This summer, Chael Sonnen gave a unique definition as to what makes a fighter during his You’re Welcome podcast. He said:
Fighting is when it’s hard. Fighting is when that person is coming back at you with equal or greater resistance. That’s what a fighter is, and when it doesn’t go your way and you want to stay in bed in the morning, when that alarm goes off you get your ass up, put your boots on and you go face the world. That’s what a fighter does.
When Sonnen made this statement, he was discussing former UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey as being an aggressorversus a fighter. However, as this quote also illustrates, that the word “fighting” can be diversely applied to many facets of life. There is, of course, the literal definition of fighting: to physically engage with another person in a violence, combat or aggression. Tied to that...
Wherever people are engaging in serious sporting competition, you can guarantee there are also countless others practicing the same sport for recreation only.
For every Tiger Woods, there are a thousand average joes on driving ranges; for every Buakaw, Sitsongpeenong or Samart Payakaroon, there are droves of regular men and women practicing Muay Thai in gyms across the world with no intent of ever having a real fight.
It’s been said before and it will be said again: Muay Thai has something for everyone. This is one of the unique qualities about Muay Thai, that it invites onto the mats people from all sorts of jobs and backgrounds.
Let’s break down some of the benefits of training Muay Thai without any real intention of taking an opponent:
The Physical: “I Want To Get Jacked/Healthy!”
Muay Thai is a great way to get in shape. It burns tons of calories while giving...
This was one of the first heavy bag drills I did when I started boxing when I was younger. I learned really quick that I need to keep my chin tucked, especially if I wanted to make sure I didn’t lose any money! You’ll get what I mean once you watch the video of this type of Muay Thai heavy bag drill:
See what I mean? There’s much more on the line now when you hit the heavy bag if you are holding money underneath your chin.
Of course, although using money as the tool for this drill can be highly motivated, if you’re a broke joke like myself and can’t afford to put some bills underneath your chin, you can also use a tennis ball or rubber ball of some sort.
There are even more awesome Muay Thai heavy bag drills like this one in my latest,...
Think about your favorite hobby, whatever it is… OK, I mean your #2 hobby after Muay Thai! Maybe you’re into skydiving, or crocheting, or bodybuilding, or trading stamps, or WHATEVER!
Now think about doing that hobby with a friend. Not just any friend, but a like-minded friend… a supportive friend… a friend who is just as passionate as you are about collecting Pogs, or painting landscapes, or fixing up old furniture. Isn’t it better with a friend like that? Doesn’t your hobby go from a “great” to a “WOW!” with a buddy who is just as into it as you are??
That philosophy is at the heart of every single Nak Muay Nation retreat or camp. In the time that we’ve been setting up these excursions, I can’t tell you how many of our attendees have left with phone numbers, emails and Facebook info from the...
Everyone is obsessed with protein and getting enough of it. Almost any person who is health or fitness -oriented has a tub of protein powder in their house. We are often told by our friends and training partners that we need to take protein powder if we are active, especially in an intense sport like Muay Thai. Protein, protein, protein!
Setting all the hype aside, guess what? Generally speaking, if you are:
1) eating enough calories, and;
2) eating a balanced diet
…then you do not need protein powder! A balanced diet that takes into account your Muay Thai sessions will provide you with the protein you need to recover and grow your muscles. Having too much protein will put stress on your kidneys. Similar to how extra carbs turn to fat, it’s the same with protein.
Moreover, if you’re getting enough protein from eating actual food, why waste money on buying...
Muay Thai is an extremely physical activity that is becoming increasingly popular. Whether you want to become a professional Muay Thai boxer or are just interested in doing it for exercise, there are some tips you should know before jumping into the ring.
#1: Be Technical
When you build something, you need to begin with a foundation. You may have the physical strength and power to perform well, but if you have poor technique, then you run the risk of being injured. If you build your Muay Thai practice with a firm foundation and learn all the movements with correct form and technique, then you maximize your full potential and decrease the risk of injury.
#2: Build Your Cardio
Muay Thai is an activity that requires a lot of energy because of all the rapid movements you do such as shuffling, punching, and kicking. It’s a full body workout, and if you don’t take the time to build your...
There has been a recent increase in the popularity of high fat, low carb diets, and as a direct result, carbohydrates have become somewhat demonized within the health and fitness industry.
Carbohydrates have been described as the cause of cardiovascular and metabolic disease, as well as immune system disorders, and of course, the current obesity epidemic plaguing the nation.
Interestingly, this is not the entire story.
While a low carbohydrate diet may be beneficial for your everyday office worker as a way to lose weight, I am here to tell you that for anyone trains, competes, and works hard towards athletic endeavors of any kind, low carb diets are detrimental to success.
Carbohydrates are absolutely essential to the production of energy. This holds particularly true when we discuss energy produced at a high intensity (during anaerobic exercise), such as that seen during a single bout...
In the sport of Muay Thai or combat sports in general, the spectator sees two fighters against one another. One of the fighters will become the winner, the other the loser. Black and white, cut and dry. But there is another battle raging- an unseen war being fought individually, by each fighter inside his or her own head.
The pressure to perform, to live up to expectation, to represent and, most of all, the pressure of satisfaction. When a fighter accepts a fight, they smile, promote, rally others to their support, and market and sell the fight. What you will not see is the worry, the anxiety, the stress, the fear… the pressure.
Today we’ll examine some of the mental gymnastics a fighter performs ahead of their bout, as well as the internal torture they endure.
What Makes A Fighter Tick?
For any fighter, amateur or professional, staying busy in a fighting career is always important. Most...
It was an absolute honor getting cartwheel kicked in the head by the great Saenchai.
Having a living legend and best pound-for-pound fighter hold a seminar at our Nak Muay Nation Training Camp was one of the MANY amazing highlights of the camp. Besides learning some of Saenchai’s favorite Muay Thai techniques, a handful of us (including myself) had the opportunity to do some light sparring with him too… which was epic!
Take a look at some of the seminar footage which includes my sparring round with him as well as 3 of his favorite Muay Thai techniques:
Saenchai Technique #1: Fake Roundhouse To Teep
Saenchai is known for his tricky kicking techniques so we were all pretty excited when he was showing us things like the fake roundhouse to teep. A major aspect of this technique is having the hip dexterity to start in the trajectory of...
I remember the numerous bone-breaking body kicks and knees I took for 4 rounds that made me want to vomit.
I remember taking a powerful cross to the nose and hitting the canvas with blood pouring down my face.
I remember thinking:
“I could just stay down and no one would even know that I could get back up. No one would give me shit. No one would know I gave up and quit like a coward.”
I remember noticing these thoughts about giving up and staying down on the canvas.
I remember thinking that, "yea, no one would know I gave up... No one, EXCEPT ME."
I remember getting back up, finishing the round, and knowing that I had to get the KO in the 5th round.
I remember that Ed Sheeran was playing between rounds... which was weird.
I remember going into the final round with the “knock him out or get knocked out trying” mindset.
I remember knocking him out with a flush uppercut through his guard....