Earlier this year I got to accomplish a major life goal. I had always wanted to train Muay Thai in the birthplace of this amazing martial art, Thailand. In March, I spent a month at a Muay training camp training six days a week. I lived at the camp, all my basic needs were taking care of, and all I had to do was train.
It was one of the best experiences of my life. I met amazing people from all over the world, focused on something I love, and improved so much more than I ever could have imagined.
The experience left me with a true belief in the power of immersion and focusing solely on one thing for a brief but intense amount of time. I had trained in Muay Thai in the states for many years on and off, but even the times when I trained very hard I never reached the level I was by the end of that one month in Thailand.
In my prior training, I would get on average 4 sessions per week. At an hour to an hour a half per class, that works out to roughly 6 hours per week. In Thailand the morning class alone was two and half hours long. My first week in Thailand I put in 15 hours of class time. Then there are private lessons on top of that. I was able to condense what would have normally been 3 to 4 months of training into a month.
But the hours don’t tell the whole story because I think there is something special about the reinforcement you get from doing something everyday. It is like your brain and body submit to the idea that this is now something it really has to adapt to. On top of that you see progress so quickly it make you want to keep going. Progress is addictive.
Trying to learn something new, especially something as complicated as programming, can be very overwhelming. Those benefits I had in Thailand, are the same benefits a bootcamp brings. You devote a relatively short amount of time, but in an intense and focused way, to leverage a large reward. It is not just about curriculum, it is about habit and human nature.
For example, if you learning part-time, you don’t see progress quickly, so it is easy to get discouraged. By being with experienced teachers and get instant feedback on something you are stuck on, you are able to accelerate through the learning curve. This something the online classes haven’t been able to solve yet.
I think the immersive learning model is not just applicable to Muay Thai or programming, but so many more fields. It is truly exciting to be a part of this industry.