Across continents and time zones, three introverts turn on their computers to sit in isolation and have a video call with each other. What an amazing world. But this is the thing, not one of those three introverts comes off as such because each of us is responsible for sharing a great deal about our paths in Muay Thai with the larger world: Sean Fagan is Muay Thai Guy, Paul Banasiak is Muay Thai Athlete, and I’m 8limbs.us. Our love for Muay Thai allows us to find common ground about which to speak openly, but it’s the platform of being able to be comfortable in our own quiet rooms that allows us to speak openly as well. If either of these very nice and personable fellows had asked me to come meet them for coffee to discuss exactly these same things, for example, it would be much harder for me to overcome my shyness and go.
But what we share of ourselves online has a lot to do with being able to speak into the Ether and then getting used to the Ether speaking back to us. Nobody is entirely one way or another and introverts can put on a public persona just as much as the most outgoing of us can enjoy a night at home with a book or Netflix binge. What’s interesting about introverts having a public persona on the internet versus an extrovert doing the same is that the motivations behind it are quite different. An extrovert, largely, wants the focus to be on himself and for the thing he’s doing to highlight a quality about him: look how badass I am for being interested in fighting. An introvert, by contrast, wants the focus to be on the thing he’s doing and highlights a quality about that thing: look how badass fighting is, don’t you find it interesting too?
My own podcast partner Emma wrote about her Introversion here
As a trinity, Sean, Paul and my experiences as fighters are all quite different. We’re different sizes, men and women experience gyms and sport differently, we’re all from the East Coast but different gyms and trainers and peers… all of these things make a big difference in personal experience but the similarities of a shared interest override those differences. The struggles are similar; the triumphs are similar. This is why when you put yourself out there, the number of people who get something out of the message and have something positive to offer in return is far greater than the number of people who are hell-bent on being jerks. They’re loud, but they’re a small minority.
I like talking to Sean and Paul. Because they’re a team on the Podcast and I was the guests, I got to do a lot more talking than would be the case in a more normal conversation. But I enjoyed it because Paul and Sean are genuinely interested in the topics we covered. They’re intelligent and laid back type dudes, so the conversation flowed easily and it felt very much like it might if we were sitting together in a room. That very same thing bridges the Muay Thai community across the globe: sitting alone in your room after training, feeling like you had a shit session or beaming because you were a rockstar today, being able to connect with someone across the globe who says, “yeah I’ve been there too,” or “congratulations, you’re awesome!” is invaluable. It’s the kind of thing we should all be responsible for maintaining.
Happily, because of this kind of community, I’m very excited to be spending two days at the Khongsittha Nak Muay Nation Training Camp in August. I’ll get to experience the camp and train along with the folks already settling into their grind, and the second day I’ll offer a clinch clinic from my perspective as someone who has learned a lot through the process of seeking out bits and pieces of technique in the rolling waves of Thai style “learn by doing for hours on end” approach. It works! But for the purposes of transmitting information and technique that can be brought home in short order, giving a clinic on what I’ve learned so far is something of the “Cliff’s Notes” to the years I’ve spent becoming a clinch specialist. The camp will be hosted by Paul, and there is a very good chance that Sean will be there too, bringing us all together, this time in real space.
This is how Sean describes the ground we cover in the podcast:
- What made her decide to first travel to Thailand to train Muay Thai.
- How after her first trip to Thailand all she could think about was how to make it back.
- Why she decided to move her life to The Land Of Smiles to pursue her passion for Muay Thai.
- The steps she took to make her dream a reality… and the ups and downs that she’s faced while pursuing it.
- How gambling plays a MAJOR role in fighting – and how she believes it’s not as bad as most westerners believe.
- Gambling lingo and etiquette and how the “sidebet” is important for her making enough money to live.
- Why she initially lived in Chaing Mai but then decided to live in the infamous city of Pattaya.
- What her website and new podcast are all about and how they’ve been an integral part of her journey.
- Different types of logistics when it comes to living in Thailand, including visas, picking a gym and more.
And if you are loving podcast on Muay Thai, check out my podcast with fighter and blogger Emma Thomas: Two Ladies in the Kingdom on iTunes. You download them individually here, in these articles.
In the Muay Thai Guys podcast we talk about the Muay Thai Roundtable and the Women Only section there.