What’s the point of Muay Thai?
Written by Don Heatrick
If you ask this question of different people, you'll get just as many different answers. At the risk of losing those not yet ready, I'm going to cut to the heart of it all here, I'm looking for the deepest, underlying reason. The one that emerges if you ask yourself 'why' enough times. Muay Thai is our passion, it inspires us. And by drilling down through this passion we find not only what the point of Muay Thai is for you, but also the point of life.
This may come across as all Yoda and esoteric, and I'm not going to make apologies for that. Please stick with me and honestly reflect on this inspiration, suspend conscious judgement and just go with the feelings that arise. The point of Muay Thai (and anything in life) is growth — or entropy reduction to use the terminology of physicist and consciousness researcher, Dr Thomas Campbell. The growth I'm referring to is not academic, financial, or even technical skill for that matter, it's spiritual growth. That's why we find ourselves inexplicably drawn to Muay Thai. You may not consciously be aware of it, but that's what's going on.
When you are ready, you'll feel it too. Perhaps you already have?
In a recent conversation, CST Coach Michael Addison mentioned the analogy of building towers, which describes the attitude to growth perfectly. There are two ways that you can build the tallest tower; work hard building your tower taller, or knock other tall towers down. Ultimately, you should not see taller towers as threats (to your ego), but rather inspiration to continue building your own tower taller. Grow yourself rather than sabotaging others.
For me, Muay Thai and human performance is a means to express and learn about myself. To examine ego and associated fear. To discover my genuine self, uncluttered by the opinions of others or my own subconscious memories of which I'm unaware. Athletic endeavour is my chosen tool to get 'clear' as author Dr Ihaleakala Hew Len would say. And when you're clear, inspiration happens.
Thai boxers typically first experience fleeting moments of clarity / inspiration during sparring, in what I've previously referred to as flowstate. But this is just the start. With practice, you can achieve this clear state through meditation. The conscious mind becomes quiet and then answers come, and the right people and circumstances show up. This is real, commit yourself and you'll find it's true.
The Right Circumstances Just Appear
If you're reading this right now, it's a message you're supposed to contemplate – it's meant for you, right now in this moment. If it resonates with you, act on it, just go with whatever comes to you.
If what I'm describing doesn't fit for you right now, that's fine, the time isn't right. But just wait and see, this same subject will continue to return to you from various sources until you grasp it – in your own time, when you're ready. It's not a race – it's not a test – it's your own tower. Enjoy the building process (be present), and if you see taller towers – be inspired, not jealous.
One of my own periods of clarity resulted in the writing of this piece (inspiration). I don't feel like I wrote it, it came through me and I was asked to share it. It comes from a place of no fear (of what those not yet ready may think), it comes from a genuine wish to help. Letting go is very powerful. It's freedom. And when you are free you can achieve anything, without even trying... reflect on this next time you're struggling with something, training, or in the ring.
"By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond the winning."
~ Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
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Don is an ex-pro fighter, Muay Thai and strength & conditioning coach from the UK, with over 25-years experience in combat sports and athletic conditioning. He is passionate about all things that lead to improved fight performance and loves sharing what he's learned (and continues to learn) along the way.
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