Mental Training in Practice – Vlogging My Process

A few days ago, I was at training and struggling through some really difficult sparring. The sparring itself was no different from how it usually is – or at...

A few days ago, I was at training and struggling through some really difficult sparring. The sparring itself was no different from how it usually is – or at least not different enough from the way it differs from day to day anyway – but I could tell that my mentality was what was making it so hard. It was the third day in a row like this. What I’ve learned over the years of focusing on my Mental Training (about 5 years, in earnest) is that you never get to tick the box of having solved an issue. Rather, it’s like a table full of plates and you never get to clear anything off of it, you’re just always re-arranging the plates. Like in Alice in Wonderland, when the Mad Hatter and the Rabbit just move down the table for a clean cup of tea.

So, I decided right then and there that I was going to do a “real time, open Mental Training vlog.” I used to journal, that was one of the first steps I ever took in my mental approach. Just to get a read on what thoughts I was carrying with me into the gym, through the gym, and then out of the gym. A lot of times, what I realized, was that the events which I’d correlated with my thoughts and feelings weren’t actually the cause of them. I’d come in like that. That taught me a lot. But I’ve advanced over the years in how I do my Mental Training, so it’s kind of integrated into the moment-by-moment insanity that is the life I lead. Being able to vlog, in real time, right as I’m thinking and feeling and working my way through these thoughts, emotions, fatigue and mental processes… seemed pretty cool. Seemed like it would be helpful to people who are also struggling, who also fail to give themselves credit, who also have the heart to focus on their mental side but don’t necessarily know how that looks or sounds. Or, in the case of what happened after my very first vlog, to connect to other folks who are in their own process and the fact that we are not the same person as each other allows us to offer some reflection, different approaches or ideas to very similar struggles. Sera McCann, who is a New Zealander who lives, fights and trains in Japan, contacted me just after my first vlog with just such a connection. I was so stoked on that; I doubled down on my “hey this might be cool,” and decided it’s something I’m going to be committed in.

So, here it is. This is a raw look at how I work myself through training every day. There are ups and downs, sometimes (often) at the same time and over the same things. There are ways to focus, ways to de-focus, thoughts and tactics, methods and madness. It’s just what I do. It’s always evolving.

Mental Training in Practice #1

Mental Training in Practice #2

Mental Training in Practice #3

Follow my Mental Training Playlist to see them all:

You may also enjoy my past article on resources I’ve drawn on in my mental training journey:

Mental Training Resources for Fighters – Books, Podcasts & More

You can support this content: Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu on Patreon
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Muay Thai

A 100 lb. (46 kg) female Muay Thai fighter. Originally I trained under Kumron Vaitayanon (Master K) and Kaensak sor. Ploenjit in New Jersey. I then moved to Thailand to train and fight full time in April of 2012, devoting myself to fighting 100 Thai fights, as well as blogging full time. Having surpassed 100, and then 200, becoming the westerner with the most fights in Thailand, in history, my new goal is to fight an impossible 471 times, the historical record for the greatest number of documented professional fights (see western boxer Len Wickwar, circa 1940), and along the way to continue documenting the Muay Thai of Thailand in the Muay Thai Library project: see


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