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October 30, 2022

The Ultimate Muay Thai Resource

Easton Admin

The Ultimate Muay Thai Resource

Known as the “Art of 8 Limbs” due to its use of punches, kicks, elbows and knees, Muay Thai is a striking-ring sport spiked with grappling techniques through the use of clinch and sweeps. Its roots, as the name suggests, originate in Thailand and predate the late 1700s.

At its essence, Muay Thai represents an invincible attitude stemming from self-mastery and heart. With Buddhist philosophy enmeshed in its Thai origins, Muay Thai supports the belief that each person possesses the potential to overcome any problem or difficulty. It trains us to gain control over our bodies and minds, thus gaining control over emotions and impulses through self-discipline.

Today, Muay Thai has evolved to become an essential component of mixed martial arts and continues to represent the expression of our fullest capabilities, both in body and in mind. The strength and beauty of the sport’s traditional roots underwrite Easton’s approach to our Muay Thai curriculum, including its prerequisite, Kickboxing.

Many of our students come to us from a boxing background and some aren’t initially interested in moving into Muay Thai. Maybe you’re not trying to punch anyone. That’s totally fine. You can stick with Kickboxing forever and stay in great shape; we once had a student amass over 1,000 hours in Kickboxing alone, going to two classes an evening.

Level up to Muay Thai

If you are here to grow into a Muay Thai practice, it’s helpful from the beginning to start approaching the discipline seriously and with humility. First, let’s clarify: you won’t be able to spar right away.

Easton’s ranking system carefully prioritizes technique and length of time training; part of valuing the art comes down to respecting the process and understanding that safety comes first. When you have leveled up, you must apply the same respect to the degree of honesty you keep with yourself. We will always hit walls along our journeys. Will you step up to meet the challenge?

[Get Started Training In Muay Thai]

Coach Sean Madden at Easton’s Winter Muay Thai Smoker 2023. Photo by Greg Streech.

“Many ‘martial arts’ are beautiful to watch and important to practice,” writes Sean Madden, Easton’s Muay Thai Program Director and Head Coach, “but not all necessarily make combat sports. These arts focus more on “katas” and repetition of techniques and movements; almost like choreography.”

However, combat sports are a little different.

“Along with beautiful technique,” Sean writes, “the goal is for both offensive and defense techniques to be battle-tested.”

And Muay Thai, he tells us, like boxing, kickboxing, and some forms of karate, is a combat sport at heart.

This means that to pressure-test these techniques, we need to face ourselves in a live setting. In order to see where our strengths and weaknesses lay, and what we need to work on, we need to spar

You’re going to have to hit people. And it’s going to be okay. Stay relaxed, leave your ego out of it, and make defense a priority. 

[US Muay Thai Olympic Qualifiers March 2022]

Coach Mike Phipps with Arielle Clark at Easton’s Muay Thai Winter Smoker 2023. Photo by Greg Streech.

Muay Thai at Easton Training Center

We’re committed to helping you reach your fullest potential. Our skilled and thoughtful coaches help you harness and control your energy, gain confidence on your feet and always come through with a full-body workout. From your first Kickboxing class to your first year of Muay Thai, they’re here to help you move through mental blocks, answer any questions that come up — like how to properly take care of your gear.

You don’t have to compartmentalize your training. There’s plenty you can do for your Muay Thai journey outside the gym. From working on your cardio and strength training, to balance exercises and – wait for it – active rest days, mindset matters most when it comes to training; the more you lean in, the easier its required rigor will become.

If you have access to a heavy bag, we’ve compiled a series of heavy bag workouts to try at home. By supplementing your regular classes with some focused solo training, you can continue to improve your technical work outside of class.

[4 Stretches To Try On Your Next Rest Day]

Progressing from Kickboxing to Muay Thai Yellow requires students to demonstrate consistent practice, technical improvement, and awareness of space and body. Once a student earns their yellow shirt, the doors of Muay Thai open for them.

Sometimes students come to us already having prior experience. If this is you, during your first kickboxing class, you can request that a coach assess you for clearance to Muay Thai. If they approve you for Muay Thai, your coach will assign you a rank after several more classes, based on your level of skill.

At Easton Training Center, we use a colored shirt ranking system with eight ranks which goes from white to black; the second shirt in the sequence, yellow, opens passage into Muay Thai classes.

Unlike Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with its IBJJF system, schools set their own rank standards when it comes to Muay Thai. These ranks highlight progression for students and set the bar of requirement for attending certain classes. 


Easton’s Muay Thai Ranking System

White Shirt

You’ve been attending KB classes for a month with us and have seen some of the fundamental attacks and defenses. You have a willingness to learn and we’re happy to teach you!

Yellow Shirt

You are now familiar with the Kickboxing curriculum and have learned basic stance, offense, and defense. Your conditioning has improved as well. You are now eligible for Muay Thai Fundamentals!

Orange Shirt

You are continuing to expand your tool box with new types of Muay Thai offense and defense. You are getting better at holding pads and working with a partner in the Muay Thai classes. You are now ready to try Intermediate Drilling and Sparring!

Green Shirt

Your overall Muay Thai game is developing and you are starting to connect the dots with technical sparring. Your skills as a pad holder have also increased! At Green Shirt, you are eligible to begin full-contact sparring as well as train for the Easton Muay Thai Smoker!

Blue Shirt

Blue Shirt means you are now Advanced! At this level, you are a proficient pad holder and training partner. You have started to hone in on your style of Muay Thai. You are able to work with partners of all experience levels and types! You are now eligible for Muay Thai Advanced.

Purple Shirt

You’ve developed your own style and understand the sport side of Muay Thai, from scoring to traditions and customs. This rank shows dedication and consistency, and typically comes after 4-5 years of study.

Brown Shirt

A brown shirt is basically a black shirt, without the time. You’ve shown technical expertise, conceptual understanding and knowledge of Muay Thai’s customs and traditions. Not only do you have your own style, but you can identify other styles and know how to neutralize them.

Black Shirt

You show an outstanding dedication and commitment to training and studying Muay Thai, and technical and conceptual expertise. After a decade of training, you’re basically a Muay Thai encyclopedia!

Want to try a Kickboxing class? Sign up for a free class at one of our eight locations!

Header photo and all photos in this article by Greg Streech. 


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