Thai boxing, or ‘Muay Thai’, is rapidly gaining popularity across Canada for a whole host of reasons. It is not only a popular option for mixed martial artists (MMA), it’s a great way to keep fit while learning useful skills. Muay Thai is still widely misunderstood and many myths have been created around this Southeast Asian strand of martial arts. Here we will examine the four main myths out there about Muay Thai classes for kids.
Myth #1. ‘Muay Thai Encourages Violence’
It’s understandable why this myth persists. Muay Thai involves not only punches and kicks but the use of the knee and elbow too. Surely this encourages kids to harm others? In fact, the development of Muay Thai has been heavily influence by Buddhism. As a martial art, Muay Thai emphasizes the importance of respecting elders and only using physical strength as a last resort. Kids who attend classes constantly have self-control drilled into them and are likely more aware of their own strength than their peers.
Myth #2. ‘It’s Dangerous Letting Kids Punch Each Other’
Young kids should always be protected from any activity that may cause their body, and especially their head, significant trauma. Their skulls are still forming and should not be subjected to any sharp blows. Knowing this, it’s easy to see why parents would avoid sending their kids to Muay Thai classes. The truth is that very young kids will never fight each other, not even with pads on and are explicitly told not to direct any blows anywhere near the head area. Young kid classes involve stretching, exercises and many games – very different from what many people believe. Many classes let parents join free, why not attend one yourself and dispel this myth?
Myth #3. ‘Martial Arts Classes Are For Kids That Aren’t Too Bright’
We all know where this myth comes from. The hoards of fiercely pushy ‘tiger-moms’ as author Amy Chua described them are too busy taking their kids to extra violin classes or math tutors to bother with martial arts, right? Wrong! Muay Thai actually promotes and fosters a whole range of skills that stand kids in great stead at school. Kids are taught to listen better, sit attentively for longer, set goals and work towards targets more effectively. Although Muay Thai seems like a non-academic pursuit, it builds a host of attributes and qualities that improve kids academic grades.
Myth #4. ‘Kids Who Do Muay Thai Don’t Respect Anyone’
Muay Thai training will teach your kid all about the value of age, rank and experience. This is a hallmark of Thai customs and traditions. Thai kids are taught to defer to age, experience and authority at all times. If you have never visited a beginner Muay Thai center, you may believe that respect is gained through fear where fighters can intimidate those of a lesser rank. In fact, students are taught that they are worthy of teaching others as their skill levels progress. They are very respectful of parents, teachers and those in authority positions.