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My Muay Thai Training Diary: To Fight Or Not To Fight?

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Welcome back to my online diary documenting my very amateur experience training in Muay Thai. If you missed the previous entries on Bloody Elbow, read them here.

...That is the question.

When I tell people that I train Muay Thai I typically get one of two responses. First, blank stares of confusion. You train what? Second, the inevitable question - have you had any fights? And of course the answer to that is no. I have not had any fights, though I do spar regularly. And then they are often just a little let down. Oh. No fights. Oh well...

Recently, I talked about the feeling you get when sparring is really working for you - that feeling that everything that matters is here in this ring. I love that feeling, and I have to assume that it's even stronger in a fight. I didn't undertake this training plan with the idea of ever having an actual fight, and yet now I am not so sure.

Am I ready for a fight right now? Certainly not. I look at the guys at my gym who are taking fights and they are leagues above me. And at 34 years old, I'm certainly not going to ever become a pro fighter. But am I missing out on a part of Muay Thai if I never take a single fight?

Perhaps it's an irrelevant conversation to have right now. Perhaps I'm so far from ready for a fight that I shouldn't be thinking about it. Perhaps the very fact that when I think about taking a fight I get nervous about being injured shows that I should give this idea up. And yet it's a nagging thought in my head. Should this be my goal? Because I worry that if it's not, if I never push myself towards that goal, that over time my push to train will fade. If I'm never actually trying to use the skills I have learned, will I eventually lose that motivation to keep learning them?

It's a tough question, and one that stays rattling around in my brain. There's no easy answer right this moment, but for now, I'll keep thinking.

Question for the week: Those of you who have fought, either at an amateur or professional level, how did you decided it was time to take the plunge and try it?

Video of the week: Once again, I highlight the fantastic "Muay Thai Minute" YouTube series - a great series of quick clips highlighting proper Muay Thai techniques, just 1 minute(ish) each. This week, a simple parry that I like as a good use of my reach. Watch it in the full entry.

I train Muay Thai under Andre Madiz at Conviction Martial Arts, 4430 N. Western Ave., Chicago, IL. If you are in the Chicago area, come join us, and be sure to say hello.