As martial artists, all of us strive to become the best versions of ourselves. Whether you are training Muay Thai to get fit or to fight, we all want to get better at it. Better performance in the ring, or just lasting a 5-round padwork without severely gassing out, these are goals we hope to achieve in this martial art journey.
If you are aiming for excellence, here are 6 things to know that will help you get better at Muay Thai:
1. Give Your Best
There are days when you show up at the gym feeling sluggish and you end up going through the motions at training. You go easy on the heavy bag when no one is looking and you don’t use power when it’s your turn on the pads. Sometimes, showing up just isn’t enough. It’s about giving your best each and every time. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.
2. Trust in your trainer
There are little things that give a trainer as much joy as seeing his fighter/student improve or deliver a good performance in the ring. That extra 50 kicks at the end of a padwork round, or the advice a trainer gives you during a fight - you need to give 100% trust. You need to trust that your trainer simply knows what is best for you.
3. The Right Diet
You can never outtrain a bad diet. A good diet provides you with the energy to power through a session, and the necessary minerals/protein for recovery. If you make poor food choices, they will only end up negating the efforts in the gym, no matter how hard you train. You will reap the benefits by exercising discipline in your food intake.
4. Don’t skip cardio
In Thailand, the majority of fighters continue to clock miles doing roadwork on a daily basis. Running is a fundamental part of Muay Thai and if you don’t run, you don’t fight. Supplementing your training with steady-paced long distance running helps to improve cardio and build mental fortitude.
5. Focus on basics
Basics will help you win fights. Singdam is a great example, winning multiple world championship titles through relentless hard training that focuses on the basics. Many Muay Thai practitioners get ahead of themselves after being seduced by complex combos and acrobatic moves. Stay mindful during training and focus on your forms or drilling a select set of combos until they become second nature.
Just going to the gym on a regular and consistent basis is more important than anything else but this is where a majority of people fail. Training hard for an entire month and then taking time off completely for the next month or two after - that’s just going to reset the gains. It’s about the daily grind. Or a consistent grind depending on your personal schedule.
As they say, “It’s not what you do when people are watching. It’s what you do when people aren’t watching.” It feels good to get into the gym and train hard for an hour or two, grunting like a beast on the pads, but it’s what you do when no one is looking, that will ultimately count towards your progress on this path as a martial artist.