What is Thai boxing?

Thai boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai... what are they, are they different, and what kind of person attends classes in Thai boxing?

Thai boxing is the westernised name for Muay Thai - they are one and the same. Muay means boxer or fighter, and Thai indicates the origin of this ancient martial art, Thailand - where the sport is very popular, from small local events across the country, to huge internationally renowned events in the Lumpinee and Rajadamnern stadiums. There is even a national Muay Thai day, on 17th March.

Kickboxing is a different sport, although they have similarities - kickboxing originated much later and developed through a mix of simplified Thai boxing and full contact karate. There are various different types of kickboxing, one of the most similar being the K1 rule kickboxing in which many Thai boxers also compete. In kickboxing, fighters are separated out of the clinch quickly, and elbows are not legal weapons. In Thai boxing, clinch fighting is allowed to continue for longer - with throws, trips, elbow strikes and knee strikes all being part of the Thai boxer's clinch game.

Who trains Thai boxing? It's suitable for many! Not just for fighters, Thai boxing provides a whole body workout - known as the art of 8 limbs, you get to work everything. From juniors to adults of all ages; whether for fitness, self defence, or competition - you'll find friendships, killer workouts, mental challenges and the best stress relief going. Our friendly coaching team of Mathilde (Thaiboxing) and Antony (k1 kickboxing) are dedicated to helping everyone achieve their goals.

Classes usually* involve a warm up routine, some basic strength building exercises, and then skill-focused training carried out on the heavy bags, partner-held pads, or light contact drills with a partner. Sparring sessions are by coach invite, and are not compulsory - but we think you'll enjoy them when you get going and meet the team.

Thai boxers in competition traditionally wear shorts, hand wraps and boxing gloves, and sometimes small ankle supports. In class, normal workout clothes are fine and regular students are expected to bring their own gloves and shin guards to each session. For sparring, gumshields and groin guards are also recommended.

Come and try a free trial session, and see what the sport can offer you - we run Thaiboxing classes for juniors 6 - 14, and adults classes in both Thaiboxing and K1 kickboxing.

(*subject to covid regulations on contact at present, but we hope to return to partner drills as soon as we safely can)

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