I’ve been training for a while now and I’m still finding that I’m learning more and more about myself as a boxer, and more often than not as a person the longer I do this for. The further I head down the road the longer I realize it is and that really it’s an ongoing journey.
Martial arts for me are an ongoing process of self improvement, and with Thai in particular I’ve found the person has grown as well as my understanding and ability with the techniques I’m being taught week in and week out.There’s been points in my life where I’ve felt that I’ve had to made changes.To not do so would of held nothing but negative consequences. There’s been points in my Thai boxing journey I’ve stepped into challenges.
In both respects what I’ve wanted has been right in front of me. Right there. So real that I could almost touch it,that I could see its tangibility long before I stepped into what I knew would only ever be everything that I wanted. That’s not to say both journeys haven’t been without their fair share of fear. You know the stuff. It’s false evidence and it’s never really real.
No.. the fear isn’t real but sometimes the doubts can be. The limiting beliefs that follow can be the toughest to push through but like with everything Muay Thai and just like with everything else in my life, once committed and sure of my destination I just keep walking forward. Just like with my fighting too. Really I’ve learnt that conviction and self belief plays a big part in anything you want to achieve in training, in the ring and in life in general. And when it comes to training and fighting I know that if I don’t believe in myself as well my own ability then why should anyone else?
You can probably tell that me and self doubt are old friends, but through competing I’ve found the best way to deal with doubt and limitations (usually self imposed) is to rise up to the challenge anyway. The self confidence I’ve gained through competing and training I’ve applied to other areas of my life and I’m pleased to say I’ve learnt to walk a lot taller than before. In fact, I never thought I would ever walk this tall.
That’s not to say before a fight or any new challenge that appears I don’t feel fear, it’s just that experience has taught me to deal with the emotion a lot better and when it comes to competing I’ve begun to understand that fear can be turned into decisive action when you need it the most. ‘Turn fear into fire’ as someone once said to me. Besides, he who hesitates is lost. They don’t call it the mind killer for nothing.
I’m finding that working on presence and staying in the moment helps deal with a lot of doubts and reservations I have about not just competing but other areas of life too. Observation is the key, and rather than engaging with a feeling I guess the key is being able to stand away almost from the outside looking in. Remaining centred and focused the world quickly becomes yours, and I can see it being a very useful tool when it comes to fighting.
I’m a long way away from being a fluid well oiled fighting machine ( more in need of a can of WD40 at points being totally honest ) who simply responds to his opponent under pressure, but every little helps and using tools that help me improve my mental fight game as well as my physical elements is a learning experience and a work in progress as always.
Drilling techniques results in sharper responses and I’m already thinking about what new tools I can put in the proverbial kit bag. There’s a few things happening when I’m sparring now I’m very happy with and I’m getting faster too. If I can switch off but stay sharp things should get interesting. Being honest, it’s not going to badly at present (no pun intended) and I’m enjoying the process and I’m always learning.
So next week onwards as always I’m going to make sure the week is all about graft. The one thing it won’t be about is comfort zones because as we all know there’s no growth to be found there. It’s good to have renewed enthusiasm for training but I guess that’s what focus and goals do. They give you something to aim for. Usually it’s worth going for broke. Have a fantastic week, and just like the last time. I’ll see you on that road.
“Growth and comfort do not co-exist.”