The Art of Muay Thai: What it is & Muay Thai Basics

The Art of Muay Thai

Muay Thai is a great way to get your feet wet in the world of Martial Arts. The team at Wodify recently joined a Muay Thai class to learn the basics (shoutout to Beacon Mixed Martial Arts & Fitness in Cherry Hill NJ!). We all left feeling like we could take on the world and got one hell of workout in the process. We all highly recommend you try it out for yourself!

What is Muay Thai

According to the World Thai Boxing Association, “Muay Thai” translates to “Thai Boxing” and originated in Thailand. This form of martial arts was also used as a battlefield fighting tactic. As most martial arts started, there were few rules and equipment used at the conception of Muay Thai. The first half of the 20th century is when weight divisions, rules, and uniforms came into play. The second half of the 20th century is when Muay Thai started to infiltrate other countries around the world.

In 1968, The World Thai Boxing Association was created and is the largest wide-spread organization for Muay Thai. The widespread art of Muay Thai can be traced back to Ajarn Surachai “Chai” Sirisute who made it his sole mission to bring the sport to America. He spent 40 years teaching the sport and spreading the word. To this day he still travels to different countries to teach seminars with his hand-selected staff. 

Muay Thai is generally practiced with punches, kicks, elbows, knees, grappling, and even head-butts. This art of fighting is considered extremely safe due to the fact that during training, pads are worn to keep the fighters in good shape in preparation for fights. Muay Thai is known for having a high cardiovascular load during training and fights. This style of fighting is used recreationally, as self-defense, in military and armed forces, and for sport.

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Muay Thai Basics: The Fundamentals

Thanks to Muay Thai Pros, we’ve been able to assemble a few fundamental movements of Muay Thai and share some of the videos below.

Punches

There are 9 basic punches you will find in Muay Thai. Some of them include the cross, straight body punch, hook, and uppercut. The most basic of them all is the jab. This punch is used in both the offensive and defensive position. This is one you definitely want to master.

Kicks

In Muay Thai, there are the push kick, low kick & head kick for starters, but the most widely used one is the body kick. This is one of the most powerful kicks that can be used against your opponent.

Knees

For knee techniques, there are the diagonal, side, curving, jumping, flying, and step-up. The one you want to nail down from the jump is the straight knee. This is the most basic, but extremely important to get the technique down or you will put yourself in a compromising position against your opponent. You want to make sure that you get your timing and distance right when you’re on the attack.

Elbows

For elbow strikes, there is the uppercut, forward, slashing, jumping, spinning, and double chop, just to name a few! One of the important ones to master is the backwards elbow. This one will come from behind and you are aiming for your opponent’s chin. If you can get this one down, you can cause devastating blows. 

Defensive Techniques

You will want to practice the following for when you are on the defense: parrying, avoiding, anticipation, catching, countering and disrupting. The most basic defense move is blocking. To block your opponent you will put either your arm or leg in front of your opponent’s attack on you.

Popular Muay Thai Gyms

California is known for a lot of popular Muay Thai gyms such as:

The Yard Muay Thai in Los Angeles, CA

Point of Impact MMA in Orange, CA

Mid-West

Nebraska is known for a lot of popular Muay Thai gyms such as:

EES Martial Arts Academy in Bellevue, NE

Premier Combat Center in Omaha, NE


East Coast

Pennsylvania is known for a lot of popular Muay Thai gyms such as:

Juniper Muay Thai in Philadelphia, PA

Balance Studio in Philadelphia, PA



Visiting any of these gyms soon? Be sure to post a selfie post-workout and tag us on social!

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