If you’re thinking of fighting one day, it’s natural to wonder how long it will take to get good enough to step into the ring. It’s a question that’s often asked, but the answer isn’t as straightforward as one might think. It’s not just a matter of putting in a certain number of hours or years of training. There are many factors to consider, and each person’s journey is unique.
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Quality of Training
Instead of asking yourself “how long,” focus on the quality of your training. Training with purpose and intention will help you progress much faster than merely showing up for class and going through the motions. Quality training means being pushed beyond your comfort zone, being consistent, and being willing to learn and improve.
Discipline & Dedication
Fighting in Muay Thai requires a level of discipline and dedication that goes beyond just showing up for class. It involves a commitment to your training, your nutrition, your mental and emotional state, and your overall health and well-being.
If you lack discipline and dedication without a fight, it’s pretty much safe to say that a fight camp won’t change that. Showing up to grueling fight camp training everyday is physically and mentally tough, and if your consistency doesn’t have the best track record, the middle of fight camp is probably not when it will start to improve.
Shift Your Focus
Scale back and focus on consistently showing up instead of jumping into competing. Fighting is not easy, and training for a fight is even less so. It’s not for everyone, and that’s completely okay. But if it’s something you want to do, make sure you discuss with your coach on what you can do RIGHT NOW to get there. Your coach is the person who has seen you train, knows what you need to work on, and should be the person to be honest with you on your timeline to get there.
Here are some factors to consider when wanting to see when you’re going to be “ready” for a fight:
- Your Starting Point: If you’re a complete beginner, it’s going to take some time to learn the basics and build up your skills. It’s essential to give yourself time to progress and not rush into fighting before you’re ready.
- Your Training Schedule: How often you train will play a significant role in how quickly you progress. The more often you train, the faster you’ll improve. (But make sure to find a balance and avoid overtraining)
- Your Coach: A good coach is essential for your progress. A coach who is experienced, knowledgeable, and invested in your development can make a significant difference in how quickly you improve.
- Your Natural Ability: Some people may have a natural talent for Muay Thai, which can help them progress faster. But if this is not you, don’t worry. With consistent training and dedication, you can still get there.
- Your Mental and Emotional State: Fighting in Muay Thai requires mental and emotional toughness. You can cultivate some of this toughness from training, but you’ll have to make an effort to get this from other areas of your life by challenging yourself. If you’re not mentally and emotionally prepared, it’s going to be a challenge to compete in the ring.
Remember that fighting is not for everyone, and that’s okay. But if it’s something you want to do, make sure you are honest with yourself as many of these factors are highly invidualized. Other people will get there faster than you, others will get there much later. None of that matters – what does matter is how much you’re working towards what you want.
With consistent training, dedication, and the right mindset, you can definitely reach that goal of fighting Muay Thai!
[I speak about this subject more in depth in a podcast episode]