Training basket of Trisha Sammons


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Trisha Sammons took up Muay Thai in the hopes of getting back into shape after having her first child. What she didn't foresee was the sport taking her to national glory. Twice.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/06/2015 (2826 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Trisha Sammons took up Muay Thai in the hopes of getting back into shape after having her first child. What she didn’t foresee was the sport taking her to national glory. Twice.

Sammons’ story began in her hometown of Pine Falls, when then-professional boxer Larry Sharpe introduced Muay Thai to the community. Sammons, 21 at the time, caught the bug and it quickly turned into her passion.

“I didn’t think I was going to start competing and loving it that much,” she said. “I never thought I’d love it that much — mainly it was just for exercise and something to do with my friends.”

But compete she did, just two months after she first started learning the martial art. Sharpe asked her if she wanted to fight. She agreed, reluctantly at first, but then started to rattle off the wins. “It was petrifying the first time. I didn’t know what to expect.”

Roughly a year later, in 2002, she was crowned a national champion. And then again in 2004.

Sammons, 36, started training others at Double Dragon Kickboxing and Muay Thai, teaching a couple of classes a week. She enjoyed it enough to open her own gym in 2007, Winnipeg Women’s Kickboxing. It’s a place for women to train and, perhaps more importantly, feel comfortable doing so.

“Some other gyms, you walk in and you feel judged right away,” she said. “I don’t let anyone discriminate here. I just want people to feel at home.”

Thanks to her job as a trainer, Sammons works out at least twice a day — cardio in the morning with her fighters and then focusing on martial arts skills in the evening.

And she’s planning to get back into the ring as well, aiming for a return in spring 2016. Now that her children are a little older — one of them, Brendon Paukovic, won a world title in Muay Thai in 2011 as an 11-year-old — she feels she has the time to commit to a strict training regimen.

When she’s not kicking butt in the gym, she’s often watching others kick butt. Sammons is a big fan of the UFC, thinks UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey is an “unbelievable talent,” and admires the work of arguably the best fighter of all time, Anderson Silva.

Sammons will be heading up an eight-week kickboxing class for girls aged 5-16 starting on July 2 in conjunction with the 2015 Year of Women in Sport.

Favourite workout:

I tend to like doing legs, so a lot of kicking. I prefer to kick a lot more than I prefer to punch.

Favourite workout song:

Not really. We do like to pump up the music at the gym, a lot of hip-hop. No country.

Fitness tip:

Be humble and have fun with what you’re doing. Don’t make it such a chore. Make it fun and train hard.

What’s in your fridge:

Chocolate milk, milk, a lot of fruits — kids love them — yogurt. A lot of healthy stuff in there, considering I have four kids.

Guilty pleasure:

Chocolate. Dark chocolate.

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