Updated: Mar 15
Lockdown for many of us has been testing. Testing both mentally and physically. The combination of winter nights, lack of sunshine and extraordinarily little exercise has had a massive impact our daily lives and our mental health.
As a novice kickboxer. I believe every woman should learn to fight. Not only for our mental and physical well being but to have the power to fight back. To give us a ‘fighting’ chance when used in self-defense or put into a vulnerable situation.
This week we learnt of the disturbing and horrific death of Sarah Everard. A lady who tragically lost her life while walking home. It sent shock waves throughout the world. As a woman it certainly made me question my vulnerability and safety and what I could do to protect myself.
Kickboxing is a sport that I highly recommend and extremely passionate about. It helped me to transform my body, make me strong, learn about nutrition and was the best tool for my mind when my mother was battling cancer.
Dan Roberts is someone who I admire greatly. If you want to learn about Muay Thai and train with one of the best, then he and his dedicated team are for you.
To be the best version of yourself you must dig deep. It does not come easy. It requires hard work and determination. Dan Roberts is a martial artist who knows this. He moved to Thailand for a year and 11 months later after living like a warrior monk, no drinking, no parties, just living in a hut doing 7 hours of hard training a day for 6 days a week and with some successful fights under his belt grew and grew. In his words ‘I became an ever so slightly better version of me.”
To achieve this requires strength and dedication both mentally and physically. To be totally focused on your goal without any distractions from the outside world. This is the mindset of a fighter and as Dan said the mindset of a warrior monk and why today so many people use Dan to help them be the best version of themselves as he has gone through that very same transition.
He has built a successful worldwide personal brand and business and yet continues to be humble.
For me as a novice kickboxer that was one of the things, I love about kickboxing it is about a way of life. It becomes part of your life and you. You not only learn how to fight but you learn respect and discipline. You learn you are no better than the man standing in front of you.
I feel very humbled that Dan agreed to talk to me about Muay Thai.
What is the benefits Kickboxing having on your body and mind?
All movement can directly help the body and mind. However, martial arts have a special place in my coaching toolkit to help people as their entire essence marries mental and physical development. Kick boxing (which is western version of Muay Thai, the national sport of Thailand) is both a martial art and combat sport. The exact mental and physical benefits depend on what style of kickboxing you do, what style of practice you embark on and your mindset.
In general, though, kickboxing training develops your cardiovascular system, helps lose excess body fat, strengthens your legs, glutes, core, and shoulders, and develops power, speed, reactions, balance coordination and endurance. Mentally you will also develop your focus and concentration.
In my experience, the closer you get to competing, (including semi-sparring one full sparring) the more the mental benefits will flourish. For example, when you are having a real fight and that bell rings you soon learn what real focus is! You learn to overcome fear and to be 100% focused on the here and now (a punch in the face will do that to you!) Also, as with anything in life the more you go down the path to mastery the more you grow. Yes, not everyone who is good at sports or bodybuilding is a wonderful person but with martial arts you have humility and respect ingrained into their history and culture. In this sense I think martial arts like kicking boxing can and often builds one’s character.
One final point I would like to make, I think training in kickboxing helps us not just improve the body and mind but helps connect them too. I think our natural state is to be connected in mind and body, but 21st century living with all its vanity, distractions and stress makes us forget this connection. When we exercise, we learn new skills and really use our body in a focused way. We get out of our own heads and exist in the present moment, exercise in this sense, becomes moving mediation and we feel reconnected in mind and body.
If you could tell your younger self anything what would it be?
Hmm. Good question. Thing is I lived quite a wild & bohemian life in my 20's then in my mid 30's I started to focus heavily on my career, and I got married. Now in my mid 40's I have the best Job in the world and have never been healthier or happier. So, when I look back, I like the way I played it. I always did what felt right at the time and lived how I wanted to live. You must be authentic to yourself and evolve your priorities & values organically in your own time, I think. So, if I went back in time, I would not tell myself anything at all. Everything that has happened including the painful and bad stuff all happened for reason and was all part of the adventure. I wish young people would chill out more, and care less about their personal brand, about fame, money, and success all that stuff is not real.
Three things that help you stay motivated to workout daily or weekly?
Well motivation Is largely bullshit. I would suggest you do not let your body, or your life be dependent on the unpredictable nature of human emotion & motivation. What we need is routine and rituals not motivation., There is old saying ’form good habits and make them your masters' that my friend is the way forward. So, if you want to train every day. Force yourself to do a little something every day, e.g., 5 press ups when you wake up and then every week build on it. Slowly and surely build exercise into your lifestyle. Ironically, you will feel more motivated when you opt for focusing on routine rather than trying to motivate yourself all the time.
Fun fact about kickboxing we did not know?
The most common form of kickboxing was created in the 1960's by Osamu Noguchi - a Japanese boxer who added the kicking of Muay Thai to western boxing (with a tiny bit of karate) and wrapped it all together. It became extremely popular in Japan and by the early 1970's has exported its appeal to North America. Since then, kickboxing has always remained popular martial arts and combat sport globally. As a martial artist myself I recommend you try it. Kickboxing (and its main inspiration Muay Thai) have a plethora of psychological, and physiological benefits but most importantly are really good fun!
Dan is dedicated to the sport and the well being of his clients. This is obvious in the way he talks about Muay Thai. His passion is evident. It has been an honor for me to be able to share his thoughts with you. You can see more of Dan Roberts and his Team
As a woman I would like to encourage other women to take up the sport. There is no better investment than that of your own well-being, your mental health, and your safety.
How awesome to be able to say. Can you kick it? Yes, I can.