What to look for in a MT gym
I've not long stopped doing Karate, and have taken up Jujitsu. While jujitsu rocks, the instructor has made it clear that we won't be doing any striking practice (since we have no equipment), and suggested that I cross-train to keep working on my striking.
It seems that Muay Thai/Thai Boxing might a good option. So far I haven't visited any gyms, but when I do I want to have an idea of what are signs of a good (or bad) gym. Anything that comes to mind will be appreciated, as well as any particular questions I should ask the coach.
Really you've got to ask if their doing Muay Thai or actually modified kickboxing. It's neither here nor there but if that's what you're looking for you should at least know what you're getting into.
The things I look for in gyms are:
Do they compete?
You may not want to compete, but if they compete that means they're picking up new stuff ie. variations on techniques
Do the people who compete train with you?
It's great to have instructors who compete, but I want to train with the competitors. I may not ever be a world class fighter but I want the same training the competition team gets.
How often do they spar?
In striking classes I don't think it's absolutely necessary to spar every class as long as it's once a week and you get a lot of drilling each class.
On top of this, look for the equipment they use.
Originally Posted by ojgsxr6
If you're only doing it as a bit of fun then a sports hall with a few focus pads MAY suffice. If you're intending to take your training seriously, you'd be better off if they have punching bags (not just one) and other such equipment. If you intend to compete then you need a ring too.
I say this because lots of "gyms" around my area seem to be once-or-twice per week sessions in sports halls with a big bag of focus pads. Not optimal.
One other thing to look at is the quality of their instruction. Do they warm you up and then let you get on with whatever you want, or do they have a structured class?
The other stuff has already been mentioned, like equipment. For me, I personally look at the level of the students the instructor produces.
Has he produced champions consistently?
I also look at the techniques of the students. Does the instructor allow students to kick without pivoting their supporting foot, even though they've been training 6 months or more? Is he meticulous in correcting wrong technique? Stances?
Then I look at how well the students spar, are they competent and confident? Are they well rounded, or do they keep doing the same techniques?
A good class is typically heavy cardio conditioning, pad and bag work, high repetition of partner drills doing the same thing over and over again, and finally sparring (clinch and normal).
Thanks for the responses.
There's something else I wanted to ask: Are MT gyms just after competitive fighters? Is an instructor likely to put pressure on me to 'get in the ring', especially if he already has title holders and a lot of other competitors at the gym?
In my experience, the culture at a fighter gym will be different from one where fighting is not emphasized. You may not be pressured directly, but your training mates will ask you if you want to fight constantly. You might also change your mind.
In my experience, instructors who train fighters also give more attention to people who want to fight.
If your wanting true Muay Thai, then consider these 10 tips when choosing a good gym.
10 tips on choosing a muay thai school (from the OC Muay Thai school)
1. Make sure that they teach muay thai. Now this sounds ridcoulus but there are alot of gyms
out there that are really teaching kickboxing and are calling it Muay thai.
If they dont teach Punches, Elbow strikes, Knee Strikes, Kicks and clinch then its not Muay Thai.
2. Ask them if they clinch. And ask them to demonstrate it. Not just hanging on the head and calling it a clinch
3. Do you do pad work one-on-one with a trainer? This is very important. If a trainer doesnt
do pad work with you...then its not the real deal. This is a way that the trainer/teacher helps you develop your skills.
No and's if's or but's!
4. Thai conditioning...again a very, very important part of Muay Thai. Tire training, Heavy Thai Rope work, Road work, Knee body drills, heavy sand bag conditioning...if they don't keep looking.
5. Do they do elbow defense? Not just throwing elbows. If they don't...its not real thai.
6. All they show you is a low "thai kick" and some punching. This is not muay thai.
7. Do they teach throws, sweeps?
8. Do they teach ring strategy? After you develop your striking skills both offense and defense do they train you in ring tatics?
9. Do they teach the "Teep"(Push kick, Stomp)? This is a main staple of Real Muay Thai.
10. The number one tell tale sign...The Muay Thai Stance. If they dont teach it and dont make you nail it until you have it right. Then its not the Real Deal Muay Thai.
There are of course more...but these are just the absolute basics that will help you find The Real Deal Muay Thai training.
Muay Thai teaches throws and sweeps?
yes they teach sweeps from kick catches and there are some sweeps taught from clinching positions.