One of the most difficult things any fighter will have to deal with in their career is facing defeat. It’s a scenario no one wants to be in, but it’s something that seems almost inevitable.
Even the greatest Muay Thai fighters of all time like Samart Payakaroon, Saenchai, Dieselnoi, and countless others all have defeats on their record. Sometimes they even have brutal defeats.
That's why today’s topic is all about overcoming defeat.
The last fight I had sucked and I ended up losing by head kick KO. Not a good way to go out. But, hey, as Rocky said:
“It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you get hit and keep moving forward, how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”
Overcoming defeat is how you ultimately find success. If you can’t handle defeats, then you’re going to have a very tough time in this sport where even the best fighters...
< Note: We have previously discussed heavy bag drills that will build up your balance. This is an expansion of what we talked about last time, so I strongly recommend you read it here before going forward. >
Today we’re going to be looking at heavy bag drills for techniques that will not only improve your balance but also improve your co-ordination on unorthodox combinations.
We’re going to be specifically looking at building punches off of kicks. Conventional wisdom is to lead with a punch (the easier technique to see coming) in order to set up a kick. This is a completely valid way to fight, and it’s not wrong at all to emphasize this in your training. What is often overlooked, however, is doing the inverse.
Throwing a kick, at half power, to follow through with a powerful punch is an underutilized and formidable approach to fighting that has given some of the best kickboxers in history knockout...
“Muay Thai is one of the most brutal sports in the world” is probably something that you’ve heard countless times before.
When people say this, they are usually referring to the physical aspects of the sport, particularly all that damage nak muays take in fights and training.
What is talked about far less often is how brutal this sport can be mentally and emotionally,and at no point is the sport more mentally damaging than after a loss.
Training for months for one fight only to come up short is one of the most devastating feelings that you could ever have, especially if you lose by a stoppage. A loss can haunt you and steal your confidence right out from under you.
The question is: how do we confront this very real (and, for a long time, unacknowledged) phenomenon?
How do we begin to dig ourselves out of these holes? Like this:
This is something to do in the immediate...
Today we’re getting deep!
The fight game is a crazy, crazy experience. Sometimes you might be on top of the world and next thing you know you’re a nobody that no one even cares about. You might be unbeatable one year, then go on a massive losing streak the next.
Fighting is tough. So that’s why today Paul and I are talking all about the lessons in mindset that we’ve learned from all the years of training, fighting and studying we’ve put into Muay Thai!
Everyone talks about how sports are more mental than physical, but how often do you actually hear people talking about the psychological aspects of training? We all know exactly how to throw a teep, but how many people know how to focus their mind and get it ready for a fight? Not many.
But today we’re not just talking about things like how to keep your mind sharp. We’re also talking about all the obstacles that Paul and I both have had...
One of the most common reasons people get into martial arts is because they watched UFC 1, in which a skinny Brazilian guy in pajamas dominated people much bigger, taller, and stronger than him.
What an inspiration!
Another is because they watched a movie where the little guy kicked the bigger guy’s ass. Bottom line is that we love watching the underdogs beat the giants.
Royce Gracie (the aforementioned "skinny guy") did it through Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and, more specifically, grappling, which allows you to more easily shut down and overpower a bigger man.
Can the same be done in a striking art like Muay Thai?
It ain’t easy...
Range Finding: A Case Study
As Sean and Paul covered above, an important key to beating an opponent bigger, taller and stronger than you is to be extremely disciplined and diligent when exiting combinations.
One of the clearest examples of this behavior is ...
Preparing for your first fight can be pretty stressful, as your head is constantly spinning just thinking about what to expect.
It’s really hard, as you probably haven’t done anything similar to it before. Consciously accepting and then taking to months prepare for a fist fight -- who does that??
It can be hard to know exactly how to prepare for your first fight: should you focus on cardio, technique, strength...?
Well, the answer to that question is usually to just listen to what your coach tells you, as you probably aren’t the only fighter they’ve brought to their first fight. But even if you’re doing everything your coach tells you to do, you’re probably still thinking about even more things to do so you can guarantee that win. The struggle never ends.
That being said, let’s talk about some things you should do in preparation for your first Muay Thai fight to make it...
Muay Thai newbies probably think that boxing is one of the major components of the sport. (After all, Muay Thai translates to “Thai boxing,” right?)
Well... not exactly.
The truth of the matter though is that boxing is one of the more underutilized aspects of Muay Thai.
That’s especially true in Thailand, where the use of hands isn't given as much weight in terms of points on a Muay Thai judge's scorecard. The reason behind it is the way fights are scored in Thailand, where kicks and knees are granted premium rewards.
Outside of Thailand, it is a totally different story. In North America, Europe, and the rest of the world, there is more emphasis on boxing. Even though a Muay Thai match by name, observers will notice that more boxing combinations are used - not at all the norm in Thailand.
But regardless of where you are fighting, it is important to be good with your hands. Boxing can be a...
It has been three tough rounds now. Round 1: we covered the importance of breaking down your sparring and fight footage. Round 2: why the teep is the "god weapon". And in Round 3: the importance of the clinch and why it is almost a god weapon.
Time to break down the fourth and final round.
To recap very quickly, Sean had a tough first three rounds. His opponent’s teep is laser sharp, and he has very strong punching combinations.
Sean knows that he’s down on the scorecards. He has to go out on his shield or else he’ll likely lose the decision.
For the epic conclusion to this fight, check it out:
Head Kick KO Loss: Analysis
As you saw, unfortunately, this did not go Sean’s way. His opponent, Phetch, was able to rock Sean with punches and eventually land a brutal head kick.
Even though both knockdowns came from head...
There is already so much to learn in Muay Thai. Just learning how to box is tough enough, and now I have to master six other limbs, too??? C'mon!
Seriously, even after 10+ years and 30+ fights, I'm still picking up completely new-to-me tactics and techniques here in Thailand. It can get overwhelming very easily, but one of the main principles Paul "Reaper" Banasiak and I will be talking about today is how that variety and doing so much can help you.
As you can guess, in today’s episode, we’re talking all about the supplemental training you need to do in order to maximize your Muay Thai training and turn you into the best nak muay that you can be!
It might seem counter-intuitive to spend all of your effort on so many other things that aren’t Muay Thai itself, but it absolutely helps.
Think about it this way. Why is Muay Thai such an effective martial art, and why particularly are...
Muay Thai and footwork are not exactly synonymous. You don't really think of one and instantly think of the other. No, it just does not work that way for Muay Thai and footwork.
The classic image that most casual observers have of Muay Thai is two combatants standing right in front of the other and trading power shots.
Footwork is more associated with Western boxing than it is with Muay Thai. That is a misconception that needs to be corrected.
Those in the know understand what footwork means to "the Art of Eight Limbs." Make no mistake about it, footwork is just as essential in Muay Thai.
Footwork for Offense & Defense
The right footwork is useful in both offense and defense. To be a real and effective nak muay, you need to be able to do both effectively.
It gets you to the right spot so you can throw your strikes effectively by using angles that will let you...