Ask her what her best attributes are and Maggie will quickly chime, “look at me, I’m sooo not scary or intimidating!”
While that may not sound like the typical skill set for a Muay Thai fighter, we think they’re great attributes for greeting you at reception and putting people at ease. As a trainer, she’s encouraging, patient and fun! Maggie is our testimonial that you don’t have to be naturally athletic or coordinated to excel in a sport. But watch her kick or hold pads – and you’ll soon realise that this girl kicks ass!


How did you get started in Muay Thai and what drew you to this sport?

My brother always wanted to learn boxing, so when he was eight, my mom found him a trainer. Naturally, as his big sister, I wanted to stay home, but my mum forced me into the car. I started my first session with the greatest frown of all time, but by the time I finished, I loved it so much that I didn’t want to study anymore. My mum actually refused to drive me to training because I wanted to quit school and train full-time! But kids. It’s all about balance. Stay at school! (laughs)

Were you a natural?

Errr, no. I was 12, unfit and really, really uncoordinated. I could never play ball sports because I lacked hand-eye coordination. It took me five months for my kicks resemble anything decent. What kept me going was the slow improvement, which lead me to believe that I had finally found a sport I could be good at. This means that whenever I see a beginner get disheartened, I can totally relate.

How has it changed you as a person?

Its given me the chance to experience team spirit and camaraderie that I never had previously.
A lot of people think that Muay Thai is a solo sport, because it’s you get into the ring alone. But after you start practicing, you realise you are surrounded by a lot of people. Coaches and sparring and training buddies (who send angry texts when you skip training!!).

How would you convince someone who was undecided or scared if they should give it a go?

Just give it a go! At JAI there are no scary people – everyone is super nice. The scariest thing are the people-shaped sweat patches that are left doing sit-ups! So be a good person and bring a sweat towel! Then there won’t be anything to be scared of!

I don’t want to fight or get hit. Is JAI the right place for me to train?

9 out of 10 people who come to training start with no intention to spar or fight – they just want to learn something cool and get fit! . The non-fighter’s classes are of full-body workouts consisting of hitting pads and bags. It definitely beats going to the gym!

There are so many different fads out there promising quick results. Why have you stuck with Muay Thai for so long?

While weight-loss one benefit of Muay Thai, for me it’s about sticking with something long term and getting into a lifestyle and mindset. Consistency is key – besides, I’ve found that anything that promises quick results soon lead to you bouncing back to the start.

Will I be surrounded by sweaty topless men and angry looking fighters?

In the time I’ve been here, I’ve trained with a total of ZERO topless men. Have I been a little disappointed? Maybe (laughs). If anything, I see some guys who overdress during training. Hats and track pants… hello??? As for the fighters – it’s pretty much impossible for you to know who is a fighter and who isn’t. They’re usually the ones who are up for a chat, or a spar.