Colin Powell, the former U.S. secretary of state is quoted as saying “Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence“. This is true for success in any endeavour including the art of Muaythai. I want to and will be a Muaythai world champion. So in order to achieve this success, I have to embrace and embody the 5 qualities mentioned above.
The quality I want to discuss today is Loyalty. Loyalty is a big part of martial arts. Loyalty to art, loyalty to your gym and team, loyalty to your trainer. The focus of this entry is on loyalty to your trainer specifically. Training with just one trainer day-in-day as some tremendous benefits such as you build a connection, he/she identifies and knows your strengths and weakness, you develop and a flow and rhythm in your pad work. This is great at the beginning of your martial arts journey. As you develop and improve, your trainer and training should also develop and improve to ensure your continuous growth. If this isn’t the case, then it may be time to look else where or other ways to supplement your training.
Although the techniques of an art like muaythai are the same regardless of where you are in the world, the way in which the techniques are excused or expressed varies from person to person. Hence, how they are taught varies.Every trainer and even training camp has their own twist on how a technique should be executed, when to execute it and which techniques work in real fight situations. Loyalty to your trainer is a wonderful thing but not when it is detrimental to your development as a fighter and a martial artist. Sometimes a little disloyalty may be what is needed to push you to next level.
For example, if your trainer focuses on one aspect of the game such attack and neglects defence, it will be much better for your development to look for another trainer within your camp or else where who specialises or can help sure up the defensive part of your game. If you have been working with the same trainer for an extended of time an your kicks or punches are still not at the level you expect or want it to be, then it may be time to look else where.
Each new trainer you train with brings with him/her new insight, technique and viewpoint which may shed new light and aid in your understanding of the art of fighting better.It might be as simple as a slight adjustment to the way you throw a technique to it much more powerful or more accurate.
I myself have had to confront this issue recently. My regular trainer Ajarn Daeng or Obi ‘Daeng’ kanobi as I like to call has done an amazing job improving the attacking side of my game but at the expense of my defensive side. We have never trained any defence in all the time I have been training with him. I have asked only many occasions but to no avail. Luckily there are some amazing trainers at my disposal here at Phuket Top Team so I identified a defensive aware trainer, Ajarn Athit and have been working with him for the past couple of months to sure up that aspect of my game.
Loyalty is great but not when it puts your progress and development in jeopardy!