Name: Sandy Heilig Age: 34 (omg i’m old haha) Gym: DCMT Fight record: 14F 9W 5L
1 .How long have you been training Muay Thai and how did you start?
I started training 20 years ago as a 14y/o kid, My best friend dragged me along to a BJC Zen Do Kai and Muay Thai class coz she was too embarrassed to go on her own so she dragged me down there for moral support, she stayed for 2 classes and I stayed forever haha funny how life turns out coz I had no interest in martial arts whatsoever, I was too busy hanging out with my twin brother and his footy mates and surfing, I was just being the supportive friend and ended up falling in love with the sport
I think what it can teach you in life in general, I like what it can do for our young kids growing up in today’s society, I love the community and family aspect we have in our sport, I love that I can walk into any gym around the country and feel like I’m part of someone’s family and these are people I’ve never met, it’s that common bond we all share in the love of our sport. It’s very special to have that communal support for each other. You are always going to have a few ego’s floating around but those types tend to go away as quick as they came along.
I had been out of the fight game for so long, I was so overweight because I hadn’t trained for 7 years, My life was mine sites, bad food and lots of beer, suddenly I woke up at a monstrous 110kg and thought “Geez I better sort myself out or i’m going to an early grave” Being a Fly in Fly out worker I had an opportunity to travel on my RnR weeks, so I thought how cool would it be to just fly to all different states and train with everyone and lose weight that way and how good would it be to see who’s around now and catch up with all the old faces from around the traps, I put the idea up on facebook and all of a sudden I had people from all over the place offering me to come to their gym and train. It just blew up so quickly, I never expected that anyone would take any notice as I just saw myself as a fat old has been. The muay thai world has been very kind to me so I hope it is a huge success at the end of all this when I get to 58kg. I look at the concept as a biggest loser meets Muay Thai concept, I hope I can use this journey to gain more people in our sport from the general public.
4. What has been a stand out moment on your travels?
There have been so many, too many to list, I think the biggest thing that has stood out to me how nice people are in our sport, your always going to get a few that don’t like your idea but on a whole the people I have met have been truly outstanding and very kind to us. I hope people enjoy the journey, it’s one that’s had many ups and downs but it’s important to me to keep it as real as possible, I let people see everything which can sometimes not be pleasant when your not in the mood for a camera in your face but you have to tell the whole story I feel. The support I have received has been truly overwhelming,
5. Any embarrassing moments?
Oh geez I’d have to say some of my video blog stuff ups have to up there with most embarrassing moments, at the time I just blab away and post it up and I don’t think about it again, then all of a sudden people see me at a fight show and they come up and say things like “oh mate your blogs are funny, were you really sitting there in your undies” I’m standing there thinking OMG did I really say that and geez how many other people saw that haha. I swear I need gaffer tape sometimes lol
My best friend Vicki. She suffered from breast cancer and was very sick throughout her battle and never once complained, to me she showed me the true meaning of what a fighter was by how gracefully she handled that ordeal and she won the battle. I promised her when I get to 58kg I would have one more fight and I would have her ringside and hand her my trophy after the fight as a reward for winning her fight with the Big C – When training is hurting, I picture that moment that I get to honour my friend and I keep going. I can’t wait for that day to come.
Next – Too Close, Pink – Fuckin Perfect, Eminem Ft Rhianna – Monster, Disturbed – Violent Fetish, Michael Jackson – Rock with you.
I like a bit of everything but I’m a huge MJ fan I must say
8. Your favourite weapon?
Katana Sword – I studied Katana when I did my 1st dan black belt for Zen Do Kai. As far as Muay Thai weapons, my best weapon is my body rips, being a short fighter I like to use them a lot, my dad was a boxer and always said a good rip will stop anyone.
9. If you could go back to when you were first starting out what advise would you give your self?
Diet, definitely diet is everything. Knowing what I know now about how diet can affect your game I would certainly do things alot different now as to when I was younger.
2014 is my year, this year is going to be very busy, I have alot more weight to lose and so much more filming to be done. I will finish off the tour this year and have my very last fight ever so I’m working my guts out to smash this goal, I almost gave up due to some personal struggles I had going on last year, My health has not been the best due to severe anemia and it really through me into a funk and I nearly quit the tour, this year I feel stronger then ever and am coming back with a vengeance so I’m very excited about the year ahead. I’m in a really good place at the moment.
Anyone you would like to thank?
I would like to thank my sponsors for all their support on this journey, For the Fighter Burleigh Heads, Planetmax Burleigh, Qest Environments, Boon Australia, AWA supplements, Fighting Fit Gear I couldn’t have had the opportunities I’ve had without them. I would like to thank my crew who help me train and eat right and keep me focused on getting the job done, I would like to say a special thanks to my nephew Brandon who does all the camera work with me on tour, he is truly amazing only he couldn’t make it to the Perth leg so Mumma Tabs stepped in for him, My family and friends and all the people who have allowed us to come and be part of their gyms and film and interview them. Most importantly I would like to say the biggest thanks to our supporters who have followed this journey through the ups and downs. I hope you guys enjoy the end result and lastly to you Tash for the opportunity to do this interview. Thankyou everyone xx I mean that very humbly _/|\_
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Interview By Natasha Sky Photos supplied by Sandy .Jan 2014
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