More and more people are taking up Muay Thai these days. Some do it to compete while the majority does it for fitness and recreation purposes. So can you learn Muay Thai online?
Many people go to a proper Muay Thai school/gym to learn the martial art from a qualified coach. However, there are also some people around the world -perhaps like yourself- who may not have the privilege of easy access to an authentic or good Muay Thai gym.
If you are a beginner, someone who’s relatively new to Muay Thai or if you are looking to improve your Muay Thai striking skills, it is possible to train on your own at home. You will need 5 things to learn Muay Thai online:
- The right training gear at home
- A well-structured training program with detailed explanations
- A system that allows you to track your progress
- Regular feedback on your techniques
- Discipline and self-motivation
I will cover all five of the above points in this article with recommendations and share my personal experience. I have included links throughout the article so you can click on them to learn more details. So read on and find out how you can learn Muay Thai online.
The great thing about training at home is that you don’t need to try to impress anyone with fancy gear or exercise attire. You will need a pair of boxing gloves and comfortable exercise wear that will give you complete freedom of movement. Hand wraps (hand bandages) are also required to protect your hands.
If you are training alone, then the best training gear to consider purchasing is a heavy bag. A good-quality genuine leather heavy bag typically costs between 150-400USD. This is a good investment which can last you for many years of training.
Heavy bag training is one of the best ways to build power, increase stamina, sharpen your techniques, and perform alone. It’s the most reliable training method for those learning Muay Thai on their own.
Even if you don’t want to splurge on a good-quality bag, you can get an affordable one for under 100 dollars. I review the best heavy bags for Muay Thai training here.
An alternative to buying a heavy bag is a fitness gym membership. There is always a fitness gym around and most of them will have a heavy bag or two. So if you are already paying for a fitness gym membership, it is a good place to practice.
Weight training is also great for strengthening and conditioning which will contribute to your striking power. You might even meet a Muay Thai enthusiast at the gym to train with.
If you have a partner at home, or a friend that you can train with regularly, then it’s highly recommended to also get a pair of kick pads. Or even a pair each so that you can do partner drills more efficiently.
Do note that proper pad holding requires some practice to minimize potential injuries to the arms or shoulder joints for the pad holder. You can watch this YouTube video on how to hold pads correctly.
|Remember to check out my reviews before making your gear purchase to help you make your optimal decision.
Once you have your gloves and wraps ready, I recommend getting started with the basic techniques of Muay Thai. You do not need a heavy bag or specialized gear at this point.
Muay Thai basics are covered in some but not all of the online programs that I will review later in the article.
You can pick up the basics on your own and get briefly acquainted with the foundational movements of Muay Thai before enrolling in a proper online course. This way, once you sign up, you can get right into the training action. You can also think of it as a free trial.
YouTube is a great source of Muay Thai training materials and there are many quality Muay Thai vloggers who regularly post training videos on their channels. I would recommend spending a week working on all of the basic moves.
Muay Thai basics include stance (footwork), punches (jab-cross-hook-uppercut), kicks (roundhouse, low kick, teep), knee and elbow strikes. Here are the videos to each of these techniques:
Muay Thai Stance
The issue with YouTube channels is that there is no proper structure and no ease of navigating through the content. This is why I recommend subscribing or purchasing an online training course.
A good Muay Thai online training course has to be well-structured with well-defined goals and proper explanations. It is like learning Math or a new language or anything in general.
You start with the basics, practise, familiarize, test yourself, and keep building up layer by layer. You can’t jump right into a 10-hit combo without first knowing how to properly throw a roundhouse kick.
There are several Muay Thai online training courses available that are created by legit fighters and trainers. I have chosen to review 5 of the most known online Muay Thai resources. I will highlight their pros and cons :
Muay Thai Basic Techniques
Christoph Delp is a personal fitness coach, author and ex-Muay Thai fighter from Germany. Delp spent many years training in Thailand and collecting/creating Muay Thai training materials. He developed these materials into 3 books and a complete video course.
Delp’s books are the most comprehensive Muay Thai training books you will find. They are also the most authentic Thai-style Muay Thai training materials. For the video series, he has roped in top Muay Thai champions of the time.
The series is split into three separate video courses like his books. I will review the first which focuses on all of the Muay Thai Basic Techniques.
The basic course covers every single thing there is to know for a complete beginner to Muay Thai.
Each video covers a specific technique and comes with clear narrated explanation. You can practise each of these techniques with a partner or on your own with a heavy bag.
Most Muay Thai online courses are made on the assumptions that you are already familiar with the basic techniques. So this course is ideal for those of you who are completely new to Muay Thai or even martial arts in general.
Once you complete this course, you will be in a suitable level to sign up for the intermediate- or advanced- level courses which I review below in this article.
Another point that I would like to highlight is that the course is very professionally-made with the best video production.
Cost: The Basic Techniques course is priced at a discounted one-time purchase at $11.99 ONLY (usually $20.99) on Udemy. The course includes a total of 88 videos and a total run time of 2 hours 37 minutes.
Verdict: You can train alone or with a partner using Delp’s Basic Techniques course. I highly recommend starting off with this before moving on to the other courses on this list. This is the best video resource if you want to learn Muay Thai online as a complete beginner.
Nak Muay Nation
Sean Fagan, the bearded bald guy who often goes by the Muay Thai Guy, is the best known Muay Thai vlogger today. Fagan has a few US national titles to his name and continues to compete regularly in Thailand where he is currently based.
If you don’t know who he is, you will soon when you start training Muay Thai.
You can read my detailed review of Nak Muay Nation: Heavy Bag Blueprint 2.0 training program. The course contains over hundreds of hours of videos and covers techniques, combos, drills, nutrition and core training exercises.
In the Heavy Bag Blueprint, there is a 24-week program that you can follow. This provides a timeline to work on and track your progress.
Fagan is at every step of the way to provide explanations, giving context so you can appreciate the different drills and techniques.
Cost: The Heavy Bag Blueprint 2.0 is a one-time purchase at 297USD which is about 24.75USD per month if you use it over the course of a year, making it the priciest option on the list.
But for the amount of value offered in the program, I can touch my heart and honestly say that it is worth every cent or penny. There is a 50% discount offered from time to time which makes it an amazing deal!
Verdict: Get a heavy bag and the Heavy Bag Blueprint 2.0. It’s all you need to learn Muay Thai online once you know the basic moves that highlighted in the “Getting Started” section.
If you already have some foundational skills, this will take you to the next level in terms of your fitness, techniques and skills.
Liam Harrison Training
UK legend, Liam Harrison is best known for his hard low kicks and punches. He is one of the best Muay Thai fighters to come out of the UK and an internationally-known combat athlete.
He’s fought many Thai legends of his time including Saenchai, Singdam Kiatmoo9 and Anuwat Kaewsamrit. Harrison also appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast twice which says quite a bit about his success as an athlete.
In his training courses, Harrison doesn’t just show how it’s done but how he does it. These are actual techniques used with great success by a true 8x world champion.
This is a comprehensive program that will take you all the way to become an actual competitor in fight sports. The content is amazing and well-structured. It is clear that Harrison has put a lot of effort into making these videos.
There are 15 modules in total including low kick, southpaw, conditioning, clinch and many more. It is worth signing up for the beginners course alone if you are a complete newbie.
There are nearly 40 videos in the Beginners course that focus on all the ground basics that a beginner needs to know to progress and be ready for sparring.
Many of the drills show Harrison demonstrating with the use of kick pads and essentially a partner which is unfeasible for those training at home alone without a partner.
It would be more relatable to have some videos showing how you can practise these intermediate-advanced combos using a heavy bag.
Cost: Access to the training videos cost £11.99 per month or £89.99 for a full-year subscription.
Verdict: If you are already training at a gym under a qualified coach and looking to up your skills or compete professionally, Liam Harrison Training would make for a great supplementary training companion.
If you have a partner at home to train with, get a pair of kick pads and definitely subscribe to this.
Evolve MMA is a famous gym based out of Singapore. It boasts a coaching team of the most decorated world champions in the world, many of whom compete in One Championship.
I actually trained at Evolve MMA for about 2 years under multi-time Muay Thai champions like Orono Wor Petchpun, Namsaknoi Yudthagarngamtorn, Sam-A Gaiyanghadao, Kwankhao Mor Rattanabandit, and several renowned trainers.
With such a star-studded lineup, it makes perfect sense for Evolve to develop an online training course. The variety of content is diverse and professionally made. However, there is a lack of proper structure to take you from the basic up to an intermediate level.
Despite having the videos separated under headings like “Basic”, “Beginner”, “Intermediate”, “Advanced” etc., there isn’t much distinction between these sections. Many of the drills are also complex partner drills which is not feasible for those of you training alone at home.
Evolve University does stand out from the rest on the list with its huge collection of training videos for different fight sports that include Muay Thai, boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, wrestling, and MMA.
Cost: $9.95 a month for access to the complete Evolve University training videos (Muay Thai, boxing, BJJ, wrestling, MMA).
Verdict: This is your thing if you want the complete training suite with Muay Thai, boxing, BJJ, wrestling and how to put them all together in MMA. If you are already training at a Muay Thai gym, Evolve University is great to reinforce your learning.
Preserving the Legacy
Sylvia von Duuglaas-Ittu is an American female Muay Thai fighter and hardcore devotee to the sport and culture of Muay Thai. Based in Thailand for the last 8 years (since 2012), she has fought more than any other foreign fighter with over 200 fights to her name.
During this period, Sylvia started a Patreon page as one of the ways of funding her fighting career in Thailand. Preserving the Legacy is an ongoing documentary project (Muay Thai Library) where she learns directly from the best fighters and trainers in Thailand and documents the training sessions.
Besides videos about Muay Thai techniques (with audio commentary), there are interviews with Thai legends (with English subtitles!), commentaries on golden-age fights, and more.
Preserving the Legacy works a lot like a YouTube channel with tonnes of great information. However, it does lack proper structure of what a training course entails that would benefit a beginner.
On the other hand, if you are looking to learn in depth about a variety of techniques and tips from Muay Thai legends, then Sylvia’s Muay Thai Library is a priceless resource.
Cost: Preserving the Legacy is accessible with a suggested monthly pledge on Patreon of just $5. You can also pledge as low as $1 with limited access to the content.
Verdict: This is for you if you want to be a part of Sylvia’s mission in preserving the legacy of traditional Muay Thai. It is a worthy cause and I highly recommend supporting Sylvia’s documentary project.
While the in-depth content is honestly enriching, it is not immediately applicable for beginners in building their foundation. But if you consider yourself a true Muay Thai fan, this is a mandatory subscription.
Going to train at a gym is the best way to learn as it involves having someone demonstrate the techniques and give you instant feedback on your form.
When you train on your own at home, it is thus important to get feedback from more experienced Muay Thai enthusiasts. Joining a Facebook group is the way to go.
Not all Facebook groups are the same. There are some that are full of trolls and negative people and comments. You do need a positive and supportive community in your journey training alone.
I have found Nak Muay Nation – Online Academy to be a warm and supportive community.
The key reason for joining a Facebook group is to receive feedback on your progress. You can take videos of your bag workout or shadow boxing and post them in the group. If you ask nicely for feedback, the group members will chime in.
It’s important to take their comments constructively, and work on improving your techniques.
The benefit of training with a coach is having someone to push your limits. The fastest way to improve is by constantly challenging yourself. If you aren’t deeply passionate about Muay Thai or anything in general, it can be difficult to be self-motivated.
One of the best ways of staying motivated when you train is by watching fight clips, highlights or training motivation videos. Another way is to work out a weekly schedule and stick to it.
I train about 3 times per week and 1½ hours each session. This excludes running and strength training. Life can be unpredictable and things may crop up but it’s important to have a schedule and keep to it best as you can.
Muay Thai is nothing more than constant training, repetitive actions and pushing your limits. Stop chasing shiny objects, stick with one training program, keep to your schedule and train as hard as you can.
Sparring is an important part of Muay Thai training. This is the only element missing when you learn Muay Thai online from your home. You are lucky if you have a partner or family member who has the same enthusiasm in learning Thai boxing.
The majority of people who train at home do not and so practise alone. So here are your options:
Depending on where you are from, there may be communities of like-minded individuals or groups of friends who come together to train.
If your financial situation allows for it, you can consider supplementing your learning with annual trips to train in Thailand. Such Muay Thai vacations are very popular as you get to learn true Muay Thai in an authentic environment with experienced trainers & fighters.
You will learn and make great improvements in a short amount of time with training vacations. That’s why I make about 1-2 training trips to Thailand every year.
Sean Fagan (Nak Muay Nation) runs training camps every year to locations like Thailand, Greece and Costa Rica. It is worth signing up for these camps as you get to learn from an experienced fighter, train with other like-minded Muay Thai fans and spar with them.
You can learn anything, anywhere as long as you put your mind to it. I have listed all the necessary resources and ways for you to train Muay Thai even from home. I do recommend going to a Muay Thai gym to train under a qualified coach where possible.
But if the situation doesn’t allow it, you have all you need right in this article to do it on your own. Let’s do it!