Muay Thai for Women: 7 Reasons It’s a Must-Try Martial Art

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Muay Thai for women.

Muay Thai for women, can be incredibly empowering.

This is an exciting age. In every aspect of our lives, we are doing things previously thought to be impossible, challenging traditional gender roles, and redefining what it means to be a woman.

From politics to business, to science, to the military and everything in between girls are throwing off generations of limiting stereotypes and proving to be effective, courageous and inspirational in every aspect of society.  

One exciting frontier women are now taking on is combat sports. And for good reason!

Combat sports provide a variety of empowering benefits for everyone – in particular ladies. But with so many options out there, choosing one to learn can be a daunting task.

This article will explain why no combat sport is better suited for women than Muay Thai.

Is Muay Thai Safe for Women?

Muay Thai is a sport that traces its origins nearly 1,000 years to Southeast Asia and was used by both men and women warriors to successfully defend Thailand throughout the country’s history.

Is Muay Thai effective?

Well, Thailand is one of the only countries in the region to have never been colonized! And while that fact that cannot be totally attributed to Muay Thai, it certainly bears mentioning.

Given the sport’s historical lineage, it should come as no surprise that Muay Thai is recognized globally as one of the most practical martial arts today – effective both in arena combat as well as a system of self defense.

As a sport, it has traditionally been male-dominated, and counted among Jiujitsu, wrestling and Judo as a fundamental part of a Mixed Martial Artist’s skillset. But since the 1990’s, some of the top Thai boxers have come to include Thai women fighters and they have increasingly commanded respect, recently fighting in the most famous venue for Muay Thai, Lumpinee Boxing Stadium for the first time. Today, women fighters are training future generations of fighters of all genders in gyms around the world.

What makes Muay Thai for women so good?

The fact of the matter is that Muay Thai is a perfect sport for women who want to be fit.

And anyone who makes the decision to start training can expect to see rapid improvements in their health, confidence, and ability to defend themselves.

Here’s a list of the advantages:

1) Muay Thai Keeps You Safe

The word “muay” means “martial” or “warrior.”

And that’s exactly what you’ll find when you step into a muay thai gym: a place where both a male or a female fighter can train together to be stronger and more effective, while learning proven self-defense skills.

The training methods are similar to those used by professional boxers, but with one key difference: the Muay Thai rules.

Muay Thai doesn’t have a lot of rules. It is an eight striking system which allows fighters to strike with elbows, knees, kicks and punches and allows for close combat in a Muay Thai clinch.

In many other martial arts, these are not permitted as they put a fighter at risk of injury. But in a street fight, there are no rules apart from the law of survival, and a person – particularly a woman – should be prepared to use anything at their disposal to ensure their own safety.

And while it’s true that like in boxing, gloves are worn so that punches don’t cause serious injury. Even with gloves, the Muay Thai style is more transferrable as it is conditioning your other body parts for striking and defense.

After all, it is very unlikely that when cornered in an alley by an aggressor, a person will be given a moment to carefully put on a pair of boxing gloves!

The fact that Muay Thai has few rules makes it a practical martial art for self defense because it provides its practitioners with real-world techniques that are unrestrained, giving near protective magic for daily life.

Learn more about Muay Thai for self defense.

2) Muay Thai Helps Improve Your Health

A Muay Thai fight typically involves 5 rounds of 3 minutes each, with a break of 2 minutes between rounds.

This mirrors High-intensity interval training (HIIT) which is a scientifically proven method of fitness training that involves short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods, until too exhausted to continue.

This type of fitness regimen burns calories improves oxygen consumption. and helps optimize heart rate and blood pressure.

If you’re looking to build muscle mass, Muay Thai is a good option. And unlike other sports like football or baseball, Muay Thai doesn’t require any special equipment. Instead, you’ll need just a pair of hands and feet.

In a 60-minute Muay Thai class, participants will typically run through a variety of drills both in terms of cardio fitness, technique, flexibility and strength. These are essential for creating a well-rounded fighter but also carving out an excellent physique. 

Strength conditioning in a Muay Thai class typically various body workouts such as pushups, pullups, sit ups, bodyweight squats and these simple yet effective exercises will build strength that is independent of expensive gym equipment. 

If you’ve ever been on an aerobics class or run laps at the track, then you know how important good cardio is. But did you know that Muay Thai has some amazing benefits for your heart? Muay Thai increases blood flow and helps prevent clogged arteries. 

Training Muay Thai will also result in increased flexibility since high kicks are part of the repertoire. But even if a person has limited flexibility, they can still use this style effectively by using their knees, punches and elbows and see their range of motion increase. 

3) Muay Thai is Fun

One of the appeals of Muay Thai is the sheer variety that encompasses a typical training session. There is a warm up, physical conditioning, technical practice, followed by a cool down. The pace is fast and the different components ensure no one gets bored. 

And very few people can complain about boredom when hitting pads with a trainer. A good trainer will motivate, encourage and challenge participants to improve every time. This results in a fun experience where the adrenaline ebbs and flows from start to finish.

Keep in mind that recreational Muay Thai training doesn’t require sparring which means practitioners can develop skills with essentially zero risk of injury.  

If you compare this variety with the experience of running on a treadmill for example, while starting at your phone, there’s no competition, Muay Thai wins by TKO.

In fact, Muay Thai is a great way to detox from your phone at least for an hour. Muay Thai is not a sport you  train while messaging or posting facebook updates. But you can certainly collect some great photos and videos to share later!

4) Muay Thai is Simple to Learn (But Hard to Master)

Almost anyone can join a Muay Thai class and the fundamentals are accessible to learn.

In fact, Muay Thai is so simple to learn that even four year olds can grasp the rules and four is the typical starting age when young Thai children begin to train. If you’re over four (and we assume you are) have no fear! 

Muay Thai consists of fundamentals. The style is simple and trades the elaborate and flamboyant techniques of other styles like Wushu or Capoeira for simple basics. 

It’s also worth noting that Muay Thai does not have a belt system. In other words, you do not work towards a black belt and instead continue to learn, train and this makes the sport accessible.

Obviously, there are beginners and more experienced practitioners, but the sport does not have a hierarchy like Karate or Jiu jitsu. 

And it doesn’t require decades of practice to gain some degree of competence.

It’s been said that anyone can pick up Muay Thai in less than a year. But learning and mastering are two different things.

To truly become a master will require a significant commitment. But gains in fitness, confidence and technique will blossom in a relatively short period of time.

5) Muay Thai Makes You Look Good

As we have already discussed, HIIT is a proven method to quickly and effectively reduce love handles and body fat. Women who dedicate themselves week after week to a Muay Thai fitness plan will see rapid improvements in their waist size and will carve themselves a toned body. 

A Muay Thai training session can include skipping, hitting punching bags, working on flexibility, jogging and many other exercises that will leave any woman drenched in sweat, as they sweat out the calories, shed the pounds, and push their limits. 

The typical female Muay Thai fighter physique is svelte, toned and chiseled. Every training session brings a person one step closer to achieving their dream body. 

But apart from the obvious fitness benefits from training a sport like Muay Thai, it also brings with it a number of indirect benefits which also have implications on a woman’s appearance.

For example, Muay Thai is also great for your skin. Why? Because no Muay Thai training session is finished until everyone is drenched in sweat. Sweat moisturizes and cools skin, resulting in anti-aging effects and helping to maintain your skin’s elasticity. A sport like Muay Thai is also one that encourages healthy water consumption for hydration. 

Everyone knows that water is the source of life and is a key ingredient for wellbeing. Water helps purge the body of impurities, aids with healthy digestion, protects a person’s joints, and supports with proper organ and tissue function. It also gives you a very healthy glow.

6) Muay Thai is a Great Way to Make Friends

Meeting new people this day and age can be challenging. If you’re tired of swiping right to meet new friends, a Muay Thai gym might be just the solution you’re looking for. 

When you join a Muay Thai club you are joining a group of people that share a common goal. One common link between recreational Muay Thai fighters is a hunger for continuous professional development. Just like you. Can we say friends for life?

They’re looking to challenge themselves, to get fit, to learn self defense and this immediately puts you in close proximity with people just like you, making it easy to talk, have fun, and support one another.

As a result, Muay Thai can be a great way to make new and friendships and create a new social group with people who might become your friends for life. 

Some of Muay Thai’s most famous fighters are renowned for having excellent senses of humour and coming from Thailand which is known as the “land of smiles” it isn’t surprising.

7) Muay Thai Builds Confidence

Women are often discouraged from fighting, but the simple fact of the matter is that this particular style of martial art is incredibly empowering, building self-confidence and pushing us ladies outside of our traditional comfort zones.

When a lady puts on a pair of Thai boxing gloves, she is signaling to the world that she is ready to face challenges head-on.

She is making a conscious decision not only to be healthy and strong and to learn a skill that could save your life, but she is also making a decision to take charge of her life.

Muay Thai has helped women regain a sense of security after they’ve been attacked by a man and it has also helped some women escape abusive relationships.

Muay Thai training over time will develop a sense of mindfulness as you learn the importance of being aware of danger, closely observing an opponent, and finding the right moment to strike as you constantly push forward. And isn’t that a lot like life?

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We're a team of fight fans and martial arts practitioners. Many of us have been involved in martial arts our entire lives.