Despite the extreme physical and combative nature of the Muay Thai, it takes a lot of skill to become a proficient fighter and win matches at the higher levels of competition. Under the World Muay Thai Council rules, to compete in a professional Muay Thai fight, a fighter must be over the age of 15 and must weigh at least pounds. Fighters are all classified into weight divisions and when competing, there must not be more than 5 pounds difference in weight.
The weight divisions are as follows in pounds :. There is little equipment that is essential for Muay Thai competitors. All fighters must wear gloves sanctioned by the WMC and the correct weight for the respective weight classification must wear shorts at half-thigh length.
A groin guard and mouth guard must also be worn and long hair is discouraged as are beards. All boxers must wear a Mongkol which is a sacred headband before the bout commences and each boxer may also wear a charm or inscribed cloth around their upper arm or their waist. No footwear is to be worn as fighters compete barefoot. There is no uniform so you can wear whatever you would wear to work out at the gym. Professional Muay Thai fighters are often seen wearing arm bands during their fights.
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These grew from a tradition of tearing a piece of fabric from the clothing of a loved one to wear during a fight. Photo by Kelsey Tucker. As with any physical activity, there are certainly safety issues. However, if appropriate safety precautions are taken and training is conducted by a qualified instructor, the risk for head trauma and brain injury is greatly reduced. When considering Muay Thai for your child, it is imperative to ask prospective instructors if head contact is allowed and if so, at what age or level of training.
Also be sure to ask what protective gear is used. While adults practice Muay Thai without head protection, instructors may recommend head protection for children.
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Practicing Muay Thai provides a full body workout like no other. It also strengthens the mind and builds confidence. Whether you are training for competition, fitness or self-defense Muay Thai has something to offer everyone.
About the author: Holly Layman is a writer based in Southern California. She holds a first degree black belt in taekwondo. Your email address will not be published. Leave this field empty.
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