How to deal with a fight loss

You trained hard, gave your respective martial art your all – blood, sweat, and maybe a few tears. Everything you’ve done up to the point of your fight was to prepare you for your fight! Though you may have gotten a few good strikes in, the outcome was not what you expected. It is easy to feel down on yourself and never fight again, but we’ve got some tips to keep your spirits and head high.

  1. Do you realize that you are in an elite class of martial artists for choosing to step into the ring in the first place? The fact that you got in there is a huge accomplishment! Congrats!
  2. Relax. We are all human. The chances are, if you ask a bunch of competitive fighters if they’ve ever lost, everyone will be able to answer yes.
  3. Even the world’s greatest fighters experience losses. It doesn’t make them any less of a fighter.
  4. It is not all about winning. Remember why you decided to fight in the first place. If it was all about winning, then maybe your heart was in the wrong place to begin with. When practicing a martial art, never forget that you are a life-long learner of your chosen martial arts discipline.
  5. Taking a loss can help you more than a win can. It is when we are at the low points that we strategize about how to come out on top! A loss forces you to think about the little mistakes and work that much harder in the gym to correct them.
  6. When you get back into the gym, remember that steady progression is key.  [Related: 11 Tips To Improve Flexibility]
  7. Don’t play into your emotions. Often, we get down on ourselves or worse, seek revenge against those that put a beating on us. Recognize that your opponent earned their moment and hold your head high. Don’t be rude or petty, it looks bad on you. [Related: 6 Impulses Every Fighter Must Overcome]
  8. If the loss literally just happened, know that your adrenaline is keeping you from feeling anything. Once your emotions are more stable, assess your damage. Move your limbs slowly, and flex each muscle group. Focus on taking care of yourself!
  9. If possible, request a video to see exactly where you can improve. [Related: 4 Ways To Increase Stamina When Training Muay Thai]
  10. Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Self-pity is the surest way to be an actual “loser”. Look up some positive affirmations, and though you need to re-think some mistakes, don’t forget how far you’ve come.
  11. Ask your coach how they can help you overcome flaws.
  12. Technique. The more comfortable you are with technique, the less likely you are to forget your training in the heat of the moment. When you head back to the gym, try to think about your training in terms of “if / when” statements. For example:
  • “If I begin to get too angry, then I will think about _______.”
  • “When I start to feel like I’m backing out too much, then I will _________.”

Alright Nak Muays and martial artists, we hope these tips help you throughout training and your next fight. If you love the art of fighting, keep your head up and jump back in when you are ready! Remember, you belong to an elite club of fighters by stepping into the ring or cage in the first place.

Want to brush up on your Muay Thai skills? Check out our YouTube channel or if you are local, please stop by our gym in Northern Virginia.