All Sport One City: MUAY THAI
Looking to do something just for kicks? You Muay want to give this a Thai!
I was introduced to the beautiful sport of Muay Thai when Albert, Denise and Peter of WTM Muay Thai joined Sport Calgary on Global TV the week before the All Sport One City campaign commenced. They accompanied speed-skating legend Catriona Le May Doan of Sport Calgary, our Senior Director of Community & Sport Engagement, and Global TV host Jordan Witzel in inviting people to give the sport a whirl during All Sport One City (check out the media appearance here)!
As soon as Albert and Denise started punching and kicking each other, I knew this was a sport I wanted to try. What a great way to get an adrenaline rush, stress release and fantastic workout!
According to WTM Muay Thai, Muay Thai Kickboxing is a combat sport that originated in Thailand. It is delivered using various stand-up striking and clinching techniques. It is referred to as the "Art of Eight Limbs" because of the combination of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes that are used throughout.
When I arrived at WTM Muay Thai, I was pleased to see my colleague Catriona ready to try out the sport for the first time too. We were both very excited. To begin the session, we warmed up by running around the (very large) mat and following the orders of Albert, our class instructor and the owner of WTM Muay Thai. The directives included “jump,” “right hand down”, “left hand down” and “both hands down,” as we continued to run around the mat.
After warmup, we jumped into a circuit of various exercises including burpees, bag kicks, pull-ups and box step-ups. A short water break later, we dove into another circuit with slightly different exercises.
Once both circuits were completed, we started with kicks and punches. We were each given a set of boxing gloves for the session and shared two blocking pads. I was assuming that we would gradually learn each technique, starting off slowly, but to my pleasant surprise, Albert let us go at it right away.
We started out by punching the right pad 10 times in a row, and then the left. Quickly, we moved onto “1-2, 1-2, 1-2” combinations (continuously hitting the right and left pads). Once we got comfortable with punches, we added in right and left kicks, and eventually progressed to combinations of both kicks and punches. Our partners bravely held the pads for us as we completed our respective instructions.
There was a strong feeling of trust in the room from Albert and all of the participants. WTM Muay Thai takes pride in being “Calgary’s FRIENDLIEST Muay Thai gym.” This is very evident from the moment you are greeted when you walk in, right up until you leave the building.
By the end of the session, I was dripping sweat and incredibly exhausted. This traditional martial art was a much better workout than I thought it would be, but the best part – it did not feel like a difficult workout at all! I got caught up in the sport and never wanted it to end.
My arms are feeling more and more sore as I type this post, but I am already looking forward to having my friends join me next week! When I told Albert I was going to bring friends next time, he told me that the first class is FREE for anyone to try at any time!
WTM Muay Thai offers a variety of classes with room for progression at any age/skill level:
MUAY THAI FUNDAMENTALS
MIXED LEVELS MUAY THAI
INTERMEDIATE MUAY THAI
ADVANCED MUAY THAI
LADIES ONLY MUAY THAI
TEENS MUAY THAI (ages 13-16)
KIDS MUAY THAI
After attending four fundamental classes, you are cleared to move up to the mixed and intermediate levels. At higher levels, there are opportunities to get into competitive Muay Thai. This is a sport that will always have you progressing and eager to learn more. The coaches and trainers at WTM Muay Thai are highly qualified and SUPER friendly! They all do whatever they can to help you out and make you feel included.
WTM Muay Thai is located on the Currie Barracks, just off of Crowchild Trail. See map below:
Catriona and I felt very sore for the next few days, but we both agreed that it was worth it and we would do it again very soon!
I highly recommend kickin’ it into high gear and giving WTM Muay Thai Kickboxing your best shot! See you there!
Check out WTM Muay Thai’s website for class schdules and more information at https://www.wtmmuaythai.com/!