Art of 8 limbs: Measures in place for muay thai return
MANILA, Philippines – Muay thai, just like other contact sports in the country, has been at a standstill due to the coronavirus crisis.
To guide athletes and coaches, the Muay Thai Association of the Philippines (MAP) crafted a master plan that "aims to address each stage of the pandemic in the context of participation" within the sport.
The master plan is categorized into 4 phases: return to routine (Phase 1), return to the gym (Phase 2), return to single-day events (Phase 3), and return to multi-day events (Phase 4).
Muay thai – also know as the art of 8 limbs since it uses 8 points of contact – shifts from the ring to the internet in Phase 1.
For athletes living in areas under the enhanced community quarantine and general community quarantine, MAP advises daily virtual training sessions.
Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are dedicated to sharpening muay thai skills, while Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays are for strength, conditioning, and nutrition.
In its Facebook page, MAP holds webinars and forums where national team members share their stories of triumphs and defeats in their muay thai journey.
MAP also uploads instructor course videos on YouTube.
Sense of normalcy
When the government lifts the suspension on gyms and other sports facilities, athletes and coaches can train under Phase 2, which is categorized into non-contact (Level 1), limited contact (Level 2), and full contact training (Level 3).
In Level 1, sparring and pad works are strictly prohibited and athletes can do only individual bag work and shadow boxing.
Only 10 people can occupy a gym (1:4 coach to athlete ratio) and their training sessions are limited to an hour.
When mass testing is implemented, it moves to Level 2, but sparring is still prohibited by MAP.
The only upgrade in Level 2 is that athletes and coaches can now use focus mitts and pads as long as gym protocols are observed.
Finally, athletes and coaches can return to full contact training, including sparring, in Level 3 only if they are vaccinated and they get clearance from the Inter-Agency Task Force and the Department of Health.
In all 3 levels, the MAP strongly encourages athletes and coaches to bring their own equipment and to not share them.
Single-day events will be staged in Phase 3 when local and regional participants undergo mass testing, vaccination and receive health clearance.
In Phase 3, events will be single weight category matchups only and the fights will be limited to just 10 persons in the field of play: 1 coach and 1 athlete per corner, 1 referee, 1 timer, 1 gear attendant, and 3 judges.
After every bout, the ring will be sanitized.
Multi-day events will then be held in Phase 4 when mass vaccination is implemented.
Phase 4 will see events organized under regular competition guidelines, with audience watching live in the venue permitted.
Also, local and international travel will be allowed in Phase 4. – Rappler.com