Traditionally known as the “Science of Eight Limbs,” the popular sport of Muay Thai is not only limited to the males. In fact, there are a good number of women seriously training for this ancient Thai martial arts to become true fighters in the ring and those engaged in it for the purpose of keeping their body in tip-top shape.
One major reason why a growing number of women prefer to do Muay Thai or kickboxing as it also known is because it works out the entire body. As one uses his eight limbs, it is one of the best cardio training that can help a person build and tone his muscles as well as shed off the extra pounds.
In addition to the physical benefits, females who train at a Muay Thai gym are also able to develop mental discipline, humility and respect. This means that as one gains knowledge about this national sport of the Thais, she also develops an understanding of the techniques involved and respect for other fighters.
Role of Women in Muay Thai
A researcher who studied the role of women in Muay Thai boxing said females who are training for the first time may initially find themselves feeling uneasy with the presence of mostly men in the gym. That’s a natural scenario, according to Anne Lieberman but one that she said should not discourage women committed to doing their training in this ancient martial arts.
Being a male-dominated sport, any woman can feel intimated initially while doing her training at the Muay Thai gym. However, this should not matter so much if one is bent on doing well in this sport.
Anne Lieberman also pointed out that with the trainings she experienced in Thailand and other parts of the world, she discovered a sense of community and warmth in the passion showed by people towards Muay Thai. This sense of community, she added, is unlike any other space and one that helps empower a woman trainee or aspiring fighter.
From a woman who’s trained in various martial arts since she was young, Lieberman stressed that Muay Thai teaches vital traits such as discipline, respect and humility. It develops in a person the ability to take on life’s challenges and come up with ways to hurdle them.
Muay Thai is known as the Science of Eight Limbs because one normally uses both hands, elbows, feet and knees to do the sport. Folklore has it that this national sport of the Thais is somehow linked to the country’s independence. Among the countries in the Southeast Asian region, only Thailand was not colonized by a foreign nation unlike its neighbors Burma and Vietnam.