Muay Thai is, without doubt, one of the more popular martial arts in the world. Initially made popular by movies starring Tony Jaa, Muay Thai has since become one of the preferred styles to be trained in by Mixed Martial Arts fighters who compete in the ring because of its focus on power and physical toughness.
Just a side note – Tony Jaa’s fighting style is not actually Muay Thai, but Muay Boran, the older and more traditional form. Anyway, that’s beside the point of this article.
In any case, it’s only natural that there is an upsurge of foreign nationals who travel over to the beautiful country of Thailand to learn this exotic yet deadly martial art. Others just come over to sample the art over a few days, but more decide to stay long term to hone their fighting skills with an eye for competing.
That’s all good, except for one obstacle – the right paperwork for staying in Thailand to learn Muay Thai long term.
Thailand has, unfortunately, become a lot stricter with foreign nationals entering its jurisdiction. On the other hand, however, it has become more informative with regards to the documentation that’s needed according to one’s purpose for visiting. Here are some of the ways through which you can enter Thailand to study Muay Thai.
The tourist visa actually allows you to stay in Thailand for a maximum of 120 days. Your initial entry into Thailand is good for 30 days, after which you can choose to get an extension or simply leave. This is ideal for those who are unsure of their intentions to study Muay Thai, outside of learning the basics.
To extend your stay after the 30-day initial period, you can either choose to visit the Immigration office near you, or you can go to a legally sanctioned visa run. To satisfy your exit requirements, you can travel to a location outside of Thailand and then apply for a 60-day extension of your visa there. You can then return to Thailand to continue studying Muay Thai.
The 60-day period can be further extended for another 30 days, after which you have to leave the country to satisfy the requirements of your initial tourist visa.
If you’re the sort who likes to study, you can combine your study of Muay Thai with a course in the Thai language. It’s actually advantageous, especially if you want to stay long-term in Thailand or train with a native master who might not be able to speak English. Besides, being able to learn a new language is also a plus, a feather in your cap.
The Education Visa is good for one year, so you’ll have a solid year to train and study the Thai language before you’ll have to renew your visa to make an extended stay possible. Simply apply for a school accredited by the Bureau of Immigration, and they’ll help you out.
Some foreign nationals prefer to find work in Thailand so they can stay for the long-term. That’s not a bad idea, but the problem with this is scheduling. Your work and training schedules might not coincide, but it’s not impossible. You might need to do some research though.
Want to read more articles like this? Check our Blog site.
Photo credit : Singpatong-Sitnumnoi gym