If you’re a seasoned vet of the sport then I know you’re squirming in your chair because I put those two words together. I know, I know…. They’re two different sports but I did it for those who may not know the difference. Bear with me.

I’ve been involved in this sport for over fifteen years now and have seen it all (or almost)

I’ve witnessed the top of the amateur game in Muay Thai when I attended the 2013 WKA World Championships in Carrera, Italy as one of the Team USA’s coaches.

I’ve trained in Thailand for a good bit of time at multiple different Muay Thai camps in Phuket and Bangkok.

I’ve trained at one of the most successful Combat Sports gyms in the world, which is home to something like twenty world champions, pro and amateur alike.

I’ve helped corner in professional organizations like Bellator and the Professional Fighters League (PFL).

Every time I find myself in these places I take notes and try to find the “common theme”.

What is it that makes these places and these people great that get to levels most only dream of?

Below is a list of the FIVE things I think that lead to greatness. Check ‘em out…

  1. Decisiveness- Being a fighter or a successful athlete of any kind happens over decades. However, great things begin to happen when an athlete plants their flag on a hill and is willing to die defending it. Making the decision to work toward a goal no matter what obstacles pop up
  2. Consistency- When I’m in Thailand, specifically to train, I train everyday multiple times per day. Every time I show up to the gym I notice the same  Thai fighters day-in day-out. They never leave during the day and are always there at night as well. This level of consistency is what brings them to the level of ability they operate at. The train on days they don’t want to. They train on days they don’t feel well. They train on days when they’re incredibly sore. They just KEEP. SHOWING. UP.
  3. Discipline. A long time ago I hear a very simple definition of the word. Doing what needs to be done even when you don’t want to do it. Fighters and athletes at the top don’t always want to eat an uber-clean diet, train twice a day, watch fight footage or run but they do. They want to drink, socialize with friends and take days off but they understand the consequences of that. They grind and dedicate themselves to a schedule everyday.
  4. Trust in a process. Google has long been one of the greatest inventions of our time but it has also been the thorn in the side of doctors, coaches, Dads trying to BS and anyone trying to convince someone to do something based on their knowledge. The reason? You can find ANY answer you’re looking for on the interwebs. The best fighters and athletes, in my experience, are those who follow their coach and the path they’ve laid for them based on their knowledge, ability and experience.
  5. Finding the right Coach. Just like any relationship personalities need to jive. People need to fit with each other and develop a relationship with one another. Coaching is no different. The best coach/fighter duo’s that I’ve witnesses (in my personal experience and those I’ve seen from a distance) are all built on trust, compassion and mutual respect. Its important to find a coach who cares about your future, safety and well-being.


Let’s note that these are not, by any means, the only things that lead to the success of an athlete or fighter and if one is missing it wont make the world stop either.

Across the board these things rang true to the success of those I’ve seen compete at the highest level of combat sports and also in those I’ve coached who never had aspirations of fighting on any level.

This “formula” works for those who are just trying to lose some weight, get in a better headspace or change their life in a significant way.

My Muay Thai Travels




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