There is a growing martial arts trend around the world. More and more people are taking up martial arts for various reasons. Muay Thai is one of the increasingly popular options in the world of mixed martial arts. You may -or may not- be surprised to know that it’s not an adult-dominated activity. Even kids are training Muay Thai nowadays. But is Muay Thai safe for kids?
Muay Thai may be one of the toughest fight sports in the world, but like other martial arts classes that are targeted at young children, kids Muay Thai classes are designed to be kids-friendly. Muay Thai teaches combat skills that are good for self-defense along with positive holistic effects like respect, discipline, focus, and confidence.
Children in Thailand take up Muay Thai as a way out of poverty. Fighting is a career that kids take up from as young as 5 or 6 years old. Many of them start competing almost as soon as they start to train, making as low as 20-50 baht for a fight. The fight purse increases as they gain experience and by the time they turn professional at 16, they can make around 15,000 to 20,000 baht for a fight.
Outside of Thailand, Muay Thai is more an exercise than a career. The majority of people take up Thai boxing for fitness and recreational purposes. As combat sports gain popularity thanks to MMA promotions like UFC and ONE Championship, there are now more and more people training to compete including juniors.
Strikes to the heads are restricted in junior Muay Thai competitions. The young athletes are also required to wear protective vests and head guards. This is inline with other martial arts sports like Taekwondo.
Training to compete keeps young children motivated and disciplined as they are driven to do well. The junior Muay Thai scene is getting bigger each year. Amateur events like WTKA championships and Yokkao Kids provide young competitors with a platform to test their skills under guidelines and rules for safety.
Muay Thai is a healthy sport for the old and young. If you would like to read more about the benefits of Muay Thai for kids and how to go about finding the right Muay Thai gym for your child, check out the article here: “Muay Thai for Kids”.