So you’ve decided you want to take up Muay Thai or Kickboxing and you have begun to search for gyms near you. It’s exciting to try something new, but where do you start and what do you look for in a gym? If you are new to martial arts or the last time you look a martial art you were in the little dragons karate program, you probably have a lot of questions and are not sure which are the right ones to ask. So how do you go about finding the right Muay Thai gym?
What is your reason for wanting to learn Muay Thai?
Get Clear About Your “Why”
I suggest that the first thing you ask yourself is, “Why do you want to take up Muay Thai?” Take some time to sit down and write down your reasons. Do you want to lose some weight or increase endurance? Do you want more confidence? Are you just interested in self defense or do you want to learn to spar and have plans to compete in the sport one day? If you don’t have specific reasons that’s ok too, sometimes people want to start a martial art simply because they want to try something new. Maybe you know you should be active to be healthy but clocking thirty minutes on the treadmill at 24 Hour Fitness followed by a half-hearted trip to the free weights area surrounded by grunting people wearing headphones just isn’t doing it for you anymore. That’s a good reason too.
I hate being wrong. When I was a little girl if my mother was looking for a misplaced item, like the kitchen scissors and she asked me if they were in my room I would reply, “No!”, even if they were sitting in my desk drawer. Then I would pretend to help her try to find them, sneaking into my bedroom when she wasn’t looking to get them and then running to another location in the house and eventually proclaiming I had found the kitchen scissors in the bathroom and say, “Isn’t that odd? Why would someone put them there?”
My mother never called me on this tactic, but I wish she would have. It allowed me to continue trying to be right, even when the stakes were low. Let’s be honest, most of us love being told we have the right answer. We loved raising our hand and giving a teacher an eloquent explanation of the problem on the chalk board, and when we were wrong, it stunk. The class would giggle, we’d feel deflated, stupid, and embarrassed.
When I started coaching people in Muay Thai and became a personal trainer people asked me questions and expected me to have answers. It’s hard as a coach to say, “I don’t know, sorry” or “Let’s find out together!” It’s a shame that comes with being wrong and the burning desire to be right that cause people to look for a hard and fast answer to everyone’s problems.