Whilst I’m a bit of a pacifist at heart and wouldn’t want to tread on an ant, I had an energising session of punching, kicking, elbowing and kneeing some pads HARD – and I loved it! On my recent visit to the W Maldives, I practiced Muay Thai for the first time in my life, guided by master instructor Mark Angeles, a seasoned Muay Thai practitioner from the Philippines. We taped up our knuckles, donnned gloves, and started ‘sparring’ on the powder-soft, white sand. Whilst it was an exquisite, picturesque setting, let me tell you it’s one seriously grueling workout – the equatorial sun blazing down from above, the instability of jumping about on soft sand, the constant movement, the concentration around coordination, and the powerful twisting explosive movements… it all got me totally exhausted! Click more to see this little post on what I found to be the benefits of trying out this wonderful, ancient and war art!
After a good 30minutes exposure to the basic techniques (I didn’t even scratch the surface), I started to piece together combinations of wholly involving movements. Fundamentally you are standing throughout, using all your body parts as a weapon. Indeed, I learned that the discipline is known as ‘The Art of Eight Limbs’ which makes reference to the eight points of body contact that imitate the art of war. Whilst I wasn’t quite at this level, hands as used as swords (including jabs, hooks & uppercuts), legs and knees are the axe (high & low kicks, body kicks and head kicks), the shins are thought to be armour, and the elbow is a hammer! Brutal imagery, and indeed a simple YouTube search observing Muay Thai fights in Thailand makes UFC look sanitised and tame!