Combat sports are generally pretty low on my to-do list. I tend to stick with non-contact cardio at the gym and avoid other sweaty humans as much as possible. But after a few sessions of Muay Thai boxing in the training ring at Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui, Thailand, I emerged with a strong sense of focus.
The martial art concentrates on person-to-person combat while emphasizing honour, respect and discipline. It began in ancient Thailand as a battlefield skill considered more effective than the use of weapons.
Few exercises deliver such intense cardiovascular conditioning. It’s a combination of aerobic and anaerobic activity that helps burn fat and build muscle fast. And while most boxing workouts stress the arms, Muay Thai combines punches (with fists and elbows) and kicks (using knees, shins and feet). The result is an interval-style routine that develops upper-body power, hip mobility, and leg and core strength – all while encouraging a disciplined mind and a confident spirit.
Best of all is the extraordinary stress relief. Walking on a treadmill doesn’t prevent you from mulling over a problem or watching the stock ticker. Muay Thai forces you to be alert to protect yourself from your opponent’s incoming roundhouse kick (the tat) or mid-air elbow strike (kradot sok). Engaging in the sport requires 100% of your attention, forcing you to be mindful and present. Sure, you may get knocked down. But you’ll be gratified anyway when you feel the power of your own body.
Your Journey Begins Here
Step into the training ring.