If you like to punch, kick and box your stress away, Muay Thai may just be your sport.
According to Fitness instructor and martial arts expert, Shum Chiew Mun, “When you train in Muay Thai, there’s little time to think about anything else”.
Shum is an avid martial arts enthusiast trained and mastered in various self defense fields including Tak Kwan Do, Muay Thai, kickboxing and Eskrima, a form of Filipino martial arts.
He describes Muay Thai as the simplest and most straightforward form of self defense.
“There are not a lot of steps to remember, as opposed to Tae Kwan Do or Karate. It’s very freestyle,” said the 38-year-old.
Discovering Muay Thai five years ago, Shum first trained with a Malaysian Muay Thai expert in Kuala Lumpur before heading to Thailand himself to be properly ordained in the art. He spends two weeks in Thailand, three times a year to refresh and update his Muay Thai training.
“We used to run between 5 and 10 km, training 6 hours a day,” said Shum of his Thailand experience.
Upon his return to Malaysia, Shum felt a need to promote the sport, especially in Ipoh. “Muay Thai training is no nonsense. It’s all about training and training hard,” said Shum.
However Shum is quick to defend the sport, “It’s very practical and flexible. If you put in the work it’s also a great weight loss method.”
“I always tell my students not to force themselves to train. You have to love and enjoy it, only then will you see results.”
For those who may be interested in the sport as a form of workout instead of self defense, Shum has designed a less strenuous fitness plan.
“I can modify the training to suit the client’s needs,” said Shum amidst his students sparring away at each other, of which some are women, even a 48 year old housewife.
When asked the reason behind his passion Shum had few words to say.
“I was born to be a martial artist,” said Shum before naming his father’s love for karate and Bruce Lee movies as big influences.
The Tae Kwan Do black belt of the third degree teaches Muay Thai in a few places, and you may find him at the Martial Arts and Fitness Academy in Bandar Baru Tambun between 8 and 9 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Ista Kyra Sharmugam