Learn to be broken…
Breaking a fighter.
It’s a phrase you hear often in Muay Thai Boxing but what does it really mean?
Recently in sparring, I had a chance to think about this. I’d like to be all tough and say it was on my mind because my incredible dominating style broke my opponent’s will. But nope, it was me.
I’ve only been at it for nearly a year now, and while I’m certainly not any sort of dangerous talent, I feel like I know my way around a little at this point.
After the end of training, we started our usual sparring session. By my third partner, one of which I hasten to add was our Kru Leigh Edlin. I was absolutely cream-crackered (knackered). There are reasons for this – I had been sick and been away on holiday so missed a few weeks of training – but the main reason is I’m still not at my best possible shape YET!. This has happened to me before – and I’m afraid, it’s the side effect of being a part time trainer. The thing is, in Muay Thai, when I’m tired I have enough strength that I can mostly still survive. I sort of know what I’m doing, and can deal with a more fit opponent while minimizing damage.
As I was trapped in a corner of the ring, when it came to me… this person is too good, too strong, too talented. And the the big one: I can’t stop him/her. That moment? That’s breaking – the realisation that you can not win!!
Of course, it’s not actually a “realisation” because that implies that it’s a verifiable fact. It’s not. You may not be winning now, and it may be quite difficult to win, but you can. And yet in the heat of the moment, it becomes a fact, and that’s what makes it so insidious and so dangerous.
From there, I bottled out from some sparring rounds but slogged through the last few minutes, and went home. And here’s where I was faced with a tough question – what now? Where do I go from here? I’ll admit, there was a large part of me that wanted to quit and be done. I’m in my very late 30s, never going to really fight (well maybe 😉 – how much further do I want to go with this?
But the next week, I dragged myself to the club. And you know what? It was excellent. I was back in my comfort zone, I felt good, I felt like I could do it. The moment of breaking will pass!!
But has it? Because it’s easy to feel confident when you are in your comfort zone. The real question about braking is what you do when someone pushes you out of that zone. And so far, that has not happened to me since… but it will?! And how will I respond the next time?
That’s a question I can’t answer. I can only hope that my experience will make me stronger for the next time. Maybe it will. Or maybe being broken is like being knocked out – the more it happens, the easier it is to happen again. I hope it’s the former, but fear it’s the latter. Time will tell. And either way, I will continually learn from my Kru & Club Members…
Many Thanks again to Leigh for helping me settle into the club and many thanks to all the club members, who have made me feel so welcome and have got me addicted to Muay Thai.!
Paul Stafford @Paul_Stafford
Chao Phraya Academy Member
I’d also like this opportunity to wish our Kru Leigh Edlin
in his forthcoming ISKA European Title Fight on Saturday 13th April More Info & Tickets HERE