Thoughts on my First Muay Thai Fight

Charn Chai Muay Thai in Pai, Thailand

On October 3rd, 2015 I was just slowly getting back to the gym, I had a quad contusion that kept me out of play for a few weeks when I had just started to prep to fight. I thought that it wasn’t going to happen at that point because of my injury.

I felt the contradiction of being totally frustrated but relieved that I didn’t have to worry about fighting. Then when I got to the gym that morning A asked me if I was going to fight on October 24th.

Suddenly it was on and I had my first fight lined up in Pai instead of Chiang Mai. I think it meant a lot for it to be in Pai where I’ve been living for more than a year.

I kept on thinking that it would really hit me later on, the next day I started running and since then I’ve run at least 6 days a week around 5–6 km in the morning sometimes a bit longer.

One of the few photos I have of myself (thank god)

My left leg was useless until a week later and then I hit someone’s knee and I couldn’t kick on it again. I had to switch opponents because my original one was 65–67 kilos while I weighed in at 62 kilos.

They found me a new opponent at 60 or so kilos and it was on again. I would like to say that I’ve been going full on but sadly I have not. I’ve been doing more rounds of pads than I ever had before but instead of using 8 limbs I am one limb short in my arsenal with my left leg still recovering.

I should be attacking the bag and the pads with power but I often feel like I have none. They say I should want to go into the ring and kill my opponent but I don’t think like that at all.

I feel like I should be afraid, I thought I would be freaking out by now instead I don’t feel like anything has changed. I don’t know what is going to happen and I don’t know if what I have done is enough.

Compared to Sean and Alex two other guys from Charn Chai fighting that same weekend I am woefully unprepared. Sean has been doing privates with one of the trainers and Alex has been working with another one every session while I just do my thing.

The reason I don’t join them is I don’t feel like I belong in their league and how can I hope to compete let alone win compared to them. I know that the first kick I get will be a shot of pain that will nearly stop me but I just have to find a way to keep on going.

That isn’t how I should approach this fight and for me this is not a battle of the body as much it is a battle of the mind. So I am not like anyone else but I am content with who I am and what muay thai has come to mean to me personally.

I have to keep my arms up, be ready to block and dodge while looking for openings. I have no game plan in mind, I have not really asked for any advice and with the fight just days away I am probably not going to get any better than I am right now.

Alex one of the other guys fighting the same day as me (he is intense)

I am hoping against hope that my foot heals enough to take those 15 minutes and 5 rounds but regardless I am going in. Why am I going to fight? It is a question I’ve asked myself too many times to count but the simple reason is to banish the fear even if it is just a reprieve.

I am not doing it just to win although that’s the goal, what I am doing it is to prove to myself that I can take of the limiters and become a better person not because I win but because I choose to do what I fear.

This fight is not a summation of why I started to do muay thai, this is the beginning of believing that fear has no grasp over who I am or what I can accomplish.

Muay thai has helped me to see a new side of myself that I didn’t think I could have. I have the greatest respect for every trainer and fighter who has made this martial arts their life and have taught the uninitiated like myself how to love it in our own way. They are the fire that burns, that makes muay thai what it is and while I would never call myself a fighter I am honoured to say I will get into the ring and represent Charn Chai Muay Thai no matter the outcome.

It is a continuously humbling experience as its simplicity begets a lifetime pursuit of mastery that is never finished. Muay thai is raw and thrilling, painful as it is exhausting and I will go into my fight on Saturday with the deepest and utmost respect for the person I face.

I will never fight with anger as my weapon but a sense of peace and flow. I will go into this with open eyes knowing that anything can happen. I will show my opponent my respect by giving everything I have to make the match one that is worth their time to do anything less is not an option.

I will not go into the ring scared or afraid, I will go in with joy and a smile that I am doing something that I thought I never could, that no matter what happens I win by not giving to fear so that the actual outcome is largely irrelevant as long as I give it everything I have and then some.

This will be a battle of who can suffer the most and come out the other side as much as it is a battle of tactics and skill. I don’t know how I’ll react to that first kick. I don’t have a game plan or anything just going to keep my head down, hands up and kicks at the ready.

On to the ring and let the kicks fly.

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