David Mykel CliffHanger Academy Experiential leadership development learning Muay Thai NYC New York City LA Los Angeles

Muay Thai

Muay Thai is considered one of the most intense and aggressive forms of martial arts in the world, where practitioners use their body and mind to react as one. Historically it’s called an “art” as many students consider it moving meditation or full contact chess, where each move is strategic AND tactical. Also known as the Art of Eight Limbs it uses eight points of contact: the hands, elbows, knees, and feet to move in one fluid motion.

CliffHanger Academy has chosen Muay Thai to be a cornerstone program because of the mental, physical and spiritual connection (see supporting research below) it reinforces.

Experiential leadership development learning Muay Thai NYC New York City LA Los Angeles
Dallas, TX, Muay Thai Legends Camp

Benefits of Muay Thai

  • Transforms your body

  • Increases cardiovascular conditioning

  • Helps slow down the aging process

  • Enhances flexibility

  • Relieves stress

  • Increases mindfulness

  • Increases brain function

  • Increases sense of community

  • Increases self-discipline

Transforms your body
From head to toe, all parts of the body are used during Muay Thai. During training, we engage your head and neck, shoulders, arms, elbows, and hands, hips, thighs, knees, shins, and feet and especially your core. Muay Thai training boosts your body’s metabolism which helps you burn off unwanted fats and gain muscle. Because of the sheer pace of training, your body releases various toxins and waste built up, resulting in a glowing complexion. With only a few months of regular training, you’ll notice a leaner and meaner silhouette and love the way you look in the mirror.

Increases Cardiovascular Conditioning
I have participated in numerous sports throughout the years, from recreationally to division 1 in college and even pro. None of them have pushed my body to its absolute limits like Muay Thai. Being both aerobic and anaerobic, Muay Thai fully engages your cardiovascular systems with constant movement, increasing your heart rate, your lung capacity, and building endurance.

Helps slow down the aging process
Exercising, such as Muay Thai, has been shown to reverse stress’s toll on our aging process at the cellular level, according to a 2010 study from the University of California.

Enhances flexibility
In order to use all eight limbs effectively, you must be flexible. All of our Muay Thai regimens are built around increasing flexibility. You’ll gain flexibility in our training specific warm-up while doing drills and of course in our yoga cooldowns. Not only is this helping you become a better Muay Thai practitioner, but it’s also helping you live longer. Being flexible isn’t only important in Muay Thai, it’s important in life.

Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns, including obesity and metabolic syndrome — a cluster of conditions that includes increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels. Too much sitting also seems to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. CNN’s  Sanjay Gupta even goes as far as to say “sitting will kill you…” This is especially an important benefit for people who sit at desks for extended periods of time during their work day. Sitting in this position may feel okay, but it’s actually wreaking havoc on your body. Any extended sitting — such as behind a desk at work, watching TV or behind the wheel — can be harmful, says the Mayo clinic.

Relieves stress
The majority of us accumulate a fair amount of stress during the day. Having an outlet for that stress feels incredible and can transform your mental and physical health. Let’s face it when you’re stressed, hitting something feels good. Doing something regularly that detaches you from the daily grind helps you become a happier and more carefree individual. Muay Thai is a full body exercise that is based on movement, balance, endurance, power, strength, and flexibility all coming together as one cohesive unit. Exercise, like Muay Thai, has been shown to reduce stress by increasing levels of norepinephrine, a chemical that helps balance our brains’ response to stress. Additionally, aerobic exercise, like Muay Thai, has also been linked to helping treat a variety of mental illnesses, including depression.

Increases mindfulness
Muay Thai toughens you from the inside. It helps in boosting the immune system of the body, providing strength and endurance to muscles and clearing the mind. Along the way, you’ll gain self-confidence, and learn how to discipline the mind. At a spiritual level, it provides mental peace and relief from stress. Muay Thai also makes a person more self-assured and self-aware. Due to the fast-paced nature of the sport, you can’t worry and train at the same time. Practicing a martial art allows you to focus on yourself and nothing else.

Increases brain function
Training/exercising outdoors helps improve memory, boost creativity and wake your brain up with the same effect as drinking a cup of coffee and may even decrease symptoms of ADHD. Which is why during the late spring, summer and early fall, we train outdoors.

Increases sense of community
Muay Thai is also a team sport. As you advance, you’ll spar with a training partner to really unlock your abilities. Studies show that most people perform better on aerobic tests when paired up with a workout buddy.

Increases self-discipline
Muay Thai presents physical and intellectual challenges where confidence, mental and physical toughness is essential. Muay Thai is one of the few sports that helps discipline your mind, body, and spirit. In daily life, the present moment is a difficult place to live, especially with all the current distractions we have in our society, that’s why we use an experience that is built around keeping you present. Muay Thai forces you to focus on each one of your hands and feet as separate entities, while at the same time, calculating your next move and depending on your own strength and breath to keep you present and balanced.

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Experiential leadership development learning Muay Thai NYC New York City LA Los Angeles

One Week Self Defense and Confidence Building Workshop at an Orphanage in Oropesa, Peru,

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*All images are from CliffHanger Academy Experiences © 2005-2018 David Mykel