What I learnt from my first Muay Thai fight

What I learnt from my first Muay Thai fight

When I started training Muay Thai just over four years ago, I never expected to fight. I previously wrote about my intentions when I walked into my first Muay Thai gym. I was there simply to improve my fitness. But a funny thing happens to some people not long after their first class: they get addicted.

I got hooked on that feeling when you start to improve. I continued showing up, always wanting to push myself a bit further to test my ability. Ultimately, you can only test yourself so far at training. Fighting in the ring was the next step.

I don’t aspire to become a full-time fighter or to become a champion. My goal with fighting is to gain experiences and learn from them. The rush you get afterwards is also pretty fun.

Amateur fights in Melbourne

In Melbourne and other parts of Australia, most people start out by fighting on an amateur show wearing shin guards, headgear, 16oz gloves and a mouth guard. So this is what I did in November last year. I fought at 60kg so I didn’t need to cut much weight. My subsequent fights have been at 57-58kg.

I had taken part in a couple of interclub sparring events and had sparred a range of different people at the gym. However, the feeling of stepping into the ring in front of a crowd with the authority to hit as hard as you can, and potentially be hit with the same amount of force, was a totally new experience.

In the lead up to the fight, I was nervous mostly due to fear of fighting badly and disappointing my trainer. The fight itself was a blur. My actions were mostly automatic reactions. Straight afterwards, I couldn’t remember what I did, but luckily it was filmed so I could watch it back. My fitness was the main issue. By the third round I was absolutely wrecked. The headgear was annoying and the shin guards made it hard to land kicks effectively. I tried to use knees and my opponent told me afterwards that some of them really hurt, but most of them didn’t land.

It was all a bit of a mess, but I learned so much about what works and what doesn’t. I wanted to fight again to try and execute the things I wish I had done. That’s what spurs me on to fight again.

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