How many times have you come across the new guy in the gym with very little to no experience who wants to spar their first day because they claim to have had a “bunch of street fights”? Hey, maybe you were that guy and were quickly humbled by one of the smaller/lighter guys or gals who were taking it easy on you.
Whomever you are, drilling is one of piece of the Muay Thai puzzle that should not be taken lightly (download the puzzle/ebook here). Sparring, whether going hard or light should be something a student earns gradually over time, building confidence through competence. In my opinion, sparring should also be treated as a form of hierarchy so that each student understands where their level of training exists. Newer students will have something/someone to look up to and advanced students/fighters can look to lend a helping hand or give some tips. This should be the ideal progression in any gym.
For a student who wants to spar or maybe fight, drills will cement the proper habits to keep one composed and calm in the heat of a scrap. There are hundreds of drills that can be done, incorporating different methods, such as using bags and pads. However, nothing can take the place of having a great drilling partner. A live body who will help simulate all the dimensions of sparring and or fighting is an irreplaceable aspect of training.
Each and every gym around the globe has their own set of drills combining offensive and defensive tactics. Each gym might also have their favorite technique/combo. I don’t believe in any one drill to be the end-all of sparring or fighting. The only one definite is that if you don’t have drills as part of your Muay Thai puzzle you will be incompetent as a Nak Muay.
Always look to re-evaluate your training and utilize all of your components of Muay Thai. You want to be on a constant track of evolving your game, raising your standards and keeping Muay Thai thriving.
“Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you CAN’T get it wrong”