There are so many benefits of Muay Thai including; weight loss, self-defence and mental health. In this article, we discuss our top 10 benefits of Muay Thai. But first, let’s take a look at what Muay Thai is.
Muay Thai, also known as Thai boxing, comes from Thailand and has grown in popularity over the last three decades.
This combat sport is also known as the art of eight limbs because practitioners use their hands, elbows, shins, and knees to strike their opponents.
Unlike some martial arts that rely solely on striking, Muay Thai also includes clinching – grappling with your opponent standing, holding them, sweeping them and launching strikes.
As a whole, this discipline might seem intimidating for some people.
But, if you overcome your anxiety and sign up for Muay Thai, the benefits will be well worth the effort. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the ten most prominent benefits of Muay Thai.
1. Improved Strength And Conditioning
The SAID (specific adaptations to imposed demands) principle suggests that the human body adapts to the type and magnitude of stress it has to overcome. For example, lifting weights means that you build muscle and get stronger. These adaptations then make it easier for you to handle that type of stress in the future.
Martial arts, and Muay Thai, in particular, make us stronger and more endurant precisely because they demand that of us. Skill, wit, and agility are essential, but if you can’t physically overcome your opponent or endure longer, you won’t reap much success in the ring.
The great thing is, the more you expose your body to this stress, the more it will adapt, and the stronger and more conditioned you will become as a result.
For example, Muay Thai involves a fair amount of striking, blocking shots, and clinching. With each repetition, you improve your skill, but also work on these physical characteristics.
Plus, if you tend to lack these areas, you will have to work on these characteristics independently from the dedicated martial arts practice. In a way, Muay Thai training helps you become a well-rounded martial artist.
2. Travel to Thailand
When we talk about travel, it typically means doing so for business or leisure. But did you know that you can also travel to places like Thailand for dedicated martial arts vacation?
As we mentioned above, Thailand is where Muay Thai comes from and is one of the best places to learn about the art. There are many places in Thailand where you can start learning Muay Thai, and there are even dedicated camps where tourists can sign up for training camps.
But, even if you’re not interested in intense and rapid learning, you can pick a more leisurely pace of learning and also have plenty of time to explore Thailand’s culture. Bangkok is home to some of the best Muay Thai camps. You can also find many places in remote locations where professionals teach beginners and advanced folks alike.
This is one of the best ways to dive into Thailand’s culture, learn about Muay Thai’s origins, and remain active while on a relaxing holiday.
Who doesn’t love to travel? Visiting Thailand is one of our favourite benefits of Muay Thai.
3. Improved Confidence
No, we are not saying that practicing Muay Thai will transform you into that cocky antagonist of every martial arts movie. But, the sport is a fantastic way to boost your confidence and self-belief.
You see, whether we like to admit it or not, confidence plays a vital role in our lives. Having more confidence in ourselves means that we are more likely to bet on ourselves, be courageous, and achieve more in life.
In contrast, many brilliant, capable, but timid people out there struggle because they don’t believe in themselves.
Martial arts as a whole are fantastic for personal growth because they push us past our perceived limits, force us to fail and learn from mistakes, and help us develop a deeply-rooted belief in ourselves.
All of this helps us become better fighters. It also impacts many other areas of our lives and leads to happiness, fulfilment, and success.
4. Superior Self-Defense Skills
One of the most obvious benefits of Muay Thai is that you get to develop and solidify your self-defence skills. Of course, it’s best not to have to use them, but you never know. Life is full of unexpected situations, and having the ability to protect yourself and the people close to you is vital.
While many people consider Muay Thai an offensive martial art, it’s much more useful for self-defence. Thanks to the use of hands, elbows, kicks, and knees, it’s much easier to protect yourself from opponents and evade their shots. What’s more, Muay Thai is an art that emphasizes counterstriking and learning how to exploit your opponents’ weaknesses.
Muay Thai is also fantastic for developing self-defence skills to fend off opponents through balance, techniques, footwork, and lightning-fast strikes. Muay Thai also teaches you how to gauge range and use it to your advantage. It teaches you when to step back, when to go in for an attack, and how to time your opponents to your advantage.
5. Improved Mental Health And Toughness
Improved mental health is one of the most underrated benefits of Muay Thai.
Muay Thai is one of the best ways to improve your mental health and grit. For one, research shows that physical activity is incredibly beneficial for the mind and helps ward off depression and anxiety. One reason is because of endorphins – opioid hormones that get released in response to physical activity. They primarily work to suppress pain but also bring about a state of euphoria.
Once you finish a workout, you feel liberated, and the day’s worries feel like distant memories.
The second reason for this is Muay Thai’s social aspect. We all want to belong somewhere and share an ideology with like-minded individuals. Muay Thai provides that and makes us feel like we are part of something bigger than ourselves. The people you surround yourself with are positive, driven, and always happy to help one another.
The second benefit of Muay Thai is that it makes us mentally tougher. Pushing ourselves to our limits, working hard, outmaneuvering opponents, solving problems on the go, and learning from our mistakes is all part of becoming good at Muay Thai.
With each passing session, you learn more about yourself. More importantly, you become mentally tougher and realize the power of getting back up once you’ve been knocked down.
6. Easier Weight Loss
Gimmicky training programs, fat-burning pills, and ‘revolutionary’ diets aside, weight loss comes down to a straightforward rule:
We need to consume fewer calories than we burn each day. In doing so, we force the body to break down fat and lean tissues and use them to get the remaining energy it needs to function. And thus, we gradually lose weight.
The only problem is, maintaining this calorie deficit can be challenging because the two primary methods – dieting and cardio – are dull and incredibly difficult at times.
Martial arts like Muay Thai are great for weight loss because they help us burn many calories quickly and without us ever feeling bored.
7. Working On Your Problem-Solving Skills
This benefit of Muay Thai might feel like it’s coming out of nothing, but the idea is valid. You see, martial arts like Muay Thai are all about solving problems. Each opponent you face, every attack you handle, and every strike you want to throw all involve problem-solving.
In a way, defeating your opponent is about solving more problems than they do. For example, if an opponent has exceptional footwork, you have a problem to solve. If their defence is impenetrable, there is another problem. If they hit like a ton of bricks, guess what, you have another problem.
Learning how to maneuver around problems in martial arts is incredibly beneficial and helps you become a better problem-solver in life.
8. Strengthening Your Aerobic And Anaerobic Fitness
Muay Thai also strengthens the body’s aerobic and anaerobic systems. Through various training intensities, the body gets better at producing energy with and without oxygen.
More readily available energy (in the form of ATP molecules) means that we can do more work, push ourselves harder, outlast opponents, and recover better between training sessions and fights. Also, stronger aerobic and anaerobic systems make us better and more balanced athletes.
Besides that, regularly taxing our cardiovascular system strengthens it and allows the body to pump blood more efficiently. As a result, we get to live longer and perform better.
9. Muay Thai Is Fun
There’s no point training Muay Thai if you don’t enjoy it.
Training Muay Thai is a lot more fun than other forms of exercise. Lifting weights or running on a treadmill can become boring. An hour of Muay Thai is not only fun, but stimulates your brain and teaches you a new skill.
10. You Get To Fight Competitively
Last but not least, Fighting competitively is one of the main benefits of Muay Thai. There is no better feeling than getting your hand raised in victory after a fight.
Preparing for a martial arts fight is one of the most gruelling processes to put the body through; both physically and mentally.
To competitive fighters, the buzz they get from competing is worth it.
It can take up to a year to gain the skills you need for your first Muay Thai fight.
Summary – Benefits Of Muay Thai
The benefits of Muay Thai are many, and each plays a vital role in our overall health, longevity, athleticism, and well-being.
Here is a recap of the benefits:
- Improve physical strength and explosiveness that play a vital role in becoming a well-rounded martial artist.
- It offers the opportunity to travel to Thailand and immerse yourself in a new culture.
- More confidence and self-belief that makes you a better athlete and contributes to your overall quality of life.
- Excellent self-defence skills and an ability to find openings, outmanoeuvre opponents, and counterstrike.
- Muay Thai is an amazing activity that develops mental toughness and promotes better mental health and well-being.
- It helps us lose weight more easily through the significant caloric burn of each training session.
- You develop your problem-solving skills, especially in high-pressure situations.
- It makes your body better able to produce energy with and without oxygen, which boosts your work capacity and recoverability.
- Muay Thai is fun.
- You get to fight competitively.
There are so many benefits of training Muay Thai. If you’re looking to start a martial art, then you should book a class at your local Muay Thai gym.
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