Monday, October 31, 2011

Canadian Sandra Bastian fights in MuayThai Premier League Holland

Sandra Bastian, Canada
The MuayThai Premier League comes to Holland this weekend, and Canadian fighter Sandra Bastian takes on Julie Kitchen from Britain at 63.5 kgs. Sandra took some time out from training for a virtual-chat with us.

Her fight record stands at 31 wins 9 losses 16 KO as an amateur MuayThai fighter and 4 wins 1 loss 1 KO as a pro.

Sandra's trophy cupboard is just a little full with belts going back to her 2004 North American title and silver at the IFMA world championships. More space was needed in 2006 with for a gold medal at the IFMAs and ‘Best Female Fighter’. Three years ago she was WKA World Champion, and took bronze at the IFMA games.

Why keep fighting?

Tall with the rangy muscles of someone who punches a bag more often than she lifts weights, Bastian says the sport is so much more than fighting. “What other sport pushes you to your limits, lets you travel the world and meet the most amazing people?"
 It is a community of people that come together as one. I am so thrilled to have found Muay Thai.” So even with all that bling, she still has the drive to compete.
Bastian adds the cultural aspect of MuayThai is important to her. “The spiritual side of Thai boxing mesmerizes me. I love watching and learning and this sport always has room to do both.”

Challenge of international fights

Women fighters get to compete internationally quite early in their careers, often due to a lack of fighters in their home country. This can be quite a learning experience, says Bastian who fights out of Mike Miles’s gym in Calgary, Alberta.
“I don't believe countries make styles. Everyone I have fought has had their own way of doing certain things and each one of them has taught me something,” she says.

Sandra Bastian doing Ram Muay PIC Dale Shirley

Growth of women's fighting

At 42 Bastian has enough experience to remember when just meeting another woman fighter was special. Looking at the growing scene today, she sounds a little envious of the options opening up now.

“I am excited for the upcoming fighters,” she says. “They will have opportunities that I didn't. With Clifton Brown doing the MPL series I am hoping it will make Muaythai a sport that is bigger than the UFC.”

Working as an instructor, Bastian is playing her own role in growing the sport. She says: “I have had the opportunity to travel the world and I have been fortunate enough to be able to teach and share what I have learned.”

And after training ...

Outside the ring, Basitan is one of the growing number of mothers who don’t see any contradiction between parenting and fighting. “I have 3 boys: Dylan aged 20, Dawson aged 17 and Dalton aged 14. They are my biggest supporters and I love them dearly.” 

And not to leave anyone out, she adds that she ‘also loves dearly” her boyfriend of four years, Chris.
That growing brood meant making a few adjustments to the traditional life of a boxer; balance had to find its way. Bastian says it’s gotten easier as her kids get older. She says: “I remember taking Dalton to the gym to train when he was 2. He would sit in his stroller, watch me train then get to run around after. Now Dawson works at the gym part time so I actually see him more and Dylan trains along side me.”
And while it might sound difficult, she grins and says: “It has been our way of life for 12 years. We work together to make it work for all of us.”

MPL in Holland

Sandra will get in the ring on Saturday with talented British fighter Julie Kitchen – who brings 13 world titles from different bodies to the table – and her final words are the ones every coach loves to hear.

She said: “I think it will be a good fight. I'm looking forward to it.”

The other women's fight on Saturday at the MPL is between Valentina Shevchenko, Peru and Ilona Wijmans, Holland.



Caley said...

42!!! Wow good on you Sandra.... wow its even making me think ill come back after having a baby!! Looking forward to seein the result for this one!!
Caley x

niamh said...

@Caley - So two things - 1, she is incredible. I just assume fighters are in their 20s or 30s, inspiring stuff. 2 - are you pregnant?! :) and if not, when's your own next fight?

Anonymous said...

Hardly an interview but a great article. Love to see an Alberta athlete achieving great things.

niamh said...

@Anon - thanks ...I think! And yes it's great to see Sandra still out there and still winning.