Combat sports are a guys’ thing, right? Well, not so fast… Judging by what’s going down at my muaythai camp and others, I can confirm that women are getting into Muay Thai big time. After all, for ladies looking to “jazz” up their lives, what could be better than a couple of Muay Thai workouts each week to achieve your personal fitness, wellness and combat training goals?
What does Muay Thai offer women? Whether the goal is weight loss, cardiovascular endurance, or better overall strength, women now have better options to consider than the usual “boring” aerobics and group fitness classes offered at the local gym. Even if you don’t want to become a professional Muay Thai fighter, consider what top-notch, personalized or group Muay Thai training has to offer:
• Improved physical health and conditioning.
• Better stress management to tackle day-day living.
• More effective self-defense techniques.
• More energy.
• Increased self-discipline and motivation.
• Improved mental health.
and much, much more…
Why women (wrongly) resist going into Muay Thai. When it comes to physical activities like Muay Thai training, some females are understandably skeptical:
• Won’t all that kicking and punching hurt me and make me too masculine?
• Doesn’t all that cardio and resistance training make women too muscular?
• I really don’t want a six-pack, but I’ll get one anyway with Muay Thai, right?
This fear and apprehension is understandable to some extent, but completely misguided. Muay Thai training is designed to make you stronger and develop your core without getting overly big and bulky. In many ways, women are better suited for Muay Thai than guys, because the skills and strategies you learn are designed for the smaller and supposedly “weaker” opponent.
And after all, what’s wrong with an equal playing field? Muay Thai will improve your overall flexibility and reflexes, and help you focus and concentrate better at home, work, and play. General Health and Wellness versus Professional Muay Thai fighting.
However, very few women have the desire to become professional Muay Thai fighters. For those who follow that path, congratulations! You will have no regrets as you pursue your dreams. On the other hand, ladies who have more general lifestyle goals can also find fulfillment if they:
1. Find a well-qualified Muay Thai trainer and mentor willing to introduce them to the proper mindset and methodology of the sport. It might be intimidating to join a male-dominated group class or team right off the bat, so begin with personal lessons.
2. Don’t settle for the first gym you run across offering Muay Thai courses. Some will be more “female-friendly” than others. Look for academies that have other women students, women coaches, and positive feedback from past and current members. Look for women-specific bootcamps that give you a weekend or one week to get your feet wet before making a commitment to the sport.
I’ll leave you with a quote from former Muay Thai and kickboxing champion Melissa Misiuda that best sums up Muay Thai’s appeal and attraction for women:
The sport is more about physical well-being than about weight loss. It’s not about starving yourself; it’s not about becoming ripped. It’s about becoming healthy, more happy with yourself, with your body