COVID-19 has changed the way we look at health and fitness
If we have learned one thing from this pandemic, it is just how valuable our health is to us. This is good news for gyms like Muay Thai Kickboxing (MTK). It is a known fact that regular exercise has immune boosting benefits, crucial for living during a global pandemic.
I had the opportunity to sit down with head instructor, Kru Neil, to discuss everything from how the gym has adapted to the pandemic to the future of MTK.
Muay Thai- What’s That?
Muay Thai or Thai Boxing is a traditional art of Thai self defense. It differs from standard kickboxing and boxing in that the feet, elbows and knees are used as well as fists in the fight. Muay Thai dates back to the year 1767. While in captivity of the Burmese, Nai Khanom Dtom, fought 10 consecutive Burmese boxers and defeated them all. Muay Thai utilizes all of the bodies natural weapons. Centuries of experience coupled with modern technology and training methods have produced this extremely efficient martial art. The use of safe training and proper guidelines has made Muay Thai an art that anybody can practice. No matter your skill level or body type, Muay Thai can be for you!
Straight to the pressing question Kru Neil, how has MTK adapted to the pandemic as we get ready to wrap up this year?
Kru Neil: Do to the California mandates and our concern for our member and staff’s safety, we have reduced class sizes to a 15 person max. We know require all trainers, staff and members wear masks both indoors and outside. Speaking of outside, we now hold most of our classes and training sessions outside to allow us to social distance as best as we can. Temperatures are always check upon arrival to the gym. We have always had intense cleaning procedures at the gym, even before COVID. In order to protect everyone health, we have upped those cleaning procedures and are constantly disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. MTK has also installed Plexiglas dividers at the desk to allow a safe distance from the workers and members.
It sounds like you are taking great precautions. Why should clientele come to MTK despite everything that’s going on?
KN: In times like these it is important to have a safe outlet. Not only do we provide self defense but we develop confidence, balance, coordination, and self esteem. MTK is a great place to release some of that pent up stress and anxiety and just leave the world outside for a minute. We kind of do it all here at MTK. From strength and conditioning to kettle bell and dumbbell workouts and everything in between. Almost like getting a 2 for 1 on gyms. I also can’t stress enough how family oriented our team and members are. Unlike any standard gym we really look out for one another’s mental and physical health.
You guys touch on a lot of different fitness aspects at MTK.What makes your business unique, better and essential in comparison to other competitors?
KN: I would have to say our culture plays a huge part in what sets us apart. Like I had mentioned before, that idea of family and that we genuinely look out for and take care of each other. I also think our customer service sets us apart from other gyms. We try very hard to always make sure our customers feel welcome and safe in this environment.
Speaking of members, what does the future of the gym look like?
KN: The future of MTK looks like multiple locations and providing Muay Thai access to everyday people. The goal is to have Muay Thai available 7 days a week all day long similar to big 24 hour gyms.
Have you learned anything throughout this process regarding your clientele Kru Neil?
KN: First and foremost I learned how important problem solving is to running a business and how you need a strong team in order to do that. As far as my clients and just the public in general, people are taking their health more seriously. Going the extra distance to be more hygienic and taking more time out to wash their hands, things like that.
I really appreciate all of your insight on how COVID-19 has impacted MTK and the fitness world. Is there anything you want future or potential members to know?
KN: I really want to showcase and highlight that Muay Thai isn’t just for fighting, it includes so much more. Life will test you and try to knock you down. Muay Thai will teach you how to withstand those blows and how to get back up. The practice really shows you what you are capable of. You can bring your Muay Thai knowledge and skills in to just about any relationship. From your personal life to career and friendships, the Muay Thai principals can all be incorporated. So while some people think it is strictly fighting, I want to express that Muay Thai is so much more than that.
Ready to sign up for a class? Check out the schedule here!