Saturday, December 20, 2014

very popular

I find that a lot of people, even fighters, will seek out a new gym to train at just because it is well known. They assume that it must be great because they have heard about it or have seen so and so fighter go there and then win. Now I'm not going to come on here and start bad mouthing any particular place, I always try and do my best to stay as impartial in my writings as possible, regardless of my own experiences or feelings toward a place or person. I am constantly getting messaged by people asking for recommendations on where they should train or what I think of a particular gym. There's a gym in Thailand that I'm often asked about and even though I won't say which one it is I'm sure most people can figure it out. Now I would never say that a place or person is just awful. I'll give you my opinion or share my experience but I know that just because I think a place is wack doesn't mean everyone else will. I've never really understood why a person would go to the Mecca of Muay Thai only to train at a watered down tourist spot that is better at putting out promotional videos as opposed to actual fighters, but maybe that's just me. You're in Thailand and could literally throw a rock and hit at least a handful of legit spots yet you chose to go there. Baffling!!! Now I'm not saying that they are a 'bad' gym or that you can't get decent training there. What I am saying is why would you go to a 5 star steak house only to eat cereal? I could go on and on about this but I'll leave it at that.
Popularity doesn't equate to quality. It goes along the same lines as my other blog 'Time'. It's the same way with gyms and coaches here in the states. People will see that a lot of fighters, speaking mostly on MMA here, are training at a certain place so they automatically assume that it must be a good gym. Not to say that it's not but there are a lot more questions that you should be asking yourself. First off you need to realize that, most of the time, the fighters you are looking at weren't produced by that gym. More often than not they spent the majority of their career somewhere else. So one thing you should ask is not 'what fighters train there' but 'what fighters have they produced.' If a fighter did spend most of their career elsewhere and then went to this new spot and made vast improvements that's another thing. I'm not in anyway saying that just because a gym hasn't built any fighters from the ground up doesn't mean they aren't any good. I'm saying that there's more to a gym than what's on the surface and the more you do your research the less likely you will be blindsided down the road.
I'll hear this a lot, "Well so and so went there and he just won the title." True, but they were already that good when they got there. Speaking on that particular Thailand gym, you'll see fight after fight online of their guys knocking out Thai's so now all these people that have trained there can say, "Yea I went to Thailand and fought this really strong Thai and knocked him on his ass", not realizing that they just beat up a cab driver who was more than likely paid to fall down and make you look good. Most people see these fights and assume they're legit, because how would they know any better. It makes me want to set that gym, and everyone in it, on fire. Then again they are clearly only in this to make money, and they're good at it, so who am I to knock them.
If you are looking to go to a new gym do yourself a huge favor and do your research. Yes, take a look at what fighters they have there but also which ones they have either built from the ground up or ones that have been able to improve their game since going there. Also ask. Reach out to not only the fighters but the everyday people who train there as well, if you can. Try and get a better feel and understanding for the place. As always, just because a place is good for someone else doesn't mean that it will be beneficial to you. Even if a coach and all of their fighters are great it doesn't mean that they will be a good fit for you. I always recommend that people go and visit a place they are looking in to. Try out the classes, get some work with the coach, the better feel you can get of a place the better before diving in head first.
The end
“Face your fears, live your dreams”
-El Presidente'

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous14.2.15

    Great points! too many Americans love to say they "trained in Thailand" to brag when they go back home. what they don't realize is just because they defeat a Thailand citizen in a Muay Thai bout does not mean they fought a legit Thai Fighter with almost 100 fights which we know can be pretty common among adult Thai fighters.
    And the gym you were taking about is a cop-out for westerners to say they got the full traditional experience (I knew who they were without you having to say any names) haha