Name: Yolanda` Schmidt
Age: ahh haaaa I can be any age you want me to be 😉
Gym: PTJ Muaythai Gym, Sydney, Australia under Andrew Parnham
Fight record: 11F , 10W 1D 2 KO, 2 TKO
Titles: Aus national champ 55-57kg
1. How long have you been training Muay Thai and what made you want to become a fighter?
I actually did not want to become a fighter, I was in it for the workout aspects, doing boxercise at the local gym. As the training went on I felt the need to work towards something instead of simply training to stay in shape. So I started kickboxing, BJJ and MMA for 9 months and then was stopped in my tracks with a torn shoulder. Upon returning I moved my focus to Muay Thai, I’ve trained Muay Thai for 3 years, but was out of training due to injury for 7 months in in the middle of all that. Once I started Muay Thai, the challenge it offered had me hooked. Before I knew it, I found myself chatting to Andrew about my desire to get into the ring. I had my first fight on 11 October 2013.
Muay Thai has built courage, confidence and added new family members to my life.
It’s given me focus and strengthened me mentally and inspired me on many levels!
It has also increased my awareness of what I put into my body in regards to food and how my body reacts.
3. What has been your biggest challenge so far as a fighter?
Pushing through the emotional roller-coaster and moods you endure during the final stages leading up to a fight. The weight cutting and the marriage between what the mind can do and what the body wants to do. I’m my worst critic, so learning to be proud of myself when it’s due is still in progress.
The moment my hand went up at the end of the fight, qualifying me for the Muay Thai World Championships, representing my gym and being appreciated for what I bring to the team.
5. Do you get nervous, how do you deal with it?
Oh yes for sure, I do get nervous. I think nerves are a good thing, each fight bring their own level of nervousness. Visualisation and breathing is a vital part of my prep, channelling that energy is most beneficial. For me depending from fight to fight, I meditate, I think about my friends and family who are supporting me in spirit and I listen to a pre compiled play list of songs linking to a happy memory.
6. Name 3 things people don’t know about you.
Only 3, that’s restricting LOL
1) I represented South Africa at the Irish dance world championships
2) I have 12 siblings
3) Behind the tough exterior Is a soft, sensitive gentle girl with the softest heart
7. If you could fight on any promotion in the world what would it be and why?
Real Hero (Promoter: Andrew Parnham). Home is where the heart is .
If that one doesn’t count then my answer is; as many fight promotions as possible.
The only thing set in stone is the World champs in August (Bangkok).
Rebellion in Melbourne is on the cards and we are working on Knees of fury.
9. What are your goals as a fighter?
As a fighter I’d like to make the most of each day in regards to training, learning and improving in all aspects of my technical physical, spiritual and mental components. To work at my capacity and doing the best I can possibly do. Growing with the sport and promoting females in Muay Thai and I aim to be an inspiration to young fighters. I aspire to inspire before I expire!
Muay Thai is a great way to relieve stress, and a means of acquiring skills such as patience, perseverance and appreciation.
Thinking about fighting? Jump in the ring at a sparring day, the controlled environment will give you a feel of what would be to come that will give you the opportunity to gauge whether or not fighting is something you want to do.
Remember you need to be prepared and trust that your trainer will not put you in the ring if he or she doesn’t believe you are ready so listen to your trainer. Believe in yourself and trust that the hard work you put in now will show in the ring. You will learn something new from each fight.
My greatest pleasure in life is doing what others say I cannot!
Wow there are so many, I’d be so afraid of forgetting someone. So in advance, you know you deserve the thanks and I apologise if I’ve missed your name.
First and biggest thanks go to my trainers Andrew Parnham and Singpayak, for always putting in their time and effort to assist in achieving my goals and always knowing how to deal with me. Their support is incredible. Thank you to my family and friends who continually show support even though most of them are unable to be here to experience this journey with me first hand.
Thank you to the ENTIRE PTJ crew, they see me more than anyone else does, for always backing me and pushing my limits. To every one of my training partners, much love, but most love to Connie Pav for being my wing girl both in and out of training and Steph SKS for being the role model and believing in me. Joe Dirt and Lindon, you’ve been awesome. Thanks need to go to my supporting fans/followers that I am slowly building. It’s a wonderful feeling when I fight interstate and I have people cheering me on.
Last but not least, thank you to my gym mum, Art Parnham. She is truly amazing at supporting us and the sport, and for being the rose among the thorns.
To future sponsors…. You won’t regret being affiliated with me 😉
Interview By Natasha Sky, Photos supplied, March 2015
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