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Benefits of Muay Thai

Learning to be Calm in Combat

Martial arts, in particular Muay Thai, is a fantastic physical and psychological preparation approach for military members. The high intensity training, the all-action combat style and the varied nature of the sport means the physical and mental demands keep you in excellent shape.  You’ll be better prepared when it comes to unarmed combat training. Plus, Muay Thai is a great way to cross train for excellence in the ACFT. There are many benefits of Muay Thai for soldiers and civilians alike.

Any soldier knows that your ability to stay calm in combat can quite literally be the difference between life and death. Bad decisions made during contact with an enemy can have devastating consequences for you and your fellow soldiers. A soldier can help to mentally and physically prepare himself or herself for service by learning a martial art.

Martial arts have many crossover benefits for soldiers. In this article we will see how one of the multiple benefits Muay Thai practice, including to teach a solider how to be calm in combat. 

We’ll break down some of the mental aspects of martial arts and how they are similar abilities and skills to those needed by a soldier on active duty. By the end of the article you’ll really appreciate the similarities between martial arts and military service.

Soldiers and Martial Artists Think Fast

Fast thinking is a useful skill to possess in all walks of life, but especially so when engaged in any form of combat. The ability to make good decisions while under pressure is fundamental to combat. This includes assessing situations, planning actions within the context of a wider battle plan/tactical approach and executing effectively.

One benefit of Muay Thai is learning to think fast. The Muay Thai ring is the perfect place to learn a lot of these skills – if you get them wrong, your body will be punished. You won’t make the same mistakes again, but you learn without putting your life at risk.

Soldiers and Martial Artists Think Tactically

An army or fighter entering combat without a plan is sure to lose. Tactical thinking is a skill in itself, because it allows you to draw up an approach based on often limited information. A battle or fight is a very fluid environment.  Situations can change within an instant so you need to have a plan to minimise risk while maximising reward. Tactical thinking will almost always minimise danger and improve your chances of success.

A tactical plan will typically pit your strengths against an opponent’s weakness. Tactical thinking does away with ego. There’s no place for ego in any form of combat. One of the most important attributes a fighter or soldier can possess is humility.  Without humility you can end up in a very dangerous position.

Muay Thai Teaches Use of Weaponry

Muay Thai is also known as ‘the art of eight limbs.’ Unlike other combat sports such as boxing and wrestling, in Muay Thai you are also allowed to use elbow and knee strikes. This gives you a wider arsenal of weapons at your disposal. One of the benefits of Muay Thai is that you learn to use your whole body.

As a soldier you have to make combat decisions based on weaponry – think of the right tools for the job. If a fighter knows his most effective weapon is an elbow strike, he’ll try to engineer a situation whereby he can deploy his most effective weapon.

The same is true for a soldier.  With an arsenal of weapons at his disposal, he’ll have to decide on the best tool for the job at hand. This can make him adapt his approach in battle. Soldiers who are most effective use the right weapon for the right fight.  Ideally this will bring the fight to a quick efficient end. You don’t get paid overtime in battle.

Muay Thai Teaches Spotting and Taking Opportunities

In a fight, you may notice your opponent has dropped his guard. Observnt martial artists see this as an opportunity to land a fight-ending attack. This way of thinking, spotting and taking advantage of opportunities is what separates the winners from the losers in many cases.

In battle you may notice your enemies are unprepared, are unguarded and have left you with an opportunity. Unless you are ready, willing, and able to strike the opportunity may be lost. 

Learn to Assess an Enemy

In combat you have to be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses. You  also need to assess those of the enemy you’re facing. Plan your tactics to take advantage of an opponent’s weaknesses while you protect your own.

In combat you may even have to assess your opponent in the live battle arena. Spending time in the ring helps you to sharpen those skills ahead of the time you’ll need them on the battlefield. Being self-aware enough to understand what you’re good and bad at will teach you to make rational decisions around when and how is best to attack and when to retreat. It’ll also teach you how to attack and how to defend yourself.

Stay Calm in Combat

Both new and seasoned soldiers can benefit from Muay Thai and the skills of staying calm in combat.  The military changes your way of thinking, acting, your discipline, and your general approach to life. Adding Muay Thai to your exercise routine will keep you physically strong, keep you battle ready and help you maintain calm in combat. 

Thanks Darren for this great article on the benefits of Muay Thai for Army Soldiers! At we love providing great fitness content for military members. Follow for updates on the ACFT and more health and wellness tips!

Author Bio

Darren Mitchell is a Muay Thai enthusiast and writer for the Best Muay Thai blog. He has trained for several years at gyms all over the world alongside some world-renowned fighters and coaches.