Progressing beyond the beginner level is an exciting point in time for Muay Thai practitioners. It means you have mastered the basics, can comprehend most of the jargon used in classes, and are beginning to understand how the sport works.
You have likely started gravitating towards certain styles of movement and favorite strikes. It’s also usually the point in time where you begin to realize the depth of Muay Thai and how much more you still have to learn.
With a positive outlook toward growth and learning, this is the ideal time to really begin rapid growth as a Muay Thai athlete. You have a solid base and understanding and are primed for more advanced concepts and ideas.
Here are some important things to know if you are ready to progress in your Muay Thai beyond the beginner level and into the depths of being an intermediate athlete.
Continue To Listen To Your Coach
Students at the intermediate level generally have a solid grasp of the basics and the sport as a whole. As such, it’s important to remember that you still have a lot of learning to do. Remembering to listen and learn from your coach is vital. Be sure to ask questions, but remember that arguing with your coach’s assessments, corrections, or directions will only hinder your growth.
Coaches can see things that you cannot, and good coaches are solely looking to help you improve. Trusting your coach is an important part of your journey as you transition from the beginner to the intermediate level. Ensure that your ears and eyes are open to what your coach has to teach you during this transition.
Don’t Neglect The Basics
At the intermediate level, you will begin to play with new ways of setting up strikes or moving your body. It can be easy and exciting to get caught up in learning new things, but it’s important to remember that you should not neglect the basics. The highest-level fighters still use their jabs, teeps, and leg kicks. Be sure to explore all of your new skills, concepts, and techniques, but continue to work on all of the basics, too.
Basics make for great fighters. Your new skills won’t work without solid basics, so be sure to continue putting in the work on refining and improving your basics.
By now, you know enough to make trying new things a little bit easier. Whether you are initially drawn to a particular sweep or not, try it. This is the ideal time in your Muay Thai journey to really put yourself out there and try everything. Over time, you’ll find that there are certain moves, setups, or techniques that you like, and others that just don’t fit your style and game. The intermediate level is where you figure all that out.
Beginners are expected to learn the basics of Muay Thai. Intermediates begin exploring all the possibilities Muay Thai offers and deciding what will constitute their personal game. Advanced practitioners are refining their game based on everything they’ve explored, learned, and tried.
If you hope to make it to the advanced level one day, it’s imperative that you do your due diligence at the intermediate level trying and exploring everything. Try it all, and add what you love to your Muay Thai game.
Train With Everybody
As an intermediate practitioner, your skill set puts you in a great place to be able to help newer students learn some of the basics. Teaching is one of the best ways to really hone in on your skills, so learning to appreciate the opportunities to partner with and help a new beginner will be a prime opportunity for your growth too. You’ll also find that you will get opportunities to work on your control and speed working with a brand new person, which will further refine and develop your skills.
Training with those more advanced than you will give you challenges and push you beyond your current skill set, and training with those newer than you will allow you to feel successful and see how to put your game together. Everyone in your class has something to offer, including you. Train with everyone, and learn from everyone.
Explore Specific Variations And Styles
This is the perfect time to really dive into and explore various Muay Thai styles. If you are gravitating towards a Muay Khao style (knee and clinch specialist), consider learning various ways to move, sweep, and land knees from within the clinch.
Then, take some time to explore the Muay Tae (kicking specialist) style of fighting and figure out how that looks and feels for you. Give yourself time to explore different styles and how they might or might not work for you.
Variations are everywhere. Just watch a set of fights for a few minutes and you’ll find that each fighter is unique in the way they throw, set up, or follow up the jab. The intermediate level is the perfect time in your Muay Thai journey to explore all of the different variations for strikes, setups, techniques, and movement. Tapping into the artistic side of Muay Thai will open new doors and opportunities for you as you continue to progress.
The Intermediate Level Is An Exciting Time For Athletes
The intermediate level for Muay Thai athletes is an exciting time. It’s full of learning and challenges, exploring all the nooks and crannies of Muay Thai, and finding out exactly who you want to be as a Muay Thai practitioner. It’s a time where you get to move beyond the basics and really begin building your game.
If you can remember to listen to your coach, continue working on the basics, try everything and anything, train with everyone who walks onto the mats and explore specific variations and styles, you will well be on your way towards mastery as you continue to progress in your development as an athlete.
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