Get Back to the Grind: Three Steps to Regain Your Muay Thai Mojo 

The restrictions surrounding COVID have become something of a boomerang. We hurl them away with all our might and watch them recede into the distance, only to feel them whack us on the back of the head as we walk away.

So what.

If you’re training Muay Thai, then chances are your idea of what a fighter is is far removed from the untouchable superheroes in the cartoons you watched as a kid.

Real fighters get hit. They bleed. They get knocked down. Sometimes they even take a bad beating.

None of these things defines what the true fighter is.

What defines them is what they do in response to these setbacks. Do they fold and quit?

If you train Muay Thai, you already know the answer. 

In this article, we’ll look at three ways to pick yourself up off the canvas in the wake of this COVID madness and get back to the grind.

Get Optimally Fueled

You wouldn’t put low-octane petrol in a Formula One race car. Instead, you’d get your hands on some high-octane premium road fuel if you expected to get the most out of it come race time.

Likewise, before you step back in the Muay Thai gym, you need to look at what you’re filling your body with. 

Takeaways and boxes of Tim Tams may have gotten you through the depressing intensity of lockdown, but now it’s time to reevaluate your life’s direction. 

If your goal is to get back to training, it’s important to have the right nutrition to get you there. Trust me, you won’t feel like hitting pads if you’re stuffed to the brim with a super-sized Big Mac meal. 

If completely changing your diet in one fell swoop seems too much too soon, a good place to start towards better health is simply adding more water to your day. 

Not only will this help you start to feel better but with the sweat sessions at training, you’ll certainly need the extra hydration.

There’s no great mystery to eating healthy. You don’t need to be a trained nutritionist to make better choices. Start by opening up your fridge and cupboards and look inside. Which food items in there come with just a hint of shame? Replace these with something that doesn’t.

Invest in Your Return

I don’t just mean buying a pair of new shorts here, although new training threads can certainly put a little pep in your step. I’m referring to investing in a private training session or two. If it’s financially viable for you to do so, a one-on-one training session could just be what you need to kickstart your Muay Thai journey again. 

Not only will it give you some valuable one-on-one time with your coach but it will let you determine your own pace while you find your stride again.

Any good coach understands that everyone’s motivation, responsibilities, and abilities are different. They’ll help you navigate your individual challenges while rebuilding your confidence and momentum. They’ll also help you address any specific concerns that you have about returning to training, such as lack of hip flexibility or nagging ongoing injuries. 

Check Your Engine

You may look in the mirror and not see much change in your body over the last two years of COVID lockdowns and varying restrictions, but that doesn’t mean it still functions at the same level. 

It’s always a good idea to get a physical to check in and check up on your body before heading back to Muay Thai. 

That way, you’ll be able to evaluate where you’re at in terms of cardiovascular health, lung function, flexibility, and overall health.

Having someone in the know ensure you’re healthy enough for hitting the heavy bag and sparring will give you peace of mind and confidence. 

Put More Tools in Your Toolbox

If you want more great ideas on how to get your Muay Thai mojo back, check out my article on What I Learnt in the World’s Longest Lockdown.

Muay Thai For The Office Guy

As humans, we were never meant to spend our lives working at a desk in an office, but unfortunately is the reality for many in our population. Spending 40-60 hours a week not moving or not seeing the sun much can start to take a toll on one’s health. That’s why if you work in an office, Muay Thai is an amazing option that doesn’t just provide a great workout, but gives a peace of mind to help a white collar worker get through the monotony of their everyday life and be happier.


Not be Sedentary

The problem that comes with working in an office is you don’t get to move around much and not being able to get up and move leads to health problems such as back pain and obesity. Having the opportunity to go to a Muay Thai gym and attend classes learning to punch, kick, knee, and elbow will increase their muscular endurance, flexibility, and help an office worker battle those health problems that come from sitting at a desk all day.  


Having a Distraction

Guys working in office quite often get into a funk, where everything they do revolves around their job and they start to feel like they’re going to go crazy with stress and anxiety if something doesn’t change. Getting in the kickboxing gym and doing an hour of technique with mitt rounds is a great way to relax an office worker’s mind and take their thoughts off of work for a little while. Not only office workers, but anyone that works in any kind of industry can benefit from having an outlet from the stress and anxiety that builds up in their lives beating up a heavy bag and getting into great shape learning one of the best martial arts.


Easily Fits Into a Busy Schedule

One of the biggest excuses given by people that work long hours in an office is that they don’t have time to time to workout, but the great thing about a lot of Muay Thai and martial arts gyms is that they have schedules that will accommodate even the busiest white collar business person. It’s also not how much time you have, but what you do with the time you have and even taking just 2 classes a week will show huge benefits for them. There will be immediate positive changes in their work and personal life and what makes Muay Thai a great choice for a busy white collar professional.

How Training Muay Thai Once a Week Can Help You Have More Clarity in Your Life

Not everyone who trains Muay Thai dreams of becoming a world champion.

In fact, most people who train don’t even want to compete.

People from all walks of life choose to train Muay Thai for a wide variety of reasons. Some train for the fitness and health benefits, while others train to gain confidence, or for self-defence purposes.

But, one of the greatest gifts training Muay Thai can give us in life, is that rare gift of clarity.

And, best of all, this can be attained by training as little as once a week.

Moving Meditation – Muay Thai Style!

We live in a complex world that places complex demands upon us, both personally and in our working lives.

It can be hard to switch off; to tune out the constant background noise of our responsibilities and daily interactions.

Training Muay Thai once a week offers us an oasis of clarity amid the clamour of the outside world.

Unlike many of the activities we engage in on an average day, there is no place for multitasking here. Muay Thai places very straightforward demands on us – it demands we be present and fully in the moment at all times.

Whether engaged in partner drills, pad or bag work, or sparring, you will be fully absorbed in what you are doing.

Over time, this will help you strengthen your ability to focus and see you sharpening a skill that will transfer well into other important areas of your life.

The Radical Honesty of Muay Thai

A powerful defining aspect of training in Muay Thai lies in its honesty.

You’ll find no false compliments here. No half-truths. Just 100% honesty at all times. Your training will give you constant forthright feedback on your progress.

As you uncover the limits of your physical and mental abilities, you’ll also develop an understanding of how to improve upon those limitations. You’ll also learn to appreciate just how rare and valuable this level of undiluted feedback is.

Ultimately, you’ll gain clarity on who you are; both your strengths and your weaknesses. This information you’ll find invaluable on your path to self-realisation – both inside and outside the gym.

We are often encouraged to think of the mind and body as separate and autonomous.

However, training in the art of Muay Thai teaches us that when we strengthen the body we also strengthen the mind and vice versa.

Our training teaches us that the two are inextricably linked and as we continue to train Muay Thai once a week, the clarity it brings will permeate all aspects of our lives.

Training Muay Thai for the over 30’s

Are you over the age of 30 and know that you should be doing something to stay fit and active but don’t know what? You’ve been to a weights gym but find it boring and results are minimal. You want something a little more edgy and engaging that doesn’t feel like you are actually exercising. You want to do something for yourself and that you enjoy. What about training Muay Thai? I know it sounds daunting entering a unfamiliar environment and may think you will get beat up and it’s only for young guys, but I’m here to tell you otherwise.

This year I turn 37 and still actively train Muay Thai, Boxing and BJJ on a daily basis. It has become apart of my daily routine and enriched my life in so many ways. I’m big on goal setting and believe that to be successful in anything you have to set clear goals and work towards them everyday. This year I even graded to brown belt in BJJ which bought me one step closer to my lifetime goal of one day earning a BJJ Black belt. Three times a week I still train in Muay Thai and Boxing and have been doing so for the past 15 years. Below I’m going to share with you some of my tips for Muay Thai training in your 30’s

Listen to your body.
It’s a fact of life, at 30 our bodies don’t recover nowhere near as fast as when we were 18. It usually takes a lot longer to recover from big sessions and injuries. With age also comes wisdom (I hope) so that means listening to your body and allowing it to recover. Self maintenance, diet, stretch, and sleep all play an important role in recovery. If you are struggling to walk after your last session and fatigued from working a 12 hour day at work then maybe you should rest. We’ve got to train smarter as opposed to training harder.

No need to compare yourself to others.  
So many of us get caught up with comparing ourselves to others, especially in Muay Thai. Sometimes we even engage in negative self talk when we “lose” a sparring round, or get caught in submissions in BJJ. It’s in human nature to always compare. But rather than comparing yourself to others lets shift the mindset to comparing your current self to your former self. Take a look at how much fitter and technical you are today compared to what you were like a year ago or even 3 years ago. Looking at old videos of yourself is a great way to see how far you’ve come. Remember, Muay Thai is about personal development and being better than you were yesterday. So stop comparing yourself to the hungry young lion at the gym who has a endless cardio engine and start reflecting on how far you have come. Celebrate your personal wins no matter how big or small they are. As Mark Twain once said; comparison is the death of joy.

Mindfulness in Muay Thai
We all have busy lives trying to find balance in work, family, relationships and social life. Sometimes it feels like we just don’t have time for ourselves anymore and spend most of the time doing things for others. We overthink about events in the past and stress about things that haven’t even happened and forget to live in the moment. We have all heard the benefits of mediation and how it promotes mindfulness, but if you are like me and your thoughts race it’s often difficult to sit still for 10 minutes. The only time I feel truly mindful is through practising Martial Arts: hitting bags, sparring, or grappling rounds. Practising Muay Thai gives you time out of your day to focus completely on yourself. It’s an opportunity to destress and forget about your problems for the hour and then have clarity after the session to address them with a clear mind. Whether you are a small business owner or work in a stressful corporate environment then you should definitely give it a go. What have you got to lose.

It’s journey not a race.
Many Martial Arts today belong to the Japanese Martial based arts known as Budo. The spirit of Budo sets higher goals than just winning in combat, but refining technique through constant training is the path to perfecting one’s character. This means that your Muay Thai journey should be a lifelong one of constant development and improvement through consistent training. In our society of instant gratification people tend to lose sight of the true values of Martial Arts training and not enjoy the journey because they are focused on quick results. I often tell people new to the gym that they won’t reap the real benefits of training until about 6 months in. Don’t stress if you aren’t pulling off techniques 2 weeks into your training. Enjoy the journey and believe in the process and it will come together.

Think about the health benefits.
We live in the age of sedentary lifestyles and increasing obesity rates amongst adults. This should send alarm bells for us to get active. Muay Thai is a complete body workout and one of the best calorie burners when compared with other forms of exercise. Not only does it do wonders for your body but it’s great for the mind too. It helps destress, and increase mental focus. Some may think it’s too exhausting after a long day in the office but you will find you get more energy throughout your day through consistent training.

A few months ago I had a high school reunion with some old friends. I hadn’t seen some of them for close to 20 years. They were all amazed at how young and healthy I still looked and I told them it’s because I live a healthy lifestyle and train everyday. Like most people they had the misconception that it was a young man’s sport or that you had to be super fit to start. I told them it all came down to goal setting and consistency.

For those of us in our 30’s or even older it’s important to stay active and live a healthy lifestyle. If you’ve always wanted to try Muay Thai most gyms offer trials. Try them out and see what they are like. You have nothing to lose. You can keep doing what you are doing, or you can be a better version of yourself by starting today.