In the game of business, there is no better virtual reality training than one’s own badass life-experience. So badass that adrenaline rushes along the wiring of your neurons and muscle tissue throughout the body. The body never forgets what it goes through. Fire burns to ice freezes; your bio-computer records everything. And this translates sharply into the way you lead in business.
Welcome to Thailand. Fighters of all colors flock here from all over the world to try their destiny in the rings of Muay Thai. “Among them are many entrepreneurs and executives, says Ralph Beale, the founder of Lamai Muay Thai Camp in Koh Samui. “They keep coming back every year to stay fit and keep the edge.”
Fit? We know. But what is that edge all about?
An addiction to winning! Somewhere under their skin they know the art of war translates directly into the art of business, and the art of life.
If it was not ancient Thai Martial Arts – known as Muay Boran – Thailand would have never gained its independence. The warriors trained in the jungle and fought in the jungle, with bare knuckles and later – with white fishing ropes wrapped around their fists. They forged their own weapons, fortified their villages; everyone who could fight was on it, women next to men, fighting today for freedom.
Today, Kru Saifon is the youngest Muay Boran Master teaching and passing on the living treasure of Thailand. He trained since childhood and eventually became a bodyguard to two Thai Army Generals. Since 2020 executives study with him online; to take a break from their work and in order to keep fit and stay sane the right way.
Author Kev Scheepers is a movement and mindfulness coach, and has been working with martial arts for over 20 years. In his bestselling book Meeting a Muay Boran Master, he writes: “Muay Boran is a war art and is a practice of strategy. In this sense, the mindset that this practice brings along with it can apply to all aspects of daily life and – in particular – leadership qualities.”
Enlisted below is a snapshot of few traits that leaders can develop from practising the art of Muay Boran:
Muay Boran enables you to master yourself, bringing an awareness to your mind, body and environment. It brings a constant consideration of one’s surroundings and naturally feeds into your ability to strategize and foresee adversity. Think of simultaneous attack and defense; minimum effort with maximum result. This mindset training helps executives to better deal with competition both vertically and horizontally while asserting their own leadership qualities.
Working and training with people constantly builds confidence, and this is a huge takeaway when engaging with Muay Boran. You begin to understand other’s way of communicating both inside and outside the training grounds. When engaging in an argument or disagreement, you are not only able to gauge the environmental factors at play but also have an awareness of how the other party might behave. This strategy, when applied to business, gives you an advantage and helps you excel in any confrontational situations.
Readiness to deal with unprecedented setbacks or obstacles is an important skill in today’s times. You need a certain foresight towards obstacles and a way of carrying yourself during such times. With this training, one develops the understanding that setbacks are a part of business life and so it’s best to be prepared for such situations at all times. A constant awareness of all aspects of one’s environment is crucial and life changing and Muay Boran teaches how to be aware and ready in every situation.
Contrary to Muay Thai which is a sport, Muay Boran is an art of warfare. Embodied, effective and efficient! Every move is timely calculated to knock out and disable the opponent. With this results-oriented mindset, executives quickly identify the weak points of their competition, dodge an attack at the right time and take the right decisions that help them scale their companies.
“The difference between peak performance and poor performance is not intelligence or ability; most often it’s the state that your mind and body are in,” says Tony Robbins, America’s beloved NLP Guru. Perhaps, in the corporate world, we have been overlooking the body and its potential. Thanks to Muay Boran corporates, c-suite executives, entrepreneurs, and leaders are now integrating this mind, body training to excel in all aspects of their personal and professional life. After all, as Terminator once said, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”