Let’s face it – we all wish we had the ring IQ of Nong-O Gaiyanghadao.
The Muay Thai legend has been flawless ever since he joined ONE Super Series in April 2018. At times, it even looks like he is untouchable.
Nong-O’s sharp kicks, powerful punches, and impressive counters have amazed the global fanbase, and those incredible techniques even led the Evolve representative to the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Title.
For Tip Tuesday, the 33-year-old provides five tricks that will help athletes perfect their craft in “the art of eight limbs.”
#1 Be Mentally Sharp
When it comes to success in Muay Thai, it is imperative that you are sharp – not only physically, but mentally as well. A fraction of a moment can be the difference between winning and losing.
Intense training helps to develop the mentality you need to shine in Muay Thai. Soon, you will find that your ability to process information is quicker, thus allowing you to make more rapid reads and decisions.
“When you train the body, you’re also training the mind,” Nong-O says.
“They become strong together. In the ring, your mind must be clear and strong. You must be mentally prepared to execute your offense when there is an opening. Muay Thai is fast-paced and explosive. It requires peak physical fitness, mental aptitude, and a strong spirit.”
#2 Develop Core Strength
Where does the crisp and dynamic power from the strikes of “the art of eight limbs” come from? Your core. Developing core strength is imperative to delivering meaningful strikes.
As your core becomes stronger, you will notice your strikes are faster and you will hear the pop ring out from your forceful combinations.
“Having a strong core is important because it will allow you to deliver your kicks and knees with force,” the legend says.
“Always work on strengthening your core every day with different workouts. Don’t be afraid to mix it up.”
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#3 Learn How To Incorporate All Your Skills
Muay Thai punches, elbows, kicks, and knees can help make you a well-rounded striker. However, it is blending those techniques together that make your game complete.
If you do not have the ability to blend your talents together, then you will become predictable in your attacks. Developing your skill set to have all your strikes working together allows you to craft better, more effective combinations.
“You don’t want to go to battle with not enough firepower,” Nong-O says.
“Form and delivery are also extremely important. You want your technique to be at its prime, really clean, and effective. From your clinch to your dumps, and even how to properly utilize them at the core.”
#4 Make Adjustments
Becoming adaptable makes your counter-striking and defense more efficient and effective in the midst of battle. Take it from the ONE Bantamweight Muay Thai World Champion.
As you continue to dedicate your time to training in Muay Thai, you will be able to process more information and pick-up more reads on your opponent.
“One takeaway from my own career, and I take very much pride in this, is the ability to read opponents and make the necessary adjustments,” he explains.
“I’ve faced all different kinds of fighters throughout my career, and all of them have habits that leave them open. Every fighter has vulnerabilities, even myself. The ability to recognize these openings, and then capitalize on them, will set you apart as a fighter.”
#5 Always Be Coachable
When you believe you have learned all that there is or fail to give the proper respect to your teachers, your development as a striker will suffer. Continued learning is critical in martial arts.
It is those who came before you who are there to pass along what they have learned. Be mindful of their expertise and soak it in to become the best version of yourself.
“This is one of the most important things – listen and learn from those with more experience,” the Evolve representative says.
“There is a wealth of knowledge and experience out there from those who came before us. We learn lessons from each other in the ring, but even more importantly, lessons outside of it. Muay Thai isn’t just a sport, it’s a way of life. To become a true Muay Thai fighter, you have to live the life both inside the ring and outside of it.”