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Beginner fighting in the ring in Thailand

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Hey, i've noticed you started Muay Thai a while back, i have a question for you... I have a plan to go 2 Thailand for 2-3month's because that's the time my visa would allow to stay, i'd love to have some training and i'd love to have some fights, but as i would be a complete beginner in this sport, i don't know should i enter there. I have some experience in boxing and a little experience is kickboxing, but considering this is Muay Thay....Do beginners get to fight or do you need to go all the way to the advanced before you can enter the Muay Thai ring? What level were you when you entered the ring for the first time and how long did you train before that? What was your experience like? Appreciate the time you take to respond, bless you people.

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Not sure if this question was meant for Sylvie particularly or open to anyone, but Id go and train at a gym letting them know from the beginning youd like to fight at or near yhe end of your trip IF they felt you were ready. More than likely they'll train you specifically for a fight and find you someone of equal skill to compete against. The cool thing about muay Thai is you can compete as you learn and grow. One doesnt end when the other begins, so you can compete as a beginner and grow from there. 

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10 hours ago, Coach James Poidog said:

Not sure if this question was meant for Sylvie particularly or open to anyone, but Id go and train at a gym letting them know from the beginning youd like to fight at or near yhe end of your trip IF they felt you were ready. More than likely they'll train you specifically for a fight and find you someone of equal skill to compete against. The cool thing about muay Thai is you can compete as you learn and grow. One doesnt end when the other begins, so you can compete as a beginner and grow from there. 

thanks! appreciate the reply! sounds good! :)

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On 5/27/2019 at 4:11 PM, Raulis said:

have a plan to go 2 Thailand for 2-3month's because that's the time my visa would allow to stay, i'd love to have some training and i'd love to have some fights, but as i would be a complete beginner in this sport, i don't know should i enter there

The quality of your experience may really depend on the camp you go to, and the area of Thailand you go to as well. We have tons of experience up in Chiang Mai, and none in the very popular islands in the south (so no comment on happenings down there). Chiang Mai is awesome because there are just tons and tons of fights, and because of that the process of placing a fighter against someone who won't be a mismatch is well thought out. Simple math, the more opponent options available, the higher chance of a great first, second or third fight experience. Also, some of these gyms are really experienced with beginner level fight introduction. Kru Daeng at Lanna Muay Thai has been shaping westerners towards first fights for probably a decade. Having someone who has guided that process for years is a huge thing. We haven't spent time with Joe at Honthong Gym, but that gym also seems to be one that is very fight friendly.

In general though, the best thing about Thailand is that fighting is seen as part of the training process, not some elite thing you do once you are really, really good. Everyone fights. So you are entering a kind of fight culture that can support what you are hoping to do.

I totally agree with James about letting your gym know that you really want to fight, so they can put you on that training path from the beginning. But disagree a bit with the "at the end" or "near the end" of your trip strategy. Lots and lots of people do the "at the end" bit, and its often a mistake. I can't tell you how many people we've seen make "at the end" plans and have their fight fall through for a 1,000 reasons, and get nothing. Also, the at-the-end mentality really puts fighting in the wrong context, as a culmination, instead of a part of your overall training and development. Both Sylvie and I strongly recommend that if you want to fight once you should really aim to fight at least twice. That way you don't put too much pressure on yourself to prove yourself, but it also allows your trainers to see you on a path. With a 2-3 month stay that is definitely long enough to fight twice, and maybe 3 times. I would suggest, as long as you feel comfortable, and your trainers are on board, to try and fight your first fight fairly early if you can, so you can soak it all in, make adjustments, come back to training. This is what is special about fighting in Thailand. Because there are so many fight opportunities and the culture is so accommodating to fighting itself (not only elites fight), you can fight in different ways. 

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You don't have to be previously experienced to fight in Thailand, but the promotions you'll fight on will be determined by your abilities in Muay Thai, as determined by wherever you train. And, of course, that gym's connections and availability of shows near you will shape those possibilities/opportunities as well. 

I've known a handful of people who come to Thailand as day-1 beginners and fight within a month. It's just experience, it's not going to be a big show. But you do have to let your gym know that you want to fight, and then demonstrate your commitment by how you train.

I agree with Kevin that you shouldn't leave it to the end. Not only because in Thailand things change very quickly and you might miss your chance altogether, but also because having only one fight at the end of your trip puts too much pressure on the experience. If you plan to have one in the middle and another a bit after that, it takes the pressure off of both. Plus, whatever happens in the first, you can learn from it and apply it to the second. 

My first fight was a year after I first started training. I was not "prepared" to fight at all. I'd only sparred 2x in my life, a couple of weeks before my actual fight. The way I trained in the US, in Master K's basement, I'd had no real contact - fighting was, in a rational sense, a terrible idea. My teacher didn't want me to, either. But I was "ready" in the sense that I really, really wanted to fight. And that's a difference I think is most important when thinking about any of this "stepping into the ring" process. It's about wanting it. Readiness and Preparedness are not the same thing, and the first is way more important because it drives you. You can do your best to be prepared, which is how you train, but in the end it's not as important as just wanting to fight. If you wait until you're "good," you'll never get in the ring, haha. I've done it 241 times without thinking I'm "good."

There's nowhere else in the world that you can train and fight the way you can in Thailand. Nowhere else in the world is fighting PART OF training, the way it is in Thailand. It would be a shame not to experience that, especially since you have a significant chunk of time to be here and train. Some folks only come for a week. A couple of months allows for tons of experience, especially training 2x per day. It's exciting!

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You ask if you can fight already as beginner or if you must be advanced.  In Thailand we often see beginners fight.  Even if Thai beginners are sometimes used for easy wins for westerners.   Nay the real question, in west beginners usually fights with paddings on belly and shins.  Taking them off - and being forced to harden up belly muscles first as advanced.   But if you are prepared it will hurt, all belly kicks shin hits, elbow hits - sure.  Go ahead.  Thais appreciate brave fighters whom fight on although hit and perhaps even bleeding. If you arent experienced but brave and humble its OK.  What you should avoid is to gracelessly turn away as soon the beating begins.  Thais wont say anything, they will splash water in the face to conceal the tears.  But it doesnt look good...  Even here you can save your face:  compose yourself. Humbly tx the opponent and his trainers. Congratulate and hug your opp...    last not least: train belly muscles...

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11 hours ago, Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu said:

The quality of your experience may really depend on the camp you go to, and the area of Thailand you go to as well. We have tons of experience up in Chiang Mai, and none in the very popular islands in the south (so no comment on happenings down there). Chiang Mai is awesome because there are just tons and tons of fights, and because of that the process of placing a fighter against someone who won't be a mismatch is well thought out. Simple math, the more opponent options available, the higher chance of a great first, second or third fight experience. Also, some of these gyms are really experienced with beginner level fight introduction. Kru Daeng at Lanna Muay Thai has been shaping westerners towards first fights for probably a decade. Having someone who has guided that process for years is a huge thing. We haven't spent time with Joe at Honthong Gym, but that gym also seems to be one that is very fight friendly.

In general though, the best thing about Thailand is that fighting is seen as part of the training process, not some elite thing you do once you are really, really good. Everyone fights. So you are entering a kind of fight culture that can support what you are hoping to do.

I totally agree with James about letting your gym know that you really want to fight, so they can put you on that training path from the beginning. But disagree a bit with the "at the end" or "near the end" of your trip strategy. Lots and lots of people do the "at the end" bit, and its often a mistake. I can't tell you how many people we've seen make "at the end" plans and have their fight fall through for a 1,000 reasons, and get nothing. Also, the at-the-end mentality really puts fighting in the wrong context, as a culmination, instead of a part of your overall training and development. Both Sylvie and I strongly recommend that if you want to fight once you should really aim to fight at least twice. That way you don't put too much pressure on yourself to prove yourself, but it also allows your trainers to see you on a path. With a 2-3 month stay that is definitely long enough to fight twice, and maybe 3 times. I would suggest, as long as you feel comfortable, and your trainers are on board, to try and fight your first fight fairly early if you can, so you can soak it all in, make adjustments, come back to training. This is what is special about fighting in Thailand. Because there are so many fight opportunities and the culture is so accommodating to fighting itself (not only elites fight), you can fight in different ways. 

Thanks for the reply, i thought i'd love to fight in the end just because i thought it would take loads of prep, but if you say i could fight 3x in that period, i'd def do that. I'd love to fight even more, but i doubted i have enough experience in sparr's and skill to go along with that. I don't really think i'm a good fighter or whatever, but i know i'm brave. I started k1 in my country and i trained for 2 weeks, i went into the ring and fought a guy who had 6years of experience. Even tho i lost i was happy because for me it was learning experience, 1st time ever geting into the ring, and consdering he was training for 6years and i was only there for 2weeks , i didn't give the victory away for nothing, he had nice amount of souvenirs on hi's face. I really noticed the skill diference tho, he cornered like a pro and i was 2 tense. What place would you recommend for me to start training Muay Thai? I was thinking Phuket Top Team, but if Chang Mai is a better place for a beginner to learn and have some fight's, i would be down!

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12 hours ago, Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu said:

You don't have to be previously experienced to fight in Thailand, but the promotions you'll fight on will be determined by your abilities in Muay Thai, as determined by wherever you train. And, of course, that gym's connections and availability of shows near you will shape those possibilities/opportunities as well. 

I've known a handful of people who come to Thailand as day-1 beginners and fight within a month. It's just experience, it's not going to be a big show. But you do have to let your gym know that you want to fight, and then demonstrate your commitment by how you train.

I agree with Kevin that you shouldn't leave it to the end. Not only because in Thailand things change very quickly and you might miss your chance altogether, but also because having only one fight at the end of your trip puts too much pressure on the experience. If you plan to have one in the middle and another a bit after that, it takes the pressure off of both. Plus, whatever happens in the first, you can learn from it and apply it to the second. 

My first fight was a year after I first started training. I was not "prepared" to fight at all. I'd only sparred 2x in my life, a couple of weeks before my actual fight. The way I trained in the US, in Master K's basement, I'd had no real contact - fighting was, in a rational sense, a terrible idea. My teacher didn't want me to, either. But I was "ready" in the sense that I really, really wanted to fight. And that's a difference I think is most important when thinking about any of this "stepping into the ring" process. It's about wanting it. Readiness and Preparedness are not the same thing, and the first is way more important because it drives you. You can do your best to be prepared, which is how you train, but in the end it's not as important as just wanting to fight. If you wait until you're "good," you'll never get in the ring, haha. I've done it 241 times without thinking I'm "good."

There's nowhere else in the world that you can train and fight the way you can in Thailand. Nowhere else in the world is fighting PART OF training, the way it is in Thailand. It would be a shame not to experience that, especially since you have a significant chunk of time to be here and train. Some folks only come for a week. A couple of months allows for tons of experience, especially training 2x per day. It's exciting!

Appreciate such a well rounded and detailed info... Any advice where should i visit to get the best  possibilities/opportunities to get some fights and learn  Muay Thai? Thank you in advance! :)

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On 5/29/2019 at 2:15 PM, Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu said:

The quality of your experience may really depend on the camp you go to, and the area of Thailand you go to as well. We have tons of experience up in Chiang Mai, and none in the very popular islands in the south (so no comment on happenings down there). Chiang Mai is awesome because there are just tons and tons of fights, and because of that the process of placing a fighter against someone who won't be a mismatch is well thought out. Simple math, the more opponent options available, the higher chance of a great first, second or third fight experience. Also, some of these gyms are really experienced with beginner level fight introduction. Kru Daeng at Lanna Muay Thai has been shaping westerners towards first fights for probably a decade. Having someone who has guided that process for years is a huge thing. We haven't spent time with Joe at Honthong Gym, but that gym also seems to be one that is very fight friendly.

In general though, the best thing about Thailand is that fighting is seen as part of the training process, not some elite thing you do once you are really, really good. Everyone fights. So you are entering a kind of fight culture that can support what you are hoping to do.

I totally agree with James about letting your gym know that you really want to fight, so they can put you on that training path from the beginning. But disagree a bit with the "at the end" or "near the end" of your trip strategy. Lots and lots of people do the "at the end" bit, and its often a mistake. I can't tell you how many people we've seen make "at the end" plans and have their fight fall through for a 1,000 reasons, and get nothing. Also, the at-the-end mentality really puts fighting in the wrong context, as a culmination, instead of a part of your overall training and development. Both Sylvie and I strongly recommend that if you want to fight once you should really aim to fight at least twice. That way you don't put too much pressure on yourself to prove yourself, but it also allows your trainers to see you on a path. With a 2-3 month stay that is definitely long enough to fight twice, and maybe 3 times. I would suggest, as long as you feel comfortable, and your trainers are on board, to try and fight your first fight fairly early if you can, so you can soak it all in, make adjustments, come back to training. This is what is special about fighting in Thailand. Because there are so many fight opportunities and the culture is so accommodating to fighting itself (not only elites fight), you can fight in different ways. 

 

Is my Top Team in Phuket a good choise or should i go to Chiang Mai? Any recommendations?

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4 minutes ago, Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu said:

Sylvie and I have no knowledge of Phuket. PTT is a huge, successful gym there, but there is no way for us to know what that means in terms of opportunity.

How about the places you would recommend to visit for Muay Thai training? I could travel to the other side of Thailand.

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