I’ve recently been looking for a new mixed martial arts gym. The problem I’m having is finding a gym that has a Muay Thai program that teaches Muay Thai for mma. So far I haven’t had much luck. Every class that I tried out teaches a more traditional Muay Thai. Traditional Muay Thai relies on kicks to the body and most of the training is geared towards working on body kicks. When I was lucky enough to travel to Thailand to train at Fairtex I’d say that 85% of what they worked on and 99% of the instruction I was given was on body kicks.
The problem I have with this is that body kicks are pretty much useless in MMA. You might as well lay down and tell the guy to get in your guard because that is what will happen any way if you try a body kick in a MMA fight, you’re going to get taken down to the ground. Leg kicks on the other hand are something that every fighter needs to know how to do if they want to be successful. If you watch any MMA fight I’d say that 90% of the kicks thrown are leg kicks %8 head kicks and maybe…maybe 2% body kicks. So when I’m training to be a MMA fighter and working on my kicks I want to train 90% of the time on leg kicks. Most Muay Thai classes that I’ve taken rarely work on leg kicks. Almost every class I’ve taken has worked on body kicks for at least part of the class.
How are you going to learn to become a legit mixed martial artists if you are wasting your time on techniques that don’t work in a MMA fight. It seems like everyone who wants to open an MMA gym just thinks that they need to have a BJJ class a Muay Thai class and maybe a wrestling class, but very few of these schools teach these techniques in relation to MMA. Each one of these disciplines has techniques that don’t really work in MMA but at the majority of MMA schools you’re going to learn them. Hopefully once the sport has progressed a little more and the pretenders who jumped on the band wagon have faded away schools will start to teach people what they need to know to be a MMA fighter and only what they need to know.