T Nation

Arthritis Due to Muay Thai


My friend who has been training muay thai for over 6 years has developed arthritis in his shoulder and leg and the doctor said it is certainly due to muay thai training.

He say I should quit since in the long term the cost:benefits of training muay thai jsut aren't worth it and while will also end up with an injury sooner or later.

I'm not sure what to do now, I mean i'm only 20 and have already had concussion in the past because of muay thai and split both my shin bone and knuckles in the past.

I foolishly started this to try and impress a girl I liked in high school. So I don't plan to do this as a career or anything.

What do you think guys - should I continue?


OK, injury is something you should not ignore. I mean you split your shin bone? And have already had a concussion?

I've been doing MT for a while and have not suffered those kind of injuries. But then again I'm way older than 20, and probably pace myself differently knowing my own recovery time.

Ultimately the choice is yours. But this sounds more like a doing too much too soon, and pushing yourself too hard. Epecially since you don't plan to compete.

However speaking as a MT fan/student, this is not a sport you should go into to impress girls. If that's still your main motivation you shouldn't be doing Muay Thai. If it's not, then you may need to look into a different school if you really want to stick with this.

my .02


That's ridiculous. Doctors don't know anything. Martial arts can't damage the body. Any discomfort you or your friend are feeling isn't pain, it's weakness leaving the body. All you need to do is train much harder so the weakness goes away.


I think with this sort of thing one has to be honest with oneself...I mean, do you take care of yourself?

Do you eat enough, often enough?
Do you sleep enough, often enough?
Do you stretch enough, often enough?
Do you work on your mobility often enough, often enough?

Have you really worked on your technique? Have you gone back and made sure the foundations of your game are in tact and flawless?

Not paying attention to any of the above can injure you.

I'm a great believer in taking care of your body, because it will in turn take care of you. Can you honestly say you have been doing so? If you can say yes to everything, and are still getting injured and getting arthritis, well...


I guess brotards come in all sizes



He's doing Muay Thai homeboy. There is no diet, sleeping, stretching or warmup that is going to prevent him from getting tore up doing what he's doing.


So you don't think that someone else wouldn't have posted something similar?

In the past when I have suggested that getting the shit repeatedly beat out of you by trained martial artists isn't good for your health most of the members of this board have cried like little girls because my heresy made their pussies hurt!

Now that I am getting inline with the forum mentality that's wrong too. There is no pleasing you people.


LOL.....still on your high horse I see,Sifu. All logic goes out the window when your self-righteousness gets in the way.


You're not trying to get "inlined"with us.....you want to feel above us. It's ok...we know how to put you in your place when you feel froggy.


Man it's Muay Thai, Shin splints and concussions aren't terrible. Definitely don't quit and just go about it sensibly instead now.

P.S Try toughening your shins up more.


What self-rightiousness? I am just being realistic. When you put yourself into a position where a trained martial artist is going to repeatedly unload on you and try to take you out you are going to get injured. What I don't mean by injured is a little bit of bruising that goes away in a couple of days either.

If you want logic here is some logic for you. In Thailand, Muay Thai is an avenue for people who are dirt poor to get out of grinding poverty. Getting seriously injured, shortening their lifespan or dying isn't much of a concern to them because they are trying to escape very desperate conditions. If you are living in an affluent western country where you have a life ahead of you the risks to benefits are going to be very different.

It is all a matter of perspective. Perspective is something that is extremely lacking in westerners trying to study or understand the martial arts.


Nobody is arguing any of that shit....you're stating the obvious. Your self-righteousness is trying to make an argument that no one has made. We all know that COMPETING in Muay Thai is brutal and injuries happen that have lasting effects...but no more than most competitive sports. And thanks for the insight on Muay Thai in Thailand...we had no clue! roll eyes

On that note,unless the OP has fought numerous fights....maybe there is a possibility that his training style and/or lifestyle are a bigger factor in his injuries. You fail to give that a possibility,yet you talk about lack of perspective..ha! And even in those who have years of competing...where is the proof of world-wide shortened life spans due to Muay Thai? I remember the last time you argued this shit,you were basing it on the "trusted word" of another person...not your own experience and knowledge in Muay Thai.

Your idea that just the factor of him studying Muay Thai is the problem is very,very close-minded. It's even more ignorant to come to that conclusion without having any insight to his training and how he takes care of his body. You should refrain from saying anybody lacks perspective. Like I said...your self-righteousness stinks. That shit works in PWI....you fit in better there.


Oh and the Dutch and large percentage of Europe/North Africa just said fuck you,Sifu.


What is obvious to you may not be so obvious to someone else. If you think that Muay Thai isn't any more damaging than any other sport you don't know what you are talking about.

Now who is stating the obvious? The way he is training probably is why he and his friend are injured. That is something that comes with being a full contact fighter and Muay Thai is full contact fighting.

The leg is a vascular organ, if you are too thick to understand that vascular damage will have a negative affect on ones health even after someone in that last thread posted that they almost lost their leg because of a vascular injury they got from Muay Thai that is your problem. Because I am not bullshitting.

Yes I do trust what my teachers taught me. I trust them because I was fortunate to have very knowledgable teachers who had spent years traveling around the US and the rest of the world studying with the best teachers they could find. One of my Sensei's (who is a doctor) even traveled to Thailand for the specific purpose of furthuring his study of Muay Thai. He is the one who told me that the vascular and nerve damage from Muay Thai shortens ones lifespan.

If you spent some time studying the martial arts somewhere else, instead of relying on the idiots here, you would know that all the Yang style martial arts are notorious for having their practitioners die relatively young.

Muay Thai isn't some secret art that is so different from anything else that I have learned that I couldn't learn it from my teacher who studied it when he was teaching it. So stop being so pretentious.

The kid said he has a concussion from Muay Thai and his freind has arthritis. WTF! Maybe he has a particularly brutal teacher who just throws kids to the wolves before they are prepared or does other stupid shit. But even so Muay Thai is brutal and you are going to get a lot of damage from it.

Something that I don't think you are considering is that maybe the kid isn't cut out for Muay Thai. Some people are never going to be all that great of a fighter no matter how hard they try or how smart they train. For someone like that a competitive sport martial art like Muay Thai probably isn't the best choice.


Damn,you're dense. You're arguing semantics...just like last time.
Nobody,I repeat,Nobody is arguing against the fact that COMPETING in Muay Thai is brutal and capable of long lasting damage to the body. BUT:

You fail to mention that Thai fighters usually have 100 plus fights by the age of 25-30 years old. So yes,it's possible that their bodies are broken with frequency of fights..and lack of proper rest/recovery. More lasting and frequent injuries are a result. So is a broken body universal truth for the number of muay thai/kickboxing competitors worldwide?? NOPE. But this all depends on the fighter,RIGHT?

You only speak of Thailand. Why is that? Maybe the brunt of your argument only applies to actual Thai fighters...(read above paragraph again). You also neglect the influence that lifestyle and socio-economical issues of Thai people in general affects shortened lifespans of these fighters as well....and you don't mention anything on the nature of medical care in Thailand. But this all depends on a fighter's individual health,RIGHT?

You still don't know if the OP competes. He should not get the injuries he has from training alone...even more so if he has a legitimate instructor and logical,safe training environment. But I'm not saying it's not possible...depends on the individual...RIGHT??

No matter what pedigree...or extensive knowledge your instructor has,this doesn't negate the fact that YOU have no experience in training Muay Thai. That's like saying I understand everything to pilot an Apache because I'm friends with someone who actually has been a pilot. And even with that...I would have no clue if that person was a sound pilot to begin with or if they had EXTENSIVE experience.

You claim that Muay Thai is so damaging just to study/practice....yet you say it's no different than anything you've learned before. Hints of confusion there. But it depends on the person,RIGHT?

You make a bullshit,and disrespectful generalization that I'm a dumb westerner whose brunt of martial arts/muay thai knowledge is from relying on "idiots" on a forum. Yet,as I touched on already,you are basing your knowledge on what someone has told you.....not taught to you or experienced for yourself. Unlike myself.

Your angle and tone would be different if you had first hand knowledge of the subject. But you don't. You don't have ALL of the facts. And the few facts you do have....you use them to argue semantics and the obvious. After all,the resounding theme is that it depends on what? THE INDIVIDUAL. You even support this in your own ramblings. You're a fool for putting all of this on the martial art/sport itself.


So all that said, what is the cost benefit analysis? Not just of muay thai but of combat sports in general. Do we reckon the fitness benefits outweigh the fairly obvious health risk involved with being smacked in the face? Or is it done with no regard for one's own health in the pursuit of some other goal- money/glory/confidence etc?


Roundhead, personally I don't think it's worth it to compete for the average person. But why not? My friend just has his 3rd fight; knocked the guy out with a head kick, and he's doing what loves.

Sifu, I don't really agree with you 100%, although I think you make some good points. First, why assume that a competitive Muay Thai fighter is going to come to T-Nation and ask the community here about the longetivity of his career in the sport? More than likely people are here are non-competitive, and even if they are, are well taken care of in their fighting schedule.

In such circumstances, there could be a fault in the OP's training. One shouldn't be so quick to place blame externally; one should first question themselves.

About yang styles: most practioners understand the need for yin styles to counterbalance yang stuff. That's why I think (and this is coming back to Roundheads point, as well) that martial arts should be a holistic approach to life; physical, mental and spiritual.

Even things like Iron Palm (which I hope to undertake this coming Aussie summer, and which I will most certainly blog here if I do) require breathing excercises and meditation to master.


I said all Yang style arts shorten lifespan what more did I need to say? If you don't want to talk about Thailand lets talk about Okinawa where Okinawan Karate comes from. Karate is a Yang style art. Okinawans have the longest lifespan in the world with a greater percentage of their population over one hundred years of age than anywhere else on the planet. Despite this some of their greatest karate masters died before they were seventy. ie. Goju Ryu founder Chojun Miyagi died from a heart attack at age 64. Isshinryu founder Tatsuo Shimabuku died of a stroke aged 66.

Well the OP probably didn't get a concussion from hitting focus pads. I think it is fairly safe to assume that someone tried to clean his clock.

While there are going to be some differences between the training of different schools or styles, it's not that radical of a difference. To use your analogy it is like you are saying that a person who has flown a Cobra or a Blackhawk couldn't possibly know how to fly an Apache. They may be different but the fundamentals are the same.

Unless of course you think that having some paint on the wall that says Muay Thai makes a difference when you are hitting a heavy bag or getting kicked in the head.

It is not radically different or in some cases not at all different from what I have learned. Especially since we incorporated some of it into our training.

You are a fine one to lecture me about disrespect after you say that my teacher (a man who has been studying martial arts longer than you have been alive)is teaching bullshit. You certainly act like a dumb westerner, because it seems like you don't have repsect for people who are older and have been studying longer than you have.

Sure individual experiences are going to differ. There are people who can train for 5,10 15 years to reach a certain level of proficiency. But then there are other people who have no training who can walk into a dojo and be able to clean house. If you are the former you probably shouldn't study an art where you will be repeatedly hit in the head. If you are the latter and not just a person who thinks they are (because there are a lot more of those than the real deal)and you have the urge go for it.

If I were to sum up the point I am trying to make. I would say that not everyone is cut out for competitive martial arts. But with the rising popularity of sports martial arts like MMA I get the impression that a lot of younger martial artists are being given the impression that martial arts is all about competition. Important things like self improvement and personal development are getting pushed aside for a narrow focus on competition.


From your join date and number of posts it doesn't appear that you have been here very long. So I will clue you in on something, martial arts discussions here get really stupid really fast. So much so that it becomes difficult to even try and come up with intelligent posts.

There is a limit to how much Yin training can counterbalance Yang training. Ultimately you have to limit some of the Yang training or pay the price.

Be very careful with iron palm training. You can set yourself up for heart problems doing iron palm training.


This is especially true when dense posters get offtrack and divert their own initial arguments. It turns into a big waste of time.