Even though I’m surrounded by friends and family. Training to be a fighter can be very lonely. Sometimes chasing a dream that nobody see’s but you. They might want what’s best for you but they don’t understand when you turn down offers of going out partying or choosing to be designated driver all the time. They don’t want to see you get hurt either so think you’re crazy. They tell you, you spend too much time at the gym and should “relax”. So on this basis you can feel a little alone.
Training is my way of relaxing. I forget everything outside the gym. I feel like ‘me’. For me it’s my outlet for every emotion I have from happiness to frustration.
Finding someone who not only understands your journey but wants to train to fight, as much as you. Coupled with having strengths that they are willing to share and train with you is just awesome. There is only so much training you can do alone. I am extremely self critical and I am my toughest opponent, but I still value input from others. Even more so from those who have been on the same or similar path to me.
I was extremely frustrated with myself earlier this year, I felt so alone in my training and felt no matter how hard I tried I could not get to where I wanted to be. I felt like I hit a wall and I struggled with which direction to turn next. There is so much you can do alone, from working on your stamina and agility to practising certain techniques. But at some point, unless you have someone who you can work with who is going to push you, you’re going to struggle. At the end of the day you’re at war against another person. In Muay Thai it’s two people facing off and seeing who is the harder person by physically destroying the other. You can’t prepare for this by using equipment such as weights or punchbags alone. They can’t strike back! You need to be physically and mentally ready for when you are hit in the face; taking shots to your body; winded or simply caught off balance. When you step into the ring you need to prepare for this as much as possible so none of these things take you by surprise.
Practising combinations is all well and good, by shadow boxing and on the bags and it is a necessity in training! But I can guarantee whoever you fight wont be standing still and just let you pummel them. This is where you NEED a good training partner. Someone who try and make you practice these techniques in ‘real’ conditions (or as real as you can make it). Either by strategically holding pads in certain places or even letting you practice on them! (Even better if they are into a little conditioning).
You fight by yourself, but you didn’t get that way by yourself. It’s a team sport and helps you get to where you’re at — Nate Diaz
To an extent a good instructor is also helpful but only if they are willing to work with you and push you to your limits. Instructors are like books. They are no good if they are in the same room as you looking pretty on the shelf but you don’t actually use them! Also if you actually take on board their advice. They are experienced people and see things slightly differently to what you do. Their advice is invaluable. If you’re training partner is your instructor or your instructor is actively trying to improve you, well you’re one lucky fighter…
You are a product of your environment.
Surround yourself with the best!
I can’t wait to see my training partner fight. Whether he wins or loses I would have contributed in some way to the outcome. I don’t want to let him down. We’re in this together…