Evolve MMA: Muay Thai Classes for Complete Beginners
After an introduction to Evolve MMA and the various martial arts classes they cover (Boxing, Brazilian Ju Jitsu, Muay Thai, Wrestling, MMA, Submission Grappling, Self Defence, Yoga for MMA and FightShape), we decided to stick with a combination of Muay Thai and FightShape for the first couple of weeks till we get into the swing of things.
Beginning something new can be unfamiliar and daunting to the point you just don’t know where to start. Thankfully for us, Rachie and I are not doing it alone, we’re in this together.
We also soon realised that one of the perks of being a student in Evolve MMA is how friendly and humble in spirit the instructors and even fellow students are. It’s like one big family learning martial arts and progressing together.
You’ll be issued an attendance card like the ones we got which you have to collect from reception before you start your class. You’ll pass these cards to your instructors before class starts and they will initial off in the boxes to keep track of your attendance.
We’re currently attending the Level I (Beginner Only) and Level I classes. We recommend going for the Level I (Beginner Only) class and continuing with the Level I class to practice on technique a little bit more and to get familiar with the moves and train till you’ve got it into your muscle memory.
We noticed that the Level I (Beginner Only) class was much smaller as it caters to absolute beginners who are new to Muay Thai. Attending this class gives you more time to understand, learn and practice the moves with the instructors. You also don’t feel pressured to rush through the moves and you have more time to ‘process’ the technique. The Level I class is open to all students who have not progressed to Level II. Some of them are a lot more seasoned after practice so you may feel a little lost in it if it’s one of your first few classes! That’s our tip for all you newbies out there like us with two left feet and who can’t differentiate which left!
There are five parts to class:
1) Warm Ups
2) Run through of Techniques
3) Practice Time (Techniques on Bags, Padwork with Instructors, Freestyle on Bags)
4) Physical Training
5) Cool Down and Stretching
You’ll expect to do some stretches for warm up, run and sprint around the training area, jump rope for 5 minutes (oh bummer, jump rope is my nemesis) and basically work up a sweat before you get into the heat of things and into the lesson proper. One of the students (usually someone of a higher level or who attends training most regularly) will lead the warm ups.
Instructors will supervise the class even during warm ups and will be standing by with their stopwatches making sure everyone doesn’t slack off before the timer beeps to an end for each set. They will also shout words of encouragement in Thai accented English, because all the trainers we’ve met to date in class are Thai, and make sure everyone is okay.
If you’re NOT feeling well during warm ups, don’t be a freaking hero. Just take a break, get hydrated and get back to warm ups once you’ve recovered.
I personally had a dizzy spell on my first Muay Thai class. But that was only because I overexerted during the sprints (I tend to go really hard and not pace very well) and was a little dehydrated. So don’t forget to make sure you have adequate water consistently before class (don’t just gulp it down, slowly sip it leading up to class). I now take a banana two hours before class and have enough water just to make sure I’ve got enough energy to train effectively.
Run Through of Techniques
Once you’re done with warm ups, get ready to learn some techniques! You’ll be taught the steps to achieving certain Muay Thai moves from basic punches (left, right) to hooks, blocks and kicks.
Usually the Muay Thai techniques required for a combination of moves that will be practiced for the day is taught in “building block” steps. The instructors will start teaching and repeatedly going through the simpler punches and kicks before they go on to add on additional moves.
Now this is when things really heat up! The class is split into four groups to do a “circuit” of sorts and you get to practice everything you’ve learnt during the run through.
While this may not be the same every lesson, there is a certain structure we’ve observed to practice time.
Hone your Techniques & Get Correction with Pad Work
Instructors (and on occasion Level II students) will get you do do pad work. A demonstration will be done at the start of practice time on how you’ll be hitting and kicking the pads in a combination of moves (mostly a combination of techniques you learnt during the run through). One group will start on pad work first and rotate around the instructors repeatedly striking the pads. Instructors will also provide tips and advice should the technique need to be corrected.
Freestyle & Practice with the Punching Bags
During practice time you also move from “station to station” of punching bags. You’re supposed to practice different combinations at the various stations based on the instructions from the instructors. Instructors will be walking around and making sure students are getting it right.
There is also a station where you go “freestyle”. That’s when you get free reign to practice on any move you want, whether it’s your kicks you want to get right or a combination of moves.
It’s no joke for two beginners like us to get through the practice round but we know it’s for our own good that we push through to the best of our abilities and train our endurance with the punching bags.
Once you’re done with the stations, it’s time for some physical training. It’s some core exercises, push ups and jumping jacks. You just need to give it a little push here and build some muscles.
Cool Down & Stretching
Finally, it’s time to give yourself a pat on a back as the class ends with cool down and stretching. Before everyone leaves, the instructors actually take the time to introduce and get to know the new students in class, welcoming them with the rest of the class. You exit class literally with a pat on the back as each instructor shakes your hand and gives you a little reminder to return to class soon.
A little shout out to our ultra patient instructors, Kru Saknarong Sityodtong (Kru Ped), Instructor Yodsanan Sityodtong (Kru Jak) and Kru Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichok (Kru Rong). They really made us feel welcome in their class. While firm and calling for discipline when needed (e.g. when we started chatting during the demonstrations), they never made us feel intimidated and constantly gave us encouragement and guidance when they sensed we were lost amongst a class of seasoned Muay Thai students.
We’re attending Muay Thai pretty regularly now and are always looking forward to squeezing it into our schedules and I believe its because of the really conducive and encouraging environment created by our instructors. 🙂
Evolve MMA @ FES
26 China Street, Far East Square,
Evolve is walking distance from Chinatown MRT and just opposite Club Street.
Want to find out more about classes at Evolve MMA? Call +65 6536 4525!