By Ryan Obradovic, staff writer

The Recreation and Wellness Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis is offering a Muay Thai martial art training class instructed by three-time World Kickboxing Champion, Daniel Isaac, who has over 35 years of experience in the martial arts.

The class is a first of its kind and is offered on Mondays, July 10 through July 31, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Studio 1.

Fall sessions will begin on September 14 and be on Thursdays, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The sessions are fee based and will cost students $12, members $20, and nonmembers $40.

Isaac introduced the Muay Thai class to UMSL to show the students and community the benefit of a fitness based martial art.

“I want to convey the dual benefit that someone can get from a martial art based fitness class as opposed to a regular fitness class…In martial arts you’re understanding how to use your body for self-defense and support,” Isaac said.

Josselyn Adams, senior, biology,  said the class is worth the money. “It’s a good workout…it helps you mentally and is good training,” Adams said.

Adams said she took interest in the class because she always wanted to do boxing but never had the opportunity. “Now they brought this class here so I had to take advantage of it,” Adams said.

She has not had any prior martial arts training but has been taking the Muay Thai class for four weeks and plans to continue taking the class in future sessions.

Muay Thai is referred to as the “Science of Eight Limbs” because it utilizes punches, elbows, knees, and kicks.

Salat Jones, alumnus, psychology, said he started going to the Muay Thai sessions in January and has been to every session since.

“If anyone has ever had the interest in learning how to fight or defend themselves, this would be the class for them,” Jones said.

He said appreciates the class because the instructor is knowledgeable and experienced which builds Jones’ confidence in knowing he can defend himself.

“He’s motivating and definitely knows what he’s doing…he gives great advice about techniques and is willing to help you if you have questions,” Jones said.

According to Isaac, a lot of other instructors are teaching fitness based martial arts classes by just throwing moves without understanding what they are doing. However, because of Isaac’s martial arts background, he makes sure his clients are being taught the way he sees fit. “With every technique, we’re using proper form because if you have the right form you get a better cardio workout,” Isaac said.

The people taking Isaac’s Muay Thai class come from many different athletic backgrounds. Some are training to compete while others are training to get in shape and have fun.

No matter what your athletic background is, “the people who are training in this class can expect to properly progress and move up with every class,” Isaac said.

Muay Thai Advertisement. Photo courtesy of RWC.