Your first Muay Thai class can be the start of completely transforming your life for the better. A journey into improving your health, learning self-defense, and growing confidence within yourself that you didn’t know existed.
Going into your first Muay Thai class, you may have a few reservations. Being nervous about not knowing what to expect and that you have no idea what you’re doing.
All these feelings are normal but don’t worry. We have you covered with this full breakdown of your first Muay Thai class. Detailing everything you need to know about the class and giving you 7 survival tips to help you out.
What to expect from your first Muay Thai class
The day of your first Muay Thai class has arrived and you are excited to go give it a try. Here is a quick run-through of how a normal Muay Thai class is run and what you should expect.
Be sure to arrive early, at least 10-15 minutes before class starts. Once you enter, you’ll be greeted by the receptionist that has been expecting you.
Before they take you on a tour of the gym, you’ll have you get some bureaucracy out of the way. Signing an enrollment form and probably an injury waiver just in case you get hurt.
With that out of the way, you will be taken on a tour of the gym. They will show you the training area, changing rooms and introduce you to the instructor. (If you haven’t already met.)
After the tour, they will introduce you to your new training partners and leave you to get ready for class.
Muay Thai Warm up
Every Muay Thai class starts with a good warm-up.
The warm-up is designed to warm your body up and make you start to sweat a little bit. Normally the warm-up consists of 2-3 rounds of skipping rope and shadowboxing.
If you don’t know what shadowboxing is, it is where you visualize an opponent and practice throwing strikes at them.
Once you complete these warm-up rounds, your instructor will most likely take you through a stretching routine. Stretching all of your leg muscles from your hips, shoulders, and hands to be ready for the technique portion of the class.
Muay Thai Technique
The technique part of the class is the core of the entire class. It is where you learn new techniques and then put them into practice.
Your instructor will go through the technique of the day and explain all of the details to do it properly. Since you are their newest student, they will most likely give you extra attention to help you.
In a good Muay Thai school, your instructor will pick your training partner for you. Or a more experienced student will pair up with you and walk you through the technique.
When you drill the techniques, every movement is controlled and not thrown full force. This is for you and your teammates to learn how to properly do the techniques.
Generally, your partner is given a round of 2-3 minutes to work on the technique. Then after they work the technique for a round, it will be your turn.
You’ll work through 1-3 techniques before going into the final segment of the class. Sparring rounds and bag work.
Sparring, situational drill sparring, and bag work
The last portion of the class is where you put the technique you just learned into action and break a sweat. It will be some form of sparring, situational drill sparring, bagwork, conditioning, or a combination of all of these.
If this is your first Muay Thai class, don’t stress about sparring. Most likely you won’t be sparring until you get a little bit more experience.
At the most, you may do some situational drill sparring mixed with bagwork, and conditioning. Bagwork and conditioning are a big part of Muay Thai as they help you build up your stamina.
You will be tired, but don’t worry. That is why you’re there.
Then to end class, your instructor will line you up, say good job, and send you home. Hopefully, you had a good time and are eager to come back tomorrow to do it all over again.
7 tips to survive your first Muay Thai class
Now that you know what to expect, here are 7 tips to survive your first Muay Thai class. Read through all of these carefully and remember them before going to class.
Introduce yourself to everyone
First impressions are everything, so make sure to introduce yourself to all of your new training partners. These people aren’t just your new training partners, but most likely your new friends.
Many martial arts schools feel like a close-knit family as opposed to a normal exercise gym. Not only are you working together with your teammates, but you are also growing together.
Helping each other develop your skills while getting in great shape. Don’t be surprised if you make some really good friends there.
Listen to your instructor
You need to pay attention and listen to your coach in your first Muay Thai class. They are far more experienced than you and know what they are talking about.
Your instructor is there to help you, so you need to listen to what they’re saying. The best students are the ones that pay attention and listen to their coach, so remember that.
Leave your ego at the door
Muay Thai is a martial art where you need to come in with a good attitude when learning it. Otherwise, you will be humbled quickly.
Be sure to leave your ego at the door before you go to class. A big ego and a bad attitude are two of the worst things you can bring with you to Muay Thai.
Your instructor will not want to teach you and your teammates will not want to train with you. Go into class with an open mind and no ego to get the best experience possible.
This may come to you as a surprise, but you probably aren’t going to be very good at first. This is fine because nobody is great at anything they do at the beginning.
Learning a martial art like Muay Thai is challenging and requires patience. It takes time to get the hang of anything, but as long as you’re having fun it doesn’t matter.
Remember to be patient with your Muay Thai training and eventually, it will all fall into place.
Wear loose fitting clothing
You’re going to be sweating a lot, so be sure to wear loose-fitting clothing for training. Wearing tight-fitting clothing that doesn’t breathe well could lead to heat exhaustion.
That is why you need to always be wearing loose-fitting clothes like a light training shirt and shorts. Wearing these will allow you to move freely and train more efficiently.
This shouldn’t have to be said, but for some, you need to spell it out for them. Going into class with good personal hygiene is extremely important.
It is not only disrespectful to go to class unbathed and wearing dirty clothes, but also unhygienic. That is how you spread the staph bacteria at a gym.
Remember that nobody wants to train with a smelly teammate, so be respectful and have good hygiene.
Technique before power
When starting Muay Thai, remember that it is always technique before power. We understand that you’re eager to get in there and show your power, but that is a big mistake.
Trying to use all power when you don’t know the technique is how you can seriously injure yourself. Muay Thai may be a high impact martial art, but everything in a Thai boxing match is done with proper technique.
Being technical is the key to really excelling at Muay Thai. Then once you learn proper technique, you can start putting power behind your strikes.
Enjoy Your First Muay Thai Class
After reading through this guide, you should be well prepared to handle your first Muay Thai class. By following the survival tips, you should have a really good experience trying it out.
Muay Thai is going to have such a positive effect on your life and improve nearly every area of it. Pretty soon you will a regular at the gym with new friends and will never want to miss class.