Fight Training, The Harsh Reality
To be a fighter takes a lot more than people may think. The training seems excessive to those who don't know, but to those who have fought in the ring, you know that you can never be ready enough for that 6 to 15 minutes of combat that awaits. Real fighters train once or twice a day, 6 days per week. When I say ''real'' fighters, I'm refering to full contact. Whether it's boxing, kickboxing, Muay Thai, MMA etc, it doesn't matter. Sparring competitions on mats are NOT fights. Not even close. If you can't at least run in the morning 6 to 10km, and complete a 2 to 3 hour workout in the evening consisting of skipping rope, 10 to 15 rounds of bag and pad work, sparring, clinching and strength conditioning, then you don't have what it takes to face the reality of a Muay Thai fight, at any level. Muay Thai fighting is a lifestyle, not a hobby. During my training with Joe Hilton at SCTBC, we had a ''3 strikes, you're out'' rule. That was, if you missed 3 training sessions in the 6 weeks leading up to a fight, your fight was cancelled. And our training schedule was intense- We were expected to run at 4:30am every morning, then be at the gym by 5am. There we would skip for 2x3 minute rounds. Next was to hold pads for 7x3 minute rounds for a fighter, then that same fighter would hold 7x3 minute rounds for you. There were 30 second breaks between rounds. Each round would start with rapid kicks. 10 kicks, 10 double kicks, 10 triple kicks, 10 x jab-double rib-jab-double head kicks, 10 x 5 kicks, 10 kicks, and finally 20 kicks. We would then do chin ups, sit ups, sparring sometimes, clinch work, then all go to work at our day jobs. After work, it was back to the gym to do it all again. Most of the fighters had highly physical jobs. Builders, butchers, mechanics etc... Some had families with children. But what we didn't have were excuses. That's what matters most if you are a fighter. Once you have an excuse, it's over, at least until you can make your training a priority again. Not easy, considering it may never be your job. But this game isn't for those seeking an easy way out. Of course, this life isn't for everyone. I encourage and genuinely love to see Muay Thai practiced as a martial art for fitness, social and self defence reasons. But if you want to take it to the next level, you better expect to train hard. Glory comes at a cost, but even a bloke like me who is a b grade fighter at best, can assure you that it is well worth it.