Muay Thai kick in competition

Muay Thai Injuries

Muay Thai kick in competitionI got hit in the arm in muay thai from a hard kick that missed the pads. The downside of training as much as I do is that injuries are that much more difficult to deal with mentally.

Most minor and major injuries provide me with time and motivation (born out of frustration) to rethink where I stand, where I’m going, from high level goals down to the details of day-to-day training.

So, I started reading about injuries in Muay Thai (example) and realized that they happen a lot, more than with judo or grappling. In fact, that’s the fundamental problem with striking arts. If you want to execute the techniques at anywhere close to 100% intensity, you are going to deliver damage to yourself and/or your opponent. There is just no way around that. That’s partially why jiu jitsu and submission grappling is so effective at building great fighters. More than other disciplines, it allows you to train at 100% intensity with a minimal risk of injury, so you can train more often, for longer, and at full intensity.

Of course, when I talk about “risk of injury” I’m assuming both people have extensive experience in the sport and thus have clean, polished technique. For me, in Muay Thai, this is not the case. Arguably, the reason I got injured is that I don’t have extensive experience in holding the pads, and that in itself is an art. The cost of being a beginner in a contact sport is that you are going to have to accept injuries as you learn how to avoid them while amping up the intensity of regular training.

The key is to not let injuries deter you from confident full emergence into the dynamics of the sport. In Muay Thai, too many people seem to get injured, and then start flinching or hesitating every time they hold the pads or in sparring. I guess it boils down to being a tough, crazy, even stupid s.o.b. It’s the wrestling mindset of going harder whenever every reasonable part of your brain is telling you to quit, stop, go home and sit behind a desk reading a book of Convex Optimization or some such other mathy crap. I know I’m not that tough yet, but I’m learning it, and unlike many people that talk about this subject, I believe that it is something that can be learned. Of course, those people usually know a lot more than me, so my belief is on shaky ground, but that’s why life is a bitch.

0 thoughts on “Muay Thai Injuries

  1. Rob Mac

    Hey man, The injuries will fade once you learn proper technique and build up the areas that usually get injured. Not saying they wont happen at all, they will. You really have to keep your head about you at all times in muay thai, holding or hitting pads. theres never really any time to just assume things are going to go your way. My Kru also refers to a common injury area (your shins) as “cupcake shins” when you first start. Your body isnt made to be dealing that much force to anything particularly your shins, elbows, hands. But with time comes strength and confidence in using these as possibly lethal weapons. I could talk all night about this but I actually have to ride to training now. Next time your in class I wanna work with you some.

    Reply
    1. lexfridman Post author

      Thanks Rob. I’m still healing from the injury. I’ve been doing jiu jitsu or judo twice a day and constantly aggravating it. But I’d like to get back to Muay Thai soon. Maybe I can do a lot more bag work to get my technique up to par faster.

      Reply
      1. Rob Mac

        what you need is someone good to hold pads for you, no offense to Dan. You have to build up a confidence in your holder and yourself from it. You’ll see. Howd you feel the one time I did pads and kicks with you, good right?

        Reply
        1. lexfridman Post author

          Yeah, it was great. You went slowly at first, so it gave me a chance to fix obvious major errors quickly. Thanks bro.

          Reply

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