We live in a world that is filled with distractions. The moment you pick up your phone in the morning, you are bombarded with social media algorithms that are programmed to distract you.
For Muay Thai fanatics, this is a good thing. You can follow several different blogs and have a constant stream of new Muay Thai content to satisfy your never-ending desire for all things Muay Thai.
When I first started training Muay Thai back in 2006, I remember scrolling through YouTube and looking up all the how-to tutorials online. I get what it feels like to want to soak up as much information as you possibly can.
With an endless supply of Muay Thai content at your disposal, it is easy to get distracted by things that are not important to your development. Developing your Muay Thai game is a process. No matter how much ‘knowledge’ you know of the sport, you still need to put in the work in training to improve.
Unfortunately, many of us don’t have the patience to wait for results months/years down the road.
We want to be good RIGHT NOW.
People want to reach the final goal, without realizing the important steps needed to reach that goal. When you watch high-level fighters in the ring, you are seeing a final product. You don’t get to see the thousands of hours those fighters put in training to develop those skills.
There Are No “Secrets” to Muay Thai Success
Let me be the bringer of bad news: There is NO SECRET technique, drill, or combination that that will take your game to the next level.
The only secret to success is to WORK HARDER than everyone else.
Con Artists have been teaching martial arts fighting ‘secrets’ for decades to scam people into giving them their money.
While beginners might get fooled into thinking they are just missing a few advanced combos until they are good, don’t be fooled by the noise. If you want to get better, you simply need to put in the time improving your game.
Training the right way over time will allow you to make incremental steps that will slowly improve your game.
First, develop your fundamentals and good technique. Once you have a good base that is balanced and controlled, focus on sparring and develop your timing. This is how you will improve.
Whether you learn how to do a specific combination or not is not going to be a difference-maker in your game.
You want to get better? Spar as many different people of all skill levels as you can. Facing hundreds/thousands of opponents will teach you exactly what you need to do to improve your game.
Don’t Get Distracted by ‘Advanced’ Techniques
As much as we all want to learn how to do an amazing flying knee and spinning elbow, those techniques are used sparingly in fights. Sure, you see the highlights on Facebook when fighters get knocked out by those techniques, but those are a select few clips taken from thousands of fights.
Something I’ve said a hundred times and will continue to mention is that the basics are going to win you fights. Your left and right body kick are the two most important strikes in Muay Thai. Master those techniques before you start trying to learn something else.
Learning how to land your strikes is the most important skill you can develop.
Do you know what makes a fighter like Saenchai so good? Is it Saenchai’s flashy moves and tricky combos?
What makes Saenchai so good is his timing. He kicks when he should kick and punches when he should punch. He has the best timing in Muay Thai, which is why he is the best fighter in the world.
I wrote an article in the past that talked about Yodsanklai smashing his Kickboxing opponent by using only 4 techniques the entire fight. No flashy combos, just left kick, left kick, left punch, left kick…..that’s it.
There are hundreds of techniques and combinations you can learn in Muay Thai. And while many of them are good, don’t get caught up in thinking that learning these moves will change your game, because they won’t.
If you want to get better, you need to put in the hours sparring and develop better timing.
You Can’t Be Good at Everything
One thing you need to accept is that you can’t be good at everything. While there are a few superstars out there who are very good in all aspects of Muay Thai, everyone has strengths and weaknesses.
While you should always strive to improve your weaknesses, it is important to understand what your strengths are. There are always going to be areas of your game that you can improve, but you need to realize that your Muay Thai development is a journey.
I’ve been training in Thailand for 5 years and I can still point out specific things I need to improve on. Every day I go in training, I know exactly what techniques work and what ones don’t. I have no disillusion that I am the best or ever will be the best. I am forever going to learn and will always be improving.
This is the mindset you should have going forward.
Pick a few things and get good at those things. By have some strong points to your game, it will give you an advantage when you compete. Rather than being a jack of all trades type of fighter, try to recognize your strengths and make those strengths even stronger.
The Harder You Work, the Better the Results
While some people are born with natural Muay Thai talent, hard work and consistent training can balance the playing field. People born with more natural abilities might do fine against lower level competition, but once they reach a high level of competition technique is going to win out over talent.
The fighters who are willing to put in the work day in and day out, those are the ones that are going to reach the highest levels.
The best way to make these improvements is to train at a gym that focuses on technique and sparring. If you train at an MMA gym that teaches Kickboxing, you probably won’t improve your Muay Thai game. The quality of training at your gym is going to be a significant factor in determining your improvements.
By slowly putting in your work in training and grinding it out each day, you will improve little by little. While you might not notice anything over the course of a month, these little improvements can add up into big results over time.
Your Muay Thai development is a life long journey. Every year you can strive to add more tools to your game that can make you a complete fighter. If you are just starting out, take a deep breath, sit back and enjoy the ride. Strive to be a better version of yourself and you will continue to make strides in your game.
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