Muaythai fighter Yolanda Schmidt meets Thai star Saenchai at Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok
Yolanda Schmidt (r) with Saenchai (l) at Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, 2015

I would be surprised if you, a muaythai fighter, didn’t have a bucket list.

The term kicking the bucket often refers to something coming to an end, such as your life. However, in my opinion, while my muaythai career will come to an end one day, it won’t be the end of my involvement in the sport.

So before it dies, I have various things I’d like to have checked off of my bucket list. In general, most people have a “bucket list” comprising of adventurous activities, places to visit or goals to accomplish. Anything you have always wanted to do, but just never got around to actually doing it. For example, climbing Mt Kilimanjaro.

As a muaythai fighter, let’s be honest, our list won’t consist of the standard boxes to check off. It will also not be the list to complete before i die, but rather before i retire. It might be something as simple as sitting ringside at a Saenchai fight or training one on one with your favorite fighter.

I spoke with various fighters and asked them to reveal something from their fighter bucket list, this is what they had to say.

Lisa Brierley said she would like become known in Thailand as a good technical farang. Ben Cant listed Lumpinee as a stadium he will fight at, and Clint Johnson named countries where he wishes to fight.

Lastly, one of my favorite responses was from Shannon Blair. “To walk away from your fight career with your body intact, so as to continue doing things for yourself later on,” she said.

Aspirations are not entirely classed as bucket list entries, as they are generally not something you can check off. Aspirations such as breaking gender stereotypes in our sport, is not a one off achievement, it is an ongoing process. One that many female fighters are campaigning for.

My fighter bucket list, when I first started, consisted of two things. They were to attend a muaythai training camp in Thailand and to have a professional fight. When I had checked the latter off, I then drew up a new list.

Here is a peak at some of the entries on my list

  • Fight on a televised promotion
  • Represent Australia internationally
  • Meet Saenchai
  • Secure a world title belt
  • Fight on Lion Fight Promotions
  • Appear, as a guest, on a sports show
  • Host a Muay Thai seminar

Now it’s your turn. What is on your bucket list? Your fight career is not always predictable, aspire for greatness. Make your list realistic and achievable, but don’t set the barre too low. Revisit the list regularly to make any changes so that you can keep achieving those goals and challenging yourself.

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Yolanda Schmidt

Yolanda Schmidt, from Sydney, NSW is the Australian national champion in Muay Thai. In addition, she is a two-time bronze medalist at IFMA world championships. She is also a teacher at Menai High School in Illawong, NSW. Schmidt is a regular contributor to FIGHTMAG, where she covers women’s kickboxing and Muay Thai.

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