Muay Thai Houston: The Ultimate Guide To Getting Started

There are many benefits to Muay Thai training.

Muay Thai Houston: Muay Thai is rapidly becoming one of the most popular martial arts in the world. Originally an obscure style of kickboxing that originated from Thailand, Muay Thai has grown tremendously in the last several years and has captured the attention of thousands of people across the country because it offers so many life changing benefits.

This article is designed to help introduce people to this fascinating martial art and give them the basic information they need to know about it. We hope that once you read this article, you will be informed, enthused, fired up, and ready to try out a Muay Thai class for yourself!

The Benefits Of Muay Thai Training

The reason why Muay Thai is so popular today is because the training gives you a ton of benefits. Here’s just a quick list of all the things you can get from practicing this wonderful martial art!

  • 1
    Build A Great Physique: Muay Thai improves your body so much better than many standard forms of exercise. The reason why is because Muay Thai training is a form of resistance training combined with “high intensity interval training” (or “HIIT” for short). Typical workouts consist of short high intensity sessions followed by a period of rest. This method is important for two reasons. 

    First, resistance training like this builds muscle and muscle is much more “metabolically expensive” to maintain than fat. That means your body has to work much harder and therefore, burn more calories just to maintain itself. People who have more muscle literally burn more calories just sitting around than people who don’t have as much muscle.

    Secondly, high intensity workouts like Muay Thai are great for not only burning calories during the workout but have also been proven to raise your metabolism for the rest of the day. This means you’ll be melting fat all day long (even while you are sitting at work or sleeping) due to the drastic increase in your metabolism!

  • 2
    Muay Thai Will Help You Lose Weight FAST – The key to weight loss is simply burning more calories than you take in. Training in Muay Thai has been calculated to burn up to 800-1000 calories per hour! When you compare that to your standard 30 minute jog (that typically only burns 200-300) that’s a huge difference!

  • 3
    Muay Thai Is A Great Form Of Self Defense – Muay Thai one of the best “stand up” forms of self-defense in the world. Of course, nobody wants to get into a fight, but it’s a scary world out there and you might be targeted! If you ever find yourself being physically threatened by someone, knowing just some basic Muay Thai skills can really help you not only feel safer but could also mean the difference between life and death!

  • 4
    Muay Thai Will Dramatically Improve Your Confidence – This is a big one. Numerous studies have shown that there is a clear link between physical exercise and self-confidence. Being in great shape and knowing how to physically take care of yourself does a lot for your self-confidence. There’s just something about physical excellence that transfers over into what you think you can accomplish.

  • 5
    Muay Thai Will Give You Increased Flexibility – Muay Thai builds flexibility in the entire body. You’ll have more range of motion in your back, shoulders, legs, neck that will help you not only feel more relaxed and comfortable, but will also help prevent injuries.

  • 6
    Muay Thai Builds Your Overall Athleticism – This kind of training is great for building overall speed, power, focus, coordination and timing.

  • 7
    Muay Thai Is An Incredible Core Workout – Muay Thai builds your stomach and lower back muscles like nothing else can because this is where all the power is generated for the striking techniques. There’s nothing like kicking the Thai pads for a few rounds to really strengthen up your core!

  • 8
    Muay Thai Will Give You More Discipline – Make no mistake about it, Muay Thai workouts are intense. Once you get used to getting through an hour of Muay Thai training the rest of life seems easy!

  • 9
    Muay Thai Builds Your Mental Toughness - Muay Thai workouts are TOUGH! They call for a lot of discipline and this has its own built in reward. Once you condition yourself mentally to get through your Muay Thai workouts, you'll be ready to tackle ANY other problem that life throws at you!

  • 10
    Muay Thai Improves Your Coordination – Are you a little “klutzy”? No worries! The movements in Muay Thai will really help your coordination.

  • 11
    Muay Thai Helps You Meet New Friends And Creates A Big Boost In Your Social Life – Physical training produces big changes on the inside, and that shows. Once you’ve been training for a while, other people are going to start to notice! They will notice your newer, leaner look and how you have a sense of discipline and purpose to your life. You will walk taller, stand straighter, and have the look of a confident and overall happy person. Plus, Muay Thai gives you the opportunity to meet and socialize with other like-minded people and build bonds through training.

  • 12
    Muay Thai Is a Ton of Fun – Let’s be blunt here. MOST FORMS OF EXERCISE ARE FLAT OUT BORING. It doesn’t matter how great an exercise is, if you dread doing it you won’t get any of those benefits. But Muay Thai is different! Muay Thai is FUN, always different and ENGAGING. The workouts change all the time and you’ll have a motivated coach to keep you going and help you reach your goals. It kind of goes without saying that the best exercise is the one you enjoy the most and will stick with. Muay Thai is a blast!
Free Muay Thai Houston Class

Who Should Train In Muay Thai?

muay thai bag work

Muay Thai is a great workout and excellent way to boost your confidence and learn self-defense.

Muay Thai is a popular method of training for many different types of people and for different reasons. The first thing people think about is professional competitors. Nearly every professional MMA fighter trains in Muay Thai because it is the most effective “stand up” striking style of martial art in the world. But this is NOT for everyone.

The large majority of people who train in Muay Thai are just your “average joe” recreational types. These people have absolutely zero desire to compete professionally and would never climb in an actual ring to duke it out with someone. These are people who just love training in Muay Thai for fun, fitness, self-defense, and all of the other benefits listed above!

Now that you know what this martial art is and some of the benefits of it, let’s take a look at some of the actual techniques used in Muay Thai.

Muay Thai Techniques

Known as the “science of eight limbs” Muay Thai utilizes four main striking methods: punches, kicks, knees and elbows. And since these techniques can be thrown with either the right or the left side, you get “eight limbs” or eight primary techniques.

Punches: The punches in Muay Thai are the same as commonly used in boxing. They are the jab, cross, hook and uppercut. Sometimes you will see Muay Thai fighters training unorthodox punching techniques like the spinning backfist, hammerfists, and the flashy “superman punch”.

Kicks: The kicks in Muay Thai primarily consist of the “Thai kick” and the “push kick” (or “teep”). The Thai kick is a “roundhouse” style kick thrown using the shin as a striking surface. The primary targets for the Thai kick are the opponent’s thigh, body, and head. The push kick or “teep” is a frontwards thrusting kick using the ball of the foot. This kick is usually used to strike the opponent’s body.

Elbows: Elbow strikes are also taught in Muay Thai. The advantage of using the elbow to strike comes from the fact that the elbow is a very large bone that can deliver a tremendous amount of force. There are many different kinds of elbow strikes in Muay Thai. There is the “down elbow” that comes on a downward trajectory at an angle, the “horizontal elbow” that comes straight across, and the “uppercut elbow” that strikes the opponent at an upward angle.

Knees: The knee strike is arguably one of the most powerful strikes a human being can throw. Muay Thai is well-known for its knee strikes. Knees can be thrown in a straight or round fashion and are very common when used from the clinch position. In fact, the clinch position is so important on Muay Thai, let’s talk about that.

The Muay Thai Clinch

One of the most well-known fighting tactics in Muay Thai is the clinch. This is where one person wraps their hands around the back of their partner’s head or neck. This is a great position to learn for self-defense since so many real-life encounters occur up close. Once you know Muay Thai and a person is in your clinch, you can effectively launch a barrage of knee attacks to the opponent’s thighs, ribs, solar plexus, or facial area.

Now let’s take a look at the gear used in Muay Thai.

Muay Thai Training Gear

As you might have guessed, Muay Thai training involves the use of many different kinds of gear. Here’s a quick overview of some of the gear you need to know about when training in Muay Thai.

Thai Pads: Thai pads are long, rectangular shaped pads the run the length of a person’s forearm. These Thai pads are very handy and really serve as the “bread and butter” of Muay Thai training. You can practice almost everything on these Thai pads. Kicks, punches, elbows, knees and combinations can all be trained on this highly versatile piece of training equipment.

Heavy Bag: The heavy bag is also a standard piece of training gear, but there are many different kinds of heavy bags used in Muay Thai. First there is the standard “boxing” style heavy bag that weighs about 90 lbs. This is ideal for punching and the other upper body techniques of Muay Thai. Then there is the “tear drop bag” so named because the bag is in the shape of a big tear drop! This kind of bag can be used for many things but is ideally suited for developing knee strikes. Next there is the “banana bag” which is a long kind of bag unique to Muay Thai. This bag is over 6’ long and extends all the way down to the floor. The purpose of a banana bag is to give the practitioner a way to practice low kicks and knees to the thigh area.

Gloves: The gloves used in Muay Thai are the same as boxing. This includes smaller sized “bag gloves” for training on pads and larger boxing gloves for sparring and fighting.

Punch Mitts: Small hand held targets called “punch mitts” (or “focus mitts”) are great for practicing punching and elbow techniques. These pads are light and easy to use when training rapid fire combinations.

Shin Guards: Shin guards are also commonly used in training to protect your shins from injury. The reason why is because the primary kick is the “Thai kick”, which, like we said above, is a round kick using the bone of the shin. This kick is very powerful and is a great way to defend yourself in a real-life confrontation but for training you want to use shin guards to protect yourself from injury.

Most schools provide all of the Thai pads, heavy bags, and punch mitts you need. They may even provide some gloves and shin guards. However, most students prefer to purchase their own gloves and shin guards simply because they don’t want to gear that has been used by so many other people.

Is Muay Thai Training Safe?

Honestly, it depends on where you go. Some schools are hardcore “fight gyms”. If you are looking to climb in the ring and get into organized fighting competition, these fight gyms are going to be for you.

But for the majority of people, a hardcore fight gym is not the place to go. Most people want to simply get all the benefits of Muay Thai training without having to train for an actual fight. So most people need to find a place that is more open to the casual or recreational type of person.

At Bam Bam Martial Arts here in Houston, we like to help EVERYONE get the benefits of Muay Thai training in a FUN and SAFE atmosphere.

We offer an incredible beginner friendly Muay Thai curriculum that is perfect for all ages designed to get you lean, tone, and confident FAST.

Muay Thai Houston Classes: How To Get Started

If you want to train in Muay Thai for any of those reasons listed above, then the Bam Bam Muay Thai program is perfect for you.

We offer a SAFE, fun and highly effective workout program designed for both beginners and those with more experience. Our friendly staff and training environment will treat you like family from day one!

Now Forming Beginner Classes In Muay Thai Houston TX
Call (281) 305-9457 To Get Started Today

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Father of eight, Dr. Scott Sullivan is the chief instructor at Bam Bam Martial Arts in Houston, TX. He holds a doctorate in philosophy from the University of St. Thomas and is a seasoned martial arts instructor with over 30 years of experience. A firm believer that martial arts really does help people become more fit, safe, and happy, he remains vigilant about helping people improve their lives through martial arts.