One day after training, my instructor told me something so deep and so meaningful, that it brought tears to my eyes. I can remember a strength and passion that rose up out of me from a few powerful words that struck right to my heart.
“When you go into the ring, touch your forehead to the ground (as part of the Wai Kru). Lay your soul, your identity, your fears down on the earth, in front of the audience.
From here, without your identity, your fears, your beliefs, no man and no thing can hurt you…nothing can scare you, intimidate you or make you feel shame…you become something beyond yourself. ….the result of the fight is just a result…as long as you fight with your heart.
And when the fight is over, come back to the earth to reclaim your identity.”
My instructor’s words have stuck to my heart to this day, and the meaning of it is one of the deeper reasons I practice the art to this day.
Our Ego’s Prevent Us From Our True Greatness
One of the meanings I had received from this talk was that our ego, our identity can limit our potential of what we’re capable of. It’s made up of all of our past thoughts, experiences, and memories and controls what we believe is within our capability.
By Stepping Outside of Your Thoughts and Stepping into ‘Alter-Ego’, Can Help You Instantly Perform Outside of Limiting Beliefs
I recently watched a documentary on basketball legend Kobe Bryant. For those of you who are unfamiliar with him, he’s known as ‘The Black Mamba’, his alter ego. Off the court, he’s a father, a husband, a friend. When he steps on that court, he becomes The Black Mamba, “that killer snake”.
“There’s a difference between who you are and what you are…what I am when I step on the court….is that killer snake…stone-cold”. – Kobe Bryant
In the video You can literally see the primal side of him show up on his face when he starts talking about “The Black Mamba”.
Fighter’s don names for more than just selling fights and promotions
It’s used as a way to have a profound effect on their psychology. When they’re performing as (*insert catchy nick name here), they step out of their mindset as a normal human being, and embody something greater, something vicious, primal.
You don’t need to be a great fighter or athlete to use an ‘alter-ego’ to perform better in life. For many people training Muay Thai, there is a constant struggle between “I’m new and just trying it out” versus owning the belief “Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee”.
If you train the art, give yourself the gift of actually believing in yourself by owning it beforehand…you’ll learn faster and enjoy the process more. You don’t have to verbalize it, just say it to yourself ;).
Beyond just the physical training, there is a deeper side to Muay Thai which involves the Spirit and Mind
The labels we use for ourselves plays s a large part of that. Some of the greatest fighter’s, in Muay Thai, MMA, Boxing all had powerful labels for who they were when they stepped into the ring.
The thing is, language and how we communicate to ourselves deeply impact what we will and will not do. By adapting a new label for yourself, one that’s more empowered, fearless, you instantly tell your brain to live up to that label, stirring up a strength in you you may have never discovered before.
In the fight community, some say that you need to EARN your name, through your accomplishments and achievements. While you might want to hold off on verbalizing to everyone that you’re the ‘Greatest of All Time’ your second week into training, it doesn’t hurt to give a name to the person you aspire to be. A name that rings true with your heart and soul of who you are when you’re at your very best.
Train and Live at That Level and You’ll Soon Become it.