Any form of physical training entails only about 10% of physical effort, the rest is mental and all in your head – training Muay Thai is no exception.
Before you try and prepare your body for it, you have open and prepare your mind for all that you’re going to learn. You have to listen first, and react later, as you’ll most likely not know half as much as others who’ve taken the class before.
Of course, not all Muay Thai classes are the same. However, preparing for one shouldn’t really differ from each other, especially for those who’re doing it for the first time.
Here are a few basic tips to keep in mind for those who want to come better prepared for their first Muay Thai class.
- Do your research.
Make use of the internet and read up about Muay Thai. If you’re practicing and training in Thailand, it is important that you understand that Muay Thai isn’t just any other combat sport to them – IT IS THEIR COMBAT SPORT. This means that you should respect it, and to do that, you’d want to read up about its ancient history and how it came to be.
It also wouldn’t hurt to watch videos about Muay Thai on YouTube. You should find the instructional videos available there quite useful in helping you ready yourself on what to expect on your first and succeeding classes.
- Expect to get hit, be sore and sleep for a whole day after your first session.
The sleep for a whole day is figurative, but it could very well be literal for those who’ve never trained in any form of martial arts before, even if they are “fit”.
Muay Thai conditioning will make you feel sore all over your body. You should also expect to be out of breath for your first few sessions. Also, expect to get hit and your strikes (especially your shin) to hurt you more than it seems others, more so if your trainer or instructor tries to give you a taste of what sparring matches are like.
Do not worry, though, because in time, your body will get used to it and all the conditioning and training will make you a more resilient and skilled fighter than ever before.
Here are a few things that you should keep in mind as well:
- Keep your mind open and act like a sponge
- Be friendly and talk to the other students
- Wear a mouthguard
- Always bring a water bottle to keep yourself hydrated during and after class
As for the equipment, it is your first time, so you shouldn’t really put much thought into it yet.
Deciding to Return or Not
The decision whether to return or not should lie on the following factors:
- Do you like the people in the class, specifically, the teachers and the pace in which the instructor teaches?
- Is the class more in line with your goals? For example, if your reason for learning Muay Thai is for self-defense, observe if it is the focus of the class, or if the class is more about Muay Thai as a combat sport, or if it is a little bit of both.
- Is the teacher able to conduct the class successfully, with little problem? Are there any notable students in the class?
- How far is the gym from where you live?
The main point here is to remember to be humble, patient and be respectful, on top of expecting to get bruises and to sleep for a whole day after your first class.
If you remember all that and if your answer to the four questions are favorable, you may want to consider returning for another class and slowly go on from there to learn about the art of eight limbs!