Muay Thai is simply known to many as kickboxing. But for those who really practice Muay Thai, boxing and kicking are the most boring moves to do. Elbows and knees what make Muay Thai fun to practice and watch. Muay Thai is so fun that you will forget you're working out.
Recently, a friend invited me to fight in an organized practice fight at King's MMA in Houston. I am not ready physically so I went there to take photos instead. So I get a chance to show everyone what Muay Thai is about.
Photography Note: I used a manual lens with the camera in manual mode at all time. So the focus can be a little off in some pictures.
Before the fight, everyone gets matched up. The event was small so the organizers tried their best to match people with similar experience and weight.
Referee explaining the rules. For this fight, elbows are not allowed. Knees are allowed but not to the face.
Seeing the opponents
One fighter was really tall so there wasn't an opponent for him. The referee had to fight him instead.
Fighters practicing and warming up before the fight.
A fighter practicing his knee.
Practicing with target pads are the standard warm up steps for many professional fighters. It trains their mind to react to any target of opportunity while strecthing their bodies before the fight.
A fighter applying oil so that he can move faster. No, not really. Just for getting his body warm and flexible.
Fortunately, I managed to get onto the ring's side and take photos for the fights. The fighters were very cautious and no photographers were harm for the day.
Although this is just a practice fight, the event is simulated to be like a real fight. Each matchup consists of two rounds with a break in the middle.
There were some experienced fighters in the mix. These two are very good. They get the most applaud from the crowd. My pictures do not do the justice for the intensity of this match.
Every fighter has to wear a mouth guard to protect their teeth and jaw from shifting from an impact like this.
It's good to have a decent bicep so you can clamp a punch with.
Think you're safe with all the gear you're wearing? Think again
Despite all the violence, no one holds any animosity here. In Muay Thai, fighting in the ring is for fun.
The referee looks a bit worried with these two. It looks like he was trying to separate them.
There are kids fighting as well. This match is an interesting one.
During the fight, the kid on the left took a hit and cry. His dad yelled at him to make him stop:
Stop crying! No one feels sorry for you.
That's a refreshing thing to hear. Most parents these days babysit their child too much. But this parent just pushed his son to abandon his weakness.
The kid who cried did turn the fight around and successfully landed a few hit back.
That's why one should never cry or stop fighting.
Being on the ring with these fighters, I can imagine some pressure they must feel to get on it. But once they face their opponent, the only thing they care about is fighting.
A match is very short. However, Muay Thai is physically intense. Fighters sweat and burn a lot of calories in such a short time.
Although you can kick butts in Muay Thai, kicking butt is not effective.
Not sure what happened here.
People who practice Muay Thai are not bodybuilders. They do not exercise so that their body looks appealing. Still, they have six-pack anyway because Muay Thai utilizes the entire body to deliver force. That is not to mention how much calorie is burned while having fun.
Muay Thai can be good for self-defense too. Here is a push kick targeting the stomach. Push kick is highly effective as the opponent advances toward you. It is easy to do.
Accidents do happen in Muay Thai. Here the poor guy got hit at the ball. This was the second time in the match. He kept on fighting.
He didn't smile in the end though.
Girls and women also do Muay Thai as well.
In Muay Thai, the referee usually stops the fight when the fighters are grappling or clinching one another for too long.
When fighting, turning your back to the opponents isn't good. But it can be a deception to invite a reckless attack that can be easily countered.
In a ring, if you have a choice of falling down or getting punched in the face, it's better to fall down and dodge the punch.
Overall, Muay Thai is a fun sport. I highly recommend you all give it a try.