Last week, Sean has visited our office. So, we took the chance to do some interview for your guys. here goes (I skip the greetings to the key questions).
MTS: Why Muay Thai? You did some other martial arts before. What or who inspired you?
Sean: I think Muay Thai appealed to me over other martial arts because of the realism involved. A lot of martial arts are a lot of theory and no actual application. As far as I’m concerned if you can’t make your art work against an opponent who’s trying his hardest to stop you succeeding, then you’re doing something seriously wrong. Muay Thai is an art that has proven itself time and time again as one of the finest stand up fighting systems around. This reputation is well deserved and has come about from the fact that Muay Thai is an art that is tested by actual combat. Participants train by actually striking things. By working to fatigue and through it. And through actual combat where the aim is to win a fight not score points. These are just some of the reasons I chose Muay Thai.
MTS: How did you train in the early years?
Sean: I started Muay Thai at 14. Myself and one of my friends found a gym in Glasgow, Scotland (where I was living at the time) and joined up. 13 years later I’m still going!
My training in the early years was pretty basic compared to what it is now. Nowadays I work exceptionally hard and have a good grasp of how to train all the attributes I’m going to need when I fight. Padwork, bagwork, sparring, clinching, circuit training, sprints and plyometrics all feature heavily in my workouts.
MTS: From Amateur to Pro, what is your turning point?
Sean: Actually I never competed at an amateur level, that is, padded up with headgear etc… but I suppose you could say the major turning point would be a couple of years ago when I moved to Thailand full time. I gave up everything back home in the UK (including university and my girlfriend) and Muay Thai became my sole source of income.
MTS: Now you train in Thailand, what are the differences?
Sean: Training in Thailand is definitely different from training in the west for a number of reasons. First you’ve got the climate. Thailand is HOT. And humid. In any given training session I can sweat out between three to four kilos which can really drain you. Also, the training schedule is different. In the west the average fighter will also have a job, either full or part time and will not have the same amount of time to devote to training. In Thailand, as fighting is now my sole source of income as well as my hobby, I have the luxury of being able to train twice a day at a professional camp, with excellent tuition and nothing to do in between sessions but concentrate on recovery.
MTS: In your opinion, what is a different between Thai and Farang fighters?
Sean: I think there are a lot of myths going around with regard to the differences between Thai and farang fighters. My favourite is that “Thais can’t box”. This is ridiculous. Thailand puts out some tremendous western boxers. You only need to look at the Olympics, or soe of the lower weight categories in the world rankings to see more than a few Thai names mentioned. Anther one is that “farang can’t clinch”. I can’t speak for everyone but I know that when I’m training my clinch a lot in training I’ve never been out clinched in a fight, by either a Thai or a farang, and as a point of note, some of the best clinchers I’ve fought have been farang.
I think if anything can be said for the difference between Thai and farang fighters, it’s that the Thais have the experience and top training centres. Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand and the Thais have every right to be proud of that as they still consistently produce the worlds best fighters, especially in the lower weight divisions. It’s not unusual for a Thai in his early twenties to have 2 or 3 hundred fights under his belt. Westerners can’t quite keep up with that yet!
MTS: About the Contender Asia, what do you think about the show?
It’s strange watching the show, knowing what each scene took to make, and knowing what was going on behind the cameras. It’s also interesting getting to see what the other team was talking about when we weren’t there!
MTS: In your opinion, who was the strongest in the house
Sean: Yod was the strongest. Hands down. But I tanked him at table football so it’s okay.
MTS: If you can pick one, who would you like to fight against
Sean: I would like a rematch against Soren. I felt I gave a pretty poor account of myself in our last match and would like a chance to set things straight.
MTS: In your career, who was the toughest fighter you have ever fought?
Sean: Ha ha I would say Yod, but to be honest that wasn’t actually that hard a fight as I ended up getting TKO’d in the second round so I didn’t get the chance to get tired! Yod’s defintely the best fighter I’ve fought, but the hardest fight I’ve had would probably be one of my early ones back in the UK. I had some wars back then. Not the most technical outings, just toe to toe for the whole fight. This was before I learned about head movement!
MTS: What is your fight strategy?
Sean: My strategy depends on the opponent. I try to adapt to whatever they do. Play to my strengths and their weaknesses. That’s the plan anyway!
MTS: What is your strongest weapon: punch, knee, kick, elbow?
Sean: When I’m fighting at my best I’m using all my weapons. My boxing, my kicks, my knees and my elbows. I keep busy, keep my workrate high whilst looking for the counter and keep on stringing combinations together.
MTS: What is your future in Muay Thai?
Sean: I just want what I’ve always wanted. To be the best I can be. To train hard. To keep on improving, and to keep on fighting better opponents.
I want to be able to sit back when I’m fifty, look back at things and think “Man! I did pretty damn good!”
MTS: What is your suggestion to anyone who want to success in this career?
Sean: Anyone considering a career in Muay Thai, I would say this: Whatever you put in is what you’ll get back. If you want to perform at your best you need to be training hard. Very hard. You also need to be taking care of yourself outside of training. That means plenty of rest, eating right, getting enough sleep. Little or no drinking.
People know these things. But it’s one thing knowing it and another thing putting it into practise. If you want to make a serious go of it then some things need to be sacrificed to help make that happen. Not everyone is willing to make that committment and that’s okay, because a career in Muay Thai isn’t for everyone, but that’s what it takes.
Lastly I would say make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. Money is not a good reason to choose Muay Thai as a career. There are easier ways to make money out there without having to put your body through that kind of punishment. Do it for the love of the sport. And for the love of the competition. And if you get to the stage when you don’t love the sport anymore, then thats the time to quit.
MTS: Ok, Kob Khun Mak krub. Good luck with your upcoming fight !
Sean home page: http://www.seanwrightpro.com
Sean page at the official Contender Asia: http://contenderasia.com/index.php/content/view/18/75/lang,english/