Today I had the chance to catch up with Blair while he had a little break from training our fight team. Blair teaches all of our Evening Muay Thai and Teenager classes, trains our whole Fight Team, and does Personal Training here at Urban. Blair has been practicing Muay Thai for over 12 years and his drive and passion have had incredible results among the Urban Family.
Hey Blair, I’m glad your arms are sore today so you have a chance to talk to me for a bit! What drew you to Muay Thai in the first place?
Well, I had been training Karate for a few years and got invited to a sparring session in a shed on a farm back in NZ where they trained Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai, and MMA. I got dropped in the first round and realised while I was laying on the floor that Muay Thai was probably a bit more effective self-defence than what I’d learned in Karate. It was bad, I couldn’t chew right for weeks.
Ah – bet that was humbling! How long did it take to get rid of your karate habits?
I think about 4-5 months later I went over to Thailand to train for a month, and by the end of that I definitely felt pretty solid in my Muay Thai. It was so amazing training over there.
Where was your favourite place to train?
I trained at 13 coins in Bankok, Saenchai was training there at the time. I sparred him once, it was so fun; I obviously got my arse kicked for 2 rounds solid, but it was just an awesome experience.
Ah man that sounds terrifying, but very cool. So why Urban? When did you find us?
A guy at my work recommended it to me, and then when I came in and met Richie Walsh and Nathan Corbett and it just felt like a place I wanted to be at. Good vibes, and great people straight away; they hadn’t been opened long at that point, but it just felt good being here. It’s still the same now, the people are the main reason I’m still here and still love it so much.
And what do you do when you’re not here?
Nap and rest, spend time with my girlfriend and play with my dog Bailey. Just being happy and making other people happy. Telling jokes.
Oh right, it’s of your many talents for sure… so you’re the main trainer for our whole fight team – what’s that like? What do you like about training and cornering fighters?
Definitely watching the change in the fighters; watching them grow and develop over time. I also really enjoy the fighter and trainer relationship, there’s nothing really like it. And in the fights, I love the adrenaline and buzz of being in the corner and trying to read the fight to give my fighter the best advantages.
What do you miss about fighting?
Apart from being super fit, nothing at all. I was a walking injury when I was fighting haha.
What can people expect if they train with you?
Lots of jokes and laughter, and lots of hard work, but lots of encouragement.
You’ve had a ton of success with all your clients, especially with Kyl, and Davey completely changing their bodies around, and Bronte just winning her first fight.
Yeah, it’s been so cool – it’s just amazing to watch how much people grow.
So that’s all the good stuff, what’s the hardest part of training other people?
The toll it takes on my body – Getting kicked day in and day out really takes it out of you, but it’s totally worth it.
Oh man I bet – how was that transition, from being a fighter to being a trainer? What have you noticed that’s changed about yourself?
I’m getting fatter haha, well now [that] I’m focusing all my energy on the fighter and not on myself. As all of our fighters are so different, I spend a lot of time working on trying to read them to figure out what makes them tick (or cry) so I can keep them emotionally and physically motivated.
Any last words?
Come on down and give it a try, I love seeing new faces and meeting new people!
Come in to Urban Fight Gym any day of the week and meet the Crew! Our Class Timetable is here: TIMETABLE