4 Steps to Becoming An Amateur Fighter

So you want to be a Nak Muay (Muay Thai Boxer)?

So you want to be a Nak Muay (Muay Thai Boxer)? If you haven’t already, the first thing you will want to do is join a Muay Thai gym and let your coach know what your goals are. If you’d like more expertise in another fighting style, see if that gym offers that fighting style or has partners who do. At T.A.G. Muay Thai, we work with Calvert MMA to give our students an advantage if they are ever taken down should they choose to enter true MMA competitions. Hopefully, using proper Muay Thai technique, a knee or elbow can prevent a take down. This post will focus moreso on Muay Thai competitive fighting, however the flow of events can be applied to practically any fighting style.

#1 Local Sparring Exhibitions: If you’ve already joined a gym, make sure that you participate in all of their sparring exhibitions and participate in neighboring gym’s sparring exhibitions as well to sharpen your technique and awareness. Our next sparring exhibition will be held at UFC Gym Reston/Herndon on March 18th. We hold our sparring exhibitions on a quarterly basis and do our best to make sure every fighter is equally matched in size and skill, every gym’s schedule will vary. [Related: View our Instagram page @tagmuaythai to view Sparring Exhibition photos and more].

#2 Smoker Fights: Smoker fights are fights held at martial arts schools and studios between the different schools. Smokers are the perfect way to get accustomed to fighting in a ring and learning how space can affect your strategy. It usually takes at least three to five Smoker Fights before you are ready to enter local sanctioned fights. Please keep in mind that smoker fights are unsanctioned.

#3 Local Sanctioned Fights: At this point, you’ve been training for quite some time, you are likely coaching other students at your home gym and you know your way around a ring. It is time to reach out to local fight promoters like TCB Muay Thai Fights or Cagezilla. It may be difficult to get in touch with some promoters so follow up with phone calls or use an email. If your instructor has connections, ask for them to help you with this step. As you are participating in sanctioned fights, continue to train and participate in local sparring exhibitions and smoker fights. In order to grow more successful, you will need to fight more and get more experience to build your sanctioned record.

#4 Tips: If you want to go beyond local sanctioned fights, be sure to brand yourself early on and travel to participate in even more fights and tournaments. Have a friend or “fan” record video footage. Get photos and video of yourself training and upload them to social media regularly. Create a simple website using Wix.com. Once you’ve built an impressive enough record, you might find yourself receiving attention from Lion Fights or MMA recruiters.


If becoming a competitive fighter is something you want to do, you should know that it takes a lot of time, dedication, and hardwork. Getting kneed in the ribs feels entirely different than a difficult day of Muay Thai conditioning. If you are committed to training and becoming the best you can be, it is important that you surround yourself with the best possible team. If you are local to Northern Virginia, stop by T.A.G. Muay Thai to see if we are a good fit.

Kru Chris

Head Instructor, federal law enforcement officer.