Just like your first day of school, you might be nervous for your first Muay Thai class. You signed up in order to lose weight, get fit, or start competing, but even though you’re excited to get started, you can’t help but be a little anxious as well. You want to ensure you’re prepared. You want to know what you’re getting yourself into so you can feel confident walking in on that first day.
If you’re a Muay Thai newbie, here are some tips that will help ensure your first class is a success.
1. It’s OK If You’re Not in Shape
Those new to Muay Thai might be worried they won’t be able to keep up with the rest of the class. Don’t worry. This is your first class, after all—and it might be everyone else’s first or second day training as well.
Once you start training regularly, you’ll eventually get stronger and fitter, but this takes time. Your instructor knows this an so do your classmates. No one expects you to be in the best shape of your life and able to complete every drill and technique perfectly the first time around. Be sure to find a gym with welcoming staff, do your best, and have fun!
2. You’re Probably Not Going to Be Very Good
As we mentioned, you shouldn’t expect to be a pro during your first class. You’re probably going to suck. After all, everyone would join if it were easy. You’re going to need to work hard and try your best to become great.
Even if you watch the sport and are fascinated by it, it takes time to learn proper technique. There aren’t many natural athletes out there, so don’t beat yourself up if you’re not very good at first. Things will get better—you will get better.
3. You’re Probably Going to Feel Silly
When you first start practicing your footwork, strikes, and combinations, you’re going to be kicking at the air. This is known as shadow boxing, and it makes just about everyone feel silly. It’s a necessary component of Muay Thai, however, and it will help you get better. You can expect to feel silly kicking the air, so have fun with it.
4. It’s Better to Stick to the Basics
You might be very impressed with your instructor’s advanced footwork, but it’s important not to get ahead of yourself. It’s best to perfect the basics first rather than incorrectly drill strikes over and over again just because the instructor is doing it.
Once you’re confident you have the basics down, then you can move on to more complex combinations.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions
There may be many other people in your class, but don’t let that stop you from speaking up and asking all of the questions you have. After all, your instructor is there to instruct you and will take the time to explain concepts you might find confusing and expand on ideas.
And if you’re having trouble getting a technique just right, ask for help. Come in early or stay late to get that extra attention you need. Your instructor will always be available to help.
6. Be Prepared for Some Bruises
Nothing worth doing is easy. After your first Muay Thai class, you should expect to be bruised and sore. In fact, you can expect this after most classes—even weeks, months, and years down the line. It’s normal, and there’s no way around it if you want to get better and fitter.
If your shins take a beating, ice them when you get home and massage the bruises. Eventually, your legs will get stronger, and practicing will hurt less and less.