Muay Thai Training in Hoi An
I never thought of myself as much of a fighter – I’m more the airy, pacifist type who prefers yoga and meditation over throwing a punch. But when a coach recommended martial arts as a spiritual tool to expend pent-up energy (specifically, ‘supressed anger’), I decided to take a class at Hoi An’s Muay Thai gym and discover the benefits for myself.
Muay Thai is a martial arts sport and the national sport of Thailand. It’s often referred to as the “Art of Eight Limbs” due to the diverse use of body parts, including punches, kicks, elbows, feet and knee strikes. Known for its unique combination of simplicity and power, it’s quickly growing popular among locals and expats in Hoi An as a great way to tone up, build strength and de-stress.
The Trainers and the Training
Launched in June 2018, Hoi An Muay Thai, is a humble, family-friendly gym that’s centrally-located on Hai Ba Trung. Students learn traditional Muay Thai in a professional but laid-back setting with coaches, Rob and Miguel, who have fought and trained in Thailand.
Rob, a certified personal trainer from Sweden, is known for his ability to relate proper techniques to his students in a simple, straightforward way. His fighting style is influenced by both Muay Thai and kickboxing. Whilst Miguel from Chile is a professional Muay Thai competitor who has fought and trained in numerous countries, including once fighting in a nationally televised event in Thailand. He aims to get the best out of his students and his style is straight Muay Thai, with no backward step.
In my first lesson (newbies get a free trial class), I’m taken through the basic techniques and form, alternating between working one-on-one with an instructor and practicing on a punching bag. My lack of fighting experience is immediately evident in my flimsy excuse for a kick and repeated failure to register incoming punches, my coach Miguel is encouraging (albeit tough), correcting my mistakes without making me feel even more pathetic.
As the lesson progresses, Miguel challenges me, drilling me on my strikes (punches) and footwork until I get it right. I silently pride myself at the end of the lesson for not being a total shattered wreck, and pat myself on the back for finally learning to dodge a fist (leisurely coming my way).
If like me, your workout routine usually relies on something a bit more mellow like yoga (or a rigorous sprint to the fridge for dessert), then you can also unroll your mat in the gym’s yoga or strength and conditioning classes, held on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Both modalities are thought to be perfect complements to Muay Thai training and can help prevent injury and promote recovery.
The Wash Up
It wouldn’t have occurred to me that Muay Thai could be an excellent way to get grounded and find your zen, but it turns out that meditation can take different forms for everyone. By the end of my first session, I’m convinced of its calming effects and would recommend it to anyone searching for a healthy outlook for their stress (or repressed anger).
Sessions are just 100,000vnd each or 1,000,000vnd for a monthly pass. All equipment and gear are provided. For the current schedule refer to Hoi An Muay Thai’s Website.