If you are training in combat sports like Boxing, Muay Thai, M.M.A. or Karate, then you will surely come to a certain point were you think about trying out your learned techniques in a competition.

As with almost everything in life, there are good and bad reasons to compete. Just as there are also good and bad reasons not to participate in a competition. In the past I had good and bad excuses to not have a fight. In retrospect I think I could have already gained much more important experiences, but now it’s past.

In this article, I would like to give you various good and bad reasons, why you should participate in a competition in order to make it easier for you to make your decision. In the next article, I will discuss why you should not compete.

Good reasons:

#1: You want to improve

You can have so many techniques on you skillset, an inexhaustible endurance or even dominate everybody in the sparring. When you get into the ring, other factors take over. Every fighter knows fear and nervousness. You must learn to control them, so that they do not control you.

This can only be learned in a real fight and this is only possible in a competition (street fights I don’t recommend). The theory and practice are just two different pairs of shoes. A certain nervousness always exists, every fighter knows that. But with more experience you learn to deal with these factors and you gain control of yourself, your body and the fight.


#2: Your Trainer is confident that you should fight

Before you decide to fight, your coach should be the first person with whom you are advising. A good trainer will have knowledge about the abilities and knowledge of the particular student. Especially if the coach has a good relationship with his students. If your coach thinks you’re not ready for a fight, then you’re probably not.

The moment your coach accepts you and says you should fight, you can feel confirmed. It means that he sees potential in you. A competition will help you to recognize this potential and become better. If you have a good relationship with your coach and he asks you to fight, then you should do it. I have sometimes disappointed my coaches, for which I still partly feel bad.

But be careful not to bother your coach, that you want to fight. He’ll know what’s best for you and if he knows that you want to fight, he’ll give you the chance if you’re ready.


EXCEPTION: If you train in Thailand, then a trainer will come to you and ask you if you want to fight, no matter how bad you are. Do not feel flattered and confirmed, this is all about money. Muay Thai Fight = A good extra income for the training camp or the coach. Do not risk your health. If you want to fight in Thailand, you should look carefully for the right gym and coach. First build up trust!

#3 You want to fight

Are you constantly catch yourself to think about fighting? If you watch  a fight and you go into the situation thinking about how you would react? Many fighters have a strong desire to fight, from the moment they start their training. If you really want it, do it!

If you really want to fight, then fight! It is important to talk to your coach before you fight, but in any case you will find your way, whether that means in the end that you possibly change the gym or travel to Thailand to get your fight.

If you have this strong desire to compete, then you should give yourself time to prepare yourself properly. Set the goal to win and train hard for it, even if it takes a while. If you really want it, nobody can stop you. You make your fight your temporary priority in life and plan work, private life, etc. around your training.


Bad reasons:

#1: You want to beat up somebody

Unfortunately in the full contact sports a bunch of idiots are attracted, which simply want to beat up somebody. For these clientele it is often the priority to dominate the opponent, possibly even intentionally to injure him, to feel strong in a sick way.

Fortunately, however, combat sports have quite a good influence on such people, as long as they train with the right coach. Through the training, aggression is reduced and the more the student is trained, the sooner he will understand that he does not get far with this attitude. In particular, when he realizes that technique dominates aggression.

If you want to fight because you want to hurt another person, then I advise you to put yourself in some sparring sessions with the big boys, until you realize that you have to change your attitude.

#2: You have to proof something

Whether you need to prove yourself something or others, stop it! Of course you always hear of some superstars that their motivation was to proof it to everybody. But let’s be honest, the ego’s of these martial arts stars are often so blown up, that no normal person can stand it.

Your ego is your biggest enemy …

… this probably applies to most cases in life. Career, appearance, reputation, and so on. This is particularly true in combat sports. To get better, in your sport, you have to leave your ego at home. A great ego blinds you for your mistakes and prevents you to learn from them, it inhibits your development.

Especially in the Muay Thai, the Thai’s have a huge advantage compared to western athletes. They step into the ring without any ego, “Let’s fight, maybe you win, maybe I’ll win.” Western fighters often fight with the attitude “Crushing, killing, winning”. From these expectations follows, of course, tension, the Thai’s see that and will use it to their advantage.

So always be relaxed … enjoy the way up, but do not rest on your successes or let yourself be celebrated too much, there is always someone out there who, will be better than you.


#3 It’s all about cash …

In Europe, it is not common for beginners or amateurs to receive any prizes, since you can be happy if the driving is paid. On a professional level, it looks a bit different, but the prize money is far from being so high, that it is worth it to put your health at risk.

Example Thailand

In Thailand you also get as a bloody beginner your share, since the stadiums make every evening plenty of money. For a normal fight (no high level or championship) you can expect roughly 5.000 baht (approx. 130 €) per fight. Women get only about 3.000 Baht (80 €). There are, however, coaches who simply keep the prize money for themselves and you go home only with bruises. I think 50:50 is a fair deal.

There are, of course, foreign “experts” who do 2-3 fights every month and thus come to approx. 400 € per month. However, Muay Thai is 100% in your face and almost always fighters come out with some small or larger injuries from the competition.

In order to fight 2-3 times a month, you have to train continuously (5-8 hours per day), always pay attention to what you eat, some beer in the pub is taboo and “Booom Booom” should be avoided too (as a man). I do not want to have this life for max. 400 € per month. Also the monthly cost of the training is already about 9,000 baht (about 240 €) and then additionally you have to pay accommodation, food and the other stuff.


What I want to tell you, do not do it for the money, not even in Thailand, the calculation just does not to your advantage, as long as you do not fight at big events, which are now almost all in China.

Fight because you love your sport, fight to develop yourself, fight because you are born to fight.

Money and honor are transient … I know it always says honor is for eternity, but if you’re not a Mohamad Ali, Conor McGregor or Mike Tyson, then after a few days no one talks about your victory anymore. Accept it, this is life. Fight only for yourself!

If you have any further questions or suggestions, then you can leave me a comment below. I will answer you as soon as possible!

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