This is an article that was written about Unit 2 Fitness’s Muay Thai class. You can read the article below or click here to see the full article on the Sunday Paper’s website.
By Colleen Oakley
“Muay Thai” sounds like a funky noodle dish served at Spoon. I love noodles. However, as I found out last Wednesday, it’s actually an intense form of martial arts that combines boxing with kicks to fight your opponent. A quick search on Wikipedia also told me that it’s actually Thailand’s national sport and is referred to as “the art of eight limbs,” because Thai boxers execute strikes using eight points of contact (fists, elbows, shins, knees), as opposed to the two (fists) in American boxing.
It’s also really fun to say (sounds like moy tie).
I had the opportunity to try Muay Thai at Unit 2 Fitness in Midtown. I was one of three women in a 12-person class and was definitely the only newbie—slightly intimidating. We started off jumping rope for about 15 minutes to warm up. Now, I’ve always considered myself a good rope jumper. I did jump rope for hearts in elementary school. I conquered Double Dutch on the playground (“Cinderella, dressed in yellow” and all that). I started skipping my rope, and when the instructor yelled “Faster. Faster!” I tried to pick up speed. Everyone else in the class was going double time and had a certain rhythm to their jumping. The instructor tried to show me how—and I admit: I was totally hopeless. “It takes practice,” he said kindly.
Finally, that was over, and we started shadow boxing, something I know how to do from my boxing experience. But Muay Thai shadow boxing involves kicks, too. I hadn’t learned those yet, so I stuck with my jabs, crosses and uppercuts.
Then we learned a combination of two blocks and a kick. We partnered up and practiced (lightly) on each other. After about 20 minutes, I felt like I was beginning to understand Muay Thai a bit more, though if I were ever in a real fight, I would stick with my first line of defense—screaming at the top of my lungs.
After technique work was over, the instructor announced it was time for sit-ups and push-ups. I was pleased—I’m pretty good at sit-ups. What he neglected to mention until the last second was that these were Thai sit-ups. In between each rep, a partner slams a pad onto your stomach as hard as he or she can. It was violent, a little painful, but it certainly made me do sit-ups faster than I ever had before.
At the end of class, I was pouring sweat and knew one thing for sure—I would never be going to Thailand. They’re mean over there.
I would go—but just for the noodles. SP