The art of eight limbs, more commonly known as Muay Thai, is the national sport of Thailand. It is widely regarded as the most devastating and feared Martial Art in and outside of the ring. Each Thai fighter’s workout regime starts with early morning runs and four hours per day of training. It is hard work and dedication which all Muay Thai and Martial Arts fans respect. Legendary martial artist Bruce Lee once stated, “The individual is more important than any style.” Thus the key in any Martial Art is not how many punches or kicks one can execute, but rather how Martial Arts can help improve one’s life.
As a Martial Artist, I am thankful to have met and trained with some of the best Martial Art grandmasters and fighters in the world these men have given me a sense of purpose in life, and while I love my particular “style,” of Shin Do Kumaté I owe a great deal to what the art of Muay Thai has given me throughout the years. I have always believed that there are strong internal powers in the art of eight limbs that transforms someone both externally and internally. These eight powers are broken into three sections: physical power, mental power and spiritual power called “SHIN”. The physical power of Muay Thai is literally what it sounds like.
Powerful strikes, strong fighting stance, balance, effective blocks, a powerful shin-bone and the fighter’s strong physical fitness. The next two go hand in hand with one another. A fighter’s mental strength will greatly affect the fighter’s spirit. A fighter with a weak mind will not have the spirit to fight in the ring or deal positively with the everyday stresses of life. On the other hand a fighter with a strong mind and spirit can do amazing things in the ring and everyday life.
A great Kru or Master becomes like a father figure for many young up-and-coming fighters. When you see a young Muay Thai student in training, it becomes evident rather quickly how hard work and proper technique equals devastating striking power and how a good Master can create a strong and able student. I always emphasize when I teach Muay Thai to my students is “power, power, and power.” This kind of training makes you feel exhausted, but teaches my students how to strike hard and fight past their feelings of exhaustion. Fighters always say training is hard and fighting is easy.
The Art of Eight Limbs – Martial Arts Experience
As a Martial Arts master with over four decades of experience the most important factors in my opinion that make up Muay Thai are far more important for longevity in life, sacrifice, dedication, honor, loyalty and respect are the components that every martial artist, not just a Muay Thai student, should strive or have passion for on the road to a healthy and peaceful life.
Martial Arts has led me through each hard moment in life and with its teachings I was able to stay dedicated to my dreams and get to where I am today. A true martial artists dedicates his or her life to training the body, making it a physical and mental fighting weapon. One does not need to become a professional fighter in order to achieve Martial Art enlightenment. A dedicated student does not fall prey to the fitness fads we see in today’s society, and knows a strong body comes from hard work and a strong mind.
Being a Muay Thai or Martial Arts student is something very special that everyone has to understand. What I have seen in my many years of teaching is while Martial Arts and Muay Thai is an art that everyone can try and learn. Only some people understand the true culture behind the art and these are the people who go very far in their Martial Art and Muay Thai training.
There is a big difference between MMA and Muay Thai competition. Muay Thai fighters are more humble and respectful compared to many MMA fighters, who nowadays seem to grab the microphone and call out opponents like it’s the WWE.
Thus the journey in (The Art of Eight Limbs) Muay Thai starts with personal sacrifice, a sacrifice only the practitioner can make.