What To Expect At Your First Muay Thai Show

Just a little sweat in your mouth...

“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.” Muhammad Ali


📸: @davidmcortes | AFL Muay Thai

Looking for something exciting to do at the end of a week? – why not attend a Muay Thai show?

Once a practice only common in Thailand and to niche communities of martial artists, Muay Thai has been steadily increasing in popularity in North America and can now be found all over the country, and even on major TV streaming services such as Amazon Prime TV. NYC has become a major hub for Muay Thai with shows such as AFL, Freedom Fighters, Warriors Cup, and other promotions that showcase the top talent in the east. Making a huge resurgence post COVID, you can now find a Muay Thai show to attend almost every single month.

Be prepared for a night of fun and technical violence

If you have never been to a show you may be wondering what’s in store and how to have the best experience possible. Similar to other sporting events, tickets can run anywhere from $40-$150+ depending on where you are seated (or if you are seated at all) and how close you are to the action. Good news is even general standing room tickets will likely get you a decent view of the ring if you are strategic about where you position yourself. For example, try to choose an angle that isn’t blocked by the corner posts of the ring and be ready to shift forward as people who are supporting specific fighters leave after each bout. Keep in mind, a Muay Thai show typically lasts anywhere from 3-5+ hours so make sure to wear comfy footwear. And if you need a break from the action, you can always grab snacks and refreshments from the food and bar vendors.

What are the rules and how is a winner determined?

Punches, kicks, knees, and elbows make up the art of eight limbs – a name which refers to the fists, elbows, knees, and shins that are used to throw these strikes. Bouts are matched by weight and experience with the latter determining the protective equipment used and the specific ruleset. Fights are typically 3 or 5 rounds, with each round of action running 2 or 3 minutes long with a 1 or 2 minute rest in between. The winner is determined by judges decision based on factors such as damage, aggression, and ring control, by knocking out the opponent (KO), or by technical knockout (TKO) which is when one fighter is deemed unfit to continue.

And now for our next fight…

The moments leading up to the actual fight are filled with anticipation and nervous energy as the crowd, made up of loyal gym members, friends and family of the fighters, and Muay Thai enthusiasts, eagerly awaits the Nak Muay (Muay Thai practitioner). When the announcer introduces the next bout the fighters will make the walk to the ring, accompanied by their song of choice and their corner team (typically their coaches). Upon entering the ring, some fighters choose to perform traditional Thai rituals, such as ‘sealing the ring’ – an act meant to keep bad energy/spirits out of the ring – or a dance called a Wai Kru – a performance unique to the fighter’s gym which pays respect to their teacher and clears the mind. Once all rituals have been completed, the announcer will once again introduce the fighters and the gyms they are representing, the referee (whose main job is to protect the fighters and ensure the rule sets are being followed) will tell the fighters to obey their commands, and the bell will ring signaling the start of round 1.

(Mostly) Good vibes only

Though there is an aspect to this that is violent, Muay Thai fights are known to be exciting and technical chess matches that respect the tradition and beauty of the sport. This respect is especially evident once the fight is over and the two combatants, who moments earlier were giving their all to knock each other out, shake hands or embrace in a show of appreciation for the experience they just shared. Though there can be only one winner, the weeks of fight camp preparation involving long training days, dieting, and sacrifice, as well as the love of the sport, unite everyone participating in the show.



The "Wai" serves as a customary Thai greeting, involving placing hands together akin to a prayer. "Kru" translates to "teacher." The Wai Kru, as a complete concept, functions as a method to show respect to coaches, gymmates, training partners, and family. Within the context of the Muay Thai dance, the wai kru entails the fighter circling the ring three times, then proceeding to kneel and perform three bows. This action signifies paying respect to both a higher power and humanity.


Hinds Combat Sports is located in Long Island City, one of the most popular neighborhoods in Queens. Led by Head Coach Sean Hinds, a professional Muay Thai fighter whose been a staple of east coast Muay Thai scene for years, the gym is conveniently located a few blocks from the Court Square train station with the E, G, M, 7 subway lines.

About 3,000 square feet featuring lockers rooms, showers, weightlifting area, and plenty of mat space, Hinds has all the traditional Muay Thai equipment and heavy bags that you need to train the sport. Coaches include veterans of the sport Remi Singh, Jayh Rodriguez, Andrew Rivera, and Stephanie Walmet. In addition to Muay Thai, they also boast a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu program led by Kyle Shaw and Jeffrey Chu.

Hinds is open 7 days a week featuring classes at 7am, noon, and evening classes. Coach Sean runs a traditional program that includes days for sparring and clinching, and lots of conditioning and padwork.

Quick Facts:

Website: www.hindscombatsports.com
Head Coach: Sean Hinds
Price: $169 for One Muay Thai or BJJ // $189 for All Access // $30 Drop In
Contracts: No
Showers: Yes
Free Trial: Yes
Weight Room: Yes



Have you ever thought about taking up Muay Thai, but then hesitated because you wondered if you're just a tad too vintage for all those high kicks and fancy moves? Well, let's clear that cobweb-covered doubt right out of your mind. The answer is, NO! You're never too old to embrace the warrior spirit and get your Muay Thai groove on.

Sure, you might have been around the block a few times, but that just means you've accumulated a treasure trove of life experiences. Imagine the intimidation factor when your opponents realize they're about to face off against someone who's not just skilled in the art of eight limbs, but has also mastered the art of handling kids, traffic jams, and tangled Christmas lights.

Worried that your knees might creak louder than the gym's stereo speakers? Fear not! Muay Thai is all about adapting and learning. Besides, who says you can't rock a pair of knee pads with your shorts and gloves? It's a fashion statement, really.

Think about it—Muay Thai isn't just a sport; it's a mindset. It's about pushing your boundaries, defying expectations, and showing the world that age is just a number, and that number is not the winning score in a Muay Thai match. So, lace up those gloves, put on your battle face (preferably one without reading glasses), and step into the ring of infinite possibilities.

Remember, legends aren't born solely from youth; they're made from the audacity to say, "Watch me!" So, whether you're 20 or 60, it's time to unleash your inner warrior and let Muay Thai show you that age is no match for determination and a killer roundhouse kick!