We are in the midst of a 12 week "camp" for the fighters. That doesn't mean a lot to many people, so let me explain a bit.
At our gym it is typically a three month or 12 week brutal course for any fighter. Our gym may not win every fight, but we will always represent.
During the 12 weeks, potential fighters are expected to be at the gym at least three times a week for sparring, conditioning, and whatever else.
Let me run down for you what last night looked like.
4 - 2 minute rounds sparring.
2 - 2 minute rounds sparring the system (I called different ranges - pot shotting, combo, pocket, clinch)
4 - 2 minute rounds on thai pads
2 - 2 minute rounds HARD on heavy bag
2 - 2 minute rounds jump rope
1 - 5 minute round different ab exercises
I ran this particular class last night, and in my opinion it was one of the toughest our fighters have faced in quite some time. I needed to to get in a few people's faces to get them through it, during the summer heat, but they all made it. They hate me now, but they will love me when their arm is raised after their fights in a few weeks.
Fighters from our gym need to be there, that is all there is to it, or they are not allowed to represent our gym in the ring. It is tough, but I respect the fighters so much. I enjoy working with them, honing their skills, and can't wait until I get to see them "fight by proxy". I call it that since I am too old and have too much responsibility to get in the ring...my mission is to train hardcore bad a$$es to get in the ring and destroy. I can't wait to see it soon.
These fighter classes are always after the Muay Thai curriculum classes, so they are staying true to the art, on top of being cut into insane, well conditioned fighting machines. And many times MT class is nothing to sneeze at - those workouts can be pretty tough, and THEN the fighters do their thing. I typically lose 3-4 pounds of water weight on a night where I do strength training, MT class and then fighter class.
I step in and spar with the fighters if there is an odd number (and always hold pads for them) and that makes for long nights. But I love it and they do too. I love my extended dysfunctional family, and they love Mick - or at least they will love me later. Right now, not so much.
So you want to be a fighter? Time to train, sucka. And next time you are watching the UFC or some other fight on TV, remember that it takes years for them to hone their skills, and months of prep work for each fight.