What To Expect In Your First Muay Thai Class?

Muay Thai is considered one of the world’s most brutal martial arts. Even though I was a professional MMA fighter before joining Muay Thai classes, I had a weird feeling before joining my first class.

I could go for a takedown in MMA, but here I could not do that. I had to stay on my feet and fight, which was unusual. 

However, the first class was not as scary as I had imagined. If I had known Muay Thai’s first classes would be so great, I would join it even sooner. 

Everybody was super friendly and willing to share their knowledge. 

That’s the right environment to learn any new martial skill. 

After the class, I realized that my fear came from the unknown. I had no idea what to expect from my first Muay Thai class. Therefore, I ran crazy scenarios in my head. 

I don’t want this to happen to you. That’s why I’m helping you understand what to expect in your first Muay Thai class in this post.

So, Let’s get started! 

What Happens In Beginners Muay Thai Class?

First Muay Thai Clas Expectations

Of course, if it is your first Muay Thai class and you have no martial arts experience, you will start beginner training. Even as a professional, I went to beginner’s classes to learn more fundamentals. 

Fundamentals are essential because your proficiency in the sport is based on the fundamentals you learned in the beginning.

Because Muay Thai is the art of the eight limbs, I wanted to know how to throw elbows and knees correctly, but I only used them in shadow boxing. 

In the first class, and especially for beginners, there are no sparring sessions. If you find yourself in a gym where they want you to spar in the first class, never come back.

There’s a high risk involved in letting newbies spar, which means they don’t care about the well-being of their students. 

In a healthy Thai Boxing gym, no one will let you spar until you are ready to do it. 

Muay Thai classes everywhere tend to follow a similar structure. Let me tell you what you can expect. 

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Warm Up In Your First Muay Thai Class

The first part of the training is always the warm up. It lasts around 20-30 minutes. 

It is highly recommended to warm up well before classes. Warming up well reduces the chances of injury, so it is necessary to do it for at least 20-30 mins. You don’t need your Muay Thai gloves for this part of the class.

Warming up has several parts. 

  1. Jogging around on the mat for several minutes
  2. Warming up your joints: shoulders, elbows, wrist, and fingers. 
  3. Knees up for one set
  4. Heels up for one set
  5. Sprints at least three times
  6. Neck 
  7. Waist wamp up
  8. Knees Warm Up – Squats
  9. Ankle/Foot/Fingers
  10. Stretches 

This warm up can have several variations, and they’re all fine. 

The main idea behind it is to warm up each part of your body—especially the joints, to prevent injury because of fast and unusual movement.

Shadow Boxing In Your First Thai Boxing Class

Shadow boxing is an essential part of any combat sport. It is also an excellent way to warm up your body before class.

You should expect different shadow boxing types in your first Muay Thai class. 

  1. The first type of shadowboxing is without any restrictions. Using whatever combinations you want, throw hands, legs, knees, or elbows in the air. In this type of shadow boxing, you are required to imagine that there is a rival in front of you, and you are attacking them and trying to hurt them. 
  2. Coach might also give you weights around 2.5 lbs in each hand and do your work with that. Your hand will get used to working with weights, and you will be much faster in a real fight.
  3. Reactions. The coach gives a signal, and you throw your combinations when the call comes. The sign could be a number or a noise. They might make the call 3-4 times, and you have to throw 3-4 punches. When they do not give you a signal, you keep moving around the room in a fighting stance and waiting for them. 
  4. Touching. This is another type of shadow boxing where you need to pair. Do not touch the face. Try to touch the body with your fingers and move back. This type of shadow boxing will increase your defense and speed for counter-attacks. 

Do not miss the previous article if you want to know how to Shadow Box like a pro fighter.  

Combinations In Front Of The Mirror

Combinations in front of the mirror are one of the best ways of studying fundamentals. As usual, you will have to throw one, two, or three attack combinations like jab, cross, and roundhouse kick. 

Some people consider it shadow boxing because you can also use a mirror for shadow boxing workouts, but the idea behind it is different. 

Throwing the same combinations for several weeks will improve your muscle memory. Consequently, when you do sparrings or drills and do not have much time to think, you will start throwing combinations correctly. 

Drills In Your First Muay Thai Lesson

Muay Thai roundhouse kicks

Usually, when there are 20 or more people in the class, the coach cannot hold a pad for each of them. 

That’s why drills are essential. You and your sparring partner are throwing combinations, one by one. 

Drills are the best way to prepare for sparrings. As a beginner, drill as much as possible to get to the next level in Muay Thai. 

It has two main benefits. 

  1. The one throwing combinations is getting used to landing the shots on the human being, starting to explore how to choose the right distance to different land combinations, and it is good before the sparrings. 
  2. The one defending improves the reaction time. Seeing the punches and knowing how to take them is as crucial in fighting as landing the combinations. 

Bag Work In Muay Thai

Bag work is another important part of the training in Muay Thai. You are improving your punching/kicking power during bag work because you should hit them as hard as possible.

Good hand wraps and muay Thai gloves are essential to avoid injury to your wrist. However, do not wear shin guards while working with the bag because your shins should get used to this pain. 

You should expect pain in the legs if it is the first time you kick or punch the bag. But do not worry about the pain. After 2-3 workouts, your shins will start getting used to it. 

So, as soon as you start working well on the bag and try your best, your shins will get used to this pain. 

As usual, for beginners, certain combinations work with the bag. A coach will let you know this combination, and you must start attacking the bag when they clap/knock.

This is good exercise for reaction, and as a beginner who does not know what combination to throw, it is best to exercise to learn the fundamentals. 

Stretches / Abs

The final part of the training takes around 10-15 minutes. It would help if you stretched well after a hard workout, and doing some abs is a great finisher too.

The coach will teach you everything; as usual, the whole team will do it together. 

You have to stretch well, speeding up your recovery time and keeping you mobile and limber. 

How To Get Ready For Your First Muay Thai Class

Having good fighting gear is essential in Muay Thai to prevent injuries. Your equipment is there not only to protect you but your teammates. 

So, knowing what gear you need in your first Muay Thai class will be better.

Fighting Gear For Your First Muay Thai Class

  • Suitable Thai Boxing Gloves – Good gloves are to feel comfortable and prevent wrist injuries. Also, durability is much better than the cheaper ones. Therefore, in the long run, buying high-quality gloves like Venum Elite, Fairtex BGV1, or Twins Special will be much more affordable than buying several cheap gloves. 
  • Shin Guards – Shinguards are essential because of two reasons. Firstly, during drills, you might feel lots of pain in your shins while landing low or roundhouse kicks. Secondly, you will receive less damage from your sparring partners.
  • Muay Thai Shorts – I started Muay Thai with MMA shorts and thought it would be the same. I used them for some time, but once I tried Muay Thai shorts, I realized how comfortable they are for kicks. I highly recommend using Muay Thai shorts, and if not precisely Muay Thai ones, try to use fighting shorts, which do not have zippers and other stuff which can harm you or your partner. 
  • Head Gear – Head gear is not something you need in your first classes, but as soon as you start sparrings, you will need one to feel safer. Remember, SAFETY IS A PRIORITY.
  • Mouth Guard – Standart Boil-and-bite mouthguards will work for you. Some people do not use it during drills, but sometimes you might get hit in the face accidentally, or you can hurt yourself while blocking a rival’s shots, so having a mouthguard during the entire class to protect your teeth is never a bad idea.
  • Hand Wraps – Hand wraps are essential to wear under the gloves. It fills the gap between your hand and glove and protects your wrist and fingers from breaking during the punch. Hand wraps give lots of support to your hand, and never use gloves without them.

These are the most important fighting gear you need in your very first Muay Thai class, but time after time, if you are more interested in Muay Thai, you will add more shorts, gloves, and ankle wraps to your collection, just like we all did. 

What And When To Eat Before Muay Thai Classes

You must eat food at least one and a half hours before your Muay Thai classes. If you can’t do it, you can eat one hour before. But no less than that. Otherwise, you feel heavy and lazy and don’t have the energy to work out. Also, it’s terrible for your intestines.

You can take burgers and junk food. It is not ideal, but you can. However, please do not eat them before training. 

Your go-to option should be fresh and healthy food. My favorite is rice, chicken, boiled eggs, and buckwheat. If I want something delicious, pasta is always my favorite choice.

If you ate already but felt like having a pre-workout, a tablespoon of peanut butter and a banana will do the trick.

That might sound like calories dense food. However, don’t be afraid to pack in some extra calories. You could burn 800 calories quickly by training Muay Thai. 

The last thing you want is to feel depleted in the middle of your session. 

From What Age Can A Kid HaveThe First Muay Thai Class?

From What Age Can A Kid HaveThe First Muay Thai Class

Kids can have their first Muay Thai class from around six years old. However, that’s an average estimate.  

Some parents are taking them to Thai Boxing lessons since they’re four years old. However, the consensus at my gym is that it is better to start around eight to ten years old.

These are the years when they can learn some skills properly and earn good fundamental knowledge for adulthood. 

Still, it will depend, and maybe it will be better for some kids to start early if their body is already developed.

But be sure to check with the doctor if the intensity of the workouts is permitted for your children, and if so, any decent coach will take care of a kid and will not give them demanding training in the first classes.

Final Thoughts About What To Expect In Your First Muay Thai Classes

The first steps are always the hardest ones. I remember I delayed my first Muay Thai classes because I did not want to be beaten up, but I wanted to beat other fighters, so I had to train there. 

Nothing is dangerous there, and no one will kill you in the gym. You will always face fighters at your level. Furthermore, the coach will always give you the appropriate training according to your experience and level. 

Have good fighting gear, be safe, and remember to have fun. This is about learning more, improving, and becoming a better version of yourself. Of course, you must leave your comfort zone and push the limits, but do not overextend yourself.

If you like the article, don’t forget to share and leave a comment. 

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