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The Road to TBA: Darcie Thomsen

Darcie is often referred to as the “monster” by many of her training partners. She is tiny but tough! She throws some mean elbows in the clinch and many of her fights have been stopped via TKO! She is currently preparing to compete in the B-Class division at the upcoming 2018 TBA Class Muay Thai Tournament in Des Moines, Iowa. This will be her 3rd time competing at TBA and she has been working hard to bring home another belt!

1. What is your weight class and current record?

I have fought in multiple weight classes, but I usually fight anywhere from 105-112 pounds. My current record is 3-3.

2. How long have you been training Muay Thai?

I can’t remember exactly, but about 3 years.

3. Have you ever competed at TBA before? If so, what has been your experience?

This year will be my third time competing at TBA. I really look forward to this tournament each year, because it’s the largest gathering of amateur Muay Thai fighters in North America. It’s really inspiring to be surrounded by hundreds of people who share your passion for Muay Thai for four straight days.

4. How does a tournament differ from an ordinary fight?

The tournament is different than an ordinary fight for several reasons. First, in a tournament you have to be prepared to fight more than once in just a few days. Second, we usually have a big fight team at the tournament, whereas at an ordinary fight you might be lucky if you have one or two teammates fighting at the same event. It’s really fun to be surrounded by such a big team. Third, nonstop Muay Thai fights for three days straight is like heaven for me! It’s super fun to connect with fighters from other cities that I’ve met over the years, and to meet new people who love Muay Thai as much as we do.

5. Why did you choose to get into Muay Thai?

I always say that I didn’t choose Muay Thai, it chose me! I started training at The Cellar Gym around 3 years ago not knowing the difference between a jab and a cross. I took a kickboxing class with Justin Whiley with a friend, and over time I got hooked! It took me about a year to get brave enough to try Muay Thai classes, and that’s when the addiction really took off!

6. Why did you choose to get into fighting?

Getting into fighting happened pretty organically for me. I never had the goal of competing, and couldn’t imagine I would ever be good enough to get in the ring. All I knew was that Muay Thai was bringing me joy, so I just continued training and having fun. My coaches and teammates must have seen my passion shining through, because soon enough they started asking me if I ever wanted to fight. That inspired me to think bigger about my Muay Thai journey and to start competing.

7. Is fighting the same or different than you expected it to be?

Fighting is both similar and different than what I expected. I was a competitive gymnast as a young person. So, in many ways, the feeling of competition is very familiar. In other ways, fighting is different than I expected. I learn something new about myself as a person and as a fighter every time I compete.

8. What was your first fight like? If you have never fought before… what are you most looking forward to?

My first fight was at the TBA tournament in 2016. I fought against a very skilled and more experienced fighter. I lost, but I held my own, and more importantly, I learned that I love competing and wanted to continue fighting.

9. How have you grown since your first fight to now?

I think I’m a completely different fighter than I was for my first fight. My technical skills are much more advanced, and my confidence is much higher.

10. What would you say has been the biggest benefit to fighting?

There have been so many benefits to fighting, but I’ll focus on one that I think is really important for women. Through fighting, I’ve learned to be really proud of and amazed with what my body can DO. As women, we get the message loud and clear that how our bodies look is more important than what they can do. Fighting has helped me embrace being a healthy, strong, and capable woman. And a huge part of that is being surrounded by all the amazing, strong, smart, capable women on my team!

11. What is your favorite part of getting ready for a fight? What is your favorite part of the actual fight?

My favorite part of getting ready for a fight is improving my technical skills. There are infinite ways to improve my Muay Thai, so having a fight to prepare for helps me pick a concrete number of things I want to improve before my next fight.
My favorite part of the actual fight is the fight! It’s when you get to try to put together everything you have learned. It’s a huge rush! I also love making adjustments with my coaches between rounds, and then seeing those adjustments pay off in the next round. Always trust Coach and do what he says!

12. What is your least favorite part of getting ready for a fight? What is your least favorite part of the actual fight?

My least favorite part of getting ready for a fight is how busy my schedule gets. I work full time and volunteer in my community, so finding the time to have a full training schedule gets really difficult.
My least favorite part of the actual fight are the times that I don’t perform to my full capabilities. Of course winning is great, but the only times I don’t enjoy myself in the ring is when I am disappointed in my performance. Also, it’s a fight, so sometimes it really hurts!

13. What does a typical “fight camp” look like for you?

A typical fight camp schedule for me includes training six days per week. I work full time as a researcher, so I arrange my training around my work schedule. I usually do two hours of muay thai per day, run every day, and do 1-2 hour strength and conditioning sessions two times per week. Most days I wake up around 4:30am to train before work. Then I train again with the team in the evenings after work.

14. What does a typical “fight diet” look like for you?

A typical fight diet for me just involves “cleaning up” my diet. I like cooking, so working with dietary restrictions is a fun challenge for me. I try to make sure I eat enough protein to keep up with my demanding training schedule (that’s a struggle for me). I keep things fairly simple and tasty, and try to make sure I’m eating enough nutritious food to fuel my intense training schedule.

15. How does it feel to fight alongside so many teammates?

It’s incredible! The team really is like a family, and we all truly care about and support each other.

16. How have your teammates and coaches helped you through this camp?

I am really lucky to have the best teammates and coaches! When you get in the ring, you are the only person who can fight your fight. But you also bring all of your teammates and coaches with you into the ring through everything they have taught you. It’s really humbling when I think about how many people help me on the path to fight day. I try to make my teammates and coaches proud every single time I step into the ring because they give me so much love and support every day. Also, huge shout out to my daily training partner Lajly Yang for putting up with partnering with the runt of the group every day!

17. What advice would you offer to someone who aspires to fight one day?

If Muay Thai lights you up and brings you joy, just keep trusting yourself and following that path. People say this all the time, but I really mean it when I say if I can do it, anyone can. There’s nothing special about me as an athlete, except that I just keep doing the thing that brings me joy every day.
Oh, and always do what Coach says 

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