial arts style, check out the rest of this guide. Learn how to get started on your Muay Thai training…
What is Muay Thai?
You’ve probably heard of Muay Thai before. It’s the primary combat sport of Thailand and it uses a combination of striking and clinching techniques.
Muay Thai is also often referred to as “the art of the eight limbs”, as you use your shins and elbows, in addition to knees and fists. You’re striking with 8 limbs.
This style was originally created as a form of combat in Thailand. It has since evolved into a competitive ring sport.
Getting Started – the Basic Muay Thai Stances
You don’t need any MMA experience to get started with Muay Thai. In fact, your experience could get in the way of learning the Muay Thai techniques.
Most of the martial arts styles, including Karate and Taekwondo, don’t have techniques that really carry over to Muay Thai. Though, Western Boxing does share some similarities.
The first place to start is with your stance and rhythm. The basic Muay Thai stance is a little different from a typical boxer’s stance.
You will stand with your hands held to about your temple, with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width. You don’t want your stance to be too wide, as this will keep you from being able to defend with your kicks.
Keep your chin down, with a slight hunch along your back. Your weight should be even between your legs and hips. Keep your elbows close and your hands in a loosely closed fist. Also, don’t forget to stay loose, relax, and breathe.
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The Essential Muay Thai Techniques
After you’ve mastered your stances, you can begin focusing on the basic techniques. This includes your Muay Thai guard, which basically just requires you to keep both hands up.
Other techniques include the basic strikes:
- Knee strikes
- Elbow strikes
Muay Thai Jab
The basic jab is an important strike to learn. You’ll want to keep your elbows tight and drive through your legs. Make sure that you rotate your first at the end of the motion and then bring your jab quickly back to your face.
Here’s a short video with more tips on throwing a Muay Thai jab:
Muay Thai Cross
Throwing a cross isn’t too different from learning how to throw a good jab. You’ll be rotating at your shoulders and hips while pivoting on your back foot. Bend your knees and avoid lunging forward.
Your arm should snap out and then be brought back to your head just as quick. Also, don’t forget to keep your opposite hand up.
This next video gives a good demonstration of throwing an effective Muay Thai cross:
Muay Thai Hook
The hook is a basic technique and it could become one of your most powerful strikes. Start by pivoting your lead foot and then rotate at your hips and shoulders. Keep your opposite hand up for defense and stay tight.
Again, I suggest that you check out this short video from the Muay Thai Guy to learn more:
Muay Thai Body Kicks
There are a lot of Muay Thai kicks, including the side kick, roundhouse kick, and more. You don’t need to master all the kicks. But, you should learn the basics. We’ll start with the front kick.
For the front kick, which is also called the push kick, you want to bring your knee to your chest and extend it like you’re about to kick down a door. Make sure that you extend your hips and slightly pivot your post foot.
Here’s another video from the Muay Thai Guy to walk you through the front kick:
Muay Thai Knee Strikes
Your fists and feet are only half of your arsenal. You’ll also be using your knees and elbows to strike and defend.
There are two basic categories of knee strikes – knees from a neutral position and knees in the clinch.
For starters, you should learn the basics of the straight forward knee. To land a successful straight knee, you need to use your hips while leaning back. This helps generate forward momentum.
The purpose of this strike is to drive your knee into your opponent’s abdomen. You should throw your knee diagonally toward the abdomen. Also, throw your arm down. This is the arm on the same side as your knee.
Watch this short video clip to see a proper straight knee in action:
Muay Thai Elbow Strikes
Elbow strikes are also essential to Muay Thai training. Along with knees, the elbow strikes are what sets Muay Thai apart from other martial arts.
Elbow strikes are often used to target the head or face area, including the neck. There are eight basic Muay Thai elbow strikes, including the slashing elbow, horizontal elbow, uppercut elbow, and more.
The slashing elbow is the first one that you should focus on. It’s performed by swing the elbow diagonally downward. You need to bend your below closely against your arm and then twist the shoulder.
You can learn more with this next video. This covers the basic elbow strikes:
Tips for Improving Your Muay Thai Skill
I could fill up a whole book with tips for improving your Muay Thai technique. But, for now, I’ll simply give you a few pointers.
You don’t want to overwhelm yourself with too much info. Keep it simple and focus on one area at a time. With that in mind, here are a few basic tips:
- Watch Muay Thai fights
- Shadow box
- Ice your bruises
- Purchase quality gloves
- You don’t have to fight
Watching real fights can help you learn more techniques. It’s learning by example. You can read all the advice that you want, but the real learning comes from watching and repeating what you watch.
You could even shadow box while you watch the fight. Try to mimic the techniques and strikes that you see.
When you practice Muay Thai, you will get bruised. This is true whether you’re using a heavy bag, sparring, or fighting. Your shins are likely to get bruised. When this happens, remember to ice your bruises.
A quality pair of gloves can also help. Cheap gloves will wear out quickly. So, invest in quality gear. In addition to gloves, get decent headgear and mouth guards.
The final tip is that you don’t need to fight. You can learn on your own, watching videos or following an online course. Even instructor-led classes won’t require you to spar. Though, sparring will improve your technique.
Last Thoughts on Muay Thai Training – What’s Next?
Hopefully, you’ve picked up a few tips from this article. So, what comes next? I suggest that you practice the techniques discussed while watching the accompanying YouTube videos.
You won’t be able to perfect your moves in just one day. But, with regular practice, you should start noticing results.
If you want to take your Muay Thai training to the next level, I recommend that you check out the Heavy Bag Blueprint.
The Heavy Bag Blueprint was developed by Sean Fagan – also known as The Muay Thai Guy. You’ve probably seen him before. He created several of the video clips that appeared in this article.
What is the Heavy Bag Blueprint?
It’s your complete outline for sharpening your fighting techniques. It includes easy to follow courses that will transform your boring heavy bag sessions into effective workouts.
You’ll also be able to boost your power and improve your cardio and conditioning. And, it’s an affordable system.