I was having a conversation the other day with someone about teaching new people, what the process is like, and the best way to approach it. He explained that he aims to teach them so that they learn everything correctly and can execute the technique properly. I believe the process to do that is not as complicated as some people make it out to be. I explained that a lot of people over-teach when they first start teaching. 

Remember when you are first learning you are trying to process everything: where do my feet go, where do my hands go, am I too close or too far away from my partner? They kicked me – now what? Oh yeah, I can do this…then you pick some sort of random technique that seems appropriate at the time. Now imagine someone standing over you constantly pointing out every little detail that you are doing wrong while all of this is going on. Out of frustration, you would throw your hands up and just say “I quit! I can’t do anything right.” 

I went on to explain that you have to remember what it was like in the beginning. After some time you start to get in a groove and figure things out – like how to block with the legs or hands, how far that you need to be to land a punch, where to step when you are kicking. These things take time. 

Then I asked him a question, “If I was to ask you to drive to Disney right away what would your first thoughts be?” He responded with, “What’s the shortest route to get there?” I said, “Yes, that’s correct and do you know why?” He said, “Because it’s the fastest way to get there!”

My point being: when I asked you to drive to Disney you didn’t tell me about the process that it would take to get there. You didn’t say, well I need to go to my car, unlock the door, open the door and get in. Once I’m in the car, I need to put my seat belt on, then I need to check my mirrors, then start the car, look over my shoulder to make sure no cars are coming. Are you starting to see the point? 

I told him that when you are teaching beginners it’s that same process. You have to be able to walk them through each one of those steps one at a time and not overload their brain with information. If you point out everything wrong that someone new is doing, then they won’t feel like they are learning anything. You have to guide them to their destination. Things that are so obvious to you are not the same with the students that you are trying to teach. 

Here are three things that I want you to keep in mind moving forward with your training:

  • Footwork is key in the beginning, you can’t practice it enough! 
  • Pick one technique that you like at first and drill, drill, drill – then when you are bored with it DRILL!
  • Ask questions and watch Muay Thai videos, this is so important to your visualization and learning process! 

Final thoughts on this, remember that Muay Thai is a martial art and it does take time to get good at it; mastery is not going to happen in 30, 60 or 90 days. But if you can stay focused and accept this is a long term commitment, you will see improvement with time and consistent effort. 


As always, train hard, be a beast!