Muay Thai Kickboxing for the Ladies in Brooklyn

[Update 04/17/2009:  Beginning April 27th, I will be teaching at Area instead of Mission.  I still love Mission though.  Just had to put that out there.  I will be teaching children’s classes in addition to the adult’s classes.  Lots and lots of information here]


When I lived in Utah I was bored.  So I let my fingers do the walking in the yellow pages and I found myself looking at Muay Thai Kickboxing.  I was kind of feeling punk-rock and like I didn’t want to do the whole “nice gym” thing, so I signed up for a Full Contact Muay Thai Kickboxing trial at a gym that looked like it was lifted from a prison yard.  I’m not going to lie – the vibe kinda rang my bell.  I was one of maybe three girls there, and the place was full of tattooed angry men, mostly Fire Fighters, Policemen, and Ex-Cons working out some big issues on heavy bags which were duct taped together.  My first day there I spent a good twenty minutes sitting in my car working up some guts to walk into the place.  

My trainers didn’t have what you would call a “soft touch”.  The equipment was sub-par but still I stayed because I really wanted them to let me into the boxing ring.  You weren’t allowed to spar until you had your technique up to a certain place. When I finally got there, I thought I was going to loose all of my guts onto the floor because I was so nervous.  But I got through, and not only that, I received my first compliment from my corner-man. 

Soon enough the gym expanded, upgraded and imported Sakasem (Sem) “The Punisher” Kanthawong from Thailand to be it’s head trainer.  This powerhouse had over 225 fights under his belt, more than a few World Muay Thai championships, and had never been knocked out.  It was an honor to have him be 

my trainer.  I worked hard and consistently with him, and got to a place where I could hold my own, even when I was sparring in the ring with men who fought for Pride or K1.  

I had many injuries over my years with Sem.  Broken feet, broken ribs, snapped tendons and bruised everything; but he was vigilant about continuing to train me around my injuries, and letting me heal when I needed to.  When the time came for me to lasso my first professional fight, I was terrified.  I trained like crazy with Sem when I learned that it was to be held in Las Vegas, and that it would be broadcast on Pay-Per-View.  I had it put in my contract that I didn’t have to fight wearing a bikini in a vat of jell-o, you know – just to be sure.

Six weeks before the fight, I found out I was six weeks pregnant.  Obviously I wasn’t going to make my cut-weight.  The fight was off, the pregnancy was on and I couldn’t believe my luck that I was going to be a mom.  Sem took the news like the champion is his.  He continued to train me like I was a Prize-Fighter for the remainder of my preganancy, bringing my workouts down as I needed him to.  He would always joke that “your baby be born with black eye!”  And I kinda wish it would have been true because Sem would have smiled.

Now in Brooklyn, I am training again.  But this time I’m the trainer, and I have the best students.  I keep my classes very small so I can work with each person the way I was trained.  I focus on technique and safety, but also try to keep that brutal edge that Muay Thai is famous for.  I have also carried forward the dedicated format of push-ups and jump rope to keep the heart-rates flying.  It is awesome to be involved in the sport again – and I invite any woman to join us Tuesday or Thursday mornings at 9:30 – 11:00 at Mission Martial Arts. (Their website is seriously out of date so if you have questions about my classes, email me.) If you’re into it, or think you might be or maybe you’re against it and want to let me know, feel free to email my at my addy in the sidebar.


13 thoughts on “Muay Thai Kickboxing for the Ladies in Brooklyn

  1. i think i could be into this. i’m a little afraid of getting smacked around but i may be able to get over that if i get to smack around in kind.

    one question. do i have to ever get in the ring with those men? they look a little scary.

  2. Ha! No you don’t have to get in the ring with those guys. Pictured is Sem, my trianer, and Kwame Stephens, an amazing fighter. Between you and me – I sparred with Kwame, and made him cry several times.*

    *This statement has not been reviewed by the Pistols and Popcorn Ethics and Honesty Board

  3. So why only for women? I’d join up. If you trained with those guys I figure you could teach me a thing or two.

  4. Respect. For the writing and the fighting!

    I only kept up with my Kickboxing for some weeks. I really hated it getting punched on my head. Much more i liked the end of the sessions with nice chillout sounds and a pleasant head massage.

    And i am a black 240 pounds Ex-Bouncer and Ex-Con in Germany 🙂

  5. I only kept up with my Kickboxing for some weeks. I really hated it getting punched on my head. Much more i liked the end of the sessions with nice chillout sounds and a pleasant head massage.

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