Supergirl: The Teenage Star Who Balances High School And Muay Thai

Supergirl Jaroonsak Muaythai at the gym

With only a single fight on her ONE Super Series slate, teenage sensation Supergirl is fairly new to the promotion. However, the high school senior with a 38-5-1 overall record is no stranger to elite Muay Thai.

Having grown up in a family that teaches and competes in the sport, the 18-year-old Thai has spent much of her life balancing academics and a professional striking career.

“I study every day during the weekdays,” Supergirl says ahead of her strawweight Muay Thai bout against Ekaterina “Barbie” Vandaryeva at ONE: HEAVY HITTERS on Friday, 14 January.

“I train in the morning, and then I go to my online classes. After classes, I go back to training. It’s more tiring than usual. But during this holiday season, it was better because there was no school. I could focus on training, and it’s almost time for the match.”

This balancing act is nothing new for Supergirl. She’s been doing it since elementary school while also training at her father’s Jaroonsak Muay Thai gym on the outskirts of Bangkok.

In fact, it was even more stressful at the start because she hadn’t yet gotten used to the grind.

“I didn’t have time to rest. My school finished and I had to go to training,” the teen says.

A very happy Supergirl Jaronsak Muaythai, who wins her debut

“I didn’t have time to hang out with my friends, although I wished I had time to go out with them. Sometimes I’d get a day off, but I was already too tired, so I didn’t go.”

As Supergirl soon learned, those sacrifices were well worth it. All the exhausting moments in the gym and in class had given her incredible opportunities that not many teenagers are afforded.

“People around my age don’t work this hard, don’t have this much experience. They don’t get to feel what I feel,” she says.

“Once I looked back, the fact that I sacrificed my time studying and boxing is worth it. My patience has paid me back.”

Life As A ‘Super’ School Girl

“Sometimes I don’t even know them,” Supergirl says, “but the whole school knows me.”

That’s how the rising star describes her relationship with the other teenagers at her all-girls high school, Santa Cruz Convent, in Bangkok. Her schoolmates respect what she’s accomplished in competition, although that wasn’t always the case.

Back in middle school, Supergirl attended alongside both boys and girls, and some of those boys would challenge her when they found out she was a fighter.

But while the youngster was proficient in Muay Thai, her father reminded her to use her striking skills only at the right time and place.

“My dad always called [the boys] into the camp saying, ‘Come here. Don’t fight in the streets with no rules. Come fight in the ring with gloves, properly,’” Supergirl says.

“If I wanted to fight, I had to fight with rules and gloves. So, I always told [the boys] that I was a boxer, not a gangster, and if they wanted to fight, fight with rules and gloves in the camp.”

Thai star Supergirl Jaroonsak Muaythai knocks down Milagros Lopez

Those experiences showed the future ONE Super Series star that people don’t have to fight just for the sake of fighting. Instead, it should take place under a governed set of rules in a ring.

Supergirl’s time to compete would have to wait, though. Her father wanted her to train as much as possible while he prepared her older sister, [fellow ONE star] Wondergirl, for competition.

“My big sister, whether it was boxing or other things, she’d get to try it first. Because I’m her little sister, Dad always had her trying things first. Once she tried, I wanted to try, too. I thought that if she can do it, I can do it, too,” Supergirl says.

“I watched my big sister fight while I was waiting for my turn. My dad said that he wanted me to be 100 percent trained first.”

Supergirl remained patient, and eventually, her time came.

Becoming The Queen Of Spearing Knees

The Jaroonsak sibling was just 10 years old when she first stepped into a ring. Nerves had struck so hard that she could barely think about her game plan. So, she resorted to what came naturally.

After a while, Supergirl grew more comfortable, and she began using her tall body type to her advantage – perfecting a move that became known as the spearing knee.

“I don’t even remember when I did or learned that knee strike – it just came up. I used it in the ring and my opponent got injured badly,” Supergirl says.

“That was when I realized I was good at that knee-on-abs strike.”

From there, the teen’s spearing knee became famous in the Muay Thai community. Videos of her using the technique often went viral, and practitioners from all over the world flew in to learn it.

Now, it’s one of Supergirl’s most feared weapons in competition.

“If they’re too close and you use this knee kick, it gives you space. The knee pushes right into the abs,” she explains.

“I tried taking that knee kick before. It’s a different kind of pain. It was painful on my back.”

A Family Reunited

As Supergirl grew into her own, so did Wondergirl. The latter even left the family’s gym to train and compete out of Fairtex Academy some 147 kilometers away from home. That distance kept Supergirl from her older sister, but their bond never wavered.

They continued to talk every week and trained with each other when Wondergirl took trips back home. Then, a chance to reunite came up.

Supergirl and Wondergirl were offered – and accepted – an opportunity to join Marrok Force MMA in Bangkok. Not only that, but their father often goes to the gym to hold pads for them and discuss strategies.

“Nat (Wondergirl) and I can help each other out training here together, and we sleep in the same room. I feel that we are not that far apart as we were,” Supergirl says.

“And it’s heartwarming for Dad to be close to us. Sometimes he comes to visit and trains with us at Marrok. And during the weekends, I go back home and drill with my dad.”

Supergirl Jaroonsak Muaythai Milagros Lopez 1920X1280 20

With her family once again together and her profile rising in ONE Super Series, Supergirl is ready for her sophomore outing in the promotion.

And when reflecting on the sacrifices that took her this far, the high schooler is certain of one thing.

“We didn’t expect my name to come this far and be known this much. We thought I’d just do ordinary boxing,” she says.

“I have been practicing, gaining experience for so long. If I just ditch it, will I lose the most precious thing? Because it took me not a week or a month to learn, it took me years before I got this far. So, I feel like this is what I like to do.”

Read more: Saygid Izagakhmaev Warns Lightweight Division: ‘Be Ready’

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