Thursday, November 12, 2015

CROM’s Corner: Inside the Mind of a Nak Muay

by Chris Romulo

Do you have the right mindset to excel in Muay Thai?

Do you understand or even have a “why” for training?

Do you have a vision in your mind of where you want to go in your journey?

My motto, which is written on the wall of my gym, and has been a concrete thought for me since 2003 is “All it takes is heart”.  I do my best to pass this on to anyone and everyone I come across in a conscious or subconscious way.  Not just for fighting or training but in a lifestyle sense.  Not only for living with courage but also for living with love, passion, and spirit.  As Nak Muays I believe that we can all relate on this level.  None of us got involved in this sport/art to become millionaires.  What helped us find Muay Thai was a deep seeded desire for something different in our lives, to feed the unknown craving for a real sense of being, your “why”.  Without your “why” you will be lost, similarly to not having a GPS in this day and age.  Whether you rely on a GPS, map, or your own instincts, along your Muay Thai journey you will come across setbacks, challenges, stumbles or flat out failures.  Are you equipped with the right mindset to keep you moving forward when you are under a relentless attack from all angles?  Do you acknowledge your lessons learned as a true warrior or do you result to placing blame on people who have no control over your own thoughts and emotions?  Are you a “keyboard killa” with experiences of watching fights and not actually earning your battle scars in the arena while telling other people how it should be done?  If you have time to talk it’s because you have time to talk, put in your work and let your actions speak! 

A key mindset that I attempt to live by that might apply to you as well is “my actions speak so loud you can’t hear what I’m saying”.  Believe, accept and understand as a fighter, enthusiast or coach that disappointment will be a part of the process.  To think otherwise will only make getting through difficulty a much harder process.  This mindset will be a major tool in your Muay Thai path.  Through all of my injuries, losses, and life’s unexpected surprises, I took the time to go back to my “why”.  I believe my version of physical culture has been the number one factor in getting me through all of the major obstacles in my life.  In turn, my “why” is to help others understand that whatever interpretation of physical culture that you choose, it can and will be your main weapon in this fight of life.
**My version of Physical Culture is a lifestyle of dynamic thinking, eating and moving.

What I see for myself is being a practitioner of Muay Thai until the very end.  I fell in love with this art 20+ years ago and it has given me the life I never could have dreamed of.  I met my wife, who helped me raise my 1st son at the height of my fight career.  We started a Muay Thai gym together in an old school little town where some people still mistake us as the karate people 7 years later ;-).  We added to our family with another son who has been growing up in our gym since 6 weeks old, starting his physical culture early.  Outside the gym I have faced many challenges such as being homeless with my family for 6 months after Hurricane Sandy destroyed our home and gym here in Rockaway Beach in 2012.  What kept me on the path was again, my fighting spirit that I honed through my career in the ring.  There are many things to be learned through the trials and tribulations through combat sports that will directly make life seem like a stroll in the park.

3 years post Sandy, having taken some solid shots to the chin, backed up in a corner, fighting off of the ropes, and taking a few standing 8 counts we have been blessed to be able to recover in the championship 5th round with a facility triple the size of what we lost in the storm, a membership which has quadrupled, and a community inspired to change their lives.  I am not writing any of this to impress you, my goal is to impress upon you in hopes you will take the time to answer the 3 questions we started with….

Do you have the right mindset to excel in Muay Thai?

Do you understand or even a have a “why” for training?

Do you have a vision in your mind of where you want to go in your journey?

Chris Romulo is a retired Muay Thai champion, Muay Thai & Strength & Conditioning Coach, owner of CROM Physical Culture and Creator of SHREDbyCROM™. After a total of 32 years of trial and error through fitness, conditioning, martial arts, sports, and “play” Chris has taken what works, sculpted away what doesn’t and painted a different way to engage in Physical Culture. Visit Shred by CROM on YouTube for free workouts and instructionals! 

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