People get into martial arts for all kinds of different reasons. Fitness, desire to learn, ego, self improvement.... I could go on and on. I usually do.
Most people do not start their journey with a desire to fight. I know I didn't. Most folks walk into a gym, dojo, academy with a healthy fear of the journey they are about to embark on. The fears are numerous. Everyone is watching, I look silly, I don't know what I'm doing, why am I here?
Of those 4 fears, only 1 is true. You don't know what your doing. Of course you don't, you haven't been taught yet. The rest are all living in your head, rent free, and the more you let them control your decisions, the more you feed those fears.
No one is watching you. Everyone else is more concerned with their own performance while working alone. Yes, you'll look silly! So what? Do you think any of your coaches looked as calm and cool as they do now? Your here because you have a desire to benefit your life, plain and simple.
The desire to train and the desire to fight are two greatly different things. People can train their entire lives but not once put themselves into a competition. Why? Well, because they just don't want to!
And some folks walk onto the mats for the 1st time expecting to be fighting in a few months. That's their end game.
Don't let the lack of desire to put yourself at risk to stop you from learning ANY Martial Art. A large majority of people who train NEVER spar, let alone fight. In fact, in the 10 years I've spent training, I'd say 5% of the people I've worked with have ever actually set foot in the ring.
So, no. You do not have to fight to have fun in a Muay Thai gym. I'll NEVER ask you to fight. That desire only come from within.