10 Most Effective Muay Thai Training Techniques

Muay Thai (or Thai Boxing as we know it in the West) is one of the most effective ways you can learn to defend yourself. Known as the ‘Science of the Eight Limbs’, it uses elbows and knees along with punches and kicks for protection. This effectiveness has seen it rise in popularity in recent years as more people begin to study it in their spare time. If you are already training in Muay Thai or are thinking of doing so, here are the ten most amazing training techniques to remember.

10 – Don’t Go To Hard

Womens Muay Thai
Womens Muay Thai – By Eric Langley [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The first great inside tip from the Thai fighters themselves is not to go to hard to often in training. While there may be a time in the run-up to a fight to work to your peak, this should not be done too often. Thai fighters understand that this could lead to injury or premature fatigue that will then affect how you can train going forward. For most of the time, especially if no fight is on the horizon, you should concentrate on developing technique rather than hitting with all your power every time.

09 – Hit The Road Jack

Muay Thai teep
Muay Thai teep – By Eric Langley (Flickr: [1]) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

One of the real secrets to Thai fighter’s preparation is the amount of running they do. With this in mind, any serious May Thai training should include some road work too. Thai fighters will hit the road twice a day as a rule to help build their aerobic engine. Of course, this may not be possible or even needed for you, but it is worth fitting in a few runs each week at least. This will get you in peak condition and build up great strength in your legs too. Running has got something of a bad press in recent years, but it really is a great tool to build up your overall physical condition.

08 – Don’t Spar Too Hard

Felice Herrig
Felice Herrig – By Aristotle Labiaga [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

As well as not training too hard in general in terms of power hitting, a real secret to Muay Thai is not to spar too hard. The Thai training camps use sparring to test out new techniques for fighters in a controlled fashion in a bid to improve. Use this approach yourself when you spar to avoid injuries and make it an educational experience, rather than it becoming an aimless brawl. This is especially true if you fight regularly as the fights themselves will give you plenty of hard sparring practice for real!

07 – Check Out As Many Fights As You Can

Muay Thai high kick
Muay Thai high kick – By Eric Langley (Flickr: [1]) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

It is no coincidence that young Thai boys can throw a Muay Thai style kick without even training at a Thai boxing gym. This is because they watch literally thousands of fights both live and on TV. Thai Boxing is still massive as the national sport in Thailand and this means they get to see just how each technique should work over and over when they watch matches. Borrow this training tip yourself and watch as much Thai Boxing as you can, ideally from the best quality fighters. This will ingrain the correct habits in your techniques and also help you iron out any problems you may be having with them.

06 – Think About Using A Strict Morning Routine

Muay Thai match in Bangkok
Muay Thai match in Bangkok – http://www.dmitrimarkine.com [CC BY 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

One of the secrets from Thailand’s training camps is the structured approach they take to training. This is well worth thinking about yourself as it ensures you don’t skip training and will progress faster within Muay Thai. It also builds great discipline and focus which is important for life and your training. Many Thai fighters will rise around 6am to go for a morning run before returning to their gym to complete some light bag work. If you have trouble fitting your training in at other times or simply want to train like a pro, this is how they do it.

05 – Work The Basics

Muay Thai Boxing
Muay Thai Boxing – By David Maiolo [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

One danger with training after a while is that you can get bored with the basic techniques and start to neglect them. Other, newer techniques always look more fun and seem more interesting to train than the basics you think you already know. This is a really big mistake though! All Thai fighters spend lots of time working on their basic technique in every training session they do. This keeps a strong foundation to then add other techniques onto at a later stage.

04 – Learn To Lose

Muay Thai Championship Boxing
Muay Thai Championship Boxing – By David Maiolo [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

In Thailand, fighters climb into the ring far more often than Western boxers. This and the fact that they often take dangerous fights mean they all lose a few matches by the time they finish. The secret here is that they don’t let this affect them and understand that losing is natural sometimes. Learn to accept losing and then use it to improve. This is true whether you fight yourself, spar a little or even when you have a session that doesn’t go well. Learn to be resilient and use any setbacks to your advantage.

03 – Get Up To Speed With Your Clinch


One of the most distinctive aspects of Muay Thai is the famous clinch. This is where fighters wrap their arms round each other’s necks to control or knee their opponent. If you want to become a complete Muay Thai fighter, then you need to train the clinch. Most Thai fighters will spend an hour a day on this alone! Once you have got the basic clinch down, learn the Thai clinch which is where the real fun happens.

02 – Get Enough Sleep

High Kick
High Kick

This can seem like a strange training tip as it doesn’t happen in the gym! Don’t be fooled though – getting enough sleep is a really big thing. If you don’t get your required levels of sleep in then you will not be able to focus or train properly. In addition, it may also lead to a weak immune system which will then mean missing training due to illness. Aim for at least 8 hours a night and you will be fresh enough to train properly and enjoy your whole life too.

01 – Master The Thai Roundhouse Kick


Along with the clinch, the roundhouse kick in Thai boxing is the most famous aspect of the sport. Thai fighters will spend hours each day working on theirs and it is certainly worth spending as much time as you can on yours when training. A strong roundhouse kick will keep your opponent away from you when needed as well as decreasing his mobility with repeated strikes. If you don’t know how too then get a proper Thai boxer to show you!

Training in Muay Thai is great for your overall health and well-being. It is also a superb form of self-defence that will leave you able to look after yourself in most situations. The above training tips will allow you to become the best you can be in this fabulous sport and train to your full potential.