Students working Muay Thai,, Kickboxing, MMA, Boxing and BJJ at Lanna MMA in North York Vaughan Ontario

5 Characteristics of Mentally Strong Martial Artists

Students working Muay Thai,, Kickboxing, MMA, Boxing and BJJ at Lanna MMA in North York Vaughan Ontario
Students working Muay Thai,, Kickboxing, MMA, Boxing and BJJ at Lanna MMA in North York Vaughan Ontario


We all know Muay Thai Kickboxing, Boxing, BJJ and MMA are physically demanding sports. They all take a large amount of cardio, conditioning, strength, and power. The training in all of these sports allows for us to work on all of those things almost every time we train. Something that is often overlooked in these sports, is the mental toughness required to make it as a fighter or even make it through a session. Since Muay Thai, boxing, BJJ, and MMA all push you to your physical limits, it’d be no surprise to learn that it can push you to your mental limits as well. The character-building these sports do can help you in your everyday life – from not getting a job, to losing a friendship, or with going through anything difficult. Muay Thai, Boxing, BJJ and MMA will undoubtedly make you a mentally tougher person.

Here are a few characteristics that you will develop throughout your training in these sports, which will all contribute to your mental toughness!


Do you believe in yourself and your abilities? Do you never take “no” for an answer? Do you quiet your fears and keep going in spite of them?

Confident people often command rooms and their own lives. People who are self-confident believe they can achieve whatever success they want, and don’t let anything or anyone stand in their way. As someone who trains in Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Boxing, BJJ and MMA, you might have felt like you weren’t the “greatest,” in the room at some point in time. However, a confident person knows that they could be! As you train more and more, you will become more confident in your abilities and those abilities along with your confidence will contribute to your overall mental toughness. Confident people know nothing can stop them!

Embracing Failure (and learning from it)

Failure. We’ve all experienced failure one way or another, at some point in our lives. The thing that mentally tough people do with failure, is simply embrace it and learn from it. People who are mentally strong, don’t give up after a loss, or after something doesn’t go their way. People who are mentally tough persevere no matter what obstacles are in the way. Accept that failures will happen in both life and in the gym. There will be days, fights, and training sessions that are harder than others. A mentally tough person simply keeps going.


When we think of a mentally tough person, we often don’t attribute patience as a characteristic that goes along with it. However, in difficult times patience is often required to get through it. This is especially true in Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Boxing, BJJ and MMA. In these sports, no one can be great overnight. You have to learn and perfect your stance, movements, combinations, and various techniques. This requires an abundance of patience of time. A mentally tough person does the work required and know they will get there eventually. They don’t run before they walk. They listen and learn from their peers and trainers and keep going despite any difficulties or obstacles.


Having control is an amazing quality to have in your everyday life. Someone who has control will believe that they have the power to shape their own destiny. Someone with control, is not affected by minor (or sometimes major) ups and downs of life. This quality becomes even more important in Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Boxing, BJJ and MMA. People with a strong sense of control are more relaxed in everyday life and this translates on the mat or in the ring. Being controlled helps you to stay calm, allowing you to think clearer and work better under pressure, which is extremely important as a fighter.


Having a winning attitude will work wonders in your life and in the gym. When mentally tough people feel good about themselves and others, it radiates through everything they do. Positive and optimistic people often have a way of lighting a room up! This is why positivity is so important, it not only helps the person being positive, but it helps others as well. This quality also translates well into Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Boxing, BJJ and MMA. There are so many perks to being positive and optimistic. Firstly, it makes others enjoy working and training alongside of you. It also encourages and fosters an environment where everybody feels good. Additionally, it sets a standard that nothing can bring anyone else down. Who doesn’t want that in the gym or their lives?

Some people are born mentally tough, and some of us aren’t. However, it is something we can all benefit from, in the gym and in our lives. The good part about it, is we can all work on it! Mental toughness is something that can be developed over time (just like we do in training). Start by using these 5 characteristics as markers and focus on each of them little by little and you will be a tough person, inside and out, in no time!

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