at Muay Thai Academy in North Hollywood. from speaking with the guy at the gym yesterday about how a class session goes, he informed me that sparring is involved (even on the first day). im not opposed to getting hit in the head, but i was just wondering if this is normal for most gyms. he said people go at about 50% and they'll stop it if it goes too hard. seems like it will be stretching, ab work, pad work and then finally sparring at the end. what else can i expect on my first day (besides pain tomorrow)? id say that im 20% nervous / 80% excited for this to finally start... EDIT: here is what actually happened that first night well...its nice to know this forum is a bit more supportive than the Heavyweights. man...not that i didnt think i would be before i started, but i am hooked! the only thing i have to compare it to physically in my life would be "hell" week during baseball (which im sure is not as hard as hell week for other sports). people are right in the sense that it is a different type of cardio than running, etc. i wasnt winded/out of breath at the end of the hour, but i was damn tired! i showed up about 45 minutes early to kinda get a feel of what was going on. was watching the previous class for a bit and then went over to Kru Santi and introduced myself. he had this younger guy show me some basic punches and kicks on the heavy bag for a bit until class started at 9. here's what it consisted of: 1) started off with basic stretching exercises for maybe 5 minutes (nothing i hadnt really done in baseball) followed by 2 or 3 rounds of jumproping with sets of 20 crunches/10 squats in between rounds 2) everyone got in a circle and started running counter clockwise. we varied it up with straight running, alternating knees, shuffling facing both directions, 1/2 combos, running backwards, etc. 3) next, we grouped off into 3 different groups at various "stations". i was put in a group of 4 (with presumably the newest/weakest in the class). we basically took turns punching a heavy bag with 5 lb weights in our hands (10x each hand), kicking a pad held against a pole from behind by someone for low kicks (someone does their right leg and someone else works their left from the other side) and finally kicking a pad held mid height by someone with two people work their right/left leg kicks. we rotated through all the stations and worked on the pad from both sides at each one. 4) next, Kru Santi had everyone pair off...while he had me work with him. i dont know what they were called, but he had me hitting these things he was holding that looked like paddles. first with 1/2 combos, then high/mid kicks, right/left knees and finally elbows. these were done in three minute round intervals, i think (lost track of time, really lol). in between each round, we had to drop down and either do 20 situps or 10 squats. as far as i can remember, we did 6 rounds of this. 5) finally, he had everyone pair off for light sparring work out of the right. he paired me up with one of the better guys there but the dude took it real light on me. basically worked on checking a kick, then throwing a couple teeps to the other guy's body. we switched 2 times after that...my last partner with this mexican girl. was pretty funny, because one time i had my guard up but not tight enough. she punched my guard and my own thumb poked me in the eye lol. 6) the very last thing we did was lining up by the heavy bag near one of the ring posts. everyone lined up in two lines and each person went up with someone else and alternated kicks to the bag on whatever side they were one. then you went to the back of the other line and worked your other leg. a couple final points: 1) make sure you buy gloves with velcro on the wrist area...was a bitch to put on these Everlast gloves i got (gonna return them today) 2) make sure you get the longer 180" wraps...i picked up 108" not knowing and realized they werent long enough when i was practicing taping up my hands the night before i have to say that it was pretty grueling, which was understandable since i was only running 3 or 4 miles a week for the last month. i came out of it with no damage, save for a slow growing bruise on the inside of my right knee/thigh. im gonna take today off and try to make it back in there saturday. my plan is to go 3 times a week and then work my way up to 5x when my conditioning is right. thanks for all the replies to this thread...some good insight on here. my internet was down at home last night, so i didnt get to reply right away. was honestly a bit surprised at how many posts were on here this morning. sorry for the long post, but i wanted to give other people who were thinking about doing it their first time a good idea of what it entailed.