There is a sense of community that comes with training in a Muay Thai gym with people you see at every session. You will see these same people as you slowly find your feet and your techniques. They will help you as you work to perfect a particularly challenging move.
As your training pays off and propels you into the more advanced rank, these same people will become your sparring partners if you choose to take your training to the next level. They will break you into the world of Muay Thai by allowing you to practice your newly mastered moves on an opponent who reacts, instead of a stationary punching bag.
Muay Thai is a long term commitment that you make willingly after you get your first taste of the sport. This means that you are likely to keep training, sparring, and improving long after you reach your fitness goals. With time, the people that you see every day in the Muay Thai gym will become acquaintances. Acquaintances will become friends, who will slowly become like family.
Now, people have different personalities that influence the types of friends and sparring partners that they are. Here are the different types of friends that you should expect to find in a Muay Thai gym.
1) The one who took up Muay Thai at the same time as you
This person is going through what you are, at pretty much the same time as you are. They will become your brother or sister in arms; the one who is right there with you in the trenches as you practice. And practice. And practice some more.
They will also become a way to gauge your progress. Depending on your attitude, this can be a good thing, a bad thing, or an opportunity for your own personal growth.
— Evolve MMA (@EvolveMMA) October 2, 2019
Your ‘classmate’ may be freakishly talented at Muay Thai, and super-quick on the uptake. If you do not have that same level of natural talent, you will have to make a conscious decision to go easy on yourself and learn at your own pace.
Or, you may be the one who progresses faster. In that case, you will need to learn humility and helpfulness. You will become the friend that your ‘classmate’ comes to for a laugh, some commiseration, and a word of encouragement. As you will soon find out, Muay Thai is about community, and you too will need someone to give you a boost and some tips as you progress through the ranks. At the end of the day, though, everyone progresses at their own pace, and the person you should really be comparing yourself to is you.
2) The friend who offers a patient, helping hand
You will meet this type of person in the early days at your Muay Thai gym. They will have more experience than you, but they will patiently help you with your technique whenever you need it. This person may or may not be your instructor, but one thing is for sure, they will make you feel comfortable with where you are on your Muay Thai journey. Their reassurance will give you the confidence to keep pushing forward, even when you have the occasional challenge.
It is only as your skill level goes up that you will realize how truly skilled this person is at Muay Thai.
3) The life of the party
Everybody notices when this person enters the Muay Thai gym. When they walk onto the mats, they will do so with a clever, funny line that will immediately lighten the mood. They are a valuable addition to the Muay Thai gym because their antics bring hilarity to even the most grueling workout. Thanks to their lively personality, this friend will always make an hour-long training session feel like it only lasted a few minutes.
You can learn a lot from this friend, like how to influence people for the better, for example.
4) The one who is always up for a good time
This is the energetic and sometimes mischievous friend who is good for a night out on the town. They know all the best spots and all the best people. This person has lots of fun ideas.
— Evolve MMA (@EvolveMMA) August 3, 2019
Because life can be hectic, you will benefit from this person’s friendship as they encourage you to enjoy yourself and make great memories out of your free time. This friend will also know how to have fun in a safe, wholesome way that will not get you in trouble down the road because they put the life skills of Muay Thai into practice, even when they are having a good time.
5) The one who pushes you to do better
Self-improvement is a huge and central tenet of Muay Thai, which is why the skills you learn in the Muay Thai gym will go with you from the gym to your life outside the gym.
One way you will gain the tools to better yourself a little bit each day is with the help of your Muay Thai friends. Specifically, the one friend who always has practical gems of wisdom to help you power through this challenge or that plateau. This friend motivates you to appreciate how far you have come and reminds you to stay excited about how far you will go. They will impart in you a winning attitude that will help you succeed in Muay Thai and life in general.
This person makes a great sparring partner. They are often skilled technicians that will help you perfect your moves.
6) The Zen friend
You will feel a still power radiate from this person. They may not be the chattiest, loudest person in the Muay Thai gym, but their presence is always felt, much like you sense heat or cold or light. Sometimes, the Zen friend can also be the lively one; they don’t come in one variation only.
Through this person, you can learn a lot about the meditative benefits of Muay Thai. It turns out that martial arts in general, and Muay Thai in particular, are great ways to relax and build up a healthy inner life. Muay Thai lends itself to the teaching of worthy skills like patience, perspective, discipline, and community.
Muay Thai gyms attract a diverse range of amazing people. When you sign up, you join a community of people that will walk with you as you learn the ropes of this intense, rewarding martial art. Over time, you will make many lifelong friends that will eventually become as important as your family members are.
Come and make new friends at Evolve MMA!
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