MUAY THAI is a martial art that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques and takedowns - known as the "art of eight limbs" as it is characterized by the combined use of fists, elbows, knees, and shins.
In Thailand, Muay Thai evolved from Muay Boran (ancient boxing), an unarmed combat method used by Siamese soldiers after losing their weapons in battle. Muay Boran - Muay Thai - was initially called Toi Muay or, simply, Muay. Neighboring countries have similar fighting systems, like Muay Lao in Laos, Prada Serey in Cambodia, and Tomoi in Malaysia. Over the last few centuries, Muay Thai has become a prevalent sport in Southeast Asia and around the World. International popularity resulted in several hybrid styles, including the Dutch style, which brought in aspects of Western boxing, Kyokushin Karate, and the Brazilian system, which, along with boxing, was strongly influenced by the kick-heavy style of Tae Kwon Do. These systems survived into modern-day kickboxing/Muay Thai competitions and have proven very useful within modern Mixed Martial Arts.
At Saratoga Kyokushin Academy, our Muay Thai program, headed by coach Don Walton, draws from much of the history mentioned above. Holding black belts in both Kyokushin Karate and Tae Kwon Do, Don was first introduced to the "art of eight limbs" by traditional Muay Lao Master Ajarn Nelson Siyavong and former SKA Dutch Muay Thai instructor Jeremy Rayburn. Following a winning record in both kickboxing and MMA, including in 2015 becoming the number one ranked amateur MMA lightweight fighter in New York, Don spent five years training in Huntington Beach, CA, at the World-renowned Kings MMA. While at Kings, much of his formal Muay Thai training coming from Kings' founder and four-time Brazilian Muay Thai champion Master Rafael Cordeiro. During his time at King's, Don regularly trained with some of the best kickboxers and mixed martial artists globally, including multiple UFC champions. Don's abilities and overall understanding of Muay Thai resulted in several coaching opportunities at Kings and nearby affiliate HB Fight Club. While running classes for both kids and adults, in 2019, Don was given the honor of being featured in Master Cordeiro's popular DVD series ''Muay Thai Fundamentals''.
An exceptionally well-rounded fighter and coach, Don's early training also included several years of instruction under local pro boxers Danny Batchelder and Tyrone Jackson. Returning to Saratoga Springs in February 2021, Don, a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, is currently offering classes and privates in both Muay Thai and Nogi Jiu-Jitsu. Coach Walton's teaching style is easily adaptable for all students' levels, from kids to seasoned fighters alike.
Check our Schedule for class times.