Name: Claire Foreman Age: 25 years old Weight: 55kg Gym: Sor Jaiphet fight team out of Combat MMA and Fitness Fight Record: 9F-8W-1L-0D Victorian WMC Champion
1. How long have you been training Muay Thai and what made you want to become a fighter?
I began muaythai for basically for self defence. As a 20 year old girl I actually just wanted to be able to throw some sweet punches and knees at a guy if he was being dodgey! I never thought I would have the guts to get in the ring and fight, eventually however, I got to that stage in my training after a couple of years where I wanted to test myself mentally and physically. In sport I’m really competitive and aggressive so fighting is a perfect choice for me.
2. What has been your biggest challenge as a fighter?
The actual fighting part I love, I never fear getting hurt in the ring, the most challenging thing for me is fighting in front of hundreds of people watching. I put a lot of pressure on myself because I want to do well for my team and my gym who invest so much in me. So overcoming the serious nerves has been the biggest challenge for me.
3. Who has been your inspiration?
Many people inspire me, from friends and people I work with to various political, social activists and athletes. As a vegetarian fighter I especially look up to top vegan athletes. I really admire women who are tough, driven and challenge the norms but are compassionate, and act with integrity in what ever they do. My favourite female fighter though is definitely Lucia Rijker she is so strong, skillful, humble and tough as anything.
4.What has been the most exciting thing Muay Thai has done for you?
Muay Thai has done so much for me. Mentally its given me so much more confidence in all aspects of my life – when you step in to the ring with someone who wants to knock you cold everything else seems slightly less daunting! It’s also pushed me to physical fitness that I haven’t experienced in any other sport I love training hard. Also through muaythai I’ve met so awesomely cool people, your gym becomes like a second family. And of course it’s where I met my super supportive partner and trainer Tao.
6. Your toughest fight and why?
My most recent fight with Sam Brown. Her and I have similar go forward styles, we are both competitive, gutsy and she had the same drive to win. I guess having 2k on the line helps! I would really like to fight her again sometime – apparently it was a great fight, the crowd got really into it.
7. How do people react when you tell them you’re a fighter?
I don’t know what people think a fighter looks like but it must not be me because everyone is really surprised when I tell them! Sometimes it’s the cliché patronizing “oh I better not mess with you” but generally it’s really positive and people are genuinely curious. In Victoria it’s not so common for girls to fight so most people I tell thinks its cool that I fight. Although I’m sure many people disapprove of it, the idea of girls fighting is still uncomfortable for many (mainly older) people.
8. What have you got lined up for the rest of 2014?
Whatever comes my way! Nothing locked in as yet but I’ve got my eyes on the WBC Victorian title and I want to get more experience fighting interstate. I’ve run out of girls in Vic at my weight to fight so trying to set up fights from other girls around Australia.
9. If you could fight on any promotion what would it be and why?
I would love a shot at another 4 or 8 girl eliminator! I don’t see any on the horizon at the moment but there’s an all girl fight promotion on in Melbourne that is raising money for domestic violence education that I am excited to be on.
10. Any advise to anyone wanting to have their first fight?
Get fit… way fitter than you think you need to be! Everyone thinks it’s going to be like sparring but unless you have fought before, you can’t appreciate how exhausting it will be with adrenaline dump and pressure. Also, be picky about who your trainer is. I can’t say enough how important it is to have a trainer who firstly actually knows how to properly train fighters and secondly, someone who you can put all your trust in. You can walk in to the ring with so much more confidence if you know that you have prepared as well as you could and that you have a fully supportive team backing you up.
Anyone you would like to thank?
Heaps of people, you’re only as good as your team right? I would like to thank firstly my padholder/trainer who invest so much energy and work into me day in and day out. My team, sparring partners and friends who help me get better everyday. This sounds cheesy but also my mum and dad! They come along to every fight, even though my mum hates fighting and closes her eyes during half the fight she comes down anyway to support. And of course my fantastic sponsor MMA fight store for providing me with top of the range training equipment and apparel.
Interview By Natasha Sky, Photos supplied by Claire
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