Known as the art of eight limbs, Muay Thai is a martial art that incorporates punches, kicks, knees, and elbow strikes. Its ancient traditions dating from centuries ago still exist in the sport today. But if you think Muay Thai is only for Van Damme-wannabe thugs and Asian people, think again.

Muay Thai isn’t just one of the more brutal and efficient martial arts; it’s technically beautiful. Its sportsmanship is unparalleled among any mainstream combat sport. It’s also the most relevant to real life situations, and because of its strong ethics and traditions, Muay Thai has amazing character-building qualities. For this reason, it can change you from a mouse to a lion. Here’s my story.

When I was 17 years old I first walked into a Muay Thai gym. I had a strong interest in martial arts from when I was a kid already, but I wanted to learn Muay Thai because:

A) I was tired of being defenseless

B) I was tired of being weak and unfit

C) I was tired of my low self-esteem and lack of confidence

I had reached the point in my life where I was looking for a big change. So I made my move. The first day I just watched. I’ll admit it was intimidating, but visually impressive. The power and athleticism immediately got my attention. There was a strong sense of a team spirit and brotherhood in the dojo. And unlike the gym, which is largely focused on aesthetics, Muay Thai was clearly about the journey of continuous self-improvement. The training incorporated courage, inner strength, respect, skill, technique and athleticism. It focused on the journey rather than the final outcome. And I really liked that.

No doubt, I was a total retard in the beginning. After years of not doing any real physical activity my coordination was terrible—my punching resembled something like my grandma swatting a fly. But I hung in there for a while and soon I actually started to get pretty damn good. I ended up having a few fights, traveling to Thailand to train, and eventually becoming a coach to fighters…but that’s another story.

Anyways, because of my transformation and firsthand seeing tons of people over the years overcome low confidence, negative attitude, obesity, health issues, troubled lifestyle, and fear,  I have naturally become an advocate for the sport. I truly believe it has the ability to change the lives of men. When I recommend Muay Thai to my fitness and weight loss clients, here are the top reasons I give them:

You’ll get stronger

Within weeks of starting you’ll achieving strength gains that will motivate you to keep going. The high amount of bodyweight exercises combined with explosive movements will develop fast-twitch muscle fibers and activate muscles you never knew you had. This will help you develop a strong, athletic body to be proud of. If you’re already hitting the gym, adding a couple days of Muay Thai training will help with your range of movement and core strength, which can result in mobility and bigger lifts.

You’ll increase confidence

Each training session you’ll achieve mini goals. Through this you’ll progressively overcome your fear of failure and you’ll begin to take more risks. Your self-doubt will soon fade away and be replaced by self-belief. Your new awareness of yourself and your surroundings will create a whole new perspective for you. With that transition your attitude will become more positive and confidence will bloom. This will reflect in your life directly.

You’ll lose weight

Over the years I have seen countless ordinary people lose extraordinary amounts of weight through Muay Thai training. You can expect to burn up to 800kcals in a two-hour training session. With Muay Thai you will start to see a change in body composition within weeks. The bodyweight, aerobic, interval-style training promotes a high metabolic rate which increases weight loss. Coupling your training with a good diet will speed up the process even more.

You’ll gain respect

Gain respect for yourself, and for others. This might make me sound old, but dudes these days have a serious lack of respect. Respect for oneself and respect for others is becoming a rare combination in society, but in Muay Thai it is an integral part of the culture. It’s another good life lesson that Muay Thai teaches people.

You’ll release stress and aggression

Muay Thai truly has the power to relieve stress. Rather than getting into road rage or bitching with loved ones, take frustration at your week’s worth of dickheads and nagging sluts out in training – which is totally permitted in Muay Thai. There is nothing like it in the world. For me, no matter what is happening in life, when I’m training Muay Thai all my worries fade away. You will become a calmer and more patient person.

Bottom line

Life is too short to be scared, weak, and have low self-esteem. I feel strongly about this subject because I know how much it did for my life and thousands of others. And I’m betting my left nut it will do the same for you. Join a Muay Thai gym today.

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