Name: Claire Baxter Age: 32 Weight: 63kg Gym: NTG Fight record: 13F 8W Titles: WKBF QLD title
1. How long have you been training Muay Thai and what made you want to become a fighter?
I started training in 2010. I wasn’t sure what to expect: I was a retired professional cyclist curious to learn about different sports. I’d been competing for many years, but my experience in sport was limited to bike racing. As soon as I had my first muay thai sparring session, I knew I wanted to fight, and I knew that, if the opportunity ever arose, I would no longer be a “retired athlete.” That first sparring session kindled some sort of flame in me: I really wanted to learn and fight muay thai. It was a very strong feeling.
Accepting the things about myself that I can’t change, and working to overcome those things that I can change. Muay Thai has taught me a lot about accepting myself for who I am, and about pushing boundaries.
Over the years, I had sort of come to accept that I had certain physical and psychological limits, but now I have discovered that some of these are limitations of belief. There are times when my trainer, Soren, has pushed me to what I thought was my breaking point, but I didn’t break, so the so-called limits must be in my mind.
3. How do your Family and Friends feel about you fighting?
Me fighting is something that a lot of friends and family members seem to struggle with. I don’t come from a fighting background, and it is hard for people who don’t come from a similar background to appreciate my passion for such a “violent” sport. The violence of fighting is something that the uninitiated find really confronting. A lot of people seem really puzzled and say things like “you seem too nice to fight!” I usually shrug and say that there are a lot of nice fighters out there, and that the fighters I know seem to be pretty calm, even-tempered people on the whole.
Being a fighter has its benefits however, when I am working as a provisional sports psychologist. I have been able to use fighting analogies to good effect when working with athletes from other sports, such as tennis. The analogy of the fight and struggling against the odds is something that all athletes can relate to, and fight analogies can really capture the raw essence of sport.
4. What has been the Highlight of your Fighting so far?
Fighting for NTG, fighting Melissa Anderson, and fighting for and winning a QLD title
The simplest moves done really well.
I’m training with Eden NTG, and every time I feel like I’ve got a new move or technique stitched up, Eden will work it out and counter attack. It’s an arms race. If I can pull off a move on Eden, then I’ll use it in the ring.
6. How would you describe yourself as a fighter?
Evolving, slowly but surely.
7. Do you have any special things you have to do on fight day?
Absolutely. I have to create the right state of mind, or else I just haven’t got what it takes to perform in the ring. My psychological preparation starts weeks before, however, not just on the day of the fight. I use a lot of imagery and cue words, and I like to be around the people I look up to and trust from my gym. In the lead up to a fight, I also consult a psychologist who specializes in sport and exercise psychology.
I was looking forward to fighting Chiqa in August, but unfortunately she had to pull out due to injury. Hopefully there will be another opportunity to fight soon.
9. If you could fight on any promotion what would it be and why?
I trust my trainer to work that one out.
10. Any advise for anyone wanting to become a fighter?
1. Start with a dream and work hard to make the dream a goal, and the goal a reality.
2. Find a trainer that you trust.
3. There are a lot of good people who invest a lot of time and effort to get you ready for the ring, and you may not ever be able to pay them back individually. Make sure you pass the good will forwards when you get the opportunity.
NTG phone 0404 059 160
Interview By Natasha Sky July 2014, Photos supplied and from Facebook
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