How long have you practiced Muay Thai? Could you share with us as to why you had chosen Muay Thai and how you first began your training?
I’ve been training Muay Thai for a little over 7 years now. Initially I began training Muay Thai because it was a part as MMA training, but I quickly feel in love with the striking art once I traveled to Thailand to train it. I fell in love with Muay Thai not only because it is an awesome and dangerous martial arts style, but because the culture and tradition that surrounds Muay Thai is so uniquely beautiful. Besides that, Muay Thai gives me a purpose to my everyday life. I’m healthier, more mentally (and spiritually) aware, and I’m in the best shape of my life because of it.
Have you encountered a “life-changing” moment while practicing Muay Thai? How has the practice of Muay Thai changed you, and in what way does it affect those who practice it?
Image credit: Sean Fagan
I’ve had quite a few actually! But I’ll stick with 2 that stick out the most.
One of the best moments of my life was winning my first championship title at Madison Square Garden in New York. Fighting in front of my family and friends in inarguably the biggest stage for combat sports, I was extremely motivated and focused going into the fight-which was a rematch against a very tough opponent. After 4 close, hard rounds, I was able to win via Technical Knock Out in the 5th round and get the championship belt strapped around my waist - it was a surreal feeling that can’t be replicated.
Another life-changing moment was winning my 2nd championship belt, which was the toughest fight of my life. Mid-way through the first round my opponent threw a kick to my head and I blocked it with my arm. Immediately after I initiated the block, I knew that my arm was broken, but I didn’t want to give up. So I had to continue fighting the entire 5 rounds with limited use of my left arm. This entire experience was truly enlightening because of how hard it pushed me past my normal physical and mental limitations. I was extremely proud of myself for fighting all 5 rounds with a broken arm, and I was even more proud that I was able to win!
To answer the 2nd question, Muay Thai has changed me in so many different ways. I’ve become more consciously aware of my emotions and I’ve been able to make smarter, healthier daily life decisions because I’m always considering how it will affect my Muay Thai. It has also taught me to be respectful, humble, and disciplined in all areas of my life.
What inspired you to create ‘Muay Thai Guy’? What’s the story behind ‘Muay Thai Guy’ and what is its main goal?
I originally started it as a way to keep my family and friends updated with my training and fighting career. After getting more and more fans following my stuff, I kept getting asked a lot of the same questions, so I decided to start writing blog posts. From there on, Muay Thai Guy continues to grow into what it is today and it’s been quite a journey to say the least.
The main goal of Muay Thai Guy is to help people change their lives by using the sport as a tool to become more mentally, physically and spiritually healthier and conscious. I also am trying to spread the beautiful art of Muay Thai so it can positively effect other peoples lives as well.
When it comes to training, what do you think is the most underrated yet important technique that people often disregard, and why?
Image credit: Sean Fagan
Just all the basics really. People often are more interested in learning the advanced techniques like spinning back elbows and flying knees, when in reality they should be practicing the fundamentals like the jab, teep and roundhouse kick. Basics win fights!
What do you think is the biggest difference between fighting in a tournament and a street fight?
Image credit: Sean Fagan
In a tournament there are rules. In a street fight there are NO rules. If you were to get in a street fight anything goes, but fortunately Muay Thai is arguably the best martial art to know because of how deadly it can be. Just learning the basic punches can be enough to really damage someone. And if you were to get someone in the Muay Thai clinch, chances are they will have no idea what to do!
What do you think is the biggest obstacle a ‘Nak Muay’ often faces when training in Muay Thai? Have you ever thought of giving up? If so, what keeps you going?
The biggest obstacle is staying consistent and have self-discipline. It’s very hard to want to get up and run 3 miles or to choose the healthier option when it comes to your diet, but these things need to be done if you plan on taking Muay Thai seriously.
I’ve thought about giving up plenty of times and even have taken hiatus’ from Muay Thai for a couple week, but I often get the itch to get back into training because I feel like a part of me is missing when I’m not training Muay Thai. Basically, Muay Thai gives me direction in my life and without it I would be quite lost.
What’s your usual training routine like? Do you have a special diet to support your workout regime?
I wouldn’t say I have a “usual” training routine because it depends on whether or not I have a fight coming up. But generally speaking, it’s a variety of shadowboxing, heavy bag work, pad work, partner drills, sparring and clinching. I love partner drills and sparring the most, so I tend to find myself doing that a majority of the time.
In relation to a special diet, I wouldn’t say I have one really. I just try to eat as clean and nutritious as I can and be aware of how my body reacts to certain foods. It’s a constant learning process though!
To round it all up, what would be your single most important tip for someone who would like to pick up Muay Thai for the first time?
Just enjoy the journey! So many people are set on an end goal (lose weight/win a fight etc.) meanwhile it’s the process of learning Muay Thai, getting in better shape and surrounding yourself with other like-minded, passionate people that really should be the main goal. Enjoy the process and the results will come.
Thank you for checking out this post! If you are interested in taking up a martial arts adventure and get better in shape surrounded with other like-minded passionate people, you can click here to join Sean and his dream team on their Muay Thai journey.