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Chopper's first female boxer... meet Britt

What do you do outside of training?  I'm on holidays at the moment, so outside of training, I'm training haha! I just left my job at a vegan cafe and I'll be working at my mums patisserie when it opens. I model for drawing classes every now and then too.

What is a surprising fact about you?  I once got accepted to be on a reality TV show.

Where do you draw your inspiration from and why?  The boss ass babes in my life. My incredible mum, who inspires me every day with her work ethic, talent and creativity. She is AMAZING. My best friends too. Some have moved interstate, one is a new mum, one is running a popular cafe, some are studying at uni. All gorgeous, strong women and I'm so inspired by everything they have overcome and achieved so far in their lives.

If your life were a book, what would be the title?  'I Once Purposefully Tipped Coffee Into My Hand In Front Of The Guy I Was Dating And Other Embarrassing Tales'

Why did you start doing boxing?  I used to love the boxing class at my gym above all others on offer, but it was pretty relaxed and I really wanted to learn proper technique. I had tried out the Muay Thai classes at Chopper before and although I really liked the people and environment, Muay Thai wasn't for me. When I saw that Chopper was offering boxing classes, I signed up STRAIGHT AWAY and haven't looked back.

What advice can you give to new students joining up who have never trained?  It's normal to feel awkward or self conscious so don't stress, just concentrate on what you're doing because everyone around you felt that same way when they started. Focus on what your coach tells and shows you, take your time. Practice the things you learnt when you get home (find a sibling and let loose), be patient with yourself, come to training regularly and DO NOT GIVE UP!

Do you want to fight? Why or why not?  I do want to fight, but I have a long way to go before then. Right now I have aspirations to compete in a Bikini Comp, but the more I train at Chopper, the less sure I am about that goal..

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A gifted academic and ruthless in the ring... meet Rei

What do you do outside of training?  I am a Graduate Landscape Architect at Enviro Links Design and a student at UC, completing an Honours degree in Landscape Architecture. In my spare time, I am usually out eating and trying different types of food or either at home binge watching TV shows.

Where do you draw your inspiration from and why?  I draw my inspiration from my Grandmother in the Philippines. She is one of the most loving, humble and caring people I know, who manages to see the good in everyone. No matter what obstacle comes her way, she always manages to get through to make sure everything will be OK.

Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?  I live by the famous bible verse Philippians 4:13, “I can do anything through Christ who gives me strength”. Whenever I’m in doubt or am struggling to do something, I always think of this verse and it always gets me through. Hence, why I have it tattooed on my chest.

TV show you secretly enjoy?  I wouldn’t say secretly, but I love the TV show ‘Suits’. It is seriously just one of the best shows. If you’re after a show that has a mix of drama, comedy and something with a good twist, this is it! Just know, once you start, you won’t stop! Cliff-hangers will keep you going.

Why did you start doing muay thai?  After playing a few years of Rugby League throughout high school, my Asian genetics simply didn’t cut it by the time I hit Year 11 (I was literally like a fly next to some of the big forwards in the team). So, I decided I was going to get back into martial arts after doing Taekwondo when I was young. Fortunately, my uncle Ysh introduced me to Muay Thai at a gym in Sydney. From then, I was hooked.

Describe the people you train with at Chopper?  Metaphorically, it’s like the Fast and Furious crew. Chopper Muay Thai is like family. Everybody cares for each other and everybody works hard to craft their skills under Gaz’s guidance, and library of knowledge in the sport.

What is your favourite muay thai move or combo?  The question mark kick!!

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Globe trotting Chopper student... meet Alexis

What do you do outside of training?  I am a French industrial design student and apart from Muay thai training I love practicing every kind of sport, spend some time in Paris (where I live) and discover new things especially the cinema world.

What has been the greatest adventure of your life?  Was being in Australia! I consider myself lucky, being on the other side of the globe, learning what I love and also while discovering a new culture, making new friends. What more could I expect?!

Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?  One motto that has helped in the past and will continue to help me is "We learn by defeat, we stand up and keep going!"

Where do you draw your inspiration from and why?  I draw my inspiration from Roger Federer. Everything he does is right, everything in his life is under his control. His career couldn't be greater and I truely believe he is also a good person.

What do you enjoy about Muay Thai?  Muay Thai is a complete sport, where I can feel my whole body activate and I can measure my will. I like to push my body to go beyond its limits because it is the only way to truely know myself. With Muay Thai I can do all those things and furthermore I get to learn a new skill.

What is rewarding to you about training?  How does this affect your life and work?: Because Muay Thai training gives you a nice body condition you always feel good in life, not tired. After I day of work nothing is better than a training to empty your minde about you day. Muay Thai would be the light in a very dark day!

What is rewarding to you about training?  How does this affect your life and work?  I feel Muay Thai training gives your body perfect conditioning. After a hard day of work nothing is better than going to training to clear your mind. Muay Thai would be the light in the darkest day!

 

 

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Packing a punch in style... meet Frank

What do you do outside of training?  I study English at ANU and work part time at a suit store in the city, Ministry Menswear and other than that I'm patting my dog.

What was the best advice you were ever given?  My Nonna who is nearly 90 years old and super sassy once told me "never do anything yourself dear if you can get someone else to do it for you." I'm not sure if that's the best or worst advice you could give but it pretty much sums up her sass-queen attitude.

If money were no object where in the world would you live and why?  I'd probably live in Italy, mostly for the food, also because my mother's family is from there and they have a great way of living. Everyone goes home to nap and eat lunch between 12pm and 3pm everyday, which suits me fine.

What is one thing you're good at? (Apart from Muay Thai)  I'm a bit of a karaoke king on Tuesday nights. There's a fine art to picking a good karaoke song and I got it down pat.

What is rewarding to you about training? How does this effect your life and work?  Firstly, because it's probably the best physical exercise I've ever done. There's a real balance between strength and cardio so it kills two birds with one stone. Secondly, because it's a great stress reliever! I found since I started I can sleep better at night and I can focus much better at uni. There's nothing better than after a bad day, kicking the shit out of something.

At training what is your biggest challenge and what do you do to manage it?  Probably remembering all the techniques when doing combos. It's a lot harder than it looks remembering where your feet are, when to pivot, making sure you're throwing your punches right, keeping your guard up. When it all clicks in,  you can actually feel when you're doing it right. Thankfully, I have my trusty sparring partner and bro Dom Dingo Shanahan there to encourage and remind me.

What was it like for you when you saw your first Muay Thai show?  I'd seen a lot of boxing previously but my first live Muay Thai fight was watching our coach Gaz Rees win his world title. It was incredible watching Gaz fight. You could see him doing everything he teaches us in class so well it was inspiring and made we want to train harder. Whereas, before I'd mostly done Muay Thai for the exercise and fun, after watching his fight it made me focus more and take training more seriously.

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