Why Should You Choose The Thai Boxing Association?
You put your money with a certified financial planner. You take your car to a certified mechanic. Wouldn't you want a certified Muay Thai instructor, aswell?
Certification means quality. It is proof that the instructor meets a minimum standard, and shows the difference between an experienced instructor who has devoted the time to develop themselves professionally--and someone who hasn't. Who wants a coach who isn't devoted, nor professional?
What certification an instructor possesses also makes a big difference. In the personal training world you can get a certification on the internet. A friend of mine, to prove a point, got his dog certified as a personal trainer. Mounted on his living room wall is a framed certification for "Sparkles".
There are lots of Martial Arts certifications out there. Just like in the personal training field, anyone can give out a certification. That means that Larry next door can wake up one morning and start certifying Muay Thai instructors. He can print up certifications, build a website, make videos, and charge money for people to apply and test for his certification. He can travel around the country holding seminars and spreading the word about Larry's 2-Day Muay Thai Certification.
In the personal training field there is a third party certification body that certifies certifications. (Say that three times fast!) But, there is no such thing in the Martial Arts world.
So how do you tell the difference?
Well, first of all, a certification that has been around for a long time and has a reputation is better than one with no history. On top that, a certification that requires years of study, instead of a weekend certification, has more weight. Additionally, one that requires continuing education is more legitimate than one that does not.
There are a handful of Muay Thai certifications in the United States. Out of all of them, the TBA is the oldest and largest in the nation. TBA Instructors have produced fighters like Sean Sherk and prepared World Champions like Brock Lesnar. Formed in 1968 by Ajarn Surachai Sirisute, the TBA has branches all over not just the U.S.A., but throughout the world.
At minimum, one must study at a TBA branch for three and a half years before being allowed to test for an Apprentice Instructor level certification. Beyond that one must continue their education with the TBA for at least two years to test to become an Associate Instructor, and another two more years before testing to be a Full Instructor. That's seven-and-a-half years of devotion and education.
These are just minimums, too. At the time of this writing I personally have been studying Muay Thai with the TBA for eighteen years now, and I am not a Full Instructor, yet. So, when you see a TBA Certification you can rest assured that you're receiving the best training from the best instructors out there, and not just some guy who says he's this amazing instructor who went to Thailand for a month. And, if you're looking to be an instructor one day yourself, then why not join the oldest, largest, and most legitimate association of devoted and professional Muay Thai Instructors in the nation--the Thai Boxing Association of the U.S.A.