The Road to TBA: Brittany Gorham
Brittany is the newest member of The Cellar Gym’s Muay Thai fight team. She is currently preparing to compete at the upcoming 2018 TBA Classic Muay Thai Tournament in Des Moines, Iowa. This will not only be her first TBA tournament but it will also be her first official fight. We are so excited to watch her in the ring!
1. What is your weight class and current record?
Welterweight 0-0-0 (1 smoker fight)
2. How long have you been training Muay Thai?
I’ve been coming to the Cellar for 5 years, training in Muay Thai for 4
3. Have you ever competed at TBA before? If so, what has been your experience?
This will be my first time
4. How does a tournament differ from an ordinary fight?
For a tournament, it’s (hopefully) not one and done. In my bracket, I’ll have to fight 3 days in a row to win, and I’ll be taking on a few bruises with each fight, so I expect each day will be harder than the last.
5. Why did you choose to get into Muay Thai?
6. Why did you choose to get into fighting?
I’ve loved learning the art of Muay Thai. For years I didn’t think I would fight, but after a while you realize you need to spar to keep getting better and eventually you want to be able to test your skills in the ring.
7. Is fighting the same or different than you expected it to be?
I’d never considered before that getting hit is a mental skill: you have to get used to it and realize that just because it hurt, it doesn’t mean you’re injured, and just because someone else threw a punch, it doesn’t mean that you suck and are failing.
8. What was your first fight like? If you have never fought before… what are you most looking forward to?
I didn’t start getting really nervous until I was warming up, and then I was in the ring before I knew it. I don’t actually remember as much of the fight itself, but it was a lot of things that people warned me it would be: you’re nervous, you’re kind of disoriented, you’ve got tunnel vision, and the adrenaline is going. You also get very tired.
9. How have you grown since your first fight to now?
It’s only been a few weeks since my first fight, but overall in my training these past few months, I think I’ve learned a lot about pushing through hard moments to reach the finish line.
10. What would you say has been the biggest benefit to fighting?
Learning what I great support system I have around me, from my teammates and coaches, to my friends and my boyfriend. I didn’t know that so many people would cheer me on, believe in me, and encourage me so much.
11. What is your favorite part of getting ready for a fight? What is your favorite part of the actual fight?
The body transformation: I have visible arm muscles now My favorite part of the fight was whenever I stopped the other girl from hitting me; that or having a beer afterwards.
12. What is your least favorite part of getting ready for a fight? What is your least favorite part of the actual fight?
Heavy sparring is hard in every way, and so is losing all your free time during the week. Getting hit in the face isn’t fun.
13. What does a typical “fight camp” look like for you?
Long and steady. In March I started going to class every day, run in the mornings sometimes, and added weekly private striking lessons with Ben Locken (which have made a huge difference). In April, I added strength and conditioning at Horsepower (another huge difference!) and, in May, made it a goal to be exercising 1.5-2 hours/day 5-6 days/week. Now in these final weeks I’m up to 2 hours of Muay Thai and 1 hour of cardio or S&C 6 days/week.
14. What does a typical “fight diet” look like for you?
Instead of just starting a few weeks before the fight, I’ve been dieting since March, increasingly cutting down junk food, alcohol, and the overall amount of food I was eating (I already barely drink pop or have fast food). These last few weeks I’ve completely cut out alcohol, but otherwise it’s been more of an ‘all things in moderation’ diet, with more focus on protein and vegetables. I’ve lost about 25lbs and hope to keep most of it off!
15. How does it feel to fight alongside so many teammates?
It feels great to have such a large circle of people to train with! You learn and can practice different things against different sizes and skill levels.
16. How have your teammates and coaches helped you through this camp?
Encouragement. When I feel like it’s impossible for me to do something or like I’m just doing terribly, someone always seems to tell me that I’ve improved or that I had done something really well in the last sparring round. The positivity keeps you going.
17. What advice would you offer to someone who aspires to fight one day?
Set reasonable goals for yourself and you’ll feel awesome when you blow past them. And whenever you start to feel overwhelmed by everything you have to do (whether it’s the hours of training, the dieting, or something else), just tell yourself “Don’t think about it” and keep pushing through what’s in front of you right now