Looking for a gym to train in Muay Thai but unsure of which one to pick? How about the ones in Thailand? People from hundreds of nations go there to hone their skills and strengthen their bodies annually. But is it that important to learn Muay Thai in its original country?
The main reasons why you should train Muay Thai in Thailand are the stories. The practitioners get to learn about the lineage of their techniques. This might sound minor. But if the learners know its original purpose and evolution, they might find a new way to adapt and improve the art too.
Needless to say, the benefits don’t end there. There are many more to discover. Read on and find 5 reasons to fly to Thailand and train in Muay Thai.
Why do people go to Thailand to train in Muay Thai?
Before getting to the point, let’s prepare you with foundational knowledge about Muay Thai.
- What’s Muay Thai Origin?
- What’s Wai Kru Muay Thai?
- Muay Thai training for beginners.
- Health risks and dangers in Muay Thai.
Ready? Then let’s start with the obvious one.
1. Train with the best
As you know, Muay Thai is the national martial art of Thailand. So, it’s no surprise that the country would have the highest quality training. After all, Muay Thai was born in Thailand, evolved in Thailand, and still lives in the locals’ daily life.
Tons of big names and legends are still fighting in the countries. Like Bua Khao, Phetmorakot, and Tawanchai. Others even open their own gyms to pass down their fighting style.
And speaking of gyms, there are more than thousands of options across the country. Try them all out and choose the best one. But if you’re unsure where to start, here are some recommendations.
2. Discover the tradition
Muay Thai isn’t all about practice. It’s about the heart too.
Training in Thailand allows you to discover the beauty and spirituality of the art. What you find might differ from gym to gym. But what’s common among them is the importance of a teacher.
You probably won’t find any gym outside of Thailand that teaches you how to “Wai Kru.” Don’t know what it is? It’s a dance-like ritual Muay Thai fighters perform before they fight. Each move signifies their gratitude for the trainers, teachers, and coaches.
These dance moves have a strong tie with Thai culture. So, learning them with the locals is the best way to do it.
And besides, you will get to learn more about traditional fighting etiquette. Like how to show respect to your opponent, when to greet the opponent’s coaches, and what is considered rude for Muay Thai fighters.
They might sound insignificant for a real fight. But in the ring, these little details can affect the mood and momentum of each round. So, you better learn it properly.
Of course, you can look these details up on the internet. But that won’t stick in your mind. Training in Thailand will hardwire these little things in your brain so you can auto-pilot through everything.
3. Get in the right mood
Sometimes, Muay Thai training can be harsh. You might lose your fire and feel like quitting. Training in Thailand, however, might make it easier for you to keep going.
Remember that you train in the land of Muay Thai. This means you might get a chance to bump into your idol. It’s not that rare to meet sports celebrities in a supermarket here.
But if luck isn’t your strong suit, force your way through. Book a ticket to one of the many matches in the country and get inspired by the experience. There’s no way your passion wouldn’t rekindle after that.
Now, let’s talk about the sense of belonging a bit.
Being a foreigner in a local Muay Thai camp will make you feel misplaced initially. You will feel the pressure to work harder so everyone accepts you. Let that pressure drive you. It will be super rewarding when your Thai gym mates shake your hand.
And don’t forget to hang out with them from time to time. Practice is important and all, but you need a break as well. Who knows? You might learn some new tricks as you fool around with them. And speaking of which…
4. Learn the local tricks
In a fight, tactics can be as game-changing as strategies. And there’s no better place to learn them than Thailand.
You will get plenty of chances to interact with veteran local fighters. And who knows? They might tell you some little tricks under their gloves. Like when to pull your pants to break the opponent’s momentum. Or how to use the rope/cage to your advantage.
Thai athletes are somewhat infamous for these little tricks. It’s not illegal, per se, but it might disrupt your opponent’s rhythm. So, you might want to learn some tricks for emergencies too.
Besides, learning these tricks will enhance your understanding of the rules. You must know how much is too far and how much is okay. So, this is a guaranteed way to master them all in one go.
5. Find more chances to fight
If you feel like putting your training to the test, join one of the many fighting rings in Thailand.
Thai people love watching Muay Thai, so it’s no surprise promoters keep various tournaments up all year. Some might be broadcast on TV. Some might be community-only. Choose the ones you prefer and test your skills to your heart’s content.
Needless to say, these are also great chances to improve yourself. Feel free to steal a technique or two from your opponent. They might fit in your repertoire better than you thought.
Of course, more fights can also mean more money. If you win, you’ll get cash. If you lose, you’ll get experience. So, you can’t go wrong here.
And if your form is good enough, you might win a chance to start a new career. Famous coaches and fighters attend these events all the time. So, if your skill catches their eyes, they might come to you themselves.
6. Earn the “bragging rights”
This might sound insignificant, but it could give you an edge in the mind game.
Let’s say you decide to return to fight in your homeland. If your opponents know that you’ve trained in Thailand, they might be cautious of your “uniqueness.” Some might even get intimidated from the get-go.
Use that to your advantage. It might be minuscule, but everything counts in an actual match. Remember, fear of the unknown is human’s oldest fear (said H.P. Lovecraft). If your opponents don’t know how you trained, they will unconsciously fear you.
Muay Thai training in Thailand, it’s just better!
Not to say you should jump on the bandwagon. But if the crowd is going to Thailand to train Muay Thai, there must be a great deal on it. And what’s mentioned here is just scratching the surface.
So if you’re starting your Muay Thai training, give going to Thailand a chance. It might cost you a big buck. But everything will be worth it.
Like always, if you want to discover more about Thailand, stay guided with ThaiGuider. You might learn something you never knew about this unique country.
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