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Texas ISD School Guide
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Travel, Teach, Live in Thailand

How to Learn Thai Boxing
By:Michael Davidson

Thai boxing, otherwise known as Muay Thai, is a fighting art that originated in Thailand during the country's formation. The region was frequently invaded during a time period where the main combat weapons were used in close quarters, such as knives and spears. The natives then developed a hand-to-hand combat style that specialized in close combat using knees and elbows as primary striking weapons in addition to hands and feet. Learning Thai boxing takes time, conditioning and dedication.

Train your physical conditioning prior to learning Thai boxing. Thai boxing requires a tremendous amount of conditioning and flexibility, and Thai boxers utilize running and stretching as part of their regular training.

Order Thai boxing DVDs or locate a Thai boxing school where you can train. A phone book would have addresses for schools near you, or you can enter your ZIP code and the phrase "Muay Thai classes" into an Internet search engine. Visit the school and watch some classes before you sign up for one. Some schools offer free or discounted classes as a trial.

Practice the principle techniques of Thai boxing either by yourself or with a training partner. The Thai clinch is when you lock your fingers together and hook both hands behind an opponent's head so you can pull the head down and bring knee strikes into the face and body. Keep your elbows in as tight as you can and keep your balance as you throw knees.

Use a heavy bag to practice your Thai strikes. A standing bag works better than a hanging bag for Thai boxing because you can practice a Thai clinch on the bag and practice low kicks by striking the bag with your shin, which is sometimes more difficult on a hanging bag. Both types of bags work equally well for practicing elbows and punches.

Spar with other people experienced in Thai boxing to work on your precision and timing. Use proper shin pads, headgear and gloves, and limit contact strikes to the face for safety purposes. If you are taking classes, you can spar with classmates; if you train off DVDs, visit dojos anyway to locate training partners.

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