Monday, November 16, 2015

Jorina Baars Muay Thai fighter learning from the hard times

Jorina Baars muay thai muaythai thai boxing netherlands Lion fight
As blood streamed out of a deep cut under Jorina Baar’s eye, the doctor said if it got worse he was calling the fight. Up to then her head wasn’t really in the fight but on hearing a loss was in the offing, something lit up inside. 

That something you see in the picture above was more than enough to win yet another belt; Lion Fight World title (65.6kgs). That by the way took her record to 38 wins 0 losses. Now the Dutch MuayThai fighter is searching for a major sponsor so she can focus on training. 

She lives, trains and works near her family, a strong support system for a professional career. I’ve followed Jorina from the sidelines, but it was only when we spoke that her respect for her father’s memory became clear.
She said: “My father passed away in 2006, two days after my European title fight. At that moment the European title was worth nothing at all, all I trained for was for nothing. I lost my dad whom I loved and still love very much, it certainly puts things in perspective of what is important. My dad was at my side for most of my fights - I miss him every day and every fight.”

And there’s been quite a few fights, mostly abroad. Unfortunately in spite of her success, she still works full-time. Jorina works for PPS Security, and it makes me smile to think of some drunk guy trying to push her around and getting a bit of a shock! 

She said: “My training schedule varies every week, because I work as security and bouncer in a concert hall and nightclub. I work evenings and nights. I live an hour from my workplace and work about 40 hours a week.”

Jorina Baars muay thai muaythai thai boxing netherlands Lion fight

In an ideal world she trains twice a day, four or five times weekly. But she adds glumly: “It happens frequently that I can only train three or four times a week and once a day. That's why we don't only train hard, we also train smart. It’s always a challenge to find a balance between work, training, and family.”

For your typical fighter that’s not such a big deal. But now twice-winner of the Lion Fight title, fights pop up all the time.

“I have to keep up with my training. When they call me, I'm ready at a moment’s notice, that's what champions do, stay ready and be ready to fight, this is my train of thought as I am always coming to win and would hate to lose, that's why I will always give it my all,” she says.

Jorina Baars muay thai muaythai thai boxing netherlands Lion fight Martina Zinkova
Jorina Baars Vs Martina Zindrova Lion Fight World title October 2015
So how did she deal with that cut? Pictures from the fight went everywhere on the internet, and even though it was below not above the eye, it was still potentially a game-changer for her Czech opponent Martina Zindrova. 

Jorina says: “That was the moment when I woke up and start the fight.  I did not have the preparation for this fight that my trainers and I had planned on.  I got busy with work and could not train as what we had planned. 

“The moment the doctor said ‘I let you fight but when the cut gets bigger and opens up further or doesn't stop bleeding, I will call the fight’ that obviously that got some fire under me. I had to turn up the pace; the word losing is not and will never be listed in my dictionary.”

Jorina Baars muay thai muaythai thai boxing netherlands Lion fight

So yes, for now she is happy with what she’s built. Happy and grateful to the team who’ve gotten her this far: family, friends, trainings partners, supporters, trainers Dennis Hekking, John Jongepier Edu Hogel, Andre Mannaart and her manager in the United States Johan DeLeeuw. 

Jorina says: “Besides being a fighter I am also a family person, I have everything in the Netherlands. My family, friends, work, gym, my life is here. Of course when things change in the future I will consider moving but for now I'm happy in the Netherlands.

“Thank you all for reading this and supporting me, I am fighting for you! Osu!”

You can find out more about Jorina at her website (where these pictures are from):  Jorina Baars 

She's also on Twitter @JorinaBaars  and Instagram @jojorinab


Unknown said...

Great article. Love Jorina Baars. Would love to see her one day compete in MMA or continue Kick Boxing.

real girl sport said...

@ The Force Yes, she's a great talent but I would prefer to see her staying in MT as that's so clearly her skillset. I'd hate to see a path developing where everyone from stand-up sports feels they have to go to MMA (unless they want to obviously!!). I'm sure BJJ women are starting to be asked the same things.

Anonymous said...

Wow, talk about tough! I could never!!!


real girl sport said...

@Laura - tough and a lovely lady to boot!

Unknown said...

I thought the government in Holland subsidies Kick boxing gyms so fighters are taken care of.

real girl sport said...

@Unknown - thanks for dropping by.
Good question, I haven't been able to confirm this properly yet one way or the other, I see from the Dutch Ministry of Sport they do fund certain elite-level coaches but it appears to be focused on Olympic sports and large-appeal sports like football/soccer.
I'm going to check with Jorina and also Ilonka Elmost, will do a post on it or at least a detailed comment here for you.
When I spoke with Jorina she never mentioned that as an option for her, it may be limited support.