How To Be Prepared For Your First Thai Boxing Fight
You’re nervous as hell. You feel like throwing up. You start doubting why you decided to step into the ring against someone who is trying to kill you. You can’t get your mind off the fight. I get it. I’ve been there. We all have! Every Muay Thai fighter goes through relatively the same process when they first step into the ring.
Doubt. Fear. Anxiety. Excitement. Adrenaline.
It’s all a part of the process. Learning how to control these emotions is key to winning your first Muay Thai fight. The first step is knowing what to expect and how to deal with the inevitable emotions and situations that are going to pop up. Follow these tips for your first fight to be as prepared as possible once you step into that ring!
Best 5 Tips For Your First Muay Thai Fight
#1. Understand Your Opponent Is Human Too
Very rarely during my first few fights did I ever consider how my opponent was feeling leading up to fight night. After some experience, deep thought and reflection I realized that my opponent goes through the same emotions that I do before stepping into the ring.
Once I realized this it gave me a sense of relief. I’m not the only one going crazy, getting anxious and doubting myself before I fight, my opponent is too! He/she has to fight the same demons that go inside my head and have to go through the same phases of training camp leading up to the fight. Knowing that my opponent is a human and gets nervous/scared just like me, helps relieve my anxiety and gives me confidence that I can win my fight.
#2. It Is All Part Of The Process
The emotions you get leading up to your first fight are SUPPOSED to happen. If you don’t feel anxious, nervous or scared then there is something wrong with you because that’s fucking crazy. Try to understand that everything you go through leading up to the fight is all part of the journey. Without the challenges, emotions and stresses then it wouldn’t be so rewarding when you do get that first fight under your belt (or better yet first WIN).
#3. Fight Your Heart Out
It sounds corny as hell but you really can’t “lose” a fight if you give it your all. I mean, technically you can lose according to the judges or by getting KO’ed, but if you put the time, hard work and effort into training and fight with everything you’ve got until the end, I don’t consider that a loss.
A REAL loss is when you give up, quit or stop fighting. It’s the worst feeling in the world when you give up on yourself and you let yourself down by not putting it all out there. It’s even worse disappointing your trainers, training partners, friends and family! You know how you can avoid all of this? Fight like it’s your life on the line.
I personally believe this is one of the crucial tips for your first fight because IT WORKS!Going through the whole process of the fight event will help alleviate the anxiety you get when you actually get to the venue and hear your name called to fight. From walking through the doors of the venue to getting your hand raised after a tough fight, visualization can help in more ways than one. Here are a few ways/places I like to practice visualization to help me prepare mentally for a fight:
- At My Gym: Whenever I get a chance to be alone inside the ring I love to go through the whole fight from beginning to end. I’ll enter the ring, seal the corners, acknowledge the crowd, hear my name announced, get the instructions from the ref and then fight. When the fight starts I’ll shadowbox what I want to implement into my game and try to focus on my technique and be loose and fluid. After the fight I like to even visualize getting my hand raised and hearing my name called… it’s a great feeling.
- At My House: Whether I’m laying in bed, sitting on the couch or taking a hot bubble bath (yea I take bubble baths, so what) I like to sit in silence, close my eyes and picture the entire event in my head from beginning to end. From actually arriving to the venue and walking in the front doors, to the rules meeting, to getting my hands wrapped, to my warm up, to the fight and everything in between. Like I said, this helps me feel comfortable, calm and relaxed when I actually do go through all these situations.
- At The Venue: Before the fights happen (either at weigh-ins or hours before the fights) I ask the promoter if I could use the ring and walkway to visualize and usually they have no problem. I’ll do my walk out with my headphones on and the same walkout song I’ll be using that night. Then I’ll go through the entire process AGAIN. Go over the top rope, acknowledge the crowd, seal the ring etc. And of course I’ll finish up with getting my hand raised and thanking the invisible crowd
Here is a video I shot at weigh-ins from one of my fights. I like to video it so when I go home I can watch it and picture the whole walk to the ring in my head:
#5. Train Your Ass Off!
Want more tips to be prepared for one of your first fights?
It can be tough balancing life, work, and training in order to prepare for an upcoming fight. Muay Thai Mastery was created for people like you who are trying to improve their training camps and amateur career, but also have other responsibilities to worry about.
Muay Thai Mastery is essentially a step-by-step walk through of what I do to create a successful training camp, prepare mentally, eat healthy, and be 100% confident stepping into the ring. If you are early on in your Muay Thai career and looking to take your game to the next level, definitely give the Muay Thai Mastery training guide a look!
What was your first fight like?
Do you have any tips you would give people who are stepping into the ring for the first time?
What kind of advice were you given for your first fight?
Do you wish you knew anything else before fighting?
Share your story in the comment section below!
- Sean "Muay Thai Guy" Fagan owns & operates the largest online Muay Thai community and the #1 training resource for nak muay of all levels.