A lot of people come to Thailand with the intention of fighting, but never end up in the ring. I’ve seen some guys talk a big game, but when it comes to fighting they always have an excuse. Something ‘magically’ happens when it comes time to make a commitment.
This article breaks down 3 reasons why you won’t fight in Thailand. I think the second reason is the one that gets a lot of the single guys who come here. Lack of discipline and the want to have fun are two driving factors behind this.
Reason #1: You Will Get Cold Feet
This happens to a lot of people who want to fight when they come to Thailand. They are training hard and feeling good about fighting, until they go watch one of their buddies get destroyed in a Muay Thai match. Seeing someone walk away with 15 stitches on their face and barely able to walk after a fight is something that will scare a lot of people away from fighting.
Anytime you are planning on having a Muay Thai fight it is important to understand that you are a risk getting in the ring. No matter how much training you do and how prepared you are for the fight anything can happen. Training hard will mitigate the chance of something bad happening – getting knocked out, cut, or low kick stoppage – but it won’t eliminate the risk.
People planning on fighting will need to accept these risks as part of the sport. If you aren’t prepared to get stitches on your face then you probably shouldn’t take a full rules Muay Thai fight in the first place.
Here are some tips to help you deal with Getting Cold Feet:
- Avoid watching fights a week before you fight – Seeing people get cut and knocked out is not good for the mind when you are preparing to go into battle
- Don’t be Afraid – Don’t fear getting cut or injured during your fight. Embrace this risk and use it to motivate you to train harder.
- Prepare yourself mentally and physically – Being fully prepared for a fight will help relieve some of the mental and physical stress that you have leading up to the fight.
Reason #2: The Nightlife Will Consume You
Many people who come to Thailand with the intentions on having a Muay Thai fight never manage to fully commit. Partying is probably the number one cause for people to become lazy at training and not dedicate themselves fully to Muay Thai. Although the intentions to fight are always there, the reality is the Thailand nightlife can devour some guys into partying 3-4 nights a week, leaving little time for training.
One thing I should clear up is there is nothing wrong with partying in Thailand. If you have never been to Thailand than you probably want to see what they Famous nightlife is all about. This is something that everyone should experience a few times when they come to Thailand. This is only a problem when people come to Thailand with the purpose of having a Muay Thai fight and they get sucked up into the bar scene with other guys at the gym.
I have seen dozens of guys come to Thailand with the intentions of fighting who end up with a couple Thai “girlfriends” rather than Muay Thai fights. These guys will end up training on odd days when they are not hungover from a 3 day weekend binge at the bar – completely consumed by the Thai nightlife.
The biggest advice I can give to anyone who is planning on fighting while they are in Thailand is party after your fight. This will give you motivation to train hard and win your fight so you can let loose and celebrate after with your friends.
How to Avoid This Pitfall:
- Don’t go to the bars….. PERIOD – People who don’t have self-control should stay away from the bars at all cost
- Party after your fight – This gives you a good reason to train hard. When you win your fight you can celebrate with your friends after (unless they have fights coming up)
- Only go out on Saturdays – If have to go out then one night a week should be your limit. You shouldn’t go to hard because Sunday is the day you need to recover from a hard week of training and not from a hangover
- Travel with your girlfriend/boyfriend – Couples who visit Muay Thai gyms are more motivated to train and less into the bar scene (not always the case of course)
- Train in Bangkok – If you are training at the more serious gyms in Bangkok you won’t be motivated to go out because nobody else goes out
Reason #3: Your Body Will Break Down
This is the most common reason for people not fighting in Thailand. Most people are not prepared for the rigorous 2x per day/6 days per week training. When you get to Thailand you will have full intention to fight until your body starts to give you trouble. Although 3 weeks of hard training is plenty of time to get into fight shape, most people end up feeling extremely fatigued by the end of week 2.
The unfortunate part about training in Thailand is your Thai trainers don’t like excuses. If you are tired and sore they will become angry if you miss a single morning or afternoon session. The Thai’s don’t understand the concept of over training, so don’t expect to get any sympathy from your trainers when you are feeling weak and tired.
Being extremely fatigued will make you more susceptible to injuries also. If your body is sore and weak all over, there is a higher risk of you getting injured. This can be prevented with a good warm-up and Thai oil before training, but injuries are a huge reason why most people don’t fight in Thailand.
Here are some tips to keep your body healthy:
- Warm up before training – A good warm up will help keep your muscles loose and avoiding pulling or straining anything when you train
- Use Thai Oil – Rubbing your body with Thai oil can help cool and relax the muscles. I find this can help with some of the aches and pains you might feel.
- Take a rest day – Even though your trainer will hate you for it, take a day off if you need to. You shouldn’t worry about what they think and focus on making sure your body is fit to fight.
- Expect to Be Sore/Tired – When you are fight training you will tired and sore all the time. This isn’t something that ever goes away so you shouldn’t be scared when it happens to you.
- Take your Vitamins – Bringing down your multivitamins and supplements can ensure you don’t get sick while you are training.
- Shower Often and Wash Your Training Gear – Staph infection and other skin related infections are common in the gyms. You need to make sure you wash your wraps and training clothes in Dettol (A popular disinfectant) daily. This will prevent any infections from occurring.
If you plan on taking a fight when you go to Thailand you should allow yourself enough time to get adjusted to the training, weather and food. You might think you are fit before you arrive, but the training is very cardio intensive and can put the drain on even the best athletes.
Always make sure that you feel ready 100% mentally and physically before you even think about fighting. If you are just starting out Muay Thai you shouldn’t think about fighting until you are very competent sparring with others. Being ready physically will help you stay mentally focused when it comes time to step into the ring.