Muay Thai, also called Thai Boxing, is a specialized form of martial arts. It’s a whole body fighting style and often described as easy to learn but challenging to master. You may wonder how many years to master Muay Thai.
It takes about 10 years of consistent training alongside fighting experience to master Muay Thai. However, absolute mastery of Muay Thai is impossible as the discipline is ever evolving, and the possibilities of strikes and blocks are limitless.
Mastery of any discipline takes time, practice, and dedication and Muay Thai isn’t an exception. In this article, you will find a general guideline or path that many students of this form of martial arts follow. It will also discuss highly regarded championships given to the best Muay Thai fighters.
Muay Thai Levels
Muay Thai doesn’t have a belt or ranking system like other forms of martial arts. Instead, it relies on fight experience to assess skill level. Informally, however, someone who trains consistently can expect to fall within the categories below in the approximately stated time frames. Ultimately, training and fighting determine how many years to master Muay Thai:
This phase is about the first year of training. In the first six months, you focus on fundamentals. Here, you learn basic Muay Thai fight strategies, tactic techniques, and fitness. You gain competency with training gear and learn how to spar.
But sparring and fighting are very different. In the second half of the first year, you may be ready for your first fight if you have a solid training foundation.
Competency may take around three years. This level usually includes a half dozen fights, providing the fighter with the needed experience to further their fighting intelligence. Muay Thai fighting is the “art of eight limbs” as it employs the knees, elbows, fists, and shins.
Those who practice and train in this discipline must learn to use all eight limbs while effectively avoiding their opponent’s eight limbs. It requires extensive training and fighting to become competent.
An expert is one that has studied and trained in Muay Thai for seven to ten years. Fifteen fights would be a low number of fights at this level. Some fighters choose to expand their overall martial arts techniques to improve their Muay Thai skills.
If you’ve trained diligently for at least 10 years, you may be considered a Muay Thai master. Mastery in Muay Thai is such a level that others refer to you for knowledge. Masters continually learn more about Muay Thai; they may attend seminars or other similar events to keep growing their knowledge on the subject.
A grandmaster aligns with someone who teaches masters of Muay Thai. Grandmasters are highly revered amongst others in the community. This level comes after about 30 years of training, fighting, and learning this form of martial arts.
Muay Thai Championships
As mentioned above, the only way to master Muay Thai is through fights. While ranking isn’t consistent with traditional Muay Thai, there are highly coveted championship belts. Winners in respective weight classes receive championship belts to reflect their excellence in the sport.
The most prestigious Muay Thai championships are:
- Channel 7
- WBC Muay Thai
Rajadamnern is another Bangkok sports arena. The stadium offers twelve classes of championship titles. Rajadamnern is world-renowned and the oldest Muay Thai arena and Rajadamnern champions are the world’s best Muay Thai fighters.
Lumpinee Boxing Stadium is a highly prestigious sports arena in Bangkok, second in rank to Rajadamnern. It holds fights in 14 weight classes, ranging from mini flyweight to super welterweight. This stadium was built after the Rajadamnern and now symbolizes modern Muay Thai.
The Thailand championship belt is another highly coveted national title. Fighters compete for this title at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium or Rajadamnern Stadium. This championship belt boasts the colors of the Thai flag on its plate and strap. The holder of this belt is considered the national champion of the whole country.
Channel 7 is both a stadium and a national broadcast station in Thailand. Although the Lumpinee, Rajadamnern, and Thailand championships are of the highest esteem, the Channel 7 championship remains highly sought after. It’s common for Channel 7 champions to progress on to those three championships mentioned above.
WBC Muay Thai
The WBC or World Boxing Council oversees classic boxing, implementing rules and regulations. The WBC Muay Thai is simply the Muay Thai division of WBC. It holds championship title fights around the world. Unlike the other four championship titles, the WBC Muay Thai champions are more likely to be non-Thai.
Muay Thai is a form of martial arts that uses the whole body, an “art of eight limbs.” How many years to master Muay Thai depends on each individual, but 15 years is average. Fighters must have the dedication and consistency to progress to Muay Thai mastery.