Muay Thai; a not so common practice
By Devon P.
Imagine yourself extremely exhausted, your heart rate is going unbelievably fast.
Sweat is pouring out every pore on your body.
You’re driven by all of the others around you continuing the workout.
In the back of your head you want to stop, but every bone in your body is driving you to go forward.
You drop down into pushup position, and as you do so, sweat drips off of your forehead splashing on the ground below you.
Your instructor yells out for you to start your pushups, and you drop to the ground.
The muscles in your arms are already sore, but you forget this pain, and continue the workout.
You continue on doing a variety of workouts for another half an hour, and it’s killing you BUT
You love it.
These are my thoughts and feelings while I’m training for the martial art I love, Muay Thai. This martial art comes from Thai land, and utilizes every part of the body, including hands, shins, elbows and knees.
I train at Evolution fight and fitness gym in Fredericton, New Brunswick, and I started doing so about a year ago. I attend Muay Thai every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The gym is very modern and contains a lot of equipment to aid me and help me progress in my martial art training. The gym contains a mixed martial arts fighting cage, a full size boxing ring and over 40 regular punching bags. Evolution Fight and Fitness is one of the top gyms in New Brunswick, and it is owned by two time world kickboxing champion Andy Young.
I’ve had the pleasure of being trained by the best staff I think I could possibly be trained by in Fredericton. The head trainer Andy young is one of the coolest guys I’ve ever had the honor to meet. Andy is so knowledgeable about anything to do with fighting, and I really strive for my technique to be as well mastered as his is. He teaches almost all the classes that go on at Evolution, including MMA, Wrestling/ Jiu Jitsu, Karate and Muay Thai.
The Muay Thai class at evolution is one of the most intense workouts I have ever done. The class begins with an eight minute skipping round, to help warm your body up. After the skipping is done, the whole class does conditioning for twenty to thirty minutes. The conditioning is meant to be a full body workout, and it really tests your physical abilities and how far you are willing to push yourself for success. The harder you push yourself, the better results you are going to get in the end. After the whole class is drenched in sweat and the mirrors on the wall are starting to fog up, we train in the fighting aspects of Muay Thai. This consists of running through different combinations of kicks and punches, and more advanced techniques like spinning back kicks and flying knees.
This training is just as good of a workout as the full body conditioning. After fighting for another twenty to thirty minutes, the class is ended with a five minute, fast passed very intense round done with a partner. One partner is on the punching bag doing any kind of combination he wants, as hard as he can, and the other partner is on the ground doing some kind of full body workout. Both partners switch after thirty second intervals. Other intense workout are done on Saturdays including, bungee cords, medicine balls and a variety of different weights.
After being a student of this martial art for about a year, I have noticed several things change about me and my lifestyle. My physical abilities have come to be the best that they ever have been and my endurance for physical conditioning has become very good, as well as my fighting technique.
One year ago I may have been able to do ten pushups before getting extremely tired and having to take a break. Going to Muay Thai 4 times a week, I am now able to do a countless number of pushups, and then proceed to work out for another hour.
Other things such as my diet have changed for the better since I have joined Muay Thai. My diet used to be filled with junk foods like candy and pastries, also fast food. Now my diet is more structured and healthy, and I find myself with a lot more energy for the day, and feeling a lot less fatigued. Muay Thai has given me a structure to my life, and has filled in that something that was missing for me.
Being in Muay Thai has helped me in my school work as well, helping me be more awake and alert in class. Being in better shape allows me not to be so tired and inattentive. Before when I was out of shape, I would be so fatigued by all the junk I was putting into my body and would not really listen to the lesson being taught.
Because of my personal experience with this, I feel as though the school I attend, Fredericton High school, should have some sort of martial art class, whether it is karate, Jiu Jitsu or Muay Thai. I think that students would enjoy this kind of physical activity, and not only would it help them with self defense, it would get some student into shape, and maybe fill in something missing in their lives.
“I think it would be cool to have some kind of martial arts class, taught by someone who knew what they were doing”, said John MacLean, a grade 12 student at Fredericton High School. “I wish this would have been a class when I first started high school, so maybe by now I could be really good at martial arts”.
Being a student at Fredericton High, I have firsthand experience with students, and it is very apparent to me that there are a lot of students that have absolutely no physical activity during there week at all. Students at Fredericton high are forced to take a physical education class in their first year, but this may not always be a good thing.
Most student get a negative experience from grade nine gym class, because they are being forced to do physical activity in a way that isn’t appealing to them. Students are forced to do something they don’t like, such as dancing and baseball, and I think this persuades them not to take any physical education classes throughout the rest of their high school career. I know for a fact that his happened to other students because it happened to me, but I was fortunate to get into other kinds of physical activities.
If a martial art class was put in place, I think it would be a really positive experience for students that don’t like a regular physical education class that consists only of running, pushups and sit-ups. Students would be able to get there needed exercise, but it would be in a fun way, and it would be a brand new experience for most attending. New skills would be learned in self defense, and a whole new level of physical fitness would be achieved. Overall, it would be an extremely positive and beneficial experience for all attending