About Muay Thai
Muay Thai is the National Sport of Thailand and is part of its cultural heritage where it has strong Buddhist links.
Originally this warrior art saw the use of weapons as well as empty handed self defense on battlefields The art is known to be as much 3000 years old. In the early days fights were decided on when first blood was drawn and sometimes went on to the death. The fighters wore cotton cloth wrapped around their hands which was dipped in glue and rolled in sand and broken glass.
A big transformation took place in the 1930s when boxing gloves were introduced and the fights began to be fought over rounds with rests between. A system of weight categories was introduced with fists, feet, knees and elbows permitted Thai boxing is now hugely popular in Thailand with daily fights in the main stadiums in Bangkok and on TV.
In Ireland it is highly popular with competitions every month all over the country. A number of Irish Fighters are competing all over the world at the highest level including several fighters from Warriors Gym.
Some of the health benefits of muay thai
1. Increased Cardiovascular Conditioning
Even if you have played many sports and partaken in a large variety of physical activities over the years, you will probably find none of them come close to delivering the cardiovascular conditioning that muay Thai offers. Being both aerobic and anaerobic, muay Thai places huge stress on your cardiopulmonary systems. With continued practice, your body will adapt to the demands of the sport, and improved cardiovascular performance is one of the payoffs.
2. Leg Strength
Kicking and footwork play a large role in muay Thai. One movement that is distinctive to muay thai is the roundhouse kick. Learning how to kick strengthens the musculature of the lower body. Every muscle in your lower body will benefit from practicing the various kicks and footwork drills incorporated in the sport. From muscle endurance, force production, agility, to just plain old good looking calves, muay Thai delivers.
3. Core Strength
Core is not a word I like to use a lot. Generally when someone refers to their core, they're referring to their abdominal muscles. This drives strength and conditioning professionals crazy. Your core is every single muscle located on your trunk, not your damn six pack. But I digress. The rotational nature of all of the movements in the sport truly does strengthen your core. Getting punched in the body will also help a little. Striking, defensive movements, and clinching will all help the muay Thai student develop a strong core.
4. Increased Hip Mobility
It won't happen overnight, but with time the kicking and kneeing movements of muay Thai promote increased hip mobility. Having healthy hips alone can save you from serious pain and numerous terrible medical conditions later in life. Just remember to do your foam rolling and stretching. Get an occasional massage and those hips of yours will feel amazing.
5. Stress Relief
I personally think this is the most important benefit muay Thai can provide. The majority of us accumulate a fair amount of stress during the day. Having an outlet for that stress feels fantastic and can work wonders for your mental and physical health. Let's face it, when you're pissed off at work or stressed about bills, hitting something just feels good. Due to the fast-paced nature of the sport, you can't trouble yourself with worry while training. You'll get hit in the face or mess up the drill you're working on. Practicing a martial art allows you to focus on yourself and nothing else. I believe doing something regularly that detaches you from the daily grind helps you become a happier and more carefree individual.