Q: When and why did you start Muay Thai training?

A: I started Muay Thai a few years ago (not sure, maybe look that one up). My friend Karl is a member and had talked me into giving it a try. I had never done any type of martial arts and was keen for a challenge.

SSMT member Shay
SSMT member Shay

Q: What’s the most challenging thing when you first start training?

A: I felt incredibly uncoordinated and useless in the first few weeks, and was inconsistent with my attendances the early phases. I would go 3 or 4 times in a week, and then not come back for a few weeks. This was mainly due to myself being a bit of a perfectionist and was getting extremely frustrated with myself as I could not be good naturally. Once I started going regularly I could see results and only made me want to go more and more. Consistency is key I found!

Q: What keep's you coming back?

A: I keep coming back for the challenge, and the culture. Every session I feel myself improving in some way. I am a slow learner, and Coach Kar and Baz are very patient with beginners. The culture at Southside is excellent, there is no thug mentality or bravado. This is a huge drawcard for the club, as some places can be a bit aggressive. I also had some great PT sessions with Coach Kar who gave me running training. I was running 6 minute km’s initially, then moved down to 4:30km’s over longer distances with changing my technique and more running theory.

Q: Do you feel safer and more confident dealing with unforseen situations in the field?

A: I definitely feel a bit safer and more confident at work. Working as a Paramedic, sometimes situations can become a bit hostile. Violence should never be a solution, communication is the best weapon. However it is comforting to have a background is self defence if the situation was to escalate.

Q: Tell us something we don’t know about you?

A: I’m a high school dropout who used to weigh over 100 kilo working at hungry jacks, had no drive for life. Until my father had heart bypass surgery at 50, which made me wake up a bit to my health. I went to University got a degree in Nursing and then Paramedics. I have completed two 100km trailblazer challenges, multiple tough mudders and city to bay runs with my wife.

Q: Who changes the babies nappies during the night?

A: We take it in turns. However, being a shift worker my wife tends to put in a bit more! I’m lucky!

Q: What motto do you live by every day?

A: Give EVERYTHING a try. It’s ok to fail. To grow in life, you need to fail sometimes. It builds strength and character.