Why do you train Muay Thai? Establishing your motives for training is key to establishing your mentality.
In Muay Thai, your mentality is everything. You can have amazing technique and unrivaled athleticism, but without strong and determined mentality, you’ll fall short of achieving your Muay Thai goals. Without it, you won’t reap the full benefit of the experience.
Everyone approaches their Muay Thai mentality differently. You may get angry, you may get hyped, and if you’re like me, you may get really serious. I always donned a mental suit of armor and I was all business when I was training, especially for a fight.
Whether you train for fitness or train for fighting, Muay Thai requires just as much mental strength as physical strength.
Muay Thai demands a lot. And that’s an understatement. Beyond remembering combinations, drills and sequences, you have to stay mentally strong to withstand the physical pressure of someone attacking you and the physical endurance it takes to effectively respond. My mantra was always, “mind over matter”.
Fighting Muay Thai is a mental exercise, like chess. You calculate your moves and strategize in order to be the most effective. But you also have to play to your strengths and not allow your opponent to capitalize on your weaknesses. The expression, “keep your head in the game,” is relevant when describing the focus and mental agility Muay Thai fighters need in the ring. But what differentiates Muay Thai fighters isn’t their skill sets, but the mentality that the enter the ring with. Some come to kill, some come to hurt, and some come to win. A fighter must step over the ropes with an iron-clad mentality, or success is not an option. I learned this the hard way. Trust me, having the right attitude is half of the battle and sets you up to win before a single punch is thrown.
Regardless of what your reasons are for training Muay Thai, you cannot be successful without a strong mentality. I maintain that it takes a certain type of person to train Muay Thai. Anyone can come to class and go through the motions. But it’s a different kind of character who can channel the Muay Thai mentality and dedication to hard work and perseverance, and that is what sets Muay Thai fighters apart.