if you are walking for the first time into a Muay Thai or MMA gym, things can be a bit intimidating. You don’t know what to expect, thoughts such as: “Will I get hurt,” “Can I survive the training,” “Am I even cut out for this,” may cross your mind.
On a side note: Choosing the right school for you is the most important first step in starting your journey and we will be discussing this topic in a later article. As a quick tip, however, looking at the gym’s Facebook page and website might give you a hint as to what type of school they might be.
Mental Readiness and Attitude
When starting any martial arts class, having a humble attitude is crucial. Having the right attitude will save you a lot of trouble. If you come into class with a big ego, thinking you are entering into a brawl; then you are in for a surprise. As you will most probably get humbled very quickly. These schools are teaching the roughest form of fighting, even the weakest trained fighter would still have a technical advantage over someone with no training, due to the time period spent practicing.
Discipline and Focus
This won’t be easy but you will get better. At the start you may feel overwhelmed by all the new techniques that you will be taught, from straight up boxing to kicking techniques, clinching (neck wrestling), etc. This is perfectly normal. Don’t expect you will learn everything in a day, it takes time and practice.
As the training progresses, try and focus as much as you can and refine your technique, whether it is on the bags or elsewhere. Each step takes you closer to your target.
Don’t bombard your teacher with questions, especially during the training. Your focus should mainly be on the techniques and how to learn the right method. Again, if you don’t trust the School, leave and find another place. If the teacher is top notch, then he has studied the best methods of striking. If you do ask questions, make sure it does not come off as an argument or debate.
If you are in it for the long run, it is best to appreciate the high-quality teaching you are receiving. Therefore, above all comes respect.
Always address your teacher with respect whether he is just a Trainer, Instructor, Kru or Master, address him properly. By doing so, you will surely find that your teacher will be looking out for you.
I would of loved to say that most of you have goals stepping in to the School, but in reality it is not always the case. Some want to fight, some want to lose weight, while others want to learn self-defense. Understanding your goals is key to improving your learning.
It will take you time to decide how things will go, but in a month or so you can start feeling and understanding what you really want from this path.
Ask to speak to your Teacher or Instructor about your goals, he has more knowledge and can guide you best with whatever your goals may be.
Equipment will save you or break you. Proper equipment will protect your legs, fists and mouth. The more common training equipment are shin insteps for leg protection, boxing gloves, mouth guards and head gear.
If you are planning to fight, headgear and a mouth guard are essential pieces of equipment for you.
Food and your nutrition is the third most important factor after choice of school and getting the proper equipment.
If your diet is proper, you will lose weight, gain muscle, grow strong and feel amazing. But what types of food will help you get energized before a training? And how long before?
A pre-workout snack can be taken 45 minutes before a training. That can include a peanut butter sandwich, with whole grain bread, as it easy to digest.
Coffee, 10 minutes before a workout can also help boost your energy during training. Try and stay away from energy drinks the amount of caffeine and other ingredients might not be very healthy for your body.
The best post-workout meal is meat- Meat provides Iron, amino acids and other ingredients to rebuild your muscle tissues.
You can always take supplements with zinc and iron if you are a vegetarian.
I hope this article helps you on your journey into Martial Arts. Good luck!