Em Downham

Jan 9, 2022

I enjoy punching people in the face👊. Here's why you should too.

Muay Thai, also known as Thai kickboxing, is the art of eight limbs. In 2015 I threw my first punch under coach Mieke Papy, a Belgian in Australia who has a passion for kickboxing that's infectious. Or mad. Who really knows?

For the next 4 years I didn't take it too seriously. Fast forward to March 2020 when Australia was put into lockdown and it's a different story—Muay Thai training sessions became my escape from mandatory lockdowns during "unprecedented times".

Of course, from the outside, combat sports are terrifying. But, I urge you, in 2022 during continued "unprecedented times", to step out of your comfort zone and take a class at a gym with a love for the art of eight limbs. Here's 3 reasons why.

It's great for your fitness levels and coordination, plus, it's fun 🏃

At the start of your journey you won't be sparring. This means practicing fighting one-on-one with a partner. You actually never have to do that if you don't want to. Although, I totally encourage. But, for a class, you'll be kitted up with hand wraps, Thai pads, focus mitts, belly pads and shin guards and you'll learn technique. At my gym, Skadi Performance, we use a combination of both Dutch and Thai techniques. And honestly, it's not easy.

You need focus. You need to listen. And then you need execute combinations that require coordination.

The challenge is fun. And, you'll be surprised at how many calories your fitness watch says you burn even though you start and stop constantly.

It's incredible for people with busy minds 🧠

I am a person who struggles to stop. For years I've tried to meditate but I'm that person that tries to focus and next minute: I'm thinking about that one time, 17 years ago, that I snorted laughing while over at a mate's place.

When I'm at Muay Thai, if i don't focus, I'll get smacked in the head. Or leg. Or body. So you have to focus, and focus hard.

This is why I train 5-6 days a week, it's an hour of fun, flow and a single-mind focus.

The community is like family 💞

Our gym is like a family. We're all so different from one another. But, they're my second family. I've met some of my best friends at that gym and I can honestly say there's not one person who is a dick. Do you know how rare that is? Rare. No egos. They're left at the door. We see each other every day, we have parties, dinners, travel away together, go to fight shows and support each other in life events. New baby? Party for you. Engaged? LFG. Bad life situations? We're there with shoulders to cry on, or we pool money to help. These women and men punch me in the face, have left me we some gnarly bruises, but I love them all and would do anything for them. It's a community of people who understand what it's like to persevere and work for something, and I love it.

Have I convinced you to take a chance and give the art of eight limbs a go? Let me know in the thread.

Em Downham

I'm Em 👋. I write about b2b SaaS marketing, ideas and thoughts 💭, all the way to learnings from business & productivity books ✏️.