What does it take to be a true fighter?

Can you throw a punch? Can you do a double leg takedown? Can you slap on an armbar faster than the blink of an eye? Check, check, and check. The reality is not that simple though. To be a fighter, it takes a lot more than checking a box of techniques.

After interviews with some members of the Evolve Instructor Team (specifically, Nuengpichit, Yoddecha, Chatri, Daorung, Brodinho, and Braga) on the topic of what it takes to be a true fighter. Here are some of their answers:

"Easy question. It takes 4 things to be a true fighter: belief, cardio, heart, and technique. If you are missing 1 of the 4, then it is almost impossible to be a fighter. And even if you have all 4, it does not guarantee success as a fighter. The 4 things are simply prerequisites. To win, you need to believe that you will win. Without true inner belief in your game, you will crumble with each shot to your face. Without cardio, you will not last a full fight without getting knocked out. Without heart, you will not be able to overcome adversity. Without technique, you will not be able to defend yourself."
-Chatri Sityodtong, Founder of Evolve Mixed Martial Arts

"Cardio is the most important thing in the world. If you have the best engine, you can run the fastest for longest. Cardio gives confidence. My best fights came when I did my homework and my confidence was super high because I knew that I was fit and unstoppable."
-Yoddecha Sityodtong, Muay Thai World Champion and Evolve Instructor

"Experience is the most important thing. Unless you have been in a war with another human being who has trained for 8 weeks to destroy you, you do not know what it takes to fight. A fight at a bar is nothing. Most people are drunk, get hurt easily, and do not have formal training. Alcohol is liquid courage. Real fighters do not need alcohol to face their fears. Anyone can fight anyone if they are drunk. But can you fight someone who you know has trained day and night to threaten your physical being? A true fighter can you tell you about it because he will have done it. The rest of bar brawlers and stuff - thats all nonsense for people who lack real courage and skill. So in my mind, a real fighter is someone who has faces his own fears by stepping into the ring."
-Daorung Sityodtong, Muay Thai Champion with over 100 ring fights and 200 street fights.

"Heart, cardio, and technique. The man who believes in himself is always the winner. The heart grows and shrinks with each strike. Cardio gives that heart life. Technique makes everything perfect. A fighter's life is hard, man. You gotta love it."
-Nuengpichit Sityodtong, Muay Thai World Champion

"For me, I think it is mental toughness, cardio, and everything else. Technique is the least important. I have seen so many people with amazing technique get destroyed by lesser opponents only because they ran out of gas or they lost the will to fight due to pain. A fist in the face is the great equalizer. Some people get knocked out when they get hit hard. Some people cry when they get hit hard. Most people run when they get hit hard. Only a few people smile when they get hit hard. Which one are you?"
-Brodinho Da Silva, BJJ Black Belt and Professional MMA Fighter

"Heart, conditioning, and technique. You need to have heart. People have to train their hearts. People have to train their minds. People have to train their bodies. Fighting is a complete art. You need to transcend your whole being. A fighter is someone who can train heart, body, and mind to become one. This is the essence. This is the real fighter. The journey is never complete."
-Braga Neto, BJJ Black Belt World Champion and Professional MMA Fighter.

As the saying goes, "it is not the size of the dog that matters in a fight. It is the size of the fight in the dog that matters. "

Evolve Mixed Martial Arts, the #1 gym in Singapore for Mixed Martial Arts, Muay Thai, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.