Learning the basics of Muay Thai will, usually, not take long at all and is in direct proportion to the number of hours you spend training.
Muay Thai, in general, is a relatively simple martial art, due to natural body movements, and the basics can be learned in 3-6 months depending on your ambition to learn it and how much are you willing to spend training.
Having a sufficient Muay Thai base that you can effectively use in sparring can take 8-12 months for a beginner.
To be able to attend beginner competitions you should train for at least 6-12 months. This is not a fixed period because, again, it depends on your will.
A minimum of 3 workouts per week in a Muay Thai gym is a good routine to learn it as fast as possible. You can also speed up the process by training at home with a punching bag 2-3 times a week.
To fully answer the question of how long it will take to become a professional Muay Thai fighter, we need to answer another question:
What kind of professional fighter do you want to become?
In Muay Thai, I assume that the professional fighter is the one who gets paid for his fights. Muay Thai in Thailand, for example, is a paid fight, no matter what level you are at.
Professional Thai boxing in Thailand is a very popular thing, therefore fights are held here often, which makes it possible to regularly hold fights and, as a result, earn more, and life itself in this country is much cheaper compared to the West.
Many athletes see Thailand as a shortcut to a professional career as a fighter. For example, I had my first fight in Thailand after two weeks of training. Therefore, everything seemed simple. Five months later, there were already 5 professional fights on my account.
Of course, as you might guess, those battles were a complete mess. And this is a rather extreme path, which I will not advise everyone. In the fourth fight, I got a serious knockout. Lack of training experience, lack of a good technical base all this makes you even more vulnerable to experienced Thai fighters.
I just wanted to have as many fights as possible. But for those who are thinking about a career as a professional fighter, I would recommend a slightly different tactic.
In Muay Thai it is not so easy, but also not impossible. I advise anyone who wants to learn Muay Thai fast to, first of all, take part in all indoor club and amateur events. Beginner Muay Thai can be dangerous if you don’t give the proper consideration to gaining experience.
Therefore, competition for beginners is a great chance to work with athletes of your level, and there is no need to rush to strive for professional fights.
Getting a good technical base is the most important and paramount thing that those who want to become a professional should focus on.
Sparring with a partner is also necessary at this stage. This can be sparring aimed at practicing technical elements, task sparring, and free combat. The next question that you must answer for yourself is:
How much time am I willing to spend in Muay Thai training?
You don’t have to spend a thousand hours of practice in order to enter your first beginner fight. But to master it, you will need 2 years if you train 10 hours a week, or 5 years if you train 4 hours a week. This time frame is just my estimation that I have seen all this time in this style of fighting.
Therefore, it remains only to train hard and gain competitive experience. In any case, there is no easy and quick way to become a professional fighter. It is best to consult with a coach, discuss your goals, and have a clear training plan.
How can you shorten the time spent learning Muay Thai?
This is probably the most important thing at the beginning of the journey, because if you do not have enough strength, then you will not be able to hit to knock out. Do push-ups, pull-ups, run, swim – old school workouts will help you.
Learn how to kick and defend correctly
Good hip mobility will help immensely with the most important Muay Thai techniques such as mid-kicks, kicks and knees. Improve your stretch to be able to lift your leg higher – this will help not only hit, but also block and defend.
Train yourself outside the gym
In addition, doing extra training will significantly shorten the period of training in Muay Thai. By hanging a punching bag and working on it for 3-4 sets, you will significantly improve your performance, it will help you in your Muay Thai workouts in the gym and you’ll learn faster.
Training individually with a coach
By training a group, especially with a large number of students, the teacher may simply not have time to individually adjust your technique and help focus your attention.
But in a personal training session with a trainer, you will have all the attention, which means you can learn new methods and strategies, improving your overall technical base.
Ask a trainer for help if you feel your technique is struggling and don’t be afraid to seek advice from more experienced ones.
The downside here is that it can even get expensive.
Focus on recovery and relaxation
If you spend a lot of time at work or study hard and miss your sleep time, you may lose concentration and it will affect your workout, which will supplement the time it takes to learn Muay Thai.
Watch Muay Thai matches live and online
By doing this, you will definetely gain a lot of knowledge in Muay Thai training. Watch as much as possible like tutorials and also read helpful articles.
It is difficult to say exactly how long it will take to become a truly professional fighter. Everything is individual. Everything will depend on how much you are ready to devote yourself to the training process, how much time and effort you are willing to give. And also with what attitude you will approach your goal. Mastering Muay Thai can even take a lifetime.