Local martial arts club, Eilean Siar Muay Thai enjoyed a monumental night on October 22 when local man Mike Schouten (21) undertook his first Muay Thai fight.
Mike has been trained by British and Scottish Champion Norrie Mackenzie, a native of Lewis, for the past three years at his club Eilean Siar Muay Thai. Training is open to anyone wanting to be part of the club which attracts members from all age groups and walks of life.
For the 3 months leading up to the fight, Norrie designed a training format and mentored Mike through specialist “fighter training” which is considerably more gruelling & challenging than basic Muay Thai. Norrie goes on to tell us, “Fight training is 6 days a week for months on end. Not only do you have to be at the peak of physical fitness, strength and technical sparring - you have to prepare for the fight mentally. Often the fight is won by the fighter with the stronger mind, the fighter who wants it the most.” Norrie’s 13 years of ring fighting experience undoubtedly allow him to pass on his knowledge and skills to young, upcoming fighters such as Mike.
Thirty one members of ESMT made the long journey down to Johnstone, to support Mike & the debut of the club on the Scottish fight scene. This is testament to the supportive atmosphere in the club and was commented on by numerous people at the show. Indeed, ESMT enjoyed the largest group of supporters from a club on the night. ESMT was also very grateful to be supported by a sponsor, “Highland Fuels” to make the necessary investments for competitive fighting on the mainland.
With only a gum shield and gloves for protective outerwear, Mike took just 46 seconds to dismantle his opponent in the ring. A devastating explosion of roundkicks, head and body boxing stunned his opponent who was stopped by a technical knock out after receiving a final crushing knee to the body. The Islanders roared in proud support as Mike had his hand held aloft by the ref and both fighter and trainer enjoyed the moment of victory in the ring.
Mike said: “We trained so hard for my first fight. I wanted to showcase that we know what we are doing up here! I wanted the KO and I got it – I couldn’t have asked for a better start to my career.”
With ESMT now firmly on the fight scene following Mike’s devastating debut, the club looks forward to more competitive events and fights. Norrie hopes to train Mike for another fight before the end of 2011 and to train various other members of ESMT to take part in competitive sparring bouts (interclubs).
“Fighting is 100% optional for club members as many simply like to train for fitness,” said Norrie. “There is never any pressure to compete although some in the club are feeling inspired after the show in Johnstone. In fact, national magazine “Fighters” is currently putting together a feature on the club for an upcoming edition due for publication in December this year. ESMT is especially unique in its location as the most north westerly Muay Thai club in Europe. Watch this space for more Muay Thai developments as the club takes it to the next level on the fight scene.”
New members are always welcome to a range of classes on offer. Please see www.eileansiarmuaythai.co.uk for details.