“Those who can, do – those who can’t, teach ……..”


I agree with my dear friend that a good fighter will not

necessarily make a good teacher. But I also think that we have to

examine our limiting beliefs – stereotypes of individuals in our sport,

that if they are a good fighter, then it is almost taken for granted

that they cannot be a good teacher as well. We even have this

ridiculous phrase – Those who can do, those who can’t teach. I find

this phrase misinformed and mildly offensive, and I am sure other

teachers of MuayThai do as well.

I fervently believe that you cannot teach MuayThai well if you

haven’t fought using MuayThai skills. The primal experience of having

to survive a full contact physical encounter with another human

being using only MuayThai leads to a deeper understanding of how

and when to use those skills (N.B. hard sparring is not the same


Learning to communicate fighting skills is the job of the Camp’s

Master. I personally have found this a most difficult task in the past.

To transpose all the combat skills a fighter possesses, into knowledge

they can access, understand AND communicate to others. Sometimes

fighters use their skills but don’t really understand what they are

doing. They act on instinct using their knowledge in a natural,

impulsive way (the way it should be applied). The intuitive way we

do things is very difficult to identify and takes experience.

Now, I suspect that we can learn almost anything – if we want to.

(But of course, not everyone wants to teach). I don’t hold with the

premise that the skills of a good fighter differ from the skills of a

good teacher who teaches people to fight. I think a good teacher

must use knowledge developed from years of training and fighting

to help students accomplish a learning experience that will enable them

to develop their own skills. (in this sense a teacher cannot fully instruct a

student from beginning to end as the fight experience is the ultimate

learning outcome). My wife Trix doesn’t totally agree with me here, and I

hope she will make her contribution to this topic (?)

I personally would not allow a student to teach others how to fight if

he/she had never had that experience themselves. It makes no sense

in this very dangerous sport to permit anyone without that vital,

tested knowledge to instruct others in how to do it. My students/

fighters go through a rigorous period of learning “how to teach” with

me before I allow them to take any class at Wicker Camp”……..


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