Muay Thai: Violence or Art?
Muay Thai, UCLU’s biggest martial arts club, has high hopes for the 2013/14 season.
As a niche martial art in the UK, Muay Thai is generally misunderstood as an aggressive sport unfit for girls and ‘non-buff’ guys to compete in. True enough, it is a difficult combat sport to master and will push members’ fitness to new heights, but President Max Wilson tells us the UCLU side of the story.
“I had no fighting experience previous to starting Muay Thai last year. UCLU Muay Thai helped me develop basic fighting skills and fitness quickly. I then went on to train in Amsterdam on the UCLUMT tour and Thailand with UCLUMT Master of Coin, Shaun Trussell.”
As with all sports at UCLU, Muay Thai welcomes participants of all levels, including beginners with no experience in any form of martial arts. Muay Thai encourages members to discover new things about themselves; an atmosphere positively bursting with energy means beginners advance quickly, developing both physical skill and mental discipline.
This year, UCLU Muay Thai hopes to change the face of University Muay Thai, aiming to get more girls into the sport and revolutionise the perception of the martial arts, to highlight the health, fitness and self defence benefits of the sport, and its place as an art form.
Max commented that people forget about the importance of respect and the beauty of form and technical skill, focusing only on the infamous power and energy involved in Muay Thai:
“We want to show everybody that Muay Thai is about finding out who you are as a fighter; your rhythm, your limitations and your strengths.”
Top female fighter and coach, Anna Zucchelli, has also been invited to train UCLUMT:
“It’s a great club. They’re helping to bring Muay Thai into the mainstream. I am loving helping to bring more girls into the sport”.
Maddie Webb gave Muay Thai a go last week and didn’t find it aggressive at all. “It was more calming and and no one there seemed aggressive anyway” but she did comment, “my legs were in agony for days!”
Ashraf Uddin (KO Gym) and Greg Wooten (KO Gym and UK’s #1 Muay Thai fighter) are other celebrities amongst UCLUMTs coaches.
The incredible talent of the more experienced members also deserves mention and UCLUMT is keen to demonstrate clinical technical skill and hard won endurance in a National Muay Thai University league, regular interclub bouts and in their exciting debut in the London Varsity Series.