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Muay Thai Program in Columbia, MD

Program Description:

Muay Thai, which literally translates to "Thai Boxing", is a striking combat sport related to kickboxing and prevalent in mixed martial arts that originated in Thailand. Popular now throughout the world, Muay Thai is known as the “Art of Eight Limbs” or the “Science of Eight Limbs” because it employs the use of stand up striking with your fists, legs, elbows, and knees to attack an opponent. This martial art is also known for its unique approaches to clinching, effective use of calculated timing, and reliance on the entire body, especially the hips, to generate powerful strikes.

Muay Thai classes are offered at our Columbia, MD location and our Severna Park affiliate (the Kogen Dojo). Both Muay Thai programs are helmed by Matt Van Valkenburgh . Matt, in addition to all our Muay Thai instructors, has professional, competitive Muay Thai and boxing experience, having fought in Korea, Thailand, and the United States. Matt is a U.S. Army veteran, husband, and father of two children.

Instructor with child martial arts studentskid students training togetherinstructor being silly with students

All Levels:

Muay Thai is well known for its effective offensive striking techniques, but it is also perfect for students who simply want to get stronger, lose weight, improve their conditioning, and learn self defense. Our classes focus on teaching the traditional Muay Thai system through a variety of drills and games including partner pad work, bag drills, block returns, and footwork drills

Students are encouraged to take part in light, technical sparring to apply techniques and strategies, but they are not required to spar. Sparring is always optional; a student is encouraged to spar when he or she feels ready and will be partnered with someone of comparable skill, strength, and size. Our Muay Thai program is designed for students at all levels of skill and fitness. Whether you want to compete, learn self defense techniques, or mainly practice Muay Thai to get into better shape, our program is for you! Equipment is provided by the academy.


  • Improve coordination and movement;
  • Develop distance and punch awareness with proper defense; and
  • Build an understanding of the Muay Thai striking style.

All Levels Muay Thai Include:

  • A calisthenic and technique warm up;
  • Coached heavy bag workout;
  • Fundamental striking technique/combination with 1-2 add-ons or variations; and
  • Light play-sparring games (at the instructor’s discretion).