Finding a Muay Thai or mixed martial arts trainer is easy. Finding a good trainer and one who is right for you, however, is slightly more difficult. You see, the sheer abundance of trainers out there means that you’ve got an immense amount of choice, but to improve your overall success and the effectiveness of your training, it’s necessary to search for certain qualities before committing yourself.
First and foremost, the ability and the want to share their knowledge with you is paramount. Some trainers are reluctant to do so and will have their own reasons for this, but it’s in your interest to find one that will really help you grow as a fighter. There are lots of ‘pad men’ who will offer advice, but it goes without saying that your main trainer needs to have a high level of skill and experience, which they are willing to share with you.
It’s this natural connection, like the kind two world-class strikers on a football (soccer) pitch have, which will grow exponentially as you train together and he’ll ultimately know what and when you are throwing combos or strikes or kicks in your pad rounds.
Don’t get me wrong, this takes time to cultivate and nurture, but when you’re there, training becomes a whole new ball game and infinitely more fun and rewarding as a result.
The next huge factor is trust; you absolutely have to be able to trust your trainer. They should know your strengths, weaknesses and overall ability inside out and only ever suggest you’re ready for a fight when you truly are.
I’ve seen it so many times where a trainer is telling their fighter that they’re “strong enough” to fight and that they’re “ready”, but in my heart I can see that they’re not. You don’t want to interrupt a trainer-fighter conversation and I sometimes just have to bite my tongue instead of saying “you’ll be throwing him to the lions if you let him fight now”.
Trainers in Thailand get a percentage of the total fight purse and so it’s in their financial interest to get their fighters fighting regularly. If your trainer cares about you as a person, as a fighter, then a bit of fight money in their back pocket won’t be enough for them to let you fight before you’re fully ready.
While it’s not an absolute must, finding a trainer in Thailand who speaks good English makes the whole learning process a damn sight easier. Fortunately, visitors to Phuket will find that our trainers here have been in the game for a long time and language barriers are extremely rare.
Last but not least, a trainer with a good sense of humour will not only make the whole experience an enjoyable one, but your overall learning will improve as a result. We all know that training should be taken seriously and discipline is a huge part of fighting, but having fun along the way often enables you to absorb a lot more during your training sessions.