Carla Aucamp From South Africa, Living in Thailand

Carla Aucamp11536345_678318408968381_9003701849923308233_n

Name: Carla Aucamp
Age: 29
Country: South African living in Thailand
Gym: Kaewphitak Muay Thai Gym, Phuket, Thailand
Weight: 55 KG
Fight record: 8-0
Titles: Sainamyen Stadium PK-1 Champion

1. How long have you been training Muay Thai and why did you become a fighter?

I’ve been training Muay Thai for just over a year now. My boyfriend started doing Muay Thai before me and thought that I would like it. So I gave it a shot and loved it immediately.
My first fight was after just 3 months of training and since then I’ve was hooked!

12170442_10153031439747330_1702524264_n2. What has been your biggest challenge as a fighter?

The biggest challenge for me is balancing my work and training. I work full time, 5 days a week, and therefor can only train once a day, instead of twice, like most who train Muay Thai here in Thailand.

3. What drives you?

Seeing how much I’ve learned in only one year and the curiosity to see how far I can go.

4. If you could fight on any promotion in the world what would it be and why?12179021_10153031439772330_264153351_n

I don’t really keep track of promotions. I’m happy to stick to fighting locally for now. 😉

5. What is your favourite part of training?

I love every thing about training. I love learning new techniques every day, I love how hard it can be some days and how easy it is on other. Obviously getting into great shape is also a bonus!
And clinching – there’s always so much more to learn when it comes to clinching.

6. How would you describe your self as a fighter?

Still a beginner, but getting there 🙂

12179008_10153031439782330_1336409153_n7. You have been training & fighting in Thailand, what advise would you give to other girls wanting to do the same?

I haven’t trained Muay Thai outside of Thailand, but I can’t imagine there’s a better place to do it than here. If you’re considering it, then just do it.
Living here is cheap and there are tons of great Muay Thai camps all over the country.

8. Do you have any pre fight rituals?

Not really. On the day of my fight I just relax and play PlayStation.
However, my post fight rituals usually include lots of pizza and beer! 😉

9. What are your fight plans for the rest of the year?12179639_10153031439762330_943074766_n

No big plans, I’ll just be staying in Phuket – training and fighting.

10. Any advise for anyone wanting to give fighting a go?

You don’t need any experience to start – I never trained any kind of fighting sport before I started Muay Thai. Just give it a shot! If you don’t like it then you don’t like it.
But if you like it, be prepared to fall in love with it! It’s a sport that requires a lot of dedication, but it’s very rewarding!

12180138_10153031439777330_739069840_nAnyone you would like to thank?
My trainer Chanrit Sit-O. He’s taught me so much in the past year. And everyone at Kaewphitak Muay Thai – they’ve been like a family to me.
And last but not least, my husband who goes to all of my fights and supports me all the way.

Here’s the link to my gym –

Interview By Natasha Sky, November 2015, photos supplied

You can follow my female fighter interviews, blogs and journey (HERE)


My 3rd Fight With The Champion Of The Schools, Fight 26.

It had been 2 months since my last fight (Read Here) and i was really hoping to get a match up. I had been told that there was going to be a big WMC show at the end of April (2013), that i might get a fight on it but Fullscreen capture 23052014 104727 AM-001it wasn’t confirmed. I didn’t want to wait then miss out so i wanted to jump at any fight i could. I had been training hard, i was feeling really good leading up to this fight I had no injuries or sickness and i felt mentally strong. When i get to the stadium i find that im rematching Nongprees the fighter from Ranong, the champion of all the schools of Thailand, for the 3rd time. She was up there with the hardest fights i had, i had already lost to her the last fight and got a draw our first fight. This sort of played on my mind a bit as i was really hoping to get the fight on the WMC show and i didn’t want to miss out if i have a bad fight with this girl. I started to freak out a bit and get really nervous about having a good fight because i never expected that i would be fighting that girl again. The trainers were telling me “oh shes no good, she has no power, you will win easy” as they always do, but they must have forgotten i had already fought her, so i know they are talking shit. Plus i had a photo journo following me around taking photos and Fullscreen capture 23052014 104819 AMdocumenting my fight, so i wanted to give him good photos and a good story. I had lost 8kg since the first time we had fought, i was way fitter and stronger. She looked like she had grown a bit too since the first time, i guess she had a teenager growth spurt. I had gotten so much better and more confident in the clinch for this fight. She smashed me in the clinch the 2 fights before but in saying that i came out of the fights without a bump on me because all we mainly did was clinch ( a good thing if im fighting again in just over a week). I was freaking out a bit but at the same time i felt really physically awesome, probably the best i had ever felt for a fight.

The First round starts at a decent pace not too fast and not too slow. We throw a couple of kicks Fullscreen capture 23052014 104911 AMand punches each and get into a clinch where i feel like my training had really started to show. I felt stronger and more in control this time. At the end of the round i get a good catch and sweep on just before the bell goes. Round 2 has us head straight into a bit of a clinch where i feel confident once again. I’m guessing she must have felt that i had improved because she started to whip out the tricky Thai moves by kneeing and holding it there to look dominant and restrict me from kneeing. She is quite aggressive for a Thai in the early rounds, coming forward with punches and knees as i try to fight on the back foot jabbing and low kicking knowing the first 2 rounds are not the important ones. Round 3 starts, i throw some hands then we get into a clinch. I felt like i was doing ok, she was kneeing more but i felt i was getting the bigger knees on until she locked me down. The ref breaks us, i land a couple kicks and we go straight back for the clinch again where we trade a couple of 63457_10151343003551205_351773520_nknees and i lock her down until the ref breaks. We end up back in the clinch again which is petty even, trade a few kicks and the round ends. At this stage i don’t know if I’m winning or losing but my corner says I’m doing good. Round 4 starts and she comes out throwing some kicks, i block all of them before we head into a clinch and go knee for knee until ref break us. We head back in to 2 more clinch’s after that, one with her coming out with more knees and the later one with me getting the bigger better knees. End of round 4 and my corner tells me I’m winning, i felt like i was winning also. Last round and i feel confident that i only have to keep safe and neutralise the last round to take the win. I block and land a few kicks then try for a spinning elbow that misses by a mile. We have an even clinch for a second before the ref breaks it. By now i feel like i have won and i put my hands in the air to show my confident’s just before they ring the bell. I was sure i won and was ready for them to call my name, then they called the blue corner. I froze for a second and looked at my corner like WTF you said i was winning!? The look on my face 933893_496010023785519_1411190457_nwas so surprised and so was my corners. I guess i really felt like i had a good fight and i felt like i had done enough to win. Unlike the last fight where i knew she clearly bashed me. I was really disappointed that my trainers were telling me i was winning, that’s why i didn’t try to go forward in the last round and do more instead of sitting back. After the fight i asked them what happened, why did they say i was winning and i didn’t win. They all said they thought i was winning and even my big boss said he thought i was winning. He said that because we had fought before and the last time she beat me easy that the gambling would have been in her favor, so if the fight is close they will give the decision to her. Oh well i guess that’s the fight game and no point having a cry over it, just move on to the next fight. Even though i didn’t get the win i was really happy with the way i fought, it was 100% better than the first time i fought her about 8 months before. It was the most confident i have ever felt clinching, it was the first time i didn’t panic and just went with the flow. This fight was one of those Fights you have when you feel that you have reached a new level in your fighting, the best feeling ever!! After the fight my trainer was really happy with me, he said “don’t worry about losing, you fight with good technique. It was a good fight, no problem, fight again next week”. Seriously, having a trainer that doesn’t get all crazy at me when i lose has been 2013-04-10 22.52.51one of the best things for my self confident’s. It really takes all the pressure off me for the next fight which makes me fight better. Nothing worse than having some one drill the hell out of you for losing when you feel bad enough as it is and you have your own voices in your head telling you how crap you are. So 3 fights with this girl, 1 draw and 2 loss. I definitely want another rematch, i wont stop until i get that win! 🙂 A couple of bumps and bruises but apart from that i didn’t feel too bad after the fight just a bit disappointed. On 2 the next one!

You Can Follow My Muay Thai Journey On My Facebook Athlete Page (HERE)

Natasha Sky- Professional Muay Thai Fighter

My 25th Fight vs Pilin

**Before you read my blogs and get offended (READ HERE)**

Its Feb 2013 I had my last fight about a month ago (READ HERE) and had just come back from taking a week off due to being sick(always get sick here). I walked into the gym and they asked me if i wanted to fight in a few days. I always find it hard to say no and i thought oh well why not. I’ve been fighting so many top 385467_333094573463097_2139272404_ngirls lately, i have survived Whats the worst that can happen, i gas out and lose. So i trained hard for the next few days and didn’t feel too bad but it was hard to tell how fit i was just after a few days.

I get to the stadium and im fighting a girl they called Pilin (her Thai fight name) who they said was from China but i think she was from England im not sure, you never know here as the Thais just make up any country on the poster. Anyway she had been fighting quite a bit and i had seen her fight a few times so i knew she was going to have a high work rate. She was one of those fighters that just went forward all the time so i was worried i was not going to have the cardio to keep up with her. She was also the first foreigner i had fought in a couple of years as i had only been fighting Thai’s so i wasn’t sure how i was going to go with that style. We were to be fighting for the Bangla Stadium Champion belt, which isn’t really a proper title but it’s still cool to fight for it i guess.

We start round one and I’m the one who is throwing, so much for thinking i couldn’t keep up. I think i 487747_428730843868433_166879836_nmust have had the thought that she was going to have a high work rate so i had to start faster, i don’t know?!. The first round was just some punches and low kicks from me, she didn’t throw anything that landed. The second round she started to walk forward and i nailed her with a few good leg kicks. She kept on coming forward but not really throwing much on her way in, so i just kept walking backwards, punching and leg kicking which was working really well. One leg kick i threw landed sweet that she actually spun around from it. The trainers were telling me off in the corner between rounds about going back but it was working for me really well. She wasn’t scoring anything and every time she came forward i would get her with either punches or leg kicks. There was no way i was going to go forward and end up going toe to toe with her, i wasn’t fit enough for that and she wanted to bang. The third round i tried to stand my ground and not go back much. I landed a few good leg kicks, she started coming forward and we ended up in the clinch for a bit where i felt like i was stronger but the ref broke it before we could really get into it. By now she was coming forward again 11179_10200640168591761_235791948_nbut still not scoring anything until the end of the round where she gets a couple of body kicks on me. The fourth round starts and i know that im wining, im starting to feel pretty gassed so i really do not want to engage much. I just want to kick and get back out of the way. The trainers told me to keep kicking her leg as it looked really sore at this stage and was starting to get a bruise on it. I just kept doing what i was doing going backwards and kicking the leg when she tried to come forward. It must have been really frustrating for her for sure, nothing worse than trying to fight someone that’s running away all the time. It was working for me so i just had to do what i had to do to get the win. We clinched a few times and exchanged a few punched and kicks towards the end of round four, i was totally gassed by this stage. I knew in the firth round all i had to do was block, jab and teep because i have won the fight. I teeped her off a few times but she just kept on coming forward, she was relentless. I tried to touch gloves to end the fight but she still wanted to fight, she kept coming forward until i teeped her on her bum, she got up tried another combo then they just rang the bell. I was so glad it was over, she just never stopped coming forward but i think that was why i was able to do what i was doing. She was a very tough girl! i hit her with some good leg kicks and her leg looked so sore but she never stopped trying, she did so good not to get pulled up by them. She had massive heart that’s for sure! I was awarded the Bangla Stadium Champion belt for wining the fight. I know that the belt is a bit of a joke and that anyone can fight for it and win it even if its your first fight but this was my 25th fight, i actually had a proper hard fight with a legitimate tough opponent to win it. No different to wining any other title at home. So even though the belt means nothing it still means something to me because it was a real fight worthy of a title fight. The belt means something because of the whole experience and well because my shins were smashed to bits after the fight and i had to make it worth it.

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My opponent was a lovely girl, we had a chat and got a photo after the fight. As much as its cool to land some good shots and do some damage on your opponent in the fight, i did feel bad that i had kicked up her leg because it looked quite painful and she was really nice which made me feel worse. Not like sometimes girls can be a bit of a bitch and you think oh well sucked in.2013-02-13 22.15.12

After the fight i didn’t really know what to think about the way i fought. It was a strange fight for me as i fought pretty much the whole fight just going backwards and sometimes nearly running backwards. I thought it was a terrible fight but at the same time i thought it was a smart fight and that i did what i needed to do to win. So many Thais fight on the back foot and my previous opponent had done the same thing to me and it made it really hard to score anything as she was constantly moving back and making me miss. It was good to get the win after losing my last fight vs the WMC champ and it was good to fight a foreigner and see where i was at with fighting that style after fighting so many Thais. I learnt that not all my fights have to be toe to toe entertaining fights and that some times you have to just do what works to get the win even if it’s not something you wouldn’t normally do, you can win a fight on the back foot and it doesn’t have to be go go go forward all the time.

Follow My Fighter Journey on Natasha Sky Fight Page (HERE)

Natasha Sky – Professional Female Muay Thai Fighter from Australia.

Over Training in Muay Thai

First of all A link to the meaning – Over training

You hear things like “over training is a myth” and you can’t over train. I don’t agree with that at all as i believe over training is a real thing especially in while living in Thailand. I’m no sports doctor and i know that everyone is different but i also know my body and i know when i need to rest and recover. I know that some people may use the term over training to slack off especially beginners who mentally haven’t learnt how far they can push their body. As an experienced fighter i feel that it is a very real thing. I’m currently training in Thailand where a daily training consists of 4-6km Run then 2-3hr Muay Thai training twice a day six days a week. When i run, i run to get fit, i push myself the whole way, i don’t just plod along at a walking pace, so when im done im really tired. At training i push 100% on everything i overtraining-symtompsdo, pad work, bag work and all the conditioning exercises. I normally clinch & spar with the hardest most experienced people in the gym which makes me work really hard the whole time. By the end of the training session im struggling to even put my shoes on to leave because i have given everything to the session, like it was the only session i had left! but it’s not, i have to come back and do it all over again in the afternoon and the next day and the day after that. When you are giving that much to every session it is physically and mentally impossible to keep it up 2x a day for 6 days. Yes i have seen people train the whole 2x a day 6 days a week but they don’t train at 100% they just coast through the sessions exerting less energy. I could do this if i wanted to but for me that is not what training is about. I prefer to go hard as i can then have a session or a day off then back to training and go as hard as i can again. Having a couple of sessions off a week or even a day off to reset and recover is very important to me because then i can train harder and retain more information when im there. For me being at the gym training when i have nothing left, no power, brain capacity to hold any information because im just so tired, just not wanting to be there is a waste of time for me and my trainer. It’s also the time you are most likely to get injuries or hurt in some way because you are not on your game. Yes some times you have those shitty days where your tired and not feeling it but they are the days you just push through, those days are different from the days where you really need to take a break and reset mentally and physically. After years of training and fighting im able to tell the difference in those days and also have the discipline to push through the lazy days. Taking a day off or a session off isn’t going to hinder your training, For me i think it makes me better because im going to training feeling fresh, having a good mind-set and being able to retain the information being taught. Some of the things i experience when i feel like i have over trained is fatigue, depression, whole body aching unable to do everyday tasks, loss of drive, mood swings, insomnia, restless legs syndrome and more. When you feel this way i think its stupid to push your body anymore and risk the serious effects just for one days training that you could rest for and it wouldn’t even make a difference. We have to remember in Muay Thai we are only training for a fight that lasts 10min with 4min of breaks for women & 15min with 8min for a males. Even with the most basic amount of training in Thailand with a couple of sessions off a week is going to be more than what most people do at home and they still fight and become champions.

Im going to ask some world class fighters and trainers that have achieved things in Muay Thai beyond our wildest dreams on their thoughts of over training and if they think its real. They would know right!

Name: Kevin Ross8965_237284733082384_146666849_n
Gym: Combat Sports Academy (CSA)
Nationality: American
Fight Record: 44-12 overall 31-8 professional
Titles: Former WBC Super Lightweight International Champion. Former WBC Welterweight National Champion. Former USMF Super Lightweight Champion. Former FIDAM Welterweight Champion. Current Lion Fight World Champion,

1. Do you think over training is real? If so how do you deal with it? I hear people say “Over training is a myth, it’s called under recovery”, which very well may be true but to me you’re basically just talking about the same things. Regardless I know first hand what it’s like to completely burn myself out and ‘over train’ or if you want ‘under recover’. The problem, I find, is that most people use ‘over training’ as a reason to slack off in the gym. The majority of the time people aren’t even close to over training. I’ve always been the type of person who would rather do too much, than too little. Over the years I have learned to listen to my body a bit more and I try to train a little smarter but there’s a very fine line between doing too much and acting like a bitch.

2. How important are recovery days for you? I pretty much only take one day off a week and I’m usually putting in double days for the rest, when I’m in full on training mode. 10526069_474643139346541_1289641601589320237_nI’m probably the worst person to talk to when it comes to recovery and rest because that is something I lack, always have. I think for everyone it’s different. Some people need to keep pushing and be on the grind constantly, as I do, and that’s works for them, while others can have some days off, light days, etc and perform better. I’ve found that training, along with diet, is never something where one was works for everyone.

3. Do you think taking a session or a day off because you feel over trained is going to impact your fighting? Not at all, if anything it will help. As I said before, however, people tend to start making excuses and being babies just because they are a little sore. It’s the same as the question, ‘are you injured or are you hurt?’, there’s a big difference between the two and 9 times out of 10 you’re just being weak.

Anything else you would like to add? Whether it’s training, diet, recovery, etc, play around with different approaches, tweak them to your specific needs and find what works best for you. It’s always good to get advice from other people but there’s no one way to do anything.10252040_10152023095600952_3433270460486105456_n

Name:Caley reece Gym: Riddlers Gym Nationality: Australian Fight Record: 58 fights 53 wins Titles: WMC state and National titles. 57kg 6 x world Champion

 1. Do you think over training is real? If so how do you deal with it? Absolutely it’s real – I’ve suffered from the effects of overtraining many times. To be honest I’m a prime example of it. I love training, and have high expectations of myself so I tend to do far more than what’s expected, which in the past has been more of a hinder than help. Daz (trainer and husband) is the one to usually pick up on it, telling me a session is needed off or a day and to take it easy as I will just keep pushing and pushing so he watches me closely and will tell me “Cales, that’s enough, it’s time for a day off or morning off” . It’s easy to overtrain in Thailand with the sessions being long, the same and them expecting long runs, sometimes twice a day. Its one of the reasons, I haven’t done lots of long stints there because I feel like I burn out after 2/3 weeks. Especially if you are training for a fight – there’s no taper compared to the western way and i believe to perform well, you need to have that slow “come down” from the hard training which will allow your body to repair and recover before you need to put it through a high level of stress in the ring. I’m certainly not knocking the way Thais train, I just know that two sessions every day at a high intensity for me, I would burn out. When I train, I train hard. I don’t mess around on the bag and go 50%, I don’t clinch at 50% and my padwork is always as best as I can go so if the rest days aren’t there, it soon catches up with me.

1962638_10151946618425952_731530723_n2. How important are recovery days for you? Recovery days and recovery sessions are important for any athlete for both mental and physical recuperation. One can effect the other so we need to have those times where we allow our bodies and minds to rest. It doesn’t just mean our muscles get rest. The toxicity and lactic acids released into your body when you train is constant, so it’s important that we give our organs a time and rest also. A day off and a couple of mornings off a week is what i do teamed with 2/3 recovery sessions at the sauna and pool per week. As I’m getting older, this is far more important also – the old saying quality vs quantity becomes more understandable, especially when the body has been training a long time.

3. Do you think taking a session or a day off because you feel over trained is going to impact your fighting? I used to yes. I used to struggle with it, thinking I will lose fitness but the more i did it (the more Daz made me do it haha) the more I realised, in fact, if anything it helps my body as I don’t have that constant tired feeling when i train. The second half of this year, I slipped back into my old ways of training like a maniac and ended up overtraining, putting too much pressure on myself and my body paid for it mentally and physically. It not only impacted my training but it impacted my life so I’ve had a brutal reminder that more is not better. I have just proved this to myself, that overtraining is not a 10481737_10203920884964819_6373026971192426441_omyth if you are training at higher intensities often. It’s taken some time to recover and next year, I will be going back to the smart way which is hard for me because i live to train but as you get older, you definitely need to train more scientific than just guns a blazing!!

Anything else you would like to add? I have been doing a lot of reading on fatigue and overtraining actually and have come across a good article – which outlines some information about overtraining and fatigue. It’s important to notice symptoms and not just brush them off because constant tiredness can leave towards almost an illness so it’s best to notice these signs and correct what’s needed before you dig yourself into a hole you don’t want to be in. As we like to say ” better to be safe than sorry” Thanks Tash for a topic that is highly important for fighters to be aware of when they are training. Especially those on a mission to become champions and will do whatever it takes.10410762_1533533296904026_6118001260062335382_n

Name: Darren Reece Position: owner and head trainer Riddlers gym Gym: Riddlers Gym Nationality: Australian

1. Do you think over training is real? If so how do you deal with it? Yes over training is a very real thing. Having lived and trained in Thailand for many years during my fight career I have experienced it first hand though realising so was in hindsight when I became more experienced and learnt that you didn’t have to feel like that to be fighting fit! As a trainer now I try to keep an eye out and take notice on training performance, fatigue levels and mood of my fighters to determine if they are getting over trained, fatigued or perhaps excessively tired from the work/ training combination.

2. Do you think a person who is feeling over trained will gain anything from training or taking a rest? There is definitely a difference between being tired from a hard session or sessions and over training. Sometimes you need to just push through to take you to that next level but then when it is more than that like days on end then I believe taking a rest, active recovery or reducing your workload and intensity to promote some recovery is of great value and benefit and results in the fighter coming back better and stronger.

602333_1402911253299565_553869023_n3. How do you judge if you think someone is over training or needs to ease up a bit? I watch closely and know my fighters. If it’s a one off day from a hard session previous or they had a busy day at work then it’s not so serious and this is where a little mental push will help. If it’s days on end or they’re having a stressful time at work or outside the gym, they’re coming to the gym tired and looking run down and I know what they’re usually like then I often alter a few things. As an example a few of my fighters are tradies or labourers who work outside. If they’ve been working outside in the heat and sun then they are not going to have as much fuel in the tank for training and often after a couple of days of training and work I’ll tell them to have a day off or go do some active recovery and they come back stronger to finish off the week instead of pushing them through and their performance is suffering badly by middle or late in the week. Even for a fighter that is getting to train full time there comes a point after a few sessions that you need to have an easier day or a morning off to allow you to return to optimal performance. Session after session of high level intensity and volume without change is where over training becomes a factor and wears you down.

 4. Do you think your student taking a session or a day off because they feel over trained will impact their fighting? Yes. Yes it will impact in a positive way! If it’s scheduled and needed rest day or session it will result in them coming back to perform better in other sessions rather than just struggling through.. No it doesn’t mean they’ll not be as fit or fight as well which is often in our minds when we are a fighter because let’s look at the big picture.. A fight is for 10 mins or 15 mins of ring and round time. Do we really need to do quadruple that amount training morning and night to make it through the fight? I don’t think so! But in actual fact that morning off, day off or scheduled sessions of high, moderate and light intensity will allow you to train better and higher intensity when you ask 10384738_1469663646624325_2918771479930278830_nyour body to!

 Anything else you would like to add? I have become a big believer in training smart and after years and years of serious Thailand training with crazy volumes I now prefer to train a much smarter way and also utilise modern training methods of sprint training, strength and conditioning and recovery methods. With all these combined together it results in a much better prepared fighter that gets to train with much more variety in their training, less injuries because of the variety, more motivated because of the variety and fighters that are faster,stronger and better athletically repaired! Another thing that is related to this and can be experienced often when training hard or over trained is sickness. I believe it is much more effective to rest for a few days and get better quicker than to try and struggle through making you get sicker and usually for longer trying to train through sick and suffering. You won’t lose much fitness from taking a few days off training because you’re sick… But you will get better quicker and return to normal quicker. Darren Reece.

10411394_682172915165481_5408946277681458187_nName: Nugget McNaught Position: Trainer Gym: Nugget’s Thaiboxing Gym Nationality: Australian

 1. Do you think over training is real? If so how do you deal with it? I think in some cases over training is real, but there is a fine line between using it as an excuse to get out of hard training and actually having nothing left physically or mentally in the tank.

2. Do you think a person who is feeling over trained will gain anything from training or taking a rest? As I said above, there is a fine line and all comes down to how well the trainer knows his student. Some fighters need a push to get through a session especially as you come closer to the bout. Other may need to rest a few days if they truly believe they may have peaked to early or feeling they are starting to get run down. Knowing which line to follow with your student is just a part of being a trainer.

3. How do you judge if you think someone is over training or needs to ease up a 1233362_671200319596074_1367552916419142337_nbit? This is one of those things that separates the good trainers and the great ones. Rule number one as a trainer is knowing your fighter. Measuring previous training sessions leading up to a fight and assessing the standard at certain points of training.

4. Do you think your student taking a session or a day off because they feel over trained will impact their fighting? I would say, it’s the trainers call to decide if the fighter needs a session or day off, not the fighter. But I believe if you know your fighter and you think that he would gain from a sleep in and morning session off, there is nothing wrong with that! As far as the result goes, it’s the fight game and anything can happen. The main thing is that you send your fighter in to the ring in the best condition they could be in.

Blog Interviews by Natasha Sky Dec 2014, Photos From Facebook

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Natasha Sky – Professional Female Muay Thai Fighter from Australia.

1 Month Training on Samui — July 2014

 **Before you read my blogs and get offended (READ HERE)

2014-07-09 06.43.52-1

My first day back training after over a year break!

ok so i just finished my first week of training on Samui at Jun’s Muay Thai. It has been hard getting back into it after about 1 year with no training just a few sparring sessions here and there. I’m currently 10kg over weight and super unfit which i really didn’t want to be this time as i did the same thing last time and really struggled, i didn’t learn my lesson :(. This first week i have tried to get back into it slowly so i don’t smash my body too much. I trained once Monday, once Tuesday, twice Wednesday, had Thursday whole day off, once Friday, once Saturday then Sunday is a Day off. This was more than enough for me to start, my body has been so sore and achy all over especially my calves. I wasn’t planing on starting my running yet but i have run about 3km before each session because the trainers told me to so i feel i have to if i want them to take me seriously (as they don’t know me here they don’t know that i know what im doing) All the running on uneven surfaces, skipping and training has been too much on my calves to start, along with a few other factors (lots of jumping with teeps and knees on the bag, excessive amounts) it has aggravated my shin splints already to a point of pain that i feel like im going to vomit and they are keeping me awake at night. I have tried to explain to them what is wrong and showed them the inner soles i have to wear in my shoes but im not sure if they really understand. I managed to get them to let me off of skipping but i will still have to find some way to try to do whats best for me without making the Thais think im not listening to them or im just being lazy, i thought coming to a different gym (not sinbi) where they didn’t know us for a month would be a good way to get fit and ease back into training, have a warm up fight and not have to take off where i left off as i have had a big break and would be really rusty. Its only been a week and it’s just been a hassle, everything about it has been a hassle, trying to explain my shin splints, different training, different trainers, trying to prove my self and get taken seriously. At Sinbi I know what i need to do, i had a really good routine and my trainer let me add my own things in to do what was best for my training so its been hard not being able to do that here. The training has been ok, someone said to me it was very military style which it is a good way to explain it. Running, bag work, Pads, Sparring, Clinching, Kicks and knees on the bag, no real difference in training so far 10570379_10152170819050563_482485019469530161_n (2)it’s seemed to be the same things everyday in the same order and very strict on the break time, sometimes not even enough time to get a drink and they are yelling at you to hurry up. Even though my shin splints are super painful i can already feel my running fitness has picked up over the week. I thought my pad fitness had picked up to untill Saturday when i got absolutely hammered by Jun on pads, he was ruthless with his expected power and pace and he was really smashing me around the head with the pads. Because i have had 3 different pad holders this last week it was hard to tell how my fitness has improved as they all hold differently at different paces, I’m not a fan of having different pad holders, i like to have the same one because all 3 pad holders were telling me different things. One pad holder told me im leg kicking wrong (i like the way i leg kick but i gotta do what they say) to jump across when i leg kick so i did, then when i had the other pad holder he was telling me not to jump, it was wrong and he shows me to leg kick (exactly the way i normally do but now he thinks he taught me and i couldn’t kick before because i had been kicking how the last guy told me grr) This was only one of the things i was told different to do by 3 different pad holders which can get frustrating and confusing.

I Burnt a lot of Calories in one session!

I Burnt a lot of Calories in one session!

Week two well there isn’t really much to tell about this week 😦 Monday i was all pumped to start training 2 times a day most days but didn’t work out that way. Because my shin splints had been hurting i decided to try to change my running technique for my run before training,i ran the whole 3kms pretty much on my toes which helped with the pain of my shin splints but didn’t help with my already tight calves. I went through shadow boxing and started on the bag but my calves were still really tight, we are not given enough time to stretch them they seem to try to hurry you through everything to get you in and out of there as quick as they can so i don’t think stretching is a very big priority to them. After 2 rounds on the bag i was called on to pads which were really fast and hard with the trainer telling me i need to kick faster and harder each time. About half way through the second round im getting told to left kick with speed so im trying to get good speed and power. I do a couple of kicks and they say “more more, speed speed” i go to switch kick and i just feel a big sharp pain in my calf just down from behind my knee, i tried to keep kicking but the pain was really bad. I stopped and rubbed it for a second and tried to start on pads again by throwing a jab but the slightest bit of pressure on my toes nearly brought me to tears. I don’t know what i have done but it feels like a pulled or torn muscle. My pad holder apologised to me several time, he thought it was his fault. I couldn’t do anything for the rest of the session so i just sat down and the trainers brought me and ice pack. The next day i couldn’t walk on it at all, i tried to go to training and just do sit ups, pull ups & push ups but it was too sore to move around and so frustrating hoping on one leg so i ended up just staying home with my leg up for the rest of the week.

Third week. I had to start this week off slow and try to build up to using my calf again so running and skipping were both out of this weeks training (which i needed anyway to help with my shin splints recover for a bit). I wanted to start doing two sessions a day but i thought it would be best if i just did one session untill my calf was healed and i could do one session properly. The first two days i had to be really careful when i kicked not to push off to hard from my toes. I had to give all the knees, teeps and kicks on the bag a miss too as i didn’t want to bounce too much on my toes (not that it worried me to much as i think they over do all the knees and teeps a bit and its very boring) About the third day i was feeling ok so i could start to use more power and do more of the knees and things on the bag. I keept getting Jun on pads and he is crazy intense, he wanted everything with full power and speed. He smashed me around the head and in the stomach with the pads full power. It was good but it was really hard, i felt like i was going to have  heart attack most times after the first round. On Wednesday i spared boxing with one of the Thai boys i had been matched to spar and clinch with a few times. He gets a bit crazy when we spar if i get him with a shot, today he must have been in a bad mood because he was getting harder and harder as we sparred all that does for me is makes me go harder too. I think he was trying to hurt me or pull me up but it didn’t work because i love a good hard spar, so by the end of our Four rounds we were sparring that hard it was like a fight and the Trainers had to tell us to ease up. I had a few good sparring and clinching sessions with a girl from England, both the Thai boy and the English girl were south paws and they were the only 2 people i would get paired up with. There wasn’t a lot of options for people for me to spar and clinch with so that was a shame.

Nice Beach just across and up the road from the gym

Nice Beach just across and up the road from the gym

Week four i only trained the first 2 days as i didn’t really feel a drive to go to training. I just wasn’t feeling it there, i was really bored of the same training over and over. To me it felt like that movie ground hog day where the guy wakes up and its the same day replaying over. I didn’t feel like i was learning anything, it was more just picking up fitness than anything. Don’t get me wrong the trainers were really really nice, they were welcoming and i felt like that would help us out with anything if we needed it. Jun was a super nice guy and seemed to really care if you were ok and doing good. It was the training we didn’t like, it just didn’t suit mine or my husbands needs and there was no leniency for us to do our own things. We were leaving to head to Phuket at the end if this week and i knew i would be going hard when we got there so thought a couple of days off would be ok. I was bummed i didn’t get to have a fight while i was on Samui though, would have been good to fight some where different.

So overall its was ok but not a place i could stay for a long time as after 2-3 weeks i was so bored of the training and had lost the drive i really didn’t want to train. I thought it was just me but as soon as i got back to Sinbi My drive was back and i trained like a bat out of hell, loved every minute of it. The location was good, not to far from shops and the beach in quite area. The running track was nice through a jungle back road but not if you have shin splints as its very uneven surface. I don’t think i would ever go back or if i did it would be for more of a Holiday train for a week but everyone is different i guess other people might love it, it just wasnt the training that would benefit me or my hubby.

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Natasha Sky – Professional Female Muay Thai Fighter from Australia.

Mónica Brenes From Costa Rica


Mónica Brenes 10675578_10154782384530032_414669666523113195_n

Name: Mónica Brenes Mena, Age: 23, Nationality: Costa Rica, Weight: 55-60kg, Gym: Keawpithak Muay Thai / Evolution Muay Thai, Fight record: Muay Thai 12-4-0 (7), Kickboxing 5-3-0 (3), Boxing 13-2-0 (7), Titles: 3 Times Amateur Boxing National Champion

1. How long have you been training and what made you want to become a fighter? I started training back in 2005, at age 13. Since I first started training it felt really natural, so I always trained to fight, after just a few months of training I had my first kickboxing fight, and absolutely loved the rush; it’s probably been one the only things I’ve been sure in my entire life, I know I am a fighter.
942042_10152863711975032_1369225232_n2. You have trained in a few different martial arts what are they? which one is your favourite and why? I started training kickboxing, and karate. I would train Muay Thai since that same year, but on and off because trainers were coming and going. And I have always had the dream to fight MMA, so I would pretty much train several disciplines knowing that eventually I would, trying to learn everything I could. But back home at the time there was not a lot of people to fight against, so that’s when I started having boxing fights. For a while I stuck to boxing and Brazilian Jiujitsu, getting some Gold Medals in boxing and a blue belt in BJJ. After a while I was able just to stick to Muay Thai, BJJ, and MMA. But Muay Thai has always been by favorite one, and the one I’ve put the most time and effort in. Why? It’s such a beautiful art…! There’s no reason why not.

3. What has been the hardest thing about being a fighter in Costa Rica? Been a fighter in Costa Rica has never been easy. Since I started a while back, it’s been hard to get women to fight in the country, and the pretty much the only way to fight is to get a fighter from abroad, or to fight abroad; but there’s no support from the government, sponsors, not even big promoters for Muay Thai. Meaning that if you want to fight you have to cover all of your training, nutritional, and travel expenses. So finding the balance between professional training, working to cover for all expenses, and still trying to get a degree -I’m studying to get my degree in Physical Therapy-; and giving a 200% in all of it and still trying to get some sleep, will test if fighting is something that you really want to do.

4. If you could fight on any promotion in the world what would it be and why?1234910_10153185485835032_217390499_n I would and must fight for a world title, and any title really, just let me fight for them! So WBC, WPMF, ONEFC, INVICTA,… You name it. And UFC is major dream of course.

5. What has been your proudest moment as a fighter? Even though I’m pretty hard on myself, I try to be proud of every moment; every fight, every hard week of training, if you’re putting all your effort in something you must be proud of it. But definitely been able to save up, leave everything behind and move to Thailand for the second time, makes me proud. Oh, and been able to win fights by out-clinching Thais makes me feel like wonder woman! (LOL)

253472_10150629666965032_124995_n6. How would you describe your self as a fighter? When it comes to training as I mentioned before, I am really hard on myself, I always feel like I need more training, more running, more sparring, more clinching, even when I’ve done all the work I am supposed to do. When it comes to a fight, mentally I am really calm, not an angry fighter at all, and I don’t really get nervous; and I try to be very respectful towards all of my opponents, I like saying hello to them at the stadium before the fight with an honest smile. I try to think about the fight, until I get into the ring, thinking about it in real time. When it comes to my fight style, I try to keep it thai style as I learn, but I’ve always been an aggressive fighter, and like to exchange; every fight is different so my style does change on every fight.

7. What do you enjoy the most about training in Thailand? That I get to fight so often! Even if it’s only once a month, it’s still so much more than what I would fight back home. And having amazing thai trainers, I’ve always had great trainers; not a day goes by without them teaching some awesome moves (even if I don’t remember them all!). And that I’m able to dedicate all my time just to train and fight.

8. What are your plans for the next year?229498_10150587087205032_6917167_n If everything goes right, I’ll be spending my next year in Thailand. So I’m hoping to get really good fights, and title shots. And definitely getting fights outside of Phuket, and Thailand.

9. Name 3 things out of Muay Thai that people might not know about you My first full rules 5 rounds Muay Thai fight was in Thailand, at age 19. Might sound weird, but fighting gives me peace, stepping in the ring is when I feel the most peaceful -and happy-, not saying I don’t feel the adrenaline rush or frustration, but when I’m fighting I only have to think about the fight, about what’s happening at that exact moment, there’s nothing else you could be thinking about! One of the first trainers I had in Thailand adopted me as his daughter, since I trained with him pretty much for a whole year, so he would even fill in my information for the fights with his last name, so my thai last name is Khemnak.

46467_494904429987_255637_n 10. Any advise for people wanting to start training or become a fighter? Don’t overthink it! Just start training, give it a shot, and same with fighting, don’t think too much about having that first fight, once you’re in there you’ll see it’s not that much of a big deal, that first struggle is just in your mind. And second, make sure you find proper trainers who take care of you, having committed trainers that know what they’re doing really change how you feel about this amazing martial art.

Anyone you would like to thank?58446_499988559987_6140891_n My family… They’ve always been a major support! And the absolute best! Oh and you -Natasha Sky- you’ve been a major support on my both stays in Thailand. Please click and like my fight page! Currently a sponsored fighter at Kaewphitak Muay Thai, Phuket, Thailand.

I currently do not have any other sponsors, but I am looking for some, so if you want to help me on pursuing my dream, please contact me through my Facebook fight page! I’ll proudly represent your brand.

 Interview By Natasha Sky, Dec 2014, Photos supplied If you Enjoy my Fighter Interviews and blogs Please Follow my Journey (HERE)

Working a Full Time Physical Job & Fighting

** Warning If you are don’t like animal Slaughter for Food you might not want to read**

I always get asked if im going to come back to fight in Australia but for me this is just way to hard especially after training in Thailand so long and knowing what i need to do to be at myabattoir-abc-photo_edited-1 top level. The hardest things for me living in Australia and fighting was having to work a full time job trying to train and fight. I left school when i was 15years old so ive always been a factory worker mainly Abattoir’s (meat works) im not qualified or experienced to do anything else. People said to me why dont i try to get a different job but its not that easy when its all you know and once you become a fighter you dont have time to study to learn something eles not to metion the fact that My husband and i paied for everything out of our own pockets ( training fees, Fuel to get to fights, Accomidation, Food, Suppliments, injury managment and more) and Factory work was the only job we could get paid enough money to cover everything. Factory work can fit in pretty good with training and fighting, i like the fact you can go to work with a black eye or a big cut on your face and no one cares. It was ok time wise as you normally start early around 4-6am and finish about 3-4pm which gives you enough time to get a run in and then head to training. When you are training for a fight it can be a very long day though, especially when you don’t get home from training untill around 8 or 9 pm then you must have a shower make dinner, make lunch for work which normally takes a

When i Worked doing pigs when i first started training in 2008

When i Worked doing pigs when i first started training in 2008

bit if you’re trying to cut weight and eat healthy, you can’t just chuck on a frozen pizza. I try to do my house work before bed like washing especially because working in a factory and training everyday makes a hell of a lot of washing, most nights you don’t get much sleep when you have to be up at 3-4am to leave for work. I normally only worked Monday to Friday depending where i worked some times i would have to work Saturdays and Sundays, so it leaves some weekends free to go to fights and you only have to take the Friday off of work to weigh in. The down side is if you want to fight often sometimes it can be hard to get days off of work for weigh in or interstate fights, i have been warned and nearly fired from my job for having days off to go to weigh ins. Some people can work on weigh in day but if your cutting weight and your working in a physical factory job it’s really not possible to work all day with no food or water. If i was lucky to get the weekend off i always tried to do my sprints and things i couldn’t fit in during the weeks training because i ran out of time but a lot of the time your just so tired from the week its a real struggle. Factory work can also be very physically

My husband works as a Beef boner, This is the hardest job you can do in a Meat works. He burnt 2000 Calories in about 4hr. Thats a normal persons Calorie burn for 24hrs.

My husband works as a Beef Boner, This is the hardest job you can do in a Meat works. He burnt 2500 Calories in about 4hr. Thats more than a normal persons Calorie burn for 24hrs.

demanding on the body throughout the day which can be extremely hard when your training for a fight. Really hard after a fight too, if you have any injuries and you have to try to work with them, I have been to work with smashed legs and had to spend all day inside the factory, miss out on breaks (which are only about every 2-3hrs for 5min and one 30min lunch break) because my legs were that sore, by the time i walked out to my break it was time to come back inside so no point trying. It really took a toll on me training for fights and trying to work full time in a physical job, Its like doing fast paced crossfit all day for 8-10hr then having to come home run 10km then go to Muay Thai training for 2-3hrs. I’m one of those people who really needs sleep to function, so some mornings i would struggle so bad to get out of bed and be in tears because i was just so tired and my body ached all over. I was scared i would fall asleep driving to work most mornings but i had to go to work because without work i wouldn’t have money to be a fighter, fighting costs more money than ill ever make from it. I found that as an amateur i managed to be able to push on fight after fight but once i got to a higher level fighting more rounds it was so much harder, i was already training as much and as hard as i could, i needed to step it up a level but i couldn’t. It’s hard to compete with girls who work in a gym, own a gym, have sponsors etc or people to help them so they don’t have to work full time, they can just focus on training. This is part of the reason i moved to Thailand, so i could just train and not have to work. Once Spending so much time in Thailand and knowing how fit i needed to be and what i needed to do to be at the top level, My expectations of training are so much higher, i felt that i would never be able to get that at home while working a full time job so i haven’t fought in Australia since 2010.

Fast Paced , Heavy lifting and on a moving chain so you cant just stop when you need a rest. Limited breaks every 2-3hrs 5min to get a drink and go to the toilet.

Fast Paced , Heavy lifting on a moving chain so you can’t just stop when you need a rest. Limited breaks every 2-3hrs 5min to get a drink and go to the toilet.

I was going to make this blog a Question one with other Females that trained to fight pro and also worked a physical hard labour job aswell and see how they handled it and juggled it but i after asking around i couldn’t find any. I know a lot of females work full time but i found they mainly work in jobs that don’t require a lot of continuous physical labour which i guess makes things so much easier to manage. I always thought i was just weak and couldn’t take it because Factory jobs are all i have known my life, i never really thought about the fact it was like doing crossfit all day then trying to train, no wonder it was so demanding on my body and mind. Some people don’t realise how easy they have it working as a hairdresser, receptionist, bartender and so on, most people who work in factory jobs are so tired after work they wouldn’t even dream of doing any training, when you tell them what you do as a fighter as well as work they can’t believe it. So hopefully one day when i come back to Australia i might not have to work a full time physical job and maybe have my own gym so i can train twice a day and fight at my full potential but untill then i don’t think i will ever fight and train full time In Australia it’s not worth feeling so bad and fighting at a level you just can’t compete with.

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