Why You Should Take Up Martial Arts – The Benefits of Muay Thai (The Community Speaks!)

August 23, 2010 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

FITNESS FUN, FITNESS FUN, FITNESS FUN!!!

I am always rambling on about the importance of finding an activity that you enjoy along side bodybuilding. By doing so, you’ll be able to actually have fun throughout your fitness lifestyle. I personally look forward to going to the gym every week (Especially if it’s a good gym). That is

  • Good people
  • Good community
  • Good staff
  • Good facilities

However, pumping weights and running on the treadmill may get very tedious for many, unless that gym has facilities that allow you to take up your favorite activity/ sport. If your gym doesn’t have those facilities, it would be in your favour to find a place that does. If you aren’t currently taking up any other activities other than bodybuilding… try it! You may surprise yourself. In fact, research has shown that trying new things will keep you young. Who know’s, you may even reveal a talent that you never knew you had and begin competing in that sport or activity.

With that being the case, I’m now going to introduce you to a form of martial arts that I have been a long time fan of, ever since traveling to Thailand and since being a fan of this film…

Which has seen the release of the 3rd film this year

Muay Thai


If you have no idea of what Muay Thai looks like, have a watch of this video featuring the legend himself Tony Jaa.

Impressive yes… No?

Any how, I don’t care what you think about the video. I just know that his fighting style ROCKS!

Why Martial Arts?

  • Martial arts is a great sport to take up for a few reasons…
  • Encourages self discipline
  • Trains you for self defense
  • Trains you for a positive mind set
  • Is great for under 16′s, who shouldn’t really be hitting the Free weights… yet. But who are obviously enthusiastic and excited about working out (Build functional strength)

However, I haven’t taken up any martial arts before, so my take on Muay Thai would be slightly biased in regards to talking about what it’s really like. That is why I invited some guests over from the Stayfitbug.com Facebook community to give their take on the benefits of taking up Muay Thai along side the bodybuilding lifestyle. All of whom have 5+ years experience training in Muay Thai. People who were once on the fence about trying something new… just like you.

Any how, if Muay Thai is something that has interested you, like it has with myself, then read the verdict’s of these individuals and make your decisions from there.

Joel Ramirez

Joel is great member of the community whose knowledge and opinions about the bodybuilding lifestyle are mutually respected.

Joels Take on Muay Thai

You see… you ask anyone who trains in it to compete will say” it’s a life style”. Now that life style like that in all sports and cultures will vary depending on their coach and gym. You have your traditional Muay Thai gyms like that of Sityodtong LA (head trainer Walter. Check him out on my list), then you have your rouge gyms that compete in Muay Thai but don’t follow the tradition like Power Box (Check out Christopher Moorings) and of course everything in between.

I only know my perspective and that of my friends that train at Sityodtong, and to give you a synopsis of what I have learned about other gyms through my experience.

First you got the owner and trainers

You first got those who treat their fighters like their kids. They love them and yell at them like their own kids. Then you have the pay check coaches and owners, the ones that are there running a business throwing people in smokers and fights that shouldn’t be there. Walter and Chris are the first I trained with… Chris for years; he became like a father to me. He was there for me when it came to my technique and when it came to my issues outside the gym. He emphasizes a style that doesn’t conform to tradition but to that which will complete you as a fighter. All work in the gym has a purpose, looking good has nothing to do with size but having your technique down. For what purpose does having huge biceps have if it isn’t going to help you be faster, stronger and keep better form. The Same thing goes for diet, drink, smoke, junk food and the like don’t help you be a better fighter so you don’t consume it.

Cross training only is done if it’s going to help you get that hand raise at the end of the last round. It’s all about dedication and consistency. If you slack off you won’t get the extra work in.

You gotta love to train, cause the ring is just the icing on the cake”( The machine gun).


The people and the environment

Those folks there are closer to me then my family and friends for they will let me strike them to help better myself and I let them strike me to help them. All size and skill levels , regardless of how much work you put in, there’s always something to learn from everyone. You tell me… how many people you know that you can say will do the same for you punch after punch, round after round, day after day, month after month?

Now, in regards to other gyms that I’ve come across, it’s all about busting the other guy, regardless of size and skill, otherwise you become a punching bag instead of a sparring partner. As for the other members in the gym? I can’t tell you much about them when I hit the gym. I have too much to work on to worry about other people you see “In a sport where everyone is working towards perfection and in a world of imperfection, you gotta make sure you’re less than perfect is better than every one else’s” ( machine gun) so no time for the other folks. In the end of it all its you only you in the ring doing it for you, not tradition, not for your gym, not for anyone but your self.

Janet Darby

Janet Darby is another member of the Stay-Fit Bug Facebook community. Read her guest post to learn more about her

The Ultimate ‘Done For You’ Bodybuilding Regime (Greek)

Janet’s Take on Muay Thai

I first started Muay Thai lessons twenty six years ago. The first martial arts I did involved English full contact karate, but after taking a weekend course with a Muay Thai expert, Master Toddy from Thailand , I was well and truly hooked. I loved the body conditioning and what it did for my fitness levels, I loved the stretching and what it did for my flexibility, and I loved the discipline and mental focus the training gave to me. I stayed with Muay Thai training for three years and encouraged my family to join me. We lived in a rough area of the North of England and it gave me a little piece of mind  that we could defend ourselves if we ever needed to do so.
I left Muay Thai for many years, but last year, after returning to bodybuilding , I started to wonder if I could ever return to kickboxing. I remembered enjoying the classes so much… fun with built in cardio and stretching thrown in as a bonus. Perfect for me even now at 54 years of age, if I could keep up with the rest of the class.
I didn’t need to worry, after a couple of years training back at the gym and power walking every other day, I kept up easily with the class. I was also shocked to find I was more flexible than people half my age!  The moves came back to me quickly, and the co ordination to do the combinations was soon picked up again. The instructor and the class members made me feel very welcome.

People look at me as though I am crazy when I tell them I am going to Muay Thai classes twice a week. But I feel great, have better mental focus, have exceptional flexibility for my age, and twice a week I can look forward to learning new things with like minded people. Knowing Muay Thai makes me feel more self confident and disciplined. It makes the difference between being frightened and unsure in threatening situations and feeling in control and aware of my surroundings.

Josh Dakin - Member of the Stay-Fit Bug Facebook community had this to say

The key benefits?

It depends on how you train, with muay thai and I’ve gotten more flexible, increased in my reaction time, and cardio performance is insane. I also like the adrenaline rush I get when im grappling with my friend. In my opinion, grappling is more intense for the fact that you’re trying to control your opponent on the ground so you’re constantly trying to stay on top or if you’re being mounted your trying to control him/her from your back.

I get an insane sweat in about 15 minutes from this!

Taking up Muay Thai is on my to-do-list no doubt. When that will be? That I do not know. I’ll take a leaf out of my own book and set some goals and a time limit to take it up by. Perhaps you should do the same if the above seems like it could be your cup of tea (An English thing that ;))

See you in the comments.

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