Editor’s Note: The following blog post was written by Easton Training Center’s Muay Thai Program Director and Head Coach, Sean Madden.
It’s that time of year again when people are gearing up to travel for the holidays! Some of you may be new to the training journey and have only trained Muay Thai or Jiu Jitsu at Easton so far, but one of my favorite things about martial arts is that it’s an international community. Nearly anywhere you travel, you can find a Muay Thai, BJJ, or MMA academy to stop in and check out while you’re on the road.
Whenever I travel, I love to seek out new spots to train at. There are a ton of benefits (and sometimes downfalls) to training at new academies with new faces. Below are my three top reasons why you should go check out a new academy whenever you are on the road!
3 Benefits of Training at a New Academy
One of the best benefits to training at a new academy when you travel includes the opportunity to learn from new instructors who likely have different philosophies and teaching tactics than your current instructors.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had students struggle with a technique (sometimes for a long time!) only to go to a new academy while on vacation and find that the instructor helps them connect the dots. Sometimes it just takes an instructor with a slightly different approach to help make something click. The beauty of traveling to a new place and training at a different academy is that you have the opportunity to experience that with every place you travel to!
Adding to your Muay Thai/BJJ Network
Just like at Easton, most gyms have strong communities with some amazing people. As you travel the world and stop in at new gyms, you get to expand your network of like-minded individuals who also train martial arts. It’s pretty incredible the type of people you can meet through training, and those connections can last a lifetime.
Also, you’ve started a relationship with that academy, so the next time you visit you already have a place to train at! Don’t forget to introduce yourself and meet some new people whenever you drop into a gym.
Your Game Will Be Tested
If you are at the level of training live in either Muay Thai or Jiu Jitsu, then you know that sometimes your regular training partners can catch on to your game or style. You end up getting so many rounds with your teammates that sometimes they can predict your next move. However, when you train at a new academy, none of your partners will know your game, and you won’t know theirs!
The beauty of this opportunity means that your true game will be tested. A lot of times when you train with new partners, they have the ability to expose holes in your game that your familiar training partners cannot. It’s a great feeling to drop in and train somewhere and have all your blind spots exposed. Not only do you get good training in, but you also get to go back home with new things to work on!
In my (highly biased) opinion, whenever you end up stopping by a new academy, it always reinforces my belief that Easton is at the forefront of the martial arts industry. There have been times when I’ve stopped into an academy on the road and it just looks like a rough scene in there. There’s nobody at the desk to greet you, maybe classes are very poorly run, or even the bathrooms and locker rooms are messy.
There are a ton of academies out there who do great things, and possibly even some things that we haven’t implemented at Easton yet. It’s also true that many academies haven’t quite done things like we have at Easton.
Whether it’s teaching from a structured curriculum, offering different classes for different experience levels, excellent front desk staff and communication, or just having well-established core values in their community, I always find that when I travel to new places and visit new academies, I’m reminded of why I’ve called Easton home for nearly 15 years. We continue to set the standard for martial arts academies across the globe and make the mats feel like home for so many people!