Unfortunately, you can’t get any good at Muay Thai just by kicking the punch bag that’s hung up in your garage. The beauty of the sport comes from being able to throw down in a bout on the mat, be able to anticipate your opponents next move and counter, take a pounding and get back up to take the fight. You can’t do any of this with your punch bag, unless of course you’ve invented one that does all that in which case cash in now.
Realistically, you’ll be needing a training partner. Here we highlight some key characteristics to look for in a training partner, as it shouldn’t just be someone you’ll enjoy kicking the crap out of. Good training partners are really hard to come by, so when you find some, it’s a good idea to hold on to them in the most bro-mantic way possible.
1. Get Around
In an ideal world you’ll have three training partners. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly acceptable to be a Muay Thai bigamist and train with more than one person in violent matrimony. Having three is the best policy, but they need to be at different levels.
First up, you need someone who is worse than you. This guy is going to be your confidence booster, making you feel invincible. As well as that, he is going to learn from you and you are going to teach him, and it’s surprising how similar these processes are. You learn a hell of lot through teaching others, so this guy is really important.
Next, comes the guy who is the same as you. This is the partner you’ll be spending most of your training time with. The other two partners are like your bits on the side, where this guy is the real deal. This should be someone you can bounce off of, build you up and get real into it. You need to be able to feel comfortable winning and losing with this partner.
Lastly, you need a guy that’s better than you, a guy that is going to wipe the floor with you every single time. This partner is to bring you back down to earth, stop you getting cocky and most of all prove to you that there is always scope for improvement in your game. He gives something to aspire to, and a goal for your training, think of the satisfaction when you finally submit them!
Banter really does make the world go round. If everyone was overly polite and extremely nice to each other then it would be a boring place. Your main training partner has to be able to give and take the banter. If you get on well with the partner then your training will become infinitely more enjoyable and you’ll see the results in that when it comes to your training outputs. Little quips and jibes help motivate you as well, they give you something to prove wrong and can rile you up to wipe the smile of their face!
Last of all, but by no means least, it’s important to find a partner who is a similar height, weight and muscle mass to yourself. Not only does this minimize advantages that can come by one person being stronger than the other, it just plain makes sense. If you watch UFC or know anything about bouts, you’ll know that matches fall into categories and these categories are defined by weight. If you start sparring with someone a few categories above or below you, you’ll struggle when you’re across the ring from someone your own size. By training with the partner that is in your weight category, you’ll be standing the best chance of transferring what you learnt from practice to the ring.
Come down to Arashi Do Edmonton and try out one of our great programs like Muay Thai, Fundamental BJJ, Women’s Only BJJ or Children’s BJJ for ages 4-7 and 8-14.
All those and you get a 30 DAY FREE TRIAL!