While everyone is allowed to express an opinion, some opinions are more valuable than others.
If you ever scroll through Youtube, Instagram Muay Thai comment sections, or browse Reddit, you will often come across a number of self-described experts online. While 95% of people have genuinely good intentions and are hungry for knowledge, there is a small group of people who make discussing Muay Thai a very difficult thing.
These are the people who offer unsolicited tips on why your technique is wrong on your Instagram video or give a pointer about how you need to work on something.
Here are the 5 most common people you find in the Muay Thai comment sections online.
#1. The Know It All
The Know It All is one of the most common people you see lurking forums and threads. They will often say obvious things like, “Hey man, stop dropping your hands when you kick or you can get knocked out from a counter punch.” Thanks captain obvious.
While the Know It All might have good intentions, nobody is going to listen to some random person telling them what they are doing is wrong. These people are the Muay Thai equivalent of the grammar police, go around correcting grammar errors in the comment sections of articles.
A lot of these people don’t actually realize what they are doing is irritating to people around them. They think they are giving good advice to people who need it. And while people might politely respond to their comments with a thank you, the really want to block them from their feed.
#2. The Fan Boy
There is a little bit of a fan boy in all of us. We all have favorite fighters, and I will be the first to admit that when I met Littewada, Superlek, and Panpayak for the first time at Rajadamnern stadium, I was definitely asking for pictures. The issue is when this fandom carries over into the comment sections online.
Whenever I post a video breakdown of a Thai fighter, there will always be someone in the comments who will say that X fighter would smash him or that he isn’t good because he lost to X fighter. They will bring up their hero in every conversation and talk about how good they are.
If you encounter a fan boy online, you will never convince them that their fighter has weaknesses or isn’t the best. Just ignore their comments and don’t argue with the illogical.
#3. The “My Coach Said This” Guy
There are tens of thousands of Muay Thai coaches around the world, and everyone believes that their coach is the best. While it can be difficult to separate your personal relationship with your coach, it is important to realize that your coach does it his way, and that is his way of doing things, not necessarily the only way.
If someone has asked for advice, then giving them advice based on what your coach has taught you is a good option. However, don’t go around giving random people advice or correcting online technique based on what your coach says. In every technique there is slight variations among fighters. No two fighters kick the same way, even in Thailand. Body types and the style they learned affect how it looks when a fighter kicks.
#4. The Self Identified Expert
These are the guys claiming to have been in 20 street fights and have a Muay Thai certificate from some school that takes a week to get a certificate (Master Toddy). There are many self identified experts and they claim a lot of stuff online or in the gym. Usually the guys with the biggest egos at the gym, are not that very good.
I’ve met dozens of guys who come to Thailand and talk a big game about how good they are, and 99% of these guys are full of shit. The moment you start sparring with them, all of that talk goes out the window and they start making excuses as to why they are getting schooled.
There is a whole group of people online who talk a big game and have nothing to back it up. These guys will claim anything, just to make people listen to what they have to say. With the internet, don’t ever trust anyone who claims to be a self identified expert unless you know them.
#5. The Village Idiot
While the other people who comment might have some kind of logic behind their advice or critique, Village Idiots are people who have no idea what they are talking about. They are very arrogant and believe in what they say when they say it.
These guys make comments saying a Thai Champion with 300+ fights isn’t kicking correctly and should not swing his hand when he kicks. I have read comments like this in my YouTube channel that features some of the best Thais in the world.
When you come across a Village Idiot, don’t even engage. Either ignore the comment, block the comment, or delete the comment. Whatever you do, make sure you do not try to engage in a logical discussion asking for the reasons behind their opinion.
Conclusion: Don’t Give People Advice Online
As a general rule, if someone doesn’t ask for your advice, DON’T GIVE IT. If someone is a beginner and posts a video of themselves hitting pads, chances are they don’t have perfect technique, and that’s perfectly normal. They don’t need YOU to point out their flaws unless they SPECIFICALLY ask for your opinion.
Secondly, if you still decide to offer your opinion on how to do a technique the right way, upload of video of you performing the technique. That way the world can see if you can actually practice what you preach. Most self-described experts guys with no fight experience who train 3 times a week at their local Muay Thai gym. While there is nothing wrong with this, you shouldn’t give people advice unless you disclose that you are not an expert and are asked specifically for advice.
If someone says, “hey guys, I would like to get your opinion on my technique,” then by all means give your opinion. BUT DO NOT GIVE UNSOLICITED TIPS TO RANDOM PEOPLE ONLINE. If you happen to know someone then you can send them a private message and keep the advice private. Or even better, tell them in person in a non judgemental way.
This rule applies to training at the gym as well. While it is good to give advice if someone asks, don’t go up to someone correcting their technique unless you are considered someone who should do that at your gym. There are a lot of well intentioned people, who have no business giving anyone advice.