I had been training for about six months before I had my first Muay Thai fight, not something I recommend to my students today, and not something I specifically planned for either, but nevertheless, I found myself at a smoker at the Muay Thai Academy in North Hollywood. The small gym was hot and crowded with students, family, friends, random fans of a sport not yet popularized in America. The ring was small, the canvas patched with duct tape and blood stained. I geared up in the small, one stall unisex, bathroom, put my Thai shorts on, my sports bra. Took out my jewelry, which at the time took about fifteen minutes, as I had ten or so odd piercings in my body.
I remember little of the fight, hopped up on an adrenaline and buzzing with nerves all I remember is getting punched hard a couple of times and thinking, “Holy shit, this girl wants to hurt me.” It was an unsettling realization. As strange as it sounds, the fact that this was a vicious sport hadn’t occurred to me yet. I was just a girl who loved to train Muay Thai.