On the second day of freshers, Rachel interviews a member of UoN’s Thai Boxing Society…
We’ve all heard of boxing, but if you’re anything like me you’d be surprised to learn how many variants of the sport there are. For an insight into a lesser known sports team, I interviewed Thai Boxing’s Publicity Sec Bhupali to learn more.
Q: For someone that has never seen it, what is Thai boxing? How does it differ from other types of boxing?
Bhupali: Thai boxing, also known as Muay Thai, is a traditional martial art and the national sport of Thailand. This combat sport involves striking with different clinching techniques, whereas regular boxing is only striking with fists. In Thai boxing, combinations of fists, elbows, shins and knees are used which is why it is termed as the “art of eight limbs”. We do a lot of kicking and clinching which is not used in regular boxing.
Q: Do you need any experience to get involved?
Bhupali: You do not need any past experience to join Thai boxing. However, it would be helpful if you join taster sessions. Attending our regular sessions on Wednesdays and Saturdays should give enough practice to get the hang of it. Once you become more experienced, fighter sessions are also available.
Thai boxing helped me relieve stress and gave me so much energy. It increased my strength and stamina and motivated me to keep trying harder
Q: What inspired you to join?
Bhupali: Looking at my friend fight during her interclub made me want to join Thai boxing and attend sessions regularly as it made me realize how important self-defence can be. From my own experience I have realised how much of a great impact it has on mental health. Thai boxing helped me relieve stress and gave me so much energy. It increased my strength and stamina and motivated me to keep trying harder. Apart from that, it is a very great form of exercise.
Q: How would a Fresher go about joining?
Bhupali: Join our Facebook group and follow our Instagram page where we post our general training sessions. All first classes will be free for you to try out.
Q: How much does it cost to join? Do you need any equipment or clothing?
Bhupali: Firstly, A gym membership would be required, followed by Thai boxing membership which would be £20 for this academic year. After getting the membership, it would be £3 at the door per session. A £20 card can also be bought for 10 sessions. You don’t need any equipment as we have it all provided for you, just come in some comfy sports clothes!
Q: What do competitions look like? How often do you compete?
Bhupali: For competitions there are non-decision fights for beginners where it is quite friendly and very controlled. Then there are also decision fights, where there will be a ‘crowned’ winner at the end and full amateur rules apply which is more for those with experience. We have around 2-3 interclubs per term. The interclubs involve travelling to different universities where lots of unis come together to compete against each other. For the fights/competitions, you are always paired with someone who has similar experience and weight.
We have planned some creative and safe socials with limited people which we are planning on doing this year
Q: Do you have to compete to get involved?
Bhupali: Not at all, many of our members just come for general sessions to get a good sweat on as Thai Boxing is mainly cardio.
Q: What does Thai Boxing offer in terms of socials?
Bhupali: For socials we usually do both drinking and sober socials, we have had great nights out at Crisis, Rock City and Ocean. We also do pizza nights where we watch fights and we will be trying to do more socials such as ‘cheese and wine’ or game nights
Q: On the topic of socials, what COVID-19 measures will the team take? How different do you anticipate things to be?
Bhupali: Due to the COVID-19 situation, safety and comfort of our society will be our first priority. We will make sure that the government rules will be followed during our socials (especially social distancing) which means that club nights such as Crisis and Ocean will unfortunately not take place. However, we have planned some creative and safe socials with limited people which we are planning on doing this year.
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