Building Confidence With Muay Thai: My Journey

May 24, 2024 | Uncategorized


Confidence can be a fragile thing, especially when you’re young. At 11 years old, I found myself at a crossroad, going to a new high school where I knew no one. Afraid of the unknown, unsure of how to tackle the uncertain, and unnervingly needing to make a change. This is the story of how Muay Thai transformed my confidence and shaped my approach to life’s challenges.

A Rocky Start

Before starting Muay Thai, my confidence was shot. I got a scholarship for a highschool far from home. Mum and Dad thought it was a great idea to send me to a school with a visual arts program that I had received a scholarship for. However, this meant leaving behind friends from Primary school.

I had to take two buses, and a train each way just to get to school and back. Long way to go, but more than that, I felt isolated and vulnerable. I was quiet, kept to myself, and was overwhelmed by the fear of being picked on by the older guys. My self-doubt was crippling, and I had no idea how to defend myself if it came to that. But one thing I knew was, I didn’t want to be the quiet guy that watched opportunities go walking by. I knew I needed to make the change.

Finding My Footing

The turning point came when I began training in Muay Thai. Initially, I did it just for fun and fitness, with no pressure to excel or become a fighter. My Dad, who owned the gym, would often say I needed to be the best because I was the boss’s son, but I avoided the sport for years. At 11, something changed—I started training each day after school.

As I trained, I noticed physical changes. I developed muscles, improved stamina, and found that my on-the-field sporting performance improved. I could outlast others, and my decision-making was quick. Muay Thai was doing more than just making me fit; it was building my confidence.

The Impact of Routine and Repetition

One of the core aspects of Muay Thai is its repetitive nature. Every day, I would stretch, wrap my hands, skip, and practice techniques over and over. This repetition was crucial. It allowed me to focus, and as I became fluent in these techniques, my confidence grew. This skill wasn’t limited to Muay Thai—it extended to everyday life.

For instance, when I took my driving test at 16, I applied the same principles. I practiced diligently with a good coach until I was confident in my skills. Similarly, when preparing for an important job interview, I approached them with the mindset of heading into the ring. It was about fighting through nerves and presenting myself as my best self. Even asking my future wife out on a date was one of the scariest things I’ve done— But I did it knowing I may not get the intended result anyway.

The Role of Support and Community

The support from my coaches, teammates, and family played a significant role in my confidence-building journey. In Muay Thai, I found a community of real, dedicated individuals who showed up every day and gave it their all. You can see someone’s true character when they are placed under pressure. This camaraderie taught me the value of surrounding myself with genuine, supportive people.

A long-time friend of mine Aaron Marshall, is someone who has never been afraid to tell me how it is, (good or bad), I’ve been through multiple fight camps with, travelled to Thailand many times, and 20 years later, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder as coaches, passing on the gift that we were given by the greats before us.

The trust and respect I developed helped me understand the qualities I value and treasure the most. I learned to seek out and appreciate people who were real, honest, and who pushed me to be my best.

Long-term Benefits and Achievements

Looking back, the confidence I gained from starting Muay Thai at 11 has influenced my life. Every day is unpredictable and full of challenges, but Muay Thai taught me to control what I can—my health, mindset, and daily habits. The discipline of training, the resilience to face fears, and the confidence to step up have all become integral parts of who I am.

Muay Thai taught me that success is built on small, consistent actions. Whether it’s waking up early to go and run at 5:00am, making mindful choices about the food I put in my mouth, or preparing for a challenge, these habits have carried over into every aspect of my life. The confidence I built in the gym gave me the courage to tackle life’s uncertainties head-on.


Muay Thai was more than a sport for me; it was a transformative journey that built my confidence and shaped my approach to life. I often tell people, “I don’t know where I’d be without it. Probably lost, locked up or who knows where”. From facing fears, to handling the challenges, the lessons I learned through Muay Thai continue to serve me every day. Surrounding myself with supportive people, maintaining discipline, and staying true to myself—these are the principles that Muay Thai instilled in me, and they are the keys to my confidence and success.

I ask people often who are unsure about starting, “why do you keep waiting? You will only ever know if you give it a go. And if it doesn’t work out, there’s always something else”…

By Pamorn Martdee – Founder/Director of Champions Gym

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