Muay Thai training tips for beginners, first-time fighters

Muay Thai training for beginners

Starting something new can be quite challenging and stressful. Whether it is a new job, moving countries, basically anything new and unknown that pulls you out of your comfort zone. Here we are talking about Muay Thai, which one may call the ultimate stand-up fighting discipline.


There are dozens of stories from those who took up Muay Thai lessons while looking for something to help deal with anxiety, build up confidence, create a powerful mindset. Others are inspired by “The Art of the Eight Limbs” as such, which helps develop co-ordination, muscle memory and body strength. Lastly, some start training (and competing inside the ring) in order to challenge themselves by reaching goals.

Although everyone has their own reasons, the beginning is pretty much the same. We start something unknown, something we are not used to.

There are a number of posts on the web for Muay Thai beginners that tell “what brand of boxing gloves is the best” and “how to make your shins stronger”. My idea is about actual Muay Thai training.

Andrew Smith: “People fear what they don’t understand and hate what they can’t conquer.”

Talking modern day, the atmosphere in Muay Thai gyms is usually welcoming. Thus, there is no need to feel shy when you can’t excel at something on the first or tenth attempt. It is training, which is learning, while the latter should never stop. In simple words, be confident in yourself. You have started a new journey.

Certain things are hard to execute. Personally, I find that the most important is to understand two questions: “why” and “how-to”. Rather than performing it with 100 percent proper Muay Thai technique.

As an example, you can knock your opponent out with a switch left kick to the body, throwing your leg straight up, which would be “wrong”. Nevertheless, it would give you the same result.

So answering the first question, it is because your shin lands on the liver which is a very sensitive spot. The proper technique would, of course, be turning the hip, which answers the second question.

Understand the idea behind this or that move and keep practicing. Repetition develops muscle memory. Be patient.

In a few weeks or maybe days after trying out something new, you start figuring out whether it is your cup of tea or not. This is individual. As a result, this is the end of the beginning.

Fighting is completely different from training, although fighting is a replication of training

The decision of testing yourself inside the ring commences a new chapter, which is also unknown. As a part of preparation, I find it essential that the coach walks you through every aspect of what is going to happen from the day of weigh-in. All those scenarios that regular fighters are used to, are completely unknown for first-timers. As a result, it brings extra stress. Knowledge is power.

Among everything, preparation for a fight includes common exercises, such as shadowboxing, padwork, bag work and of course sparring. Practicing fighting drills, let’s say on pads, is one thing. The actual idea is to simulate “the fight” at training.

In simple words, there is not much need to aspire to land a fancy spinning-back kick during sparing while you are getting ready for your first fight. Neither should you be warming up on pads before the fight throwing an over hand right, if you’ve never done it at the gym.

It is indeed a rare thing to witness a “clean” Muay Thai fight between two first-timers. Thus, despite how co-ordinated and composed you may be, anticipate that your opponent may mess it up.

In conclusion, stick to the basics. Work on defense and the simple one-two combination, followed by a kick or knee. Simple things, where simplicity is something easy to understand, and as a result do.

And yet, with proper training, you may still see a fashion model throwing elbows in her first-elbow fight.

I hope the above helps. Feel free to comment and ask a question below.

Last week I posted a video of the first fight of Misagh Norouzi who made his Muay Thai debut just three months after entering the gym.

In addition, earlier this year we filmed several Muay Thai training videos (tutorials) available on YouTube, which might be helpful.


Share This

Add a comment


10-minute Stretch: Full Body Cool Down Routine at Home (video)

This 10 minute stretch routine can be done after training as a cool down. You can easily do it at home after a home...

Home workout: 20-minute Full Body with Dumbbells (video)

This 20-minute full body dumbbell workout covers upper body, lower body and core. If you don't have dumbbells, you can just hold two household...

How to make bodyweight exercises harder, with no equipment

Bodyweight exercises are extremely handy when training at home. They don't require any fancy equipment and can usually be performed in smaller spaces such...

Eminem featured artist on UFC 4 with Godzilla

MMA world went ballistic following a fresh release of UFC 4. In addition to an updated lineup of top ranked fighters, crossover...

Preview UFC Vegas 6: Lewis vs Oleinik (video)

Heavyweights Derrick Lewis 23-7 1 NC) and Aleksei Oleinik (59-13-1) battle it out in the main event of UFC Vegas 6 taking place at...

UFC 252: Judges and referee assigned for Miocic vs Cormier third fight

Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier meet in the trilogy fight on August 15, battling it out in the main event of UFC 252 live...

Sign up for FIGHTMAG Weekly Newsletter

Top stories delivered to your inbox

Despite three defeats in a row Yodsanklai Fairtex vows to be back

Yodsanklai Fairtex is riding, what appears to be, the longest defeat-streak in his career. Nevertheless, the famed Muay Thai fighter is looking to rise...

Bellator 243 results, start time in USA, Australia, how to watch live, Chandler vs Henderson 2

Bellator 243 features the ten-fight card at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. MMA event is headlined by lightweights Michael Chandler and Benson Henderson,...

Eminem featured artist on UFC 4 with Godzilla

MMA world went ballistic following a fresh release of UFC 4. In addition to an updated lineup of top ranked fighters, crossover...

Souris Manfredi competes with Maisha Katz for historic World Lethwei Championship title

World Lethwei Championship (WLC), the world's largest bareknuckle fighting organisation, will return to action on 28 August with an international fight card in a...

Bellator 243: Chandler vs Henderson 2 weigh-in faceoffs

Following the official Bellator 243 weigh-in ceremony (results and video here) the fighters came face to face ahead of their respective bouts...