There is a stereotype with Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA, that is akin to a comic caricature . Blistered knuckles drag on the floor, over developed muscles burst from its uniform and testosterone drips from its nose like sweat. Like all caricatures, it is an exaggeration that is built on a partial truth and here is where that truth is dispelled.
Like any sport, hobby or art, there are those that are like a bloodhound on a scent. They live and breathe their pastime with more intensity than everyone else, but they are also the exception to the rule. The average Mixed Martial Art student works a day job, has a career, may be a student, a mother or a grandfather. MMA students come in every size, shape, age and gender. There are so many people participating in this sport, that you likely know someone who is training, but they never told you. And if they are a woman, then they may not have wanted to have to explain themselves.
This is Nicky. She is an insurance advisor. She works in a competitive field, where she focuses on delivering the best results for her clients. Some of her workdays extend into the evening and may be followed by an early breakfast meeting. For Nicky, going to N1 Thai at 401 Preston Street in Ottawa, is the best opportunity for her “to burn off a little steam and be with her friends.” When asked about training with men she responded, “we are like family here. Muay Thai is an ancient martial art that begins and ends with respect.” And when you see her kick, it is evident that Nicky can dish out whatever she takes in. “I feel like I have a lot of brothers now that are looking out for me,” she shares. “They help me to be better.”
There are many levels of Muay Thai Kickboxing and unlike most Martial Arts Schools, N1 Thai builds the curriculum is to suit the individual. Naaron Fijalkowski is the owner of N1 and when asked about the schools structure said, “It’s really about each persons goals. I studied with Masters in Thailand and learned that everyone needs a combination of group instruction and personal attention to develop skills.” When I asked one of the students what they thought they responded with, “Naaron gives the kind of attention that every student wants. Firm yet supportive”
N1 Thai Boxing Academy at 401 Preston Street in Ottawa is where MMA and Mixed Martial Arts are the vehicle, but personal development is the goal. They can be reached at 613 233 6981