Doctore's Muay Thai - Swindon
In the first of a new series of articles we take a look at the background and ethos behind our partnering clubs and gyms around the country. This week we caught up with James Fisher, coach at Doctore's Muay Thai in Swindon. 1) How long have you been in the industry and what is your background? I started learning martial arts in 2008, it was a mixture of JKD, Combat Submission Wrestling, Kickboxing and Muay Thai. Watching the UFC is what got me interested in Mixed Martial Arts. I had only been training a while and my eagerness and ego found me competing in white collar boxing matches, semi pro mma and then eventually going from muay Thai interclubs and novice fights all with mixed results. 6 White Collar Boxing Matches, 3 W, 1 L,1 D. 2 Novice Muay Thai Fights, 1 W, 1 L, 0 D Semi Pro MMA – 0 W,2 L, 0 D. I won, I lost, I learnt. 2) What was the inspiration behind starting your academy? When I first started training my only interest was smashing pads and possibly fighting. I didn’t like holding pads or helping the new people; I was just out for me. As I progressed as a student learning more and getting a deeper passion for Muay Thai, I was asked to help out with classes and assisted in teaching ladies kickboxing and even helped work a fighters programme. Several things happened while I was going through this transition. I found I had good way with talking to people and helping them. One of my friends who had been training much longer than me had just came back from touring with his band, was in one of the classes I was taking. Just as I was telling the guys and girls what to do, he turned to me and said “you are not my instructor, I have been doing this longer than you". At first I was very put out by the comment, but it gave me the drive to be even better. As the months progressed, he saw the passion I had for Muay Thai and my enthusiasm when planning classes. He praised me for my efforts in Coaching the Thai team and the support and help I provided when he was training to compete. This was during the time of Spartacus blood and sand and is where we thought of the gym name Doctores was born. That was just the build-up, there are 2 main reasons for starting Doctores. I loved training at my old club. I enjoyed the classes but couldn’t put my stamp on it, so had to respect my instructor and trust the direction he was taking his club. Reason number 2 was that in 2013 I found I had been suffering a severe spinal cord injury due to an RTA in 2011, mis-diagnosed for 2 years ( it’s just Muscle damage Mr Fisher) the spinal cord compression and crushed discs Should of and Could still leave me Paraplegic, if I fall wrong or get hit hard to the head neck area, this meant stopping training, no more fighting, no extreme sports, I was crushed (like the 2 discs in my neck). I had a choice to make, roll over and quit let life beat me, sit at home crying that life’s unfair, or take a plunge and start my own Muay Thai school, keeping involved in a sport that had already saved my life twice. Now a third time. Started martial arts to combat stress and depression, the training and conditioning is the only reason I walked (limped) away from the RTA. The mental toughness from training, and the love of my family friends and my passion for Muay Thai have kept me focused. Teaching people is something I have found I am good at, I enjoy watching people develop themselves. I am still in the early stages of building the academy. It’s the best thing I have done and I will be coaching for as long as I can. 3) What is your favourite piece of training equipment and why? I have yet to get this set up in the gym, The MTG work Station or as I call it “The play box 630 x station 4” The reason this is my favourite is you can throw elbows and knees all day and no one gets hurt. However the most valuable and essential training aid is a training partner, without them you have no one to work pads, spar or help push you to make you better. 4) Do you have any future plans or ambitions for your academy? I have many plans and ambitions, some I’m keeping under my hat because of thunder stealers. I recently started teaching children’s classes so building up the Mini Marvels, Destiny’s Contenders and Future Heroes. My ambition is to have the best Muay Thai school in the southwest, catering for everyone from toddlers to teens, to mums, dads and grandparents, people with disabilities, focusing on fitness fun and the art of fighting. I would love to coach some future champions, see them fight from local domestic level to massive UK shows like Yokkao and even get abroad to compete in Europe, America and obviously Thailand. 5) What advice would you give to a beginner looking to start training at your academy? The first bit of advice is don’t say you are going to start at the gym to get fitter, you are only lying to yourself. Doing Muay Thai will get you fitter, faster, stronger and more motivated than a few reps and a selfie. Muay Thai is more than just punches, kicks, knees and elbows, although they are the 8 points. It’s a progression of self, fitness, strength and mind set. There are options to grade and to compete from interclub, novice level to pro, but you don’t have to fight. Lastly, don’t be scared to come in on your own. We are friendly bunch. Don’t worry if you have no previous experience, 9 years ago I could hardly throw a punch.
- Gary Thompson