At 14, Sammy-Jo Luxton has seen and done more than a lot of girls her age. Having around 12 regional Muay Thai championships, Luxton is a part of the solid female fight team at Chaos Muay Thai fitness, which includes Muay Thai champion Christi Brereton and Future Star featured fighter Chantelle Tee.
Wombat Sports: What got you interested in combat sport?
Sammy-Jo Luxton: I got given a flyer about different sports that I could try out, as I was reading through it I saw ‘Thai Boxing/ Thai fit’, I have always been a sporty person and wanted to give it ago because it was something different. I went to a taster session and the coaches invited me to a more advanced class, this is where I began to spar with other beginners and learn new techniques.
Wombat: What do you enjoy about it?
Luxton: I enjoy meeting other fighters now and going to different places, I have been to Latvia, Holland, all over the UK and just got into the GB team to compete at the Malaysian World Championships 2014. I enjoy training because it makes me stronger and more technical and also helps a lot with my fitness, which is great for school events as well.
W.S.: How have your friends and classmates reacted to it?
SJL: My friends and classmates are really supportive about it, they are always asking questions about it and some of my classmates have actually come to training session because they hear so much about it and my friends are hopefully coming to watch my World Title fight in Milton Keynes in May. Some people still have trouble getting round the idea of a ‘girl fighting’, but it’s what I love to do!
W.S.: How about your family?
SJL: I couldn’t participate in Muay Thai without my family, they give up so much of their free time to take me to training, taking me to fights, travel the world with me, put up with me on long journeys saying ‘Are we there yet?’ All my family are really nervous when I fight though, I remember my Dad on my first fight, walking back and forth waiting for me to get in the ring and on every fight that my Mum has watched, she has burst out crying, but happy tears.
W.S.: Who do you look up to in fighting?
SJL: Easiest question ever… my coach/training partner Christi Brereton! Christi has recently become number 1 in the UK by beating Alexis Rufus-Full Thai Rules! I have known Christi all my life and when I was younger she used to come round my house and show my Mum and Dad her pictures of her fights and I remember watching her on pads and thinking ‘Wow!’ She is so technical and powerful and I hope to follow in her footsteps one day.
SJL: Lots of females have become more interested in Muay Thai for fitness and to have some self-defence. Loads of people joke around saying that Chaos is a girls gym because the majority of fighters are girls, which is great to hear because lots of girls/women have started to join Chaos because they know it’s not just big tough guys there and they feel more comfortable with other girls.
W.S.: What comes naturally to you in fighting?
SJL: Once you step into the ring, your mind is set to win! I think ‘keep going forward’, ‘keep scoring’. Once the bell goes… I will not stop until the last round is over. I have gotten in the ring with older people, heavier people and will put in everything I have got!
W.S.: What have you found difficult?
SJL: The thing I have found difficult is not having very much spare time to spend with my friends because I’m always training or competing. They understand that my fights/ training are very important to me, so we always find a date that I’m not doing much and try and do everything in that one day!
W.S.: What are your aspirations in fighting?
SJL: I want to become a huge name that everyone knows, fight full Thai rules and fight in loads of different places. I would also like to see Muay Thai in the Olympics, but there is a slim chance that it will happen sadly. I just want to be the girl that everyone looks up to and appreciates… I want people (especially younger girls coming into the sport) to see a picture of me and think ‘I want to be like her’
W.S.: Anyone you’d like to thank and add?
SJL: I would like to thank my mum and dad for driving me everywhere, taking me training and supporting me. My Granny and Granddad for looking after my 2 little sisters, while I compete. My sponsors – Anchor-man Insurance, Western Venture Driving Agency. and of course – my brilliant coaches Steve Pender and Christi Brereton. I couldn’t of got this far without you!