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Solo Training Advice to Not Plateau or Is a Coach Almost Manditory

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Hey everyone I recently had drama at my gym and unfortunately had to leave due to reasons.. I have always been watching videos and teaching myself as much as I can & from anywhere I can. My end goal is to transition into mma and my $ is limited so I have to focus on grappling and self train myself again for stand up!This past year I had 3 fight’s ,won 2 and met a lot of people. I think I’ve done pretty good but I’m not against high level competition….  Luckily i have sparring at gyms on weekends and throughout the week I train with 1-2 consistent guys everyone morning!

Any advice to help me not plateau in my situation without a coach or do you think it’s almost mandatory to continually grow as a striker 

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This is a really difficult question. On one level it is easy to answer: Yes you need a good coach for self-correction and guidance...but, you can also probably get a lot more out of self-training and video study than many people think. The reason for the coach...and honestly, it's more than a coach, it's an entire team of people you can spar with, experiment with, grow with, is that its extremely hard to self-correct. It's like tickling yourself. You can "kinda" do it, but it really is the intersubjectivity that creates the growth, and the real-world sparring that lets your body figure things out. Otherwise, it can be something like learning to surf, but not going into the water much.

On the other hand, things like Sylvie's Muay Thai Library project are kind of incredible. These are real life training sessions with some of the greatest fighters and krus on the planet, krus well beyond pretty much anyone you'd run into in a typical gym. So the knowledge and lessons in these are off the charts. It is possible to kind of prime yourself for when you eventually do go to a coach or a team, taking to heart the experiences in those videos.

Another thing you can do, by yourself, is lots and lots of shadowboxing, in the method Yodkhunpon teaches. He molded himself with very little training equipment and little coaching, at least early on, through rigorous, lengthy shadow boxing. You can see some of that here:

The above is part of a full length 1 hour study of Yodkhunpon's shadowboxing philosophy in the Muay Thai Library. In it there is discussion of how he felt like his shadowboxing really primed him for high-level fighting in Bangkok. There is NO substitute for a team of co-fighters and coach, but there are lots of things that you can do to build out a scaffolding which later can make teamwork better.

Sometimes there are very good reasons why someone doesn't have a coach. Maybe its where they live. Or, the coach that is available isn't a very good coach, or someone who is helpful. A bad coach can be worse than no coach.  Or, there just is no money for a coach right now. It doesn't mean that growth has to stop. There are always ways forward.

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100% agree with everything Kevin said. 

If you can't afford training, the MT librairy is a gold mine. I mean, I think everyone who likes MT should be a patreon. What Sylvie and Kevin are doing is basically sport anthopology and you get sooooo much for the amount you pay. 

I would only add that if you're training alone, maybe taking video of your shaddow, bag work and sparring session would be helpful to seee what you need to focus on. 

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Completely agree with Joseph there, definitely make a habit of recording yourself. Sometimes something will feel right, but it only feels like that because it's comfortable, not 'correct', and watching yourself do it can make your mistakes very apparent. Sometimes proper form only becomes comfortable after you've trained it into your body. Try to imagine you're critiquing someone else instead of watching a video of yourself, so you can be as objective as possible.

There's a reason a lot of gyms have those floor-to-ceiling mirrors in them. If you look goofy it's for a reason, and traditional muay Thai puts a lot of emphasis on aesthetically 'beautiful' technique and balance, not just 'getting the job done'. If you have proper technique you're going to get the job done, that's the point of having proper form in the first place. If it feels right AND looks right, it probably is right.

Also I think just focusing on conditioning and fitness is a great way to become a better fighter without fighting. Maybe the only way to become a better fighter without actually fighting lol. Nobody was ever a worse fighter because they got more fit. You don't really need a plethora of complex technique and strategy to be an efficient fighter, you can win a fight with the basics, so without access to someone who can easily and efficiently correct your mistakes and if you don't trust yourself enough to be that person, then skipping more rope, kicking more bags, doing more pull-ups, running more miles etc. will definitely get you some mileage towards becoming a better fighter versus any potential opponent as opposed to learning new setups or advanced techniques that maybe need a deeper understanding and fire testing to grasp.

Since you said you do luckily have access to sparring, if I were you I would focus mostly on conditioning and fitness in my free time and maybe a day or two before a sparring session do a little studying and practicing of new technique and strategy so I have something to try in my sparring session. Like 70% fitness, 30% knowledge-getting. Watch your favorites from the MTL and try to incorporate some of that into your session, see what works for you and what doesn't. Then when you get home you can practice the stuff that you now know works for you and become even better at it. That's the whole purpose of sparring in the first place, it's a learning experience. Hopefully your sparring partners are the type that are trying to learn and not trying to take your head off :P. Imo you'll never plateau as long as you stay interested enough to train and learn, there's always room for improvement.

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We obtain a lot of our information via the internet these days. In reality, and sadly, the name "Google" has become synonymous with "research." So, with material so easily available with nothing more than internet connection, it is a valid question if a mixed martial arts gym is really essential anymore... After all, the illustrious Gracie family maintains an online academy. Shane Fazen of FighTIPS poses this topic and raises some excellent reasons that deserve our consideration. To begin, I'll agree that there is a lot of very good information and some very informative videos out there that can really increase your knowledge on the subject of mma, but there is also a lot of very bad information out there because anyone with an internet connection and a video camera can upload whatever they want.

The trick, in my opinion, is to be extremely cautious about what you watch and to take that information with a grain of salt since we don't always know the motivations behind information dissemination. Finally, nothing beats training with an instructor who can provide you with current knowledge and coaching guidance. Nothing beats going to a genuine gym with professional instructors and people to work with, but I understand that this isn't always a possibility. For example, I reside in Dalhart, Texas (Google "middle of f-ing nowhere, TX" and it should be the first result), yet there is no jiu-jitsu or mixed martial arts facility within 40 miles of me, and I have to go 86 miles to Amarillo to find a legitimate black belt.

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