Muay Thai Kickboxing

Muay Thai is recognized as the most devastatingly effective striking combat sport on the planet today. Known as the “science of 8 limbs” for its use of punches, kicks, elbows and knees, ironically Muay Thai’s birth was nowhere near the boxing ring. Dating back to the 1500s and originally intended for the Thai military, Muay Thai’s history is centuries old and built around warfare with sword, spear, bow and arrow. In the event Thai soldiers lost their sword or spear during the melee, the weaponless training of Muay Thai ensured they would still be able to fight.


Having engaged in numerous battles with each other over time, the troops of then Burmese King Hsinbyushin overran the Thai capital of Ayutthaya in 1767 and took many Thai civilians and soldiers prisoner. The reputation of Thai soldiers as great fighters was well known, and King Hsinbyushin wanted to see how the Thai boxers fared against his own soldiers who practiced Burmese Lethwei (Burmese boxing). A Thai soldier named Nai Khanomtom was selected to battle the Burmese champion. Khanomtom defeated the Burmese fighter easily but his victory was blamed on his pre-fight dance (wai kru) that supposedly mesmerized the Burmese soldier. King Hsinbyushin then challenged Khanomtom to fight nine of his champions and, as the legend goes, they were defeated one after the next. With these victories, the Burmese king granted Khanomtom his freedom. He returned to Thailand a hero and is considered the father of modern day Muay Thai. Since that time, Muay Thai has continued to grow, becoming the national sport of Thailand and a sophisticated combat sport respected across the globe for its devastating effectiveness.
Where Japanese martial arts were brought to America by military personnel returning from military service in Japan during WW2, Muay Thai was first brought to America in 1968 by an authentic Thai boxer. After retiring from professional fighting in Thailand, Ajarn (master) Chai Sirisute moved to America to spread the word of Muay Thai. The introduction was not easy and Ajarn Chai found himself fighting many challenge matches to give Muay Thai a footing in the U.S. One of his early students was a man named Dan Inosanto, protege of Bruce Lee, who helped Sirisute put Muay Thai on the martial arts map in America. Over the ensuing decades, Ajarn Chai has trained martial artists, law enforcement and military personnel. He was also the pre-season conditioning coach for the Dallas Cowboys in their heyday under head coach Tom Landry.
In addition to its superior physical conditioning and “real world” effectiveness as illustrated with the examples above, Muay Thai’s simplicity and ease of learning belie its brutal effectiveness. These are some of the reasons people are drawn to the “science of 8 limbs.” It is the perfect complement to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for MMA fighters, defensive tactics for law enforcement / military personnel and top notch fitness plus street self defense for ordinary citizens. So whether you want to get in shape, compete or have fun training with your friends, the Muay Thai program at 5 Star Martial Arts, the finest martial arts academy in Los Angeles, will get you there.


The Journey

Not knowing if you’ll do well at an activity can make finding a new one a bit nerve wracking. And not knowing what kind of people you’ll encounter when you arrive can also be troubling. Given the preconceived notions many folks have that martial arts are only about fighting, this concern can be quite strong. These concerns are not completely unfounded since many schools make you feel like you’re walking into a shark tank. But at 5 Star Martial Arts we applaud the courage it takes for someone to walk into a martial arts school for the first time and accept the mental and physical challenges. Our friendly staff and students welcome new people with such big smiles and helpful attitudes you will feel at home from your first step in the door!

Following these early nerves there is also the initial learning process which, when you’re new, can be confusing. Luckily, the teaching approach we take at 5 Star turns the sometimes frustrating beginning phase of a student’s training into excitement built around learning something new every day! We focus this initial period around the fun of grasping a new technique in each class so you enjoy learning in the early (“white belt”) stages, which helps you enjoy the learning process. Then we encourage our students to maintain that open minded “white belt” mentality in order to get the most out of both Muay Thai training and life.


Getting the most out of Muay Thai means you understand the art in a number of ways. You’ve grasped the fundamentals of body mechanics, developed good physical conditioning, have an understanding of range, controlled power and a fluid approach to training. At 5 Star we blend these essential components with a team spirit that turns what can be unhealthy competition into a positive environment in every class we teach. We’ve found that leaving one’s ego at the door and learning how to “play” as a martial artist is the best way to keep training fun and effective. This helps you see your teammate as a training partner rather than an opponent ensuring a positive training and learning experience.

After a bit of training on the pads, with the fundamentals becoming ingrained, it’s now time to put your Muay Thai to the test. Sparring is the best way to do this, but it must be done safely. We constantly remind our students that sparring is not a world championship bout but rather a drill based on improvisation where you and your partner get to experiment to make the things you’ve been learning work for real. When done properly, sparring is an absolute blast. You will succeed, you will fail, you will learn, and you will do it all with a class full of positive people working toward their goals while helping you reach yours.

Speaking of goals, they are essential for progress. Without them you will just spin your tires and wonder why you’re not getting anywhere. At 5 Star we pride ourselves on helping all of our students set, meet and surpass their goals. Whether your goal is to lose 50 pounds, fight in the ring, or become an instructor we have had many students accomplish these and so much more.

At 5 Star we believe Muay Thai training is a metaphor for life and a conduit for personal growth. When life’s tasks require more than one person to be completed you are forced to work with others toward a common goal. This is no different in martial arts. If my goal is to only worry about my personal progress and your goal is to only worry about yours, neither of us will get anywhere. At 5 Star you and your training partners are both concerned with the other’s progress. With that approach, we will reach heights greater than we ever could alone!


Ranking System

Even though traditional Muay Thai does not have ranks like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, at 5 Star Martial Arts we have adopted a ranking system that gives the student a clear idea of where they are currently and what they need to accomplish to progress forward.

Originally worn for good luck, Muay Thai fighters wear an armband called a prajit when they compete. We have taken this traditional element of Muay Thai and transformed it into an incredibly effective ranking system for the 5 Star Martial Arts Muay Thai program!

Based on the established colors of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the 5 Star Muay Thai ranks get progressively darker from white to black with each color denoting an increasing level of technical understanding, practical application and physical conditioning. Students who understand where they are and what they need to improve are more focused which makes attaining their goals a straightforward, foolproof process.

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