WHAT Is (& Isn’t) A Fighter’s Job?

Fighters Shouldn’t Do All Heavy Lifting Themselves

Modern-day Muay Thai fighters generally have a lot to balance.

Most are unable to focus solely on training and fighting, instead having to hold down full-time jobs and, for some, support families.

Because there may be a constant juggling of responsibilities, a fighter, who is already no stranger to duty, might think he or she needs to do more than what is necessary when it comes to preparing for a fight. This is not true.

Here are three ideas on how fighters can better own their responsibilities and let go of the rest.

#1: Focus

The main duties when it comes to being a fighter are fairly simple: train hard, eat properly, make weight, and fight well. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less.

All of these tasks are what every fighter can do for themselves, by themselves. The outcome of each depends solely on what is put in. No one else can do these things for a fighter .

Generally, the common error a lot of fighters make is worrying too much about stuff related to the fight — things that should be muted in some respects, or things that are the trainer’s responsibility, not the fighter’s.

One example is something all fighters have, at one point or another, worried about: “Who is my opponent?”


#2: Trust

It’s one thing to know an opponent’s name and be able to give it out when people ask, but it’s something else to obsessively creep their social media in hopes of seeing training clips. Or watching  (and re-watching, and re-watching) their past fights on YouTube, as if doing those things are actually going to help them prepare for the fight.

Perhaps if a fighter were training alone and were skilled at observing a fighter’s style and looking for weaknesses, it would help. But Muay Thai is not one of those sports where you just train yourself, by yourself, and go into the fight alone.

Learning about an opponent and developing a game plan for the fight and training based on the opponent’s style and weaknesses/strengths (as well as the fighter’s weaknesses/strengths) is a responsibility that rests on the trainer’s shoulders. A fighter trusts their trainer, which is why they fight under them. A fighter must trust their trainer to do this.

A good trainer does not use the same action plan for every fighter, nor do they use the same action plan against every opponent. Creating scenarios and plans alone when a trainer has their own plan only works against the grain. It is better to just let go and let that burden be on the trainer.


#3: Release

Another hangup fighters, and especially beginning fighters, have is dwelling too much on the fine details.

Whether it’s wanting the wai kru to be perfectly executed the first time it’s done, or making sure someone is recording the fight when it should be time to get mentally ready, sometimes fighters just can’t get their head straight. This, of course, can be a deadly mistake.

Repeat after me: Nothing is going to be perfect.

Nothing in life is perfect nor will ever be perfect, and a fight is no exception. A fight never goes perfectly according to a plan. The sooner a fighter realizes this, the fewer burdens they will take upon themselves.

At the end of the day, some things are just not the fighter’s responsibility and the fighter absolutely should not make it their responsibility.

Let go of things that cannot be controlled. Relax, and have faith in the people who believe in you.

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Angela Chang
Plant-based fighter, foodie, and aspiring physical therapist. Angela is currently living in Bangkok and training full time.

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