“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...
It’s fight night. You feel more ready than ever to step into the ring and you feel confident about coming away with another hard-earned win. How could you not feel that way after all the hard work and sacrifices you’ve made, right?
You’ve put rigorous hours in the gym banging the heavy bag, hitting pads, and sparring tough, experienced guys.
You’ve obsessively watched your diet for weeks making sure you were simultaneously losing weight, eating healthy and getting enough nutrients into your body to train hard.
You’ve visualized the fight over and over and over and over again replaying what felt like every possible scenario that could happen in the context of a fight.
You just finished warm-ups. You take the walk down the hallway towards the ring. You start to feel the energy of the crowd and you hear the music blasting it’s bass...
Can’t stand losing, even to better fighters? Check that thought and learn to love losing. . .
So the situation here might seem a bit absurd. You might be asking yourself: “Why on earth would I fight someone that I know is better than me? Why would I fight someone knowing that I will lose? What’s the point???”
Yes, at first impression, it is crazy to step into the ring with someone who has much more experience than you, or with someone whose style trumps yours in every way. Ego and fight record aside, doing this has great benefits, and is something commonly done in Thailand when prospects are on their way to becoming the next big thing in the sport.
Why do you it? The answer is quite simple: to grow as a fighter.
If you think about it, nothing you’ve done up to this point in your journey to be a successful fighter has been easy. Juggling work, school, training, and a...