If I were to describe Muay Thai as a property I would call it Fire. High Energy, explosive and very powerful. The Training which includes arduous amounts of running, skipping, difficult full body conditioning, and rounds upon rounds on the bag and with your pad holder. These are the things required to improve within the sport.
The training experience is very challenging, but the beauty within this difficult experience is personal growth. Each student of the Art is placing themselves within a difficult situation and seeing themselves overcome the challenge day in and out.
With that constant feed back of them overcoming challenges it builds confidence and competence. That's why we say in training:
The Body Leads, The Mind Follows.
The Mind is giving witness to what the body can actually do. It is truly humbling and a privilege as an instructor to see students experience this lesson to which they can use the confidence earned inside of the gym in their lives.
However, as we all know for fire to continue, it needs Oxygen as fuel.Without any oxygen the fire dies out. The hardest part about training is figuring out how to sustain and continue our training, when we feel or motivation or "Fire" starting to burn out. Within the training sphere I often see 3 distinct ways of going about trying to continuing the Fire.
When faced with a situation or feeling that they are loosing overall steam and motivation, Students and Competitors will often forcefully put more effort into their training. It is a tactic that works for a limited time only. Often times Injury and overall burn out will occur.
It is an experience I am well aware of with my own personal training. I would become extremely focused when training for fights. It was the only real thing on my mind. It would be very difficult to take my mind off of it. Everything was focused on that particular event.
However, after the fight I would experience a huge burnout. I would need ample time off of personal training, and need some serious downtime to recharge. It is an approach that is sustainable for only a limited period of time.
After they reach a particular goal, often times what will happen is that the student will not choose another goal to pursue. This will happen for various reasons, but being too long without a goal causes complacency. This complacency will often times halt training all together, as the desire to practice and improve in such a difficult Art for, " No Reason" will turn them away.
Water and Fire
This is approach is probably the simplest but probably one of the most difficult things to do. It is to have balance with your approach to training. It is to be in harmony with your life. Yes there are moments that within your training, and within your life in general, that you might have to focus on one aspect of your life a bit more than the rest.
However, the imbalance cannot be sustained indefinitely. If all you do is continuously train without stretching your body will fall apart and you will have quite a few injuries as a result. Likewise with your life, keeping focus on one aspect of your life, and neglecting the others creates friction and tension within yourself. I suggest finding and going with the Middle path and using both Fire and Water.
The middle path is harmony. If Muay Thai is Fire, it would need to have something from the opposite side to keep it in balance. It would need WATER to sustain that oxygen it needs to burn. The Fire and Water sustain each other in a harmonious loop.
The student first has to define there purpose. Second the needs some form of activity to rejuvenate themselves in order to create longevity within the Art. The focus is to create life long Martial Artist's. It is easy to have people invested in a task for a selected moment in time. It is hard to create continuous improvement indefinitely.
What I call water , are simply practices that recharge the body and the mind. These things could be:
- Strength Training
None of these suggestions are out of the box and or revolutionary ideas. These are simple tools to allow the body and mind to recover from what you are putting it through in training.
Part 2 is on it's way. Where we go deeper into the element of Purpose and Lifestyle. Until then people...