So you have decided to go back to the Muay Thai roots and train in Thailand? I have been here for a while now- training and fighting, so I have put together a few things you need to consider.
Water – Remember you’re not Thai! It is really hot and humid, even in the rainy season, and they train twice a day! Make sure you drink water or even better pick up some electrolytes from a local pharmacy ( 50 sachets for around 250B) I find these better whilst training as they don’t give you as much of a ‘water baby’ and more importantly will replenish the salts you will lose through sweat (also don’t gulp your water, it wont be nice if you take a body shot!)
BE ON TIME – This is a HUGE pet hate of mine. Muay Thai is about respect and discipline so…..HAVE SOME! If your session starts at 730 am, be there! Even better be 5 minutes early, it won’t go unnoticed.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY – Rest is so important and highly underrated here. Most gyms are closed on Sundays so rest, go the beach, catch up with friends, CHILL! Don’t be a hero and train, even most Thai fighters have Sundays off. Also if you’re a few weeks in and start feeling really weak and uninspired, this means you need a break, have a day off – your body will thank you for it!
CUT YOUR NAILS – Girls / Boys / Fingers and Toes!!! It’s not nice clinching someone with claws guys, get them cut!
THE RIGHT GYM- Do your research, find a gym that’s right for your style. Have a look how their fighter’s fight. Speak to people that have trained in Thailand before etc. If you are coming solely for Muay Thai, it is so important you are happy where you are training i.e. 1- Are you learning? 2- Is the atmosphere good? 3- Are you looking forward to training at 7.30am (or even earlier) every morning?! If the answer to these questions is No then my advice would be to cut your losses and move elsewhere because if you are not smiling when you are training, WHAT’S THE POINT??
RESPECT THE TRAINERS – Make sure you show some respect to the trainers. Some can speak better English than others but “thank you” is universal – Use it!
SPARRING WITH THAIS – If you are lucky enough to get a chance to spar with the Thai fighters (not every gym does this) then do yourself a favor and DON’T try and bomb their head off. This is their life and job which is generally why they only tech spar, if they cant fight, they probably can’t put food on the table so leave the Ego at home and relax – You will 100% learn more sparring this way anyway.
STAY AWAY – If you are sick, stay away from the gym, it’s not fair on everyone else and it’s also a sure sign your body is trying to tell you it needs a rest. Also, its pretty annoying when you are trying to train and someone is coughing and spluttering!!
EAT WELL – Give your body the fuel it needs after your sessions. You can’t put water in your car and expect it to perform, so nourish yourself to get the best out of your training.
ALL LEVELS -Remember, Muay Thai is for everyone from beginners right the way through to top level fighters. So take your time, enjoy the experience and meet some amazing people along the way .
If you can think of any more tips or advice feel free to comment – hope this helps!
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