We live in a time when you can acquire knowledge and develop skills in a wide range of areas through virtual learning. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many gyms and martial-arts schools have limited capacity, significantly reduced hours of operation, or closed down completely. In recent years, online learning and workout options for conditioning and training in martial arts from home have gained popularity. These resources are not only useful during this time of social distancing, but also viable options for long-term training. In this article, I share information about several top options for learning the ‘Art of 8 Limbs’ – Muay Thai – over the internet.
So, How Do You Decide On A “Learn From Home” Program?
There are a number of important things to consider when looking at options for training in martial arts from home. Having used several programs like this myself, I have a good sense about what is important to make suggestions for others to consider. In writing this post, I focused on factual information about the programs I examined, not my personal opinion of them. It’s my hope that this blog post will raise awareness about several top options for learning Muay Thai at home.
Even if you are not considering one of these, a close examination of the important features to consider when you find other options. In other words, think of this article as a “template” for scrutinizing these types of programs yourself.The GMAU Muay Thai Homepage
GMAU Muay Thai
From the GMAU website: “Muay Thai is a ridiculously effective style of stand-up fighting. Forged in Thailand, this ‘Art of the 8 Limbs’ will get you into fighting shape, all while embedding explosive and powerful strikes, kicks, and fast footwork. You’ll learn about the style, how to use the course, the principles of Muay Thai, and the basics of stance, movement, and footwork. Practice devastating but simple strikes to end a fight quickly: straight punches, hook punches, uppercuts, overhands, elbow strikes, and more. Learn the crushing cornerstones of Muay Thai – the Thai kick, round kick, front kick, back kick, spinning kick, knee, jump knee, and more! Just like attending a real Muay Thai class at a gym, you’ll follow along to warm ups, drills, and cool downs. Choose between “Solo Bag Classes” and “Partner Classes” to practice all your techniques while getting a killer workout.”
The GMAU started as a DVD-based learn-from-home martial arts program and is now a global leader in online martial arts instruction. The company offers training in: Shotokan Karate, Taekwondo, Krav Maga, Muay Thai, Bojutsu, Nunchaku, and a 12-week fitness boot camp called Combat Strong. GMAU serves thousands of students across its programs, from more than 50 different countries. GMAU Shotokan Karate belt ranks are accredited and certified by the Global Martial Arts Association.
How the Program Works
The lead instructor for the GMAU Muay Thai program, Nick Vassallo, has trained in multiple martial arts since 2005, but his real passion is Muay Thai. Nick trained under competitive Muay Thai instructors/gym owners.
The GMAU Muay Thai program features pre-recorded lessons and follow along classes to deliver instruction on all techniques, stances, footwork, drills, punches, kicks, knees and elbows required for each rank. These are supplemented with additional fitness or other specific instructional videos found in the student portal. In addition, live-broadcast classes are offered and other short lessons are regularly added each month and can be accessed anytime by GMAU students.
At each rank level, students are required to complete written or video recorded assignments to check their progress. After completing the number of required practice hours (varies by rank), students can submit recorded videos to their instructor to test for the next belt rank. Instructors evaluate test submissions and provide detailed feedback to students by video. Students will re-test (usually only select portions) until they meet the standards to progress to the next belt.
” The course is excellent. The program is the best on the market. The follow-along classes are good for fitness and for learning muscle memory to execute the technique perfectly. The instructor Nick is always quick to reply to questions and he always gives very good advice. The standard is high and feedback is always constructive and motivating. “
GMAU Taekwondo Student Testimonial
The usual cost for GMAU Muay Thai is $39.95/month. There are biannual or three-installment options that reduce the overall cost of the program. There are additional, one-time, assignment fees ($15) and rank testing fees ($60) for each rank level. If a student is required to re-submit an assignment or test they are not charged. The GMAU regularly offers promotional rates for new students and reduced rates for existing students to join additional programs. There is a 60-day money back guarantee.
All GMAU programs (except for the Combat Strong 12-week fitness boot camp) allow interested individuals to sign up for a “Beginner’s Course”, allowing them to try out most of the introductory level (e.g., white belt) for no cost. In addition, there are many classes and lessons and informational posts available to anyone who can access YouTube, Facebook or Instagram.
GMAU students can communicate directly with their instructor through the student portal. There is also a message board in the student portal that can be used to interact with other students in a limited way (e.g., comment on another student’s written assignment, congratulate on progress). GMAU also has a private Facebook community group where students and instructors can communicate freely. GMAU also provides blog posts (like this one) and has a tremendous amount of content freely available to anyone through YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. The parent organization, Global Martial Arts Association, also hosts an annual international online tournament that’s open to anyone who registers.The Evolve University Homepage
From the Evolve University website:”Evolve University is the largest world championship online university for martial arts. It has the most number of World Champions on the planet. With World Champions in Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Mixed Martial Arts, Boxing, Wrestling, Submission Grappling, and more, Evolve University is the highest quality and most comprehensive online education for martial arts in the world. Named as the #1 ranked martial arts organization in Asia by leading authorities such as CNN, FOX Sports, ESPN StarSports, The Fight Nation, Combat Asia, MMA Mania, Asian MMA, Middle East, and others, Evolve Mixed Martial Arts is the top martial arts organization in Asia. he mission of Evolve University is to unleash greatness in everyone through the power of martial arts. We aim to provide the highest quality, authentic martial arts education available online. With Evolve University, anyone in the world can now learn under the World Champions of Asia’s most decorated, championship team of instructors, the award-winning Evolve Instructor Team.”
How the Program Works
The creator, Chatri Sityodtong, explains:”For me, martial arts is one of the greatest platforms to unleash human potential. As a child, I started Muay Thai at Sityodtong Camp in Pattaya, Thailand … For almost 30 years, I have been involved in martial arts in some form or another – as a student, a fighter, a teacher, and a coach … Without martial arts, I really don’t know what would have happened to me… A few years ago, I launched Evolve Mixed Martial Arts as my way to give back to the world. I wanted to share with the world what I had learned through martial arts. I even came up with the name, Evolve because I wanted it to be a place where everyone could be inspired to evolve into everything they wanted to be in life … Whether you are a complete beginner, an advanced martial artist, an elite professional fighter, or a world-class instructor, you will find a great learning platform in Evolve University.”
Evolve university is a library of video tutorials on various topics including Muay Thai, BJJ, and MMA. These high-quality tutorial videos are filmed by coaches or athletes in their respective sports. There are no credentials, belts, etc. to be gained as you go through the curriculum on your own, and there are no coaches that directly interact with you.
Evolve does not provide testimonials from subscribers but does have a long list of testimonials by fighters and coaches like Renzo Gracie, Dan Henderson, and Saenchai Sor Kingstar.
Evolve University has two membership options. A monthly payment of $9.95 or an annual payment of $99.95 will give you access to all their videos in any of the sports or martial arts areas they cover. There does not seem to be a trial option, but you can check out sample videos here. Evolve has a Facebook and YouTube presence as well as the Evolve Daily Blog and the Evolve University Blog.
Evolve has a website-embedded Contact Us form.The Nak Muay Nation Homepage
Nak Muay Nation
From the Nak Muay Nation website:”Nak Muay Nation is a virtual hub for Muay Thai enthusiasts from around the world. Founded by professional Muay Thai fighters, NMN has quickly become one of the best places for nak muay of all levels to congregate and share techniques & tactics with fellow fighters. Our video library of detailed technique tutorials, intense drills, historic fight breakdowns, and tons of other premier training material is available exclusively to NMN members. You can learn more about how to subscribe to our content here. It’s a one-stop shop for the online Nak Muay: a community and service where your training needs are met, whether technique, coaching, nutrition, strength and conditioning, fight knowledge, and more!”
How the Program Works
Nak Muay Nation provides digital “access to comprehensive video courses, sparring breakdowns, fight analysis, voiced over private training sessions, top selling eBooks”.
Evolve does not provide testimonials from subscribers.
In addition to clothing and training gear, the Nak Muay Nation Store offers e-books priced as low as $17, focused topic DVDs ranging from $27-$47, and bundles (books + DVD downloads + workbooks) ranging from $250-$297. They also offer $39/monthly or $349/yearly membership payment options providing access to many of the e-books, workbooks, digital downloads, etc. sold individually in the store.
In doing your own research and choosing the program that’s right for you, it’s important to consider program features such as cost, requirements for advancement, the quality of instructors and instruction, trialability, and the ability to interact with other students and instructors.
Having said this, some of these things may or may not matter to you. For example, you may want to train and advance and have your rank recognized and accredited. Or you might want to use an online-training platform to get through times when you’re traveling, under pandemic restrictions, or just for extra practice on your own. Therefore, rank accreditation may not matter to you.
Ultimately, you need to decide WHY you are looking for an online-training option and WHAT you want to get out of the experience. To me, these are the two biggest questions to ask yourself.
Cost is a common consideration (by most of us) when comparing such choices. Features such as social media presence may or may not matter to you.
So, now you have the basic information you need to know how to evaluate options like these and I have provided you detail on three top learn Muay Thai from home internet programs. I hope you find this blog post educational and helpful, and I wish you well as you search for a program that is right for you!