Muay Thai 101

Frequently Asked Questions

I'm a beginner. What do I need to know or bring for class?

You don't need much to come to your first Muay Thai class. We have loaner gloves. Water bottles are available for purchase (cash). Class is done barefoot on the mats. You may wear socks if you are more comfortable. Anything you would wear for your gym workout works at a Muay Thai gym too.

If you decide to sign up for more classes, you should consider buying a pair of boxing gloves. You may also want to purchase hand wraps to protect your knuckles and wrists. As you progress and start to spar, you should consider buying a mouthguard and shin guards. Muay Thai fighters train in Muay Thai shorts, which we periodically sell, made to order embroidered with your name and Kaensak's name. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to wear Muay Thai shorts to class.

What is Muay Thai?

Muay Thai (มวยไทย) is Thailand's national sport and translates into Thai Boxing. Also known as the "Art of the Eight Limbs," it was developed and perfected for war over 700 years ago so that warriors could defend their homeland. There were many styles cultivated from different tribes, including the style of Muay Boran. Royalty also practiced the art form; several Thai kings were responsible for popularizing the sport. In the past century, gloves, referees, rounds and time limits were introduced to modernize the sport. The fabled Rajadamnern and Lumpinee Stadiums were built and opened in the mid-1900s, revered and treated as almost like the “holy place” of Muay Thai. This surge in popularity would continue on in the following decades. Since the sport has grown massively in popularity, more people than ever before were practicing it. What this means was that the talent level of the fighters also grew exponentially. It all led to the coming of the so-called “Golden Age” of Muay Thai. This period lasted roughly from the early 80s to the late 90s.

Muay Thai is regarded around the world as the most effective striking discipline. In recent years, the sport has also opened up greatly to women. This beautiful martial art and combat sport from Thailand is rising to become the primary striking art in the world. In 2016, Muay Thai was granted provisional recognition as an Olympic sport. If committee executives vote to fully recognize the sport, we might even see Muay Thai in the Olympics in 2024.


Kaensak demonstrating a basic Muay Boran technique called Mon Yan Lak

Wai Kru

The Wai Kru Ram Muay is a Muay Thai ritual in which students show respect and gratitude to their teachers, their parents and ancestors, the crowd, their opponent and the art of Muay Thai itself. Ram is the Thai word for “dancing” in the classical style, and Muay simply means “boxing”. Literally then, this is the dance of the boxers, or boxing dance. This involves dancing in each direction of the ring, approaching and touching the corner posts with a prayer and showing respect to the opponent and spirits. During ancient times, Wai Kru was a way to get closer to the gods and gain their blessing in the arena as well as on a battlefield.


Jamal near the end of the Wai Kru performance about to face his opponent


Focused and taking in the energy of the ring


Jamal making his way around the ring


Mariah performing Wai Kru