A few years back I was making a film about Natalie Fuz’s final Muay Thai fight before her retirement in December of 2009. I got a media pass to film at Friday Night Fights at the Hall at St. Paul where the fights would be held and because I’d arrived with Kru Nat I was set loose in a pretty empty, pre-event space. Glorious.
I saw Helene Garnett who had flown in from England to fight Natalie (who later would become my fight coach in NYC), long before the Hall filled up and I couldn’t stop watching her. It didn’t even dawn on me that she was Kru Nat’s opponent but I was certain she was a fighter – it’s in the way she sits, how she walks and carries herself.
To my surprise Ying Ross, who was also filming Nat’s retirement fight for a longer documentary she’s been filming for years, approached me to help interview Helene before the fight. I was nervous, but I accepted and I’m so happy I did. I was caught off guard and didn’t know anything about Helene, so I couldn’t really ask her personal, professional-media-informed questions, but she was open and generous with me and answered thoughtfully and concisely. I liked her very much.
Since that match I’ve been very happily a friend of Helene’s Facebook page. Her updates are some of the funniest words put to social media “print” and she trains and fights hard, which is inspiring. And now she’s just started a Fan Page. I’m a fan and I think you should be too:
Helene Garnett in some ways represents the state of female Muay Thai by training in a traditional Thai legacy outside of Thailand itself, in Sheffield, England. She’s a no-frills fighter who loves this art and sport and dedicates herself to it with the end goal being Muay Thai – and her training shows in her fights.