One of the major benefits to be gained from Muay Thai, is the opportunity to define your own values. More often than not, honesty, respect and integrity are identified as the key values that are engaged and developed through Muay Thai training.
As a coach, we have a special relationship with our fighters. Training 3-4 hours per day, the relationship is busy and rewarding for both coach, and fighter. The relationship creates a bond that is focused on development and achieving goals. From time to time, coaches need to make decisions for their fighters, based on what is in their best interest. As such, there is a mutual understanding between the coach and fighter, which is based on respect, honesty and integrity and underpinned by trust. Without these shared values, the coach/fighter relationship would just not work.
Fortunately, the values that are developed from Muay Thai continue to be held for the remainder of an individuals life. I received a phone call yesterday from an ex member of our fight team, who retired 7 years ago after accumulating 15 fights. Although he has not trained for 7 years (and I hadn’t spoken to him in 3 months) he called me to ask if it was okay if he could train at another gym, whilst he was working away interstate. I was completely flawed, that even after all this time, our bond still existed and his values are stronger than ever.
How does Muay Thai help develop individual values?
One of the major lessons Muay Thai teaches is respect. Respect must be shown to coaches and their fellow peers, along with training partners, friends and family members. Showing respect builds relationships which are positive, helpful and trusting. The common method of showing respect is achieved through a ‘bow’. Fighters show respect to their coaches and gym by completing the “Wai Kru Ram Muay” dance, which is unique to Muay Thai. This translates to “war dance to salute your trainer”.
Not only does Muay Thai teach you to respect others, it also teaches self respect and equips you with a deeper reverence for people outside the gym environment.