Even if you haven’t trained in martial arts long, you’ve no doubt heard the infamous words, “fight camp,” flutter across the padded room – usually in excitement, determination, or commiseration.
But what do they mean?
Do you pack a night bag for Fight Camp? A daypack? A lunch? Does it happen after class, when all the other students leave?
Anyone who has participated in our In-House Smoker or any other Muay Thai competition can tell you, it’s none of those things. But also…all of them?
High-paced training regiment
When we speak of “camp” in a training setting, it always refers to the preparation for a single event. The same would apply for those running a marathon as they train for the marathon.
Fight camp is the prep you do to get ready for a fight: a 6 to 10 week training regimen in the months leading up to a fight, designed to make sure you’re at peak form on competition day.
Whereas sports like football has 10-15 games in a season and regular weekly practice, you generally only fight once every few months. This means that instead of a steady week-to-week regimen culminating in a weekly competition, you must direct months of time to preparing for a single bout.
Your unique regimen will include classes, strength and conditioning, pad work, diet, and strategy sessions with your coaches. All your training ramps up, and everything gets focused on that one aspect of competing: the fight itself and winning the fight.
Every academy has its own fight camp, and every coach can have their own expectations.
If someone tells Coach Mike Phipps in Longmont that they want to do a Smoker in, he gives them a sheet of paper that tells them exactly what he expects:
- the amount of days to train
- classes to attend
- sparring sessions to come to
- amount of outside-academy cardio each week
Phipps gives them a minimum number of sessions a week. “Can you do that?” he asks his students. If they answer “No,” then they can’t do the Smoker.
If they say “Yes,” then they must commit themselves to a mostly self-directed journey.
Any time you’re getting ready for a fight, there’s a lot of work that has to be done, and your coach won’t always be there.
“If you’re only training at the time your coach is there,” Phipps says, “then you’re not training enough. There’s a lot of fight camp you do on your own.”
Where does it happen?
As a dedicated state of being, you do your fight camp at the academy where you normally train.
Make sure not to confuse fight camp with Fight Team, which does have dedicated sessions specifically for the team.
Smoker competitors, however, do not automatically become eligible for Fight Team. In order to join Easton’s Fight Team, students first need to compete in several smokers and several out-of-house smokers, earning their way onto the team which focuses on higher-level competitions.
If you’re interested in giving fighting a shot, our In-House Smoker gives new fighters a chance to experience training for a fight and competing in one.
Even though the in-house smoker technically gives competitors only a simulation of a fight, we put you through a fight camp to get you ready for it.
By the end of the experience, you’ll know what it takes to prepare for a fight, to compete in one, and how your nerves will feel.