The Everyday Passion
Kydra believes in people, passion and purpose. Every individual is in pursuit of something that gives meaning to their lives. Your passion is what makes you unique. Whether it is daily recreation, an occasional hobby, or a professional skill, we recognize the truth that your passion can affect someone else’s life, for the better.
We want to put the spotlight on everyday people and discover what makes them feel strongly about their craft and interests. In this edition, we pay homage to: The Fighter.
Persistence And Commitment
It comes as no surprise that fight sports have taken the world by storm. The most recent Mcgregor versus Mayweather fight was so popular that it captured the attention of non-fighters. Whilst in the limelight, professional fighters are revered for being tough and fearsome competitors, glorified for competing in a physically demanding yet entertaining sport. But behind the scenes of these lightning-fast reactions and impressive moves are the blood, sweat, and tears (literally) from intensive training.
In this edition we showcase an individual whose passion lies in extreme sports - Nigel Wongsanguan. When not fighting in the MMA scene, Nigel is busy studying Veterinary medicine, in hopes of saving animals lives in the future.
Life as a student-athlete is both challenging and demanding, involving a balancing act between academics and sports. In the midst of juggling everyday commitments Nigel has managed to dedicate a fraction of his time to training and competing in various MMA tournaments.
We met with Nigel to discuss what drove his passion for combat sports, the obstacles he faced and how his training has impacted his daily life.
Q: When did you start getting into combat sports, and how did you know it was what you wanted to do?
Nigel: I never expected to get into combat sports. After returning to Singapore from Australia, my friend and I went for a trial lesson at Evolve MMA. I fell in love with the sport instantly and found myself attending every training session in the days that followed. The ability to fight and put a much larger opponent into submission gave me a sense of accomplishment and empowerment, and I was always eager to learn new moves the next day. I think the continuous self improvement is what drove me and kept me motivated.
Q: What are the best and worst part of Fight sports? How should one prepare to take up fighting?
Nigel: I feel that the best aspect of fight sports is character development. Martial arts training helps improve self confidence and fitness, and as you progress, you start getting more and more confident in yourself. At the same time, when beaten by a more experienced opponent, it really humbles you.
I’d say the downside of fighting is the risk of injuries. Suffice to say, engaging in combat sports increases your risk of injuries. Of course when you are just starting out, you’re not immediately thrown into the deep end and expected to start sparring/fighting.
The most important thing to have when you are about to enter the world of fight sports is a resilient mind. The training is both physically and mentally demanding, but with a strong mind and clear goals, you will make it through.
Q: What are some incidents where you injured yourself during a fight?
Nigel: I once told my mum I was sleeping over at a friend’s, when in reality I had gone to Malaysia (Johor Bahru) for an MMA fight. I took the win but suffered a nasty bruise on my eye. Another incident occurred just three weeks before my next MMA fight, where I had fractured my orbital bone while sparring. Though these injuries may sound painful, they contribute to my experiences and help better prepare me for future fights.
Q: What is the biggest misconception about fight sports and what qualities are essential to being a good fighter?
Nigel: The classic misconception about fight sports is that those who train in MMA are obnoxious because they use their training to bully others. There are obviously people like that, but they don't make up the general community. In fact, most people I know train simply for the love of the sport!
I feel that it is important to have good character when training in fight sports. Humility is at the top of my list as it makes you a better person. The fight scene in Singapore has just exploded and it's one of the best hotspots for MMA in Asia.
Q: How does fighting help with Veterinarian school?
Nigel: I really enjoy training as it is such a good outlet for relieving stress, especially during exam periods in Vet school. The study load is enormous and sometimes, stress gets the better of us. All those hours spent studying eventually burns you out and I am glad I have my martial arts training to keep me sane. I believe that it's important to have a good work life balance, and I feel that my training sessions have helped me better cope with the demands of vet school.
Q: Who is your biggest inspiration?
Nigel: My biggest inspiration would definitely be my mother. A single mother who raised three boys all on her own. Her tenacity and commitment to me and my brothers definitely command a greater respect than what I do in the ring.
Nigel ends the interview by giving us a quick fighter’s workout:
- 2 x 15 minutes of skipping
- 3 x 5 minutes of shadow boxing
Finish off with 3 Sets of the following:
- 30 x Leg Raises
- 30 x Knee Crunches
- 30 x Heel touches
- 30 x Flutter Kicks