No matter where you go in Thailand, you can find a Muay Thai gym.
Muay Thai, or Thai boxing, is a competitive combat sport that combines stand-up striking with different grappling techniques. The national sport is easily one of Thailand’s most famous exports. So much so that people come to Thailand from all over the world to take up Muay Thai in the place it all started - including myself.
The health risks involved became evident during my training, with moves involving knees, shins, elbows, fists, and more. Here are some of my tips to stay safe before signing up for your first Muay Thai class in Thailand.
The most common Muay Thai training injuries
If you’ve ever watched a Muay Thai fight, you know that it is one of the most difficult and demanding martial arts out there. Muay Thai uses different parts of your body, from your feet to forearms, to your knees and elbows. It’s easy to see why Muay Thai fighters usually go through years of training and conditioning before they can become professional.
- I can tell you first-hand that injuries cannot be avoided, though I guess that is to be expected with any contact sport. When it comes to Muay Thai training, some of the most common injuries you should prepare for include:
- Ankle and foot sprain - You can easily twist your ankle or foot accidentally while doing pad work, running, sparring, or even general training. Make sure you do ankle and calf strengthening exercises to improve your strength and wear ankle guards to add padding to soft ankles. Treating these injuries involves a combination of rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE method).
- Bruised shins - You have to do a lot of kicking in Muay Thai, and fighters must condition their shins to block kicks, do roundhouse kicks, etc. Your shins are going to get busted up while you’re conditioning them, but they will harden up eventually. You can wear shin guards when sparring to prevent serious injuries in the meantime.
- Wrist sprains - Punching the bag at the wrong angle can bend your wrist in a weird way and cause a nasty sprain. You can also get a sprain if your hands are not wrapped correctly, which is why you must learn to wrap your hands properly. It’s important to give your wrist plenty of time to rest after injury, since it’s such a fragile body part.
- Stiff neck - Having your head locked by an opponent can put a lot of strain on your neck. Muay Thai fighters often have sore necks and, while it’s not preventable, stretching before every grappling session really helps.
- Bruised ribs - You’re going to get kicked, punched, or even kneed in the ribs at some point during a sparring or grappling session. While you can’t avoid this type of injury entirely, your body will become stronger against these strikes with time. Work on your defensive techniques to minimize strikes that connect.
Will my insurance policy cover injuries from Muay Thai training?
Any exercise you do comes with some risk of injury, especially if it’s a contact sport like Muay Thai. Whether your insurance policy will cover treatment for Muay Thai injuries depends on the type of coverage you have, though your insurance provider will likely accept claims for smaller injuries like a sprained ankle than more severe ones, such as broken bones.
You should have a comprehensive health insurance plan if you are living in Thailand as an expat. Getting injured on this type of policy makes life a lot easier since sports injuries are often covered on both local and insurance health insurance plans. Note that there’s a difference between training for or competing in Muay Thai. Training injuries can be covered in many cases, though injuries from fights usually won’t be.
If you’re traveling to Thailand for Muay Thai, you need to check your travel insurance policy since these plans typically only provide small benefits. It’s also unlikely that such plans will cover Muay Thai or other dangerous sports.
Also, think about what kind of facility you would like to go to for treatment if you need it. Thailand is known for its world-class private healthcare facilities, but you might only be able to go to a public hospital if you don’t have the right insurance.
Make sure you have the right type of insurance
A reputable insurance broker service can ensure you secure adequate insurance coverage that meets your needs. At Pacific Prime, we work with local and international insurance providers to help you find the best individual health insurance plan for your requirements. Whether you’re just in it for the exercise or plan on being a professional fighter, Pacific Prime Thailand always advises securing injury insurance for Muay Thai at the very least.
As an expert in the insurance industry, I’m more than happy to answer any of your insurance-related questions. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact our team at Pacific Prime.