Thai kickboxing is taking America by storm. It’s very easy to see why more and more Americans are discovering the distinct joys and charms of Thai martial arts. Unlike traditional boxing with its focus on the upper body and strategic moves, Thai boxing is holistic in nature. Your whole body is involved. You can move your legs. You can move your arms. It’s not just I head game. It goes beyond the realm of psychology.
While you can become a very good Thai mixed martial arts fighter by using your head, you will become an excellent one when you use your spirit. This is what separates Eastern martial arts from Western martial arts. Sure, no culture has a monopoly on blood sports, but what really makes Thai kickboxing so amazing and so intriguing is the fact that you have to learn how to trust yourself.
Sure, you can buy the best Thai pads, but equipment and fighting power are just two pieces of the puzzle. There are many other pieces of the puzzle that you have to be aware of. You have to be accountable for all these other pieces; otherwise, your game is not going to be where it is. You’re going to be an incomplete fighter.
To be a really great Thai fighter, you have to really understand how your body works and the sense of spiritual dance between you and the other person that you are fighting against. You have to remember that when you engage somebody, whether it’s in the courtroom, in a bar or in a fighting ring, you are engaged in a dance. They do something, you do something.
This is not some sort of random collection of moves. Instead, there is an intricate set of rules that you have to recognize early on if you want to get a comparative advantage. This is what’s so memorizing about Thai martial arts and Eastern martial arts in particular. There is a tremendous emphasis on the spiritual component of what would otherwise be a physical exercise.
Unfortunately, in the West, we are trained to separate our body from our minds just as we are supposed to separate our spirit from our minds, body, moods and emotion. This really is too bad because when you do that, it’s like you’re fighting with one hand tied behind your back.
If you’ve ever seen old martial arts movies from Hong Kong from the 1970s, invariably, they would feature some sort of disabled master. This person has a physical handicap, but this person turns out to be the most powerful fighter in the room. Nobody can even come close.
Usually, the master is blind. This is an allegory to the fact that most human beings are blind, but the master overcame. Through years of discipline, exercise, sacrifice and practice, he became more than his limitations. If anything, the blind master or the one-eyed master or any other master who’s suffering from any kind of physical disability is a message to us to get our act together. He symbolizes the human capacity to overcome whatever limitations we were born with.
Sure, you may invest in the best Thai pads but, let me tell you, the best way to move ahead in any kind of martial art is to overcome your mental limitations. Unfortunately, the only the only person who can help you do that is yourself.