Becoming a solid fighter is no walk in the park, it requires regular Muay Thai training. It takes blood, sweat, tears and determination. Pulling off a question mark kick or spinning back fist may catch your opponent off-guard and win you the odd fight, but the true measure of a quality fighter is in the crispness of their fundamentals.
No matter the sport, the true greats have one simple thing in common, they understand the importance of mastering the basics and once mastered, maintaining their elite level of competence through regular practice.
This article aims to help you employ a champion’s mindset, so you can train like a world-beater.
Training for Muay Thai – Identify Core Skills
Scientists have shown that it takes roughly 10,000 hours to master any skill. For the majority of us, we have a lot of things going on in our lives. Therefore, making the best use of our time can be the difference between showing potential and becoming the real deal. By identifying the core skills of your sport, you will be able to pinpoint your focus on developing your fundamentals which will elevate your overall game. Maximise your Muay Thai training time by applying science to your training.
Each sport will only have a handful of core skills as well as a bunch of optional extras. These optional extras are often the more ‘flashy’ techniques, easy on the eye but a fatal error to invest time in if you’ve not already become very well-versed in the fundamentals.
If you’ve decided to allocate a certain amount of time per week to Muay Thai training, it will serve you best to spend this time refining your fundamentals under a trained eye. The majority of your ‘spare’ time should be spent improving your technique on your own and ensuring you get adequate rest. Sprinkle in the flashy techniques as a way of breaking up the monotonous feeling that arises from time to time when sharpening your essential tools.
As Bruce Lee once said ‘I fear not the man who has practised ten thousand kicks once, but I fear the man who has practised one kick ten thousand times’.
Muay Thai Training – How To Approach It
Show up. If there is one thing that separates the achievers in life from the wannabes it’s that the winners show up, regardless of circumstances and the wannabes show up when it suits them. If you want to become a beast, you need to train like one.
Muay thai training sessions require you to give it your all, coming to practise with the right mindset can make a significant difference. Entrust yourself to your trainer to do their part. That means listening respectfully and training how they say, when they tell you to. If your trainer has the credentials, you need to trust in the process in order to advance. If you have any concerns, bring it up with the trainer in private once the session is over. In Muay Thai training, just like any other sport, questions are often more than welcome, they indicate to your trainers that you are actively engaging with what is being taught. Make no mistake, there is no substitute for regular physical practice on the journey of mastering the fundamentals of your sport.
There may be times when you’ll need to dip from a party early or pass on a few bevvies because you’ve got a fight approaching. Training takes place at all times, your mental game is just as important as your physical game. Make training a top priority if you genuinely want to get a glimpse of what your potential actually is.
Sharp mind. Sharp technique. Bulletproof cardio. That right there is a scary prospect. Your approach to Muay Thai training has the potential to win you a fight before you even lace up.
Mindset is vital, check out this video to learn more about the importance of Psychology in sport.
Focus on Muay Thai Fundamentals
When your gas tank is almost empty and your opponent is walking you down, it’s not those flying elbows that you practised during Muay Thai training that will keep you in the game, but the jab-cross you refined to perfection until it became second nature.
Flashiness is pretty but it’s not your primary concern, that is if your primary concern is winning. Everyone fatigues, when your opponent starts to slow, this is precisely when their dedication to the sport and focus on specific skills become apparent. When people get tired they get sloppy, if you stay true to what you’ve learnt in your Muay Thai training classes, you’ll be able to capitalize with your crisp technique. Let your opponent throw the flash, leaving themselves open and then capitalize with a brutal reminder to them that magic is for kids, champions know what to train and why they train it.
No matter how confident you become in your fundamentals, keep training them. Kobe Bryant is known to have got to training 3 hours prior to when his team were scheduled to train so that he could practise. During this time he was already considered the best in his team and the league.
Keeping the passion going
Being mindful of your mental state both in and out of training will prove crucial when it comes to being consistent. Many talented athletes with considerable amounts of potential have found themselves veering off track due to over-training, fundamentally leading to a loss of enthusiasm. It’s important to remember that becoming proficient in any skill is a marathon, not a sprint. If you’re not quite sure how much Muay Thai training you should be doing, consult with your trainer.
Keeping the injuries to a minimum
Another issue that is likely to arise, especially during Muay Thai training, if you’re not careful, is an injury. Some can take you out for a few days others can be up to a few months. Showing up is indeed essential to refine your skills, so is getting adequate rest that your body needs. Be true to yourself, if you honestly think your body needs rest, allow for it to have rest. Be careful not to use this an excuse not to train when your body is capable, this is likely to set in motion a bad habit that will come to haunt you later on.
We’ve written a whole article on how to avoid Muay Thai related injuries, check it out here!
How to stay on track
Sleep right. Eat right. Train right. Socialise right.
You will become a handful for any opponent, no matter the sport, if you dedicate yourself to mastering the core skills. On those days when you question yourself, when you’re midway through your Muay Thai training session, when you’re doing the same thing over and over again, remember, when you find yourself in deep water you want to be able to swim without needing to think how to, that is precisely why you’re training the way you are.
If you’re going to train, you might as well train like a champ.