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This is something that keeps popping up for me. Why do you do muay thai? Whether you are just training for fun or fitness or if you are career fighter, i wanna understand why muay thai? 

I find myself asking if its "right" or of "net benefit" training and fighting, I'm coaching and i see loads of positives. Fitness, friendships, motivation to eat well and take care of your body. Challenging mental and physical to another level. 

 

I also see negatives from severe weight cutting, to deaths in the sport, head trauma, long term injuries. 

 

I wonder if influencing kids in the west to train or compete in muay thai is a net benefit, as well as adults. 

 

Hearing your experiences is what I'm hoping for. Good or bad. 

 

This is what i do for a living, and Ive been doing some soul searching lately. 

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At least part of what keeps me coming back is the way that the fear/adrenaline/exertion of training do wonders to stave off anxiety and depression. It also give my life a certain continuity in that I have something that I can feel like I've improved at every day.  

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Hmmmm.......

I love it because of the freedom it allows. You don't get that freedom from Karate, etc. That's my opinion. 

The freedom one gets from expressing their muay. It becomes integral to your state of being, of who you are. Once someone discovers the difference of feeling of training, teaching muay thai as opposed to kickboxing, I believe their lives change. I might be rambling, as this is just coming straight from the heart. 

I enjoyed my Karate, Kickboxing etc, but I love muay thai. At least as I understand muay thai. My understanding is my own, and will be totally different to anyone else's.  They say this feeling can be achieved in other martial arts, but I never experienced that feeling. That's why I gave away karate.

When I go to sleep I dream muay thai, I think continually about muay thai and how it can benefit everyone. If I was the all,powerful emperor Ming, I would decree that it should be in every school's phys. ed. programme.

 

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For me it's simply relaxing. It's healthy (from a fitness perspective), and it just makes me happy. In a weird way its like a physical form of painting. I get to express myself through my movement and style. I also love the challenge of trying to perfect different movements and make things fluid.

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I just got absorbed by it. It's like this destructive super-passionate relationship I keep coming back to even though I keep getting hurt and the guy is a dick but all other sports I ever loved are friendzoned forever. 

Mainly I love being in the gym. Or having a gym to go to. It gives me a purpose and feeling of improvement even though work might suck or other stuff in life might suck.  

Muay thai allows me to get out of my head and into my body. I like the feeling of being sweaty. The sounds of someone kicking pads. I love the feeling of pushing through exhaustion. Of always hurting a little bit. The constant presence of pain makes me feel alive. 

I like the physical closeness in the gym, with other students, with the trainer. To discover movements and skills I practiced suddenly becoming available to me. 

I learn so much and I discover so many things about me and others that I could never have understood in any other way than physically experience it. I learn patience. I learn how good things and beautiful things are parallel to pain and frustration. I get the physical experience of hard work pays off. 

I learn about violence and I discover my own violence. 

And I really like gym when people don't talk much. When bodies do the talking. 

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I totally feel that destructive, super-passionate relationship thing. The way the very same thing that builds you up and makes you feel AMAZING, also tears you apart and makes you question everything you are. But the good times are sooo good, it makes you think the bad times are worth it. Basically, find something you love and let it destroy you. But not in the abusive relationship way, in the "you cannot possibly remain the same person through this process" kind of way. Destroyed and rebuilt, all the time. All the time.

I've never thrown myself into anything the way I've been consumed by Muay Thai. Not only is it my whole life, it's Kevin's whole life, too. Maybe it's not possible to answer "why" you're obsessed by something, because the answer is always the same, that you're just fascinated and enamored and it never dries up. I can't picture myself doing anything else. The frequently asked question of "what are you going to do when you stop fighting?" is fucking heart-breaking. It would be like meeting someone's dog or husband and asking them what they're going to do when the thing they love the most dies. I don't know... feels like the end of the world.

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I discovered Muay Thai about 4 years ago (I'm 29 now) but only really put myself into it 2 months ago, because I was scared of the risks, of the "Why da hell should I suffer so much if I can be in my sofa?". But now I am addicted to it. 

For me, every 2 hour Muay Thai training session is a way to rediscover my body, my sensations, feel pain so I can feel good afterwards. It might sound very "spiritual" and bullshitty, but that's what it is. 

When I practice Muay thai, do Sparring, I feel like I'm ressucitating. 

I've always been looking for my "passion", after reading "The Monk who sold his Ferrari", and Muay Thai just might be it. 

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hmmm, why do I do it....
First off: I'm a beginner, started at 35 (36 now) and right now I don't plan to actually fight. There is this fantasy about fighting in the back of my head though so well, we'll see if it ever gets to that point.

I have been fascinated by martial arts since I was a kid really. Wanted to start Karate which was pretty much the only martial art I knew back in the day haha but there was a minimum age for Karate so my parent's put me into Judo. Did that for a year or so but it wasn't for me so...

Took me some more years until in my twenties I finally started practicing an art seriously which was Pekiti Tirsia Kali after looking around what was available in my area and finding it interesting. My reasoning for starting was that I absolutely needed more exercise and taking up a martial art seemed to be a good way to connect that with a childhood love.

Later I noticed that training and sparring also helped my psychologically as well as physically. I felt better, was more confident, felt more confident to deal with opposition or obstacles. I guess this is when I realized that a big point of training was for me to fight myself more than others, to get out of my comfort zone and prove to myself what I can do.

Work interfered a few years later and I stopped doing Kali altogether a while later. another few years went by until I decided I wanted to get back into this kind of thing. I had gotten interested in stuff like MMA a bit and kind of felt I wanted to try a different art that was more in the sports-realm though I still love Kali. Muay Thai had seemed interesting for a long time and still had this traditional element interwoven with the sport-aspect. So I tried it out at 2 different gyms and started. I would like to get back to a level where I can do meaningful sparring again as one of my main points still is to work on myself and dealing with psychological problems I see in myself, learning to deal with direct opposition and difficult obstacles better and be more aware of my strengths as well as bring my body into better shape again. Also it is a great way of "getting out of my head" as LengLeng put it. When dealing with heavy everyday problems it was just super-relaxing to go to training in the evening where our coach had us smashing pads or whatever and I had a totally different set of things to think (or NOT think) about.

I am much more of a beginner though as the time since I started in Muay Thai may suggest as I have hardly trained the last few months. Lots of important "real live" stuff getting in the way. I keep talking about wanting to get into it and at least I still get at least some training in but I know I will get back into being more serious with it when I have a few things off my back finally.

 

Also have to say that I have quite a few other passions, too and their relative importance to me slowly fluctuates over the time of months or years. So far at least I haven't found just one thing that I can throw myself fully into without missing something else some day.

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I do it because I really enjoy it. I really regret not starting when I was younger, but nothing I can do about that. It keeps me fit, my flexibility is getting better, but mostly I think its learning new skills and seeing myself slowly improve. It also provides me with a connection to Thailand (I love it there, see). I’ve also really enjoyed learning about the history of it - reading up about all the golden age legends, then looking up their fights on youtube, studying them in Sylvie’s library. I’ve been able to get over to Thailand a couple of times this past year and train with some of them, which was amazing.

I think another thing that fascinates me about Muay Thai is how the sweetest, most softly spoken people you could ever meet have developed such an explosive and brutally effective martial art.  It’s all about causing the maximum amount of damage in the most efficient way possible. No fancy unifroms, no grading system, they just put on a pair of shorts, train real hard and fight!

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Because Muay Thai is breathing to me. Everything else is just drowning. 

There's a quote from Rosa Luxemburg that goes: "Those who do not move, do not notice their chains". In a similar fashion I wasn't aware I wasn't breathing before starting Muay Thai. The oxygen it gave me is my life-changing discovery - that and kitties.

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For that question, I love to use some adapted quote from an english author: 

“I fell in love with Muay Thai as I was later to fall in love with people: suddenly, inexplicably, uncritically, giving no thought to the pain or disruption it would bring with it.”

Meanwhile I'm training or furthermore studying it for some 1,5 years. Only! But it feels like ages! Honestly I don't see that violence point but what I see is pure art and beauty in the movements. When I talk about Muay Thai people tell me my eyes are shining! I'm fascinated and attracted by its precision, the necessity to stay concentrated in every single moment, the complexity of each move. I love getting deep and deeper into it, analyzing techniques, trying this and that, soaking up everything like a sponge.

Regarding the fitness aspects I can say I started at >85kg and meanwhile (after 18 months) reached some 63-64kg, I enjoy to watch my body develop, to experience getting stronger, see muscles becoming apparent. Sure that might happen as well with other sports but I was always an active person before but nothing attracted me like Muay Thai did meanwhile.

I'm just happy I "met" Muay Thai and enjoy every single training session!

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Everyone in my life always viewed me as a very peaceful person, until I went through some very trying times in my early teen years followed by a couple more in my early twenties. They revealed a rage inside me I didn't remember since I was an angry little kid. I guess I rediscovered an organic nature in me that I constantly hold back.

I still struggle with being too "nice" during my fights. I don't even really care if I win, I just want to find that organic emotion and let it out freely in an accepted way.

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I started to train Muay thai because I have been weight lifting all my life. I am pretty strong but a year ago I got into a fight with some one who had skills and got me into a gillotene choke. In the process of getting out of it using my strength I managed to flip him off me but broke my ankle, all three bones. he them stood me up and choked me out. I realized after that, I was fooling myself. I needed a better way to defend myself. I saw one of Sylvies youtube post and said this is what I need. at 57 years old I would never be able to kick really high like a lot of martial arts do. Muay Thai is something I can learn in my workout room with equipment I already have. and with Sylvies videos and Info. I am learning and feeling better about myself. Even if my wife thinks I am a little nuts.

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