Jeff Noel

52 Years Old

I didn’t find Muay Thai, Muay Thai found me. I was looking at getting active again at the age of 52 after not going to a gym for over 1 and a 1/2 years. I had no intentions of walking into the gym at that time because boot camps were for GIRLS (man was I wrong). So with the urging of Marlene, I tried it, and then tried it again. Then I wanted a bigger push so I started with Muay Thai beginners class; loved it. 

Over a short period of time I still wanted to be more active and really didn’t know what to do. I thought of going back to a traditional gym to supplement what I was doing at the Muay Thai gym and also thought of joining the local track team. Through all these thoughts, I had been noticing the fight team train. It looked like fun and perhaps a push I was needing? But how would a 52 year old be able to join this team of 14-35 year old fighters?

As with most things in life, I overthought it (really overthought) then I made the call to Sandra Bastian, the coach of the team. I explained what I wanted and was told I was able to come try, but it would make anything I had done before look like child’s play.

So I tried, and OMFG did I get my ass handed to me. I still remember the first class like it was yesterday. It was long, it was hard, and the coach was upset with the fighters so it was, as the team would later tell me, one of the hardest practices they had ever had to that point. I think the grueling nature of the first class is what hooked me because I do not fail!

Fast forward to today, and what keeps me going is the sport, the team, the mental push and the fact that it has become a couples activity for Marlene and myself. Also, the fact that the coach has now become my Kru ❤️👍🙏🏻.

I have found my place in this family. I will never fight, not because of not wanting to but, because of age. However, I go to every class to try to out train the fighters.....and that is the mental push that I need. I will never be good, but I will die trying to be better, and that it what it’s all about for me.

Kaitlynn Jorgensen

25 Years Old

When I started Martial Arts, I never dreamed that it would have changed my life so drastically. When I started training Muay Thai with Kru and Chris, it was challenging, and something that I really have had to work at. 

When the opportunity to fight came back in April of 2017, I took that chance. I was excited and nervous to push myself out of my comfort zone. My main goal back then was to just fight, but now my goals have shifted. I still want to fight, but now I fight because I love the growth that I have experienced because of it. 

I now have more confidence than I have ever had in my whole life, I have a great team, I have people that push me everyday, but most importantly, I have a family. I fight because I want to be better than I was yesterday, and I want to make my Family (gym family and actual family) proud. Plus, punching people in the face is kind of cool!

Anita Baker

43 Years Old

I started to reduce stress, to have a great workout. To my surprise, what Muay Thai brought to me was so much more. Muay Thai brought an avenue to develop courage, the strength to face my fears, I slowly developed the will to push myself and to find out what I am capable of. I grew up shy, quiet and always overlooked. What I discovered in myself was the the fight. The fight I never realized I had. To me, that meant my personal fight to be acknowledged, the fight to be taken seriously, the fight to be opportunity to own my path in life.... to embrace and own MY fight. That is why I love Muay Thai and why I feel the pull to fight. Such a beautiful and soul changing experience.

Bob MacMillan

40 Years Old

I am a father of five, a teacher, a small scale farmer and a former professional hockey player. I began my foray into Muay Thai with Kru Sandra and Chris Fair at the age of 39 as a way to get fit and burn off whatever energy I had left in the day. As I began to grow in the sport, I found my mind becoming sharper, my mood lighter and my physical self stronger. The sport is not only a way to learn how to throw strikes and defend oneself, but a vehicle to improve your mental acuity and a format to push your limits. Training for fighting in Muay Thai has allowed me to feed my competitive appetite in an exhilarating way, far more intense than any of my training for hockey. The greatest part of the journey though, has been the new friendships that have developed in this environment. People who have a desire to push their limits and support each other in our successes and failures. There is not always a tonne of talking, but a silent recognition, and supportive understanding, of the highs and lows we are experiencing together. It has been an amazing journey, and we are only in year two.

Kendra Reicheld

My Muay Thai

My Muay Thai story starts with a friend who needed someone to accompany her to a gym I had never heard of to try a type of kickboxing I had ever heard of. I was up for trying something new, but I fully excepted that this gym experience would involve trying to jockey for space among a large number of aloof males with big attitudes and egos. I was shocked to find out that I was totally wrong and I could actually not just “fit in,” but feel happy and at home in a Muay Thai gym. Equally shocking, I found instructors who believed I could “do” Muay Thai and would put effort into helping me improve and pushing me beyond whatever limits I had (subconsciously) set for myself. I also realize that the people who are attracted to a true Muay Thai Gym (that is one that truly embodies the respect honour, integrity and spirituality inherent in the sport) are some of the most amazing people that I would ever have the opportunity to meet and I would always be so grateful for their company. Very quickly, Muay Thai took ownership of a large portion of my soul. In my life outside the gym, Muay Thai calmed and grounded me; building the skills and confidence to stand my ground physically somehow led me to me being more confident standing my ground figuratively as well.

I train in Muay Thai because everything about the sport, the people I train with, and the gym itself, makes me happy. The workouts can be intense, yet it (usually) doesn’t feel like “work”since I truly enjoy the challenge of trying to improve my skills. I find a Muay Thai workout meditative and restorative, and the fitness benefits are almost just like a nice bonus. Over the years, the thought of becoming a fighter has been tempting, but, aside from being plain old scared of stepping into the ring, concerns about the time commitment it would require and the potential fallout from a concussion have kept me in the “non - fighter” category. Although sometimes getting my kids ready for school in the morning feels like a title fight...

Marlene Noel

40 years old

I wanted to try Muay Thai after trying out Kru Sandra’s morning boot camps. Starting out with beginner classes and was hooked immediately, I was in love with the full body conditioning and how much fun the classes were. I have a very addictive personality (LOL) and after doing these classes for a while I asked Kru if she thought I could do the advanced class. Her response “physically, I think you could do it...mentally, I’m not sure if your there yet. But if you want, come try it”
So I did, and it was one of the hardest workouts I’d done up to that point. It was brutal but awesome all at the same time. I walked out of the gym that night and sat in the car with Jeff and was literally saying WTF?!? But was also hooked because now I had the challenge of trying to get to that level.
When training with this team, we all make each other better. The journey of learning this sport is an amazing path and to share it with Kru, Chris and Team Bastian is something I will never take for granted. The bond that is created in our gym is like nothing I’ve experienced. The respect and willingness to help each other is amazing and I have never belonged to a gym this tight knit before. I never thought I would want to actually use the training and step in the ring but after training for a while I wanted to give it a shot. The training leading up to a fight is probably the most intense training I’ve ever done, not only on a physical level but the mental push needed to get there I could not have done without Kru, Chris and the team.
The mental growth that goes along with training is one of my biggest wants, and it keeps me in check every day. Training is hard and it can break you down fast, but if I’m there to learn I walk away stronger because of it. This sport will always be a part of my life now, it’s a love I could never let go of. I could go anywhere, to any gym to exercise and be fit but what truly makes me love Muay Thai is all the other teachings that goes along with it. The absolute respect, humility, and love shown by all in our gym.

Jordan Kinnard (Fancy Pants)

My Muay Thai

I started training with Kru Sandra late in 2016 to learn basic Muay Thai and increase my overall fitness level. By April 2017 I was stepping into the ring for the first time. I fight to test myself and showcase the evolution of my Muay Thai. Training with Kru Sandra and Coach Chris has been an extremely rewarding experience, they have pulled together a great team full of amazing people which has become like a second family to me. I could not have hoped for a better group of people to explore my Muay Thai journey with.

Brenna Jardine

16 Years Old

I started doing Muay Thai when I was 10 years old. I started because I was new in town and had done karate my whole life and wanted to try a new martial art. It was a rocky start for me, but eventually I ended up falling in love and developing a deep passion for the sport. It was not long after that I started to train with Kru Sandra, it took a year before I got into the ring for the first time but as soon as I did any hope of having a “normal” teenage life were gone, I was hooked on the rush of fighting.
The last 3 years have changed my life dramatically, training has given me a new found confidence I had never had, I was no longer a scared little girl who couldn't make eye contact with anyone, I am confident in myself and who I am. Through Muay Thai, I’ve found a place to belong to, a home away from home and a team that has now became a family. Training and fighting have given me skills that I will remember my whole life, and my love and passion for the sport is even more now then before. The sky truly is the limit for what the future holds.

Amanda Rogers

30 Years Old

I started training kickboxing in January of 2015. I kept driving past this gym on my way to work, and when I got there, I just happened to know the ladies instructor (Cara Robb) who told me to keep coming. All of the people that are now on my team were all so encouraging and supportive to also keep coming back well before I ever really truly met them. 

I hadn't ever had any athletic ventures in adult hood other than spin biking. As a kid, I did shot put, long jump, volleyball and basketball, but only really leveraged my height and had to have no technique in any of these things. While this wasn't traditional Muay Thai, I was hooked. The kicker (all pun intended) was being paired with Jordan Howes in one of my first mixed classes. It was my first time holding Thai pads and I didn't quite hold them right because he kicked through them and kicked me right in the face. (He was light and respectful which looking back now, I totally appreciate). I was hooked. I thought it was the coolest thing that you could legitimately kick someone in the face.

I originally never had any intentions of fighting -- I thought that was reserved for top athletes and people who were in great shape-- and as someone who's not very athletic, I didn't think I had "it", or that it would never be an option. So, I thought hey, let's try a tournament because I was curious. And I did horrible. But, I wanted to keep trying them to get better. 

Then, this cool thing happened, a wicked traditional Muay Thai teacher and their assistant coach fell into my life, and was actually in my corner at a tournament. And, I did a lot better. Then I thought, 'hey, I'm not as bad at this as I thought'. I started to learn how to leverage things like my height, learn how to clinch, and am starting to understand what traditional Muay Thai is all about vs just kickboxing, and brawling in sparring. Then it was hey, let's get you a fight. Really? Ok, I thought. It was by far the hardest thing I've trained for, and I know I still wasn't very good, that I didn't throw enough, and I didn't win. At first, I was really disappointed in myself, but it's motivated me.

Muay Thai also taught me something else: that there is a community within the fight community. There is an aspect of family and friendship that I didn't think I'd get. I thought I was signing up for classes and sure, I may say hi to some of the people there, but I've met some of my best friends that I would consider family from Muay Thai.

The biggest thing I've learned is without the confidence you build from showing up, and working on your skills and seeing the progress, you'll never move past where you were. You'll never believe in yourself until you do it, and you'll never see what you can achieve if you don't push yourself. All the time, consistently, and get out of your own way to learn something about yourself.

Jordan Howes

31 Years Old

I started training mma 9 years ago after watching a few UFCs and wanting to stay active after my lacrosse career had ended. I still train because it’s something that my wife and I do together and there is always something new to learn not only about the techniques but about ourselves. I have been able to push myself farther then I have before and learned so much about myself in the process. I fight and train because It makes me challenge myself mentally and physically, and that starts before you even get in the ring. I fell in love with this sport after learning about the history and culture around it. Seeing it first hand while travelling to Thailand really stapled my love for the sport. I really love how Kru and Chris have brought that and an amazing lineage to our gym.

Kim Howes

37 Years Old

I started martial arts in my early teenaged years, but was interested in trying something from a very young age. My childhood dream was to grow up to be Xena Warrior Princess, so I started kickboxing! Eventually that evolved into Muay Thai. I love the history and lineage that Muay Thai follows, and the community it creates. I started fighting because I wanted to push myself to the next level. I wanted to see if I could survive the fighter training, and the fight itself. Fighting or no fighting, I greatly value the training. It keeps my body and my mind strong. It creates bonds with people that you may never connect with otherwise. And its darn fun! I'm not sure what lies ahead of me as far as fighting goes, but I can say that it is a journey I am not done with yet.

Michelle Nagy

40 Years Old

I have always had an interest in martial arts and one day decided I would to try a “Lady’s Only” Muay Thai class. After my first week I was hooked. I discovered a sport that not only allowed me to push my level of fitness but one I have become passionate about. I train now because I enjoy the challenge both mentally and physically. I train now to be ready to compete. Muay Thai has made a positive impact in my life in more ways than one thanks to the gym, My Team and Coach Kru Sandra Bastian and Chris Fair.