One of the things that I’ve found the hardest with Muay Thai, and I think it must be the same for a lot of people that step into a ring no matter what discipline you train in, is developing the venom you need to fight and more importantly win. Now you’ll notice I’ve added in the one word that’s banned from practically every gym or dojo on the planet and that’s everybody’s friend ‘hard’. As the saying goes ‘if it’s ‘hard’ then there’s something your missing.’
I guess it all depends on the individual. For me, fighting is not something that has come naturally or with ease but it’s something I love doing, and as I’ve said before it’s something I’m getting better at. And I’ve found that it’s getting easier and easier to flick the on switch when needed. It really comes down to your mentality. When the training is hard the fighting is easy, and one of my trainers recently reminded everyone that even when your on the pads or bags,(tools to sharpen your weapons as we all know) you should keep your mindset in the fight.
I’ve learnt over the course of time that the hardest battle you will fight is always with yourself. Sounds cliched? if you’ve been there or if your there right now, then you’ll know that despite that being probably one of the most over used statements on the face of the planet it’s also very true. For me overcoming nerves has been one of the more challenging elements of competing, but I’ve found the more I’ve put myself out my comfort zone the more I’ve learnt to adapt and understand that in order to win, you need to be able to turn fear into fire.
I think that we all have our own ways of doing this, but for me I’ve found one of the more effective ways of dealing with pre fight nerves is quite simply to be mindful. Any thoughts that come near me, that can affect my mindset or my training leading up to the fight I just let pass through. After all, it’s the here and now that’s the most important time and anything that has been and gone before all adds up to the one element I consider just as valuable as persistence and that’s experience. I guess when it comes down to it, all of us are always learning and ignoring the negatives and focusing on winning is crucial. After all, winning is our job.
I’ve mentioned before about visualization being a powerful tool for me with fighting, and I’ve found that the more I focus on winning and see myself at my best in the ring the better results it produces. This doesn’t mean I put in less work in the gym, it simply means that I set my intention and focus on my goal rather than simply going through the motions. Training regularly and consistently is good, but training with intent and purpose is something I see as crucial.
This is a subject that is quite close to my heart, because as I’ve mentioned before I’m learning that in order to succeed the nice guy needs to stay out the ring, It seems like with everything else I do with this art developing this is a work in progress. But hey that’s me. Always learning. The past month of training has been a push and at points I’ve felt like my Mr negative has had me up against the ropes on more than one occasion, but with a fight coming up and a new goal to focus on today I feel ready to succeed. I know that any self doubt or nerves are often proved wrong in the gym and the ring, and when it comes to fighting these days I stay hungry. In the meantime, keep your hearts big and train hard. I’ll see you on the road.