Muay Thai – Kickboxing – Children’s Classes – GRIT

Training to be a Fighter.

Fight Training. Being a fighter and general blunt advice. February 2024.

Fighters are athletes. Everyone needs a team, a support base, and a great trainer. In the fight, you are the one that must perform, trust and believe in yourself, your preparation and your team.

You should watch the level of fights that you are at, to learn and be realistic. Watch high level fights for inspiration. It is something you must be committed to 100% for even one fight. Sure, you need to get experience and keep fighting, you will have good fights and bad fights but will only get better if you learn and adapt your life and training to the lessons. Never quit because you have a rough time, feel sad or are down on yourself because of life or training. Training to compete must be serious and what you do. You do not play Muaythai.

It all starts with how you train and how you live. It is a process over the years and will have difficulties with life and injuries, but the want must be there all the time. You watch fights and want to be in there, you watch the winners and want to be them, you watch the brutal parts and want to be the victor, you watch bloody hard back and forth fights and it gives you an inner glow. You stop competing when you lose the desire, when you can’t hack it anymore in training, when other parts of your life become more important, when you start coming up with excuses about not training, or when you realise that you have met your goals. Sometimes that you are just not good enough and have to realize you have gone as far as it is safe to go. It is not a sport you can keep losing at and there is no shame in retiring.

Anyone that wants to compete or is competing, need to be aware of:

  • Training is not about being enforced or not, fighters want to train and shift ALL their life priorities to meet the training requirements to do well.
  • All fitness must be sport specific, directly related and relevant to your fighting style.
  • The coaches tell you when to not train, when you are over training and tired, fighters don’t decide their own program regardless of their level. When they are professional, it is a discussion, but you should never be your own coach.
  • Fighters must be coachable and really listen and learn from their coaching staff. Never listen to opinions of friends or family, just nod politely. Truth must be given, and truth must be believed and trained. Any other bias or self-belief will be why you lose.
  • Everyone that wants to fight trains more than they need to without encouragement, morning runs, extra stretching, training on public holidays, not booking trips, not staying back at work, and not making plans for breakfast or dinner with friends and family. Fighters come in early, work in the mirror, stay back and practice. Discipline fuels desire.
  • Fighters watch fights, all the time, to learn and be inspired. Fighters come to their teammate’s fights.
  • When you train, you always try to follow the deliberate practice principle and focus on improving something specific. It could be an attribute or technique. When you are on the bags and pads, you always fight, work on your power, feel and hit like you want to in the fight. Practice reactions, your emotions and positive self-talk.
  • Develop your style and what works for you with guidance and listening.
  • Fighters MUST have composure and competitive aggression and must practice it.
  • Spar 25% with less experienced people. 5-% around your level and 25% against bigger and more challenging opponents.
  • Manage injuries as nothing will stop a pathway like an injury. When injured >> train around it. Don’t go to a physio first > go to a Dr first if you are injured. Then do rehab.
  • Fight awareness, ringcraft, judges scoring, and being fight smart are critical. It is irrelevant what you (or your friends) think about who wins or not, it only counts what the judges think.
  • The ability to take a punch, an elbow, a kick and keep your game face, your desire, and your composure while your legs wobble and blood runs down your face is essential. You must learn this in sparring, fighting and translate the attitude into all your training.
  • Fighters (inc novices) are getting better all the time, and you cannot be flippant or delusional with unrealistic expectations.
  • Weight cutting and weight management is the worst part of the sport, but it is a reality. Have a safe plan, talk to your trainer, and manage it carefully.
  • You must train your strengths because that is how you will win, and you must develop your weaknesses because that is how you will lose.
  • You will get injured, and your first severe injury will define your career and your desire.
  • Every show and every state differ in judging, scoring and style. Coaches and fighters must train for it and be realistic about the sport. You fight long enough; you will get ripped off.
  • Not everyone gets what they deserve, titles (& opportunities) do not always go to the most deserving. Marketing, social media, personalities, who you know and if a promoter promotes you, are all equal to or more important than your actual ability. Most titles are marketing and ticket sales, and the two most deserving people are not often the ones fighting. You have to be ready for more than just training to fight.
  • The sport overall is fragmented, disjointed, clique and promoter driven based mostly in local areas only. Coaches and fighters need to navigate this as best they can.
  • You must have something outside of the sport to cycle in and out of to maintain it long term. Have something to go to when you retire. Very few can you make a living fighting!
  • Every fighter should help beginners and help around the gym, well past when they retire.
  • Your gym family is not your real family – maintain your important relationships!
  • Maintain your mental health throughout all phases of your life and training because the desire for fighting will give you a sense of purpose you will lose when you stop.
  • Eat well and have great habits. Be an athlete 100% and not just in a camp or fight prep.
  • Learn, educate yourself and do self-analysis. Before and after every bout. Evaluate.
  • Practice weigh cuts and be confident you can make weight in a healthy way.
  • Decide to win. It is either them or you >> make it you.
  • Never forget and always respect where you came from and who shaped you. You are a product of where you trained, who built you and who developed you. Fighters change far more than trainers do. Some move on to other gyms, most stay or just retire. If you move on for whatever reason, always respect and be grateful for the trainer who built your basics, your work ethic and spent hours training you, advising you, travelling with you, matching you and everything that got you going when you were no one. Time can change memories but have the integrity to always be grateful.
  • Muay Thai is the toughest sport in the world and worth every challenge.
  • Always talk to your trainer, silence is a lie, speak up if there are problems or challenges.

You are who you are, because of the hard. What forges you to be you. Fighting will shape you.

Anthony Manning


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