Who in America knows the Real Muay Thai?
The Muay Thai community is slowly growing within the United States. Most martial arts schools you will go to which have opened up recently have implemented Muay Thai into the programs as a way to attract students.
There’s no doubt in my mind, this trend will continue as we move in 2015 onward. Just look at the prevalence of the art throughout MMA. So what is to become of the quality of the art? Read on.
Thailand is the Hub for the Secrets of Muay Thai…These Secrets Have Only Yet Trickled Out of the Country…
In regards to Muay Thai, Thailand has the luxury of having authentic fighter gyms in almost every town of the nation, smaller than the size of Texas. Thus, Thailand is the ‘mecca’ of Muay Thai for the world. Within this country lies the treasures and secrets of the art, slowly trickling out to the world, but still relatively untapped.
In Thailand exists an Official Curriculum for Muay Thai – You can even get a pHD!
Dissecting that statement a little further, what’s missing in the States at this current moment in time is a official ‘curriculum’ (I hate that word). There isn’t any sort of official reference to the foundation of what Muay Thai is based on. In Thailand, the art is broken down into basic fundamentals which all gyms at least have a working knowledge of which have been named. These include but not limited to “Mae Mai”, “Luuk Mai”, and “Khon Mai”, fundamental of the art which all practitioners there know. In Thailand, you can literally get a pH D in Muay Thai! (Imagine majoring in that at your local Ivy League!)
Instructors Who Have Taught for 30, 40, 50 Years Throughout Thailand are the Source of these Secrets
This sort of official understanding of the art hasn’t even begun to trickle over to the States except for a few hardcore practitioners of the art. Moreover, the sport thrives because of the massive amount of knowledge and experience. Just as the States is a hub of some of the great NBA coaches in the world, such is the case in Thailand.
Practitioners who’ve trekked to Thailand to bring back the art are doing their best – but it ain’t the same!
There are literally coaches “Kru”, throughout the country who have devoted the past 30, 40, even 50 years to teaching and instructing fighters. No such coaches exist in the States (to my knowledge) except for possibly one or two. The best Muay Thai Instructors here have mostly been passionate practitioners who have trekked over to Thailand to immerse themselves in Muay Thai so they could bring it back and teach. They are doing their best to bring the art to your hometown but it still doesn’t replace that sort of immersion.
There’s Money To Be Made in the States – And That’s Going to Cause a Muay Thai Explosion Here
As popularity in Muay Thai explodes across the world, I can see these Thai trainers and instructors making their way overseas without a doubt. While there are international border laws preventing this from happening right now, hey…at the end of the day, nothing has ever stopped a movement from happening as long there was a lot of money to be made!
Modern Day Technology will be Key in Translating the Art Over to the States
Also, (and this is some speculation here but just bear with me!) in the future, at some point, the official art will start to make it’s way over here in the form of text, books, translations of the ancient art which has been limited to only a Thai translation to this day.
What to expect? An explosion of legitimate Muay Thai gyms…vicious and technically proficient fighters from the US, and the art hitting the mainstream of the sports world in the States (as a standalone outside of MMA). You’ll start to see gyms run by Thai trainers who have made their way over here. If you’re into Muay Thai and live in the States…be excited…the future is a bright one.