Age is just a number: Spotlight on JUNE KOW

Hi Kombat Crew,

This month, our member SPOTLIGHT is on June Kow – Longstanding Malaysian Mama and inspiration to us all! Enjoy. 🙂

When did you first decide to join Kombat Arts?

I joined in the summer of 2006 after my kids had been going for a while. I’d always drive them to the classes and want to attend, but I was always intimidated at the thought of joining. Eventually I decided to give it a try, and I loved it.

What is your favourite class and why?

I love the Muay Thai classes because they have the perfect mix of conditioning and technique training. The instructors are always coming up with new ways to whip us into shape while also teaching us new techniques and allowing us to put them to use in fight simulations.

How often do you train at Kombat Arts?

I try to go at least four times a week. Monday-Thursday after work. Sometimes I will miss a couple classes here and there, ideally I also try to make up for those missed classes by going on Friday or Saturday, but that rarely happens. Initially I went 6 days a week but I realized I wanted to spend more time at home with the family so I cut it down to 5 days and then down to 4.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What is your favorite component/aspect of Kombat Arts? (The classes, the instructors, the students, the atmosphere, etc…) 

I feel like Kombat Arts is a family. Everyone there is really close and very supportive of me. The atmosphere is very welcoming, which wouldn’t be possible without the staff and other students.

Why should others join?

I’m always trying to convince my friends to come to Kombat Arts with me. I tell them that the workout is amazing, and it doesn’t feel like a boring workout in a typical gym; it’s fun and exciting. The staff are very friendly and make the experience very comfortable.

What benefits have you learned/garnered from being a part of Kombat?

I’ve become healthy and happy with my body. Before I joined, I was afraid of becoming a frail old woman, but after years of training I’ve become confident and I feel good.

You recently received your Advanced Red level designation in Muay Thai – How did that make you feel? Why was it important to strive for such an accomplishment?

Ever since I’ve joined, I always thought advancing levels were too far out of reach for me. In each instance, it was only a last minute decision to set the goal of passing each level. This encouraged me to train. I always thought “I didn’t think I could do the last one but I did it, so I’ve got to try again for this one“. The leveling system is important to me because it reflects my commitment to Muay Thai after all these years. It’s nice to have something to show for it.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What advice do you have for others who feel intimidated by martial arts or think they are “too old” to participate in something as demanding as Muay Thai?

I’ve always wanted to learn martial arts, even when I was a child and even now I love to watch kung fu movies. Unfortunately I never got a chance to learn, but after all these years I’ve still got the urge. Then when my kids were in the Muay Thai class the only thing stopping me were the big muscular guys and girls that were so good. When I joined the classes, I realised that it isn’t very regimented and strict as other gyms are. It makes me feel comfortable because I can join in at my own pace, but also have the encouragement of the instructors and students. I did feel very intimidated at first and I would stand at the very far end where nobody could notice me. After a while, with encouragement from Instructors, staff, and senior students, I began to feel comfortable. Everybody is so friendly at the gym and to me, this is my 2nd home.  After 8 years in Muay Thai, I still love it.  You’re never too old to learn something new.

Is there an aspect to the gym that we could improve upon?

I would personally like to have more stretching and abdominal workouts incorporated into the Muay Thai classes. I know there is a yoga class available but I do not have the time to join that class. I know there are time restrictions, and I wouldn’t like the stretching to take away from the actual class. Maybe the class could be extended to an hour and a half?

Any other comments?

I just turned 57 years old. I would like to continue to do Muay Thai for as long as my body will allow me to. My only regret is that I did not start sooner.

THANK YOU JUNE for being such a dedicated student and a fine example to us all! We love having you as such an integral part of KOMBAT.

ARTICLE BY: Alice Soon @AliceSoon1

Alice has been a Kombat Arts member since 2007.  When not getting punched and kicked at the club, she also works as a Marketing Manager by day and an epic novel writer by night.