Muay Thai is fast becoming one of the most popular martial arts in the world, thanks to its exposure in various films such as Ong Bak and in video games like Tekken and Street Fighter. Recognition for the said sport can also be partly attributed to the popularity of its country of origin, Thailand, as a tourist destination. If you are reading this article, chances are you are either a Muay Thai enthusiast, or are curious about the sport. Whichever the case may be, one thing is certain – you would like to know more about it. And really, the best way to know absolutely everything there is to know about Muay Thai is to visit Thailand and enroll in a camp.
Going to a Muay Thai camp in Thailand can be compared to attending boarding school. This is because first and foremost, you will be housed in the same area where you will be getting your training. Second, in the same way that you have teachers in school, in a Thai Boxing camp you have trainers who will guide you until you get things right. Third, in both settings you adhere to a schedule of sorts. This analogy is perfect because it somehow emphasizes a trait you need to have and you will develop in order to be able to successfully go through the whole experience (whether that be attending school or training in martial arts): discipline.
Aside from acquiring discipline, enrolling in a Muay Thai camp in Thailand has other benefits as well. Physically, the rigorous training you will receive in a Thai camp will result to you becoming stronger and more agile. Of course, in the process of training to become a “nak muay farang” or a foreign Muay Thai fighter/boxer, you will also be able to develop your muscles – meaning you will have a better-proportioned, leaner body. Muay Thai training can benefit you mentally, too. As training sessions can be exhausting, there will be times wherein you will have to rely solely on willpower and determination to be able to reach your goal for the day. And as in any martial art (or fighting sport for that matter), in Thai Boxing the traits needed in order for you to win – self-confidence and courage – will be developed.
As implied above, if you are planning to go to a Muay Thai camp you should at least be aware that you will be participating in training sessions under trainers who are often Muay Thai champions themselves. These sessions are rigorous and can be physically and mentally exhausting. The flow of the training is mostly up to the trainer; however, you can expect these parts to be present in a beginner’s training session: a warm-up consisting of shadow boxing; conditioning – done most of the time with weights; sparring – first and often with your trainer, other times with a partner; and warm down with a low-impact exercise regimen. Pad and bag work are also basic elements in a Muay Thai training session, but you will be doing these only after you have spent time working on your fitness and are already knowledgeable when it comes to basic Muay Thai techniques.