Muay Thai is an excellent martial art but can you do it if you need glasses? I decided to find out.
So can you do Muay Thai with glasses? Unless your vision is extremely bad needing glasses will not stop you from doing Muay Thai. You can wear glasses when your instructor is demonstrating the techniques then take them off for pad work or sparring.
I know you have more questions, like how will I be able to see my opponent with my bad vision, or should I wear contacts when training. Do not worry as I will answer everything as I had glasses so I know how you feel.
Why You Should Train Muay Thai With Glasses
Your eyes have two main functions, to pick up motion and to see details and color. Whenever you’re sparring or doing pad work you will be very close to your opponent. So if you’re nearsighted, like I was before I had LASIK surgery, you will see your opponent/partner just fine.
All that matters is that you can see the motions your opponents/partners are making so you can react and adjust accordingly. You don’t have to see the punches crystal clear with 20/20 vision to avoid them when doing any combat sport including Muay Thai.
You might ask, but Dillon what if I can’t see when my instructor drills techniques? The solution is simple. Wear your glasses when you see the techniques being drilled and take them off whenever you spar or do the techniques.
This allows you to see the techniques in all their glory whilst being able to perform them.
You need to get used to training without visual aids, as contacts will pop out whenever you punch, and your glasses will fog up and fall off in the heat of battle or training.
Also, if you are ever in a self-defense situation it is unlikely your glasses wouldn’t get knocked off anyway so learn to develop your striking range without having to rely on your vision.
If you need further convincing check out the YouTube video of professional 8x Muay Thai champion Chike Lindsay where he says the same things. He is legally blind in one eye and it didn’t stop him from doing Muay Thai!
Muay Thai Training Visual Aid Options
Train Without Any Visual Aids
As Muay Thai is a combat sport no matter what sort of training you’re doing with shadow boxing, hitting pads, or hitting the heavy bag you don’t need perfect 20/20 vision.
With Sparring or fighting? I would never spar or fight with glasses on as there is a risk of your expensive glasses breaking, or even worse breaking and cutting into your delicate eyes or face.
Unless you’re super-short sighted and can’t even see your hands right in front of your face, training without glasses is the best option for any combat sport, especially with Muay Thai.
If you want to wear your glasses when doing Muay Thai training, a good cheap option is glasses straps. If you don’t use straps your glasses will fly across your gym because Muay Thai movements are so explosive.
The issue is Muay Thai is a very demanding martial art so your lenses might be fogged up or get wet with sweat which will be worse than not using them. Also, you cannot spar with them as your glasses could break so you’re better off not using them at all.
If you want to use a strap an excellent choice is the Chums Eyewear retainer made in the USA which you can get for a fantastic price from Amazon right here.
Prescription Sports Goggles
Goggles are tougher and more secure than glasses and are quite common in basketball, volleyball, and hockey. They will not break like glasses and are probably the best option if your eyesight is really bad and come second only to not wearing anything.
Your expensive goggles can easily be knocked off by a left hook and I still wouldn’t wear them while you spar. They can also be quite expensive but not as expensive as normal glasses.
If you want an excellent pair of sports goggles where you can still use your prescription lenses, look no further than the Bertoni Prescription Sports Sunglasses which you can buy for a superb price on Amazon here.
The problem with using any kind of visual aid is you WILL sweat in Muay Thai, so sweat dripping down will cause your glasses to come off your nose and make your lenses wet.
Using a sweatband is a cheap solution to this problem. It is definitely worth it to get one because you can use it in all sports and it helps improve your vision even if you don’t have glasses. However, it will not stop any eyewear flying from your face.
If you want a headband that you can use for every sport and is even Bike helmet friendly, look no further than the unisex Temple Tape headband. You can get the with various colors from Amazon right here.
Now contacts may appear to be the best option as they are not as imposing as other eyewear protection, especially when doing general training they are less likely to pop out.
However, for sparring, I would never fight with contacts, as you cannot believe how often contacts go flying out of someone’s eye when they get hit.
I used to wear contacts and didn’t like to fight in them. Honestly, I recommend everyone who has the money to get LASIK (laser eye surgery) as I got a couple of years ago and haven’t looked back since.
Why You Should Consider Corrective Eye Surgery
Okay, this isn’t to do with Muay Thai but hear me out. Having corrective eye surgery was the best choice I ever made. I personally had it done in Prague for around $1300/£1000.
Yes, it is more expensive than glasses or contact lenses, but think in the long term you will never fall asleep with your contact lenses in or have to buy a pair of glasses ever again! I love never needing to find my contacts or potentially losing them. You forget you ever needed glasses! As SOON as you get the surgery it is crazy how quickly you adjust.
You will save money in the long term as single vision lenses cost between $100-$300 apiece, so my surgery was less than 4 expensive single vision glasses
LASIK is ideal for all types of training as all the aforementioned problems cease to exist.
In 2016 a study (read more here) found that LASIK has a 96% patient satisfaction rate, with the latest research saying that LASIK has a 99% success rate in achieving 20/40 vision or better, and a 90% success rate in achieving 20/20 vision or better! These statistics are incredible!
Imagine never worrying about forgetting your glasses or contacts for training or in life ever again! I know you might be scared but don’t be as these fears are unfounded. Don’t you think not wearing glasses ever again just sounds amazing?
Are There MMA/Muay Thai Fighters With Bad Vision?
Just like normal people, professional fighters are known to perform with bad vision. Anderson Silva arguably the best MMA fighter of all time is known to be short-sighted as he wears glasses during press conferences. Also Ben Henderson the former UFC lightweight champion is nearsighted.
Arguably the biggest reason why having glasses is not an issue in Muay Thai is the former UFC middleweight champion, Michael Bisping. He won his title against Luke Rockhold with one glass eye that he kept out of the public eye and no one knew of his sight disadvantage.
If you don’t believe me, you can hear him speak down below on the Joe Rogan Experience about losing his eye.
The fact that he performed at the highest level with such a sight handicap, showcases anything is possible as you can perform at the highest levels of Muay Thai despite your eye problems.
Either that or get LASIK, it’s up to you 🙂
Interested in Muay Thai? Check Out My Recommendations
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