5 Life Lessons Learned from Muay Thai Training

5 Life Lessons Learned from Muay Thai Training

I've been doing Muay Thai training multiple times a week, every week for 3 months now, I absolutely love it. The punching, the kicking, the elbowing. It's such a practical fighting style and technique for a street fight.

So let me share you with you some life lessons learned from getting beat up every week at Muay Thai training.

1- If you don't train to fight, you can't fight

Leading off is a truth a lot of tough talking men who've never been in a fight and have never been punched in the face need to understand - if you don't train to fight, you can't fight.

Men who are my size (5,10 170lbs) and train regularly will kick your f*ing ass even if you're a big guy (6ft 200lbs) but has have never thrown a punch in their life.


The biggest advantage with training how to fight is the conditioning actually. Punching and kicking is tiring like nothing else. If you don't build up your conditioning maybe you can last a few minutes with trying to hurt the other guy...

Then you're tired.

Then it's my turn.

Now you're in trouble.

Knowing how to setup a combo and anticipate a strike

The next advantage you'll have as someone who trains to fight is how to setup a combination attack using your limbs; punch, kick, knee and elbow all put together in dangerous ways work because someone who does not know how to fight won't expect your combat moves - particularly an elbow to the face or a knee to the solar plexus.

You'll also develop an ability to anticipate a strike and how to counter attack when someone throws a punch. You'll also develop the ability to stand your ground and move forward and block, people who don't fight don't know how to block and backup when avoiding an attack.


You'll learn how to block and this is a massive advantage in a fight, particularly against someone who does not know how to fight.

Learning how to properly block and counter strike is a skill and until you've had someone bigger and strong than you trying to hit you, you don't know how to block different punches from hooks, upper cuts jabs.

Once you can block, you can easily stand your ground and move forward instead of backing away. It takes a lot of practice though as our natural instinct is to back up and lean back.

Big man arrogance will be put in place

Muay Thai is great for big guys because it will put your big man arrogance in it's place. Guys who are legit big tend to think they are invincible because they are so much bigger than other men.

Like I said in my popular height post - 6,4 240 lbs - who's going to mess with you?

Look I get it, when I'm in Vietnam most men are 5,6 to 5,7 and weigh around 140 lbs. If you're significantly bigger it's an obvious advantage in a fight, but skill will more than makeup for size.

If you're a big guy and train Muay Thai with a smaller guy who knows what he is doing, it will be a good humbling experience that may actually save your life.

2 - You will develop more respect for fighters

Andrew Tate is a polarizing figure - but one thing you can't take from him is that he is a legit fighter, a world champion kick boxer.

When you train Muay Thai and realize how tough it is, you'll develop a respect for men who step into the ring and fight. It's no small thing, you are putting your life on the line in reality and run the risk of being damaged in some way that is permanent.

You'll also respect men who are actually good at fighting, guys who actually are champions. Fighting is tough, and this guy is the best at this sort of thing?

Dealing with fear

Stepping into the ring for an actual fight is nerve wrecking. It's a combat sport and with fighting there is always a level of fear you'll need to live with.

I personally don't think you can overcome this type of fear (nor would you want to as it keeps you alive probably), but it's an interesting aspect of fighting, non-fighters don't understand or grapple with.

3 - You need to be in shape before you start Muay Thai

I'm someone who has been training regularly since I've turned 30. I used to be a wrestler when I was in high school, then I stopped working out for a decade. Then when I turned 30 as an English teacher I was shocked with how I looked when I saw a picture of myself.

Wait that's me?

I know it's dumb, but sometimes our perception of reality is off.

In my head I was still that lean, 155lbs boy. The skinny guy who had trouble putting on weight, in reality I was a soft 175 lbs with chicken wings for arms, rice belly and a-cup tities.

So I started working out and have done so for over a decade. Gym three times a week of weight training and I end my workout with a 1-2 mile run. I also eat right because you can't out train a bad diet.

In short, I'm fit and have been so for years.

But even me doing Muay Thai for the first time smoked me. After that first class I went home and fell asleep for an hour because I simply did not have the conditioning required.

But, I was in shape enough to keep up with everyone. So my advice is to get in shape before you start Muay Thai so you can manage and keep up. Your endurance and strength will quickly adapt.

4 - I sleep like a baby and wake up super focused and productive

My favorite thing about Muay Thai is when I go home all sore and tired from fighting. I take a shower, have dinner, feel great and then go to bed around 10:30 which allows me to wake up at 6:30 am feeling amazing.

I don't know if it's because it boosts my testosterone or what, but wow waking up in the morning after an exhaustive session of fighting is wonderful. I'm out the door by 7am to have my morning coffee with my tablet for 30 minutes or so.

Then I'm ready to be productive and focused. It's almost like Modafinil:

Modafinil: The Real Life NZT-48 (from Limitless)
Modafinil makes you super human. It makes you mighty. It makes you think faster and think more clearly. …or does it? NZT-48 There is a movie called Limitless. The movie is about a writer who is a bit of a lazy slob and has a nasty case of writers block.

If you're looking for a productivity hack, then fighting for 1.5 hours 3x a week is a game changer.

5- You either have a talent for violence or you don't

Last, I'll end with my notion of a "talent for violence."

We've all meet guys who can just fight. I worked with a guy named Chad who was from England. We were both English teachers at the same school:

5,8 160lbs

He's not a particularly big guy, but dang he could just fight. I saw him knock out a 200lbs guy a 711 who was provoking him.

Side note, most guys from England I've meet are tough and strong. It's pretty obvious why they had an empire as England has a thousand year history of invasion and violence.

Warrior class of men

When you train and fight, you'll find out if you're part of the warrior class pretty quick by doing Muay Thai. The reality is that some guys can just fight and have a talent for violence, other guys are somewhere in the middle like me and then there are your guys who are quite combat incompetent.


Alright gentleman (and the 10% of women who read me), I'll end it there. I highly suggest doing Muay Thai. It's great for understanding practical combat you'll actually need in a real fight.

Muay Thai, regular weight training combined with being a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is all you need to for self defense. You'll be quite dangerous to someone who does not know how to fight.

More? More! Checkout my guide on the Muay Thai visa:

Muay Thai Visa in Bangkok - Everything You Need to Know
I’m now on a one year, Muay Thai visa in Bangkok and I’m going to explain how it works and what you need to know if you’re looking for a long term way to stay in Thailand that is both fun and beneficial. Yes, you can enroll at a gym