When the school day’s final bell rings and classes clear out at Santa Cruz Covent School in Bangkok, Thailand, most eleventh grade girls dash off to exercise on the badminton courts.
As soon as her daily studies are done, Supergirl turns her attention to Jaroonsak Muaythai camp, where she is training for her ONE Championship debut against Milagros Lopez at ONE: A NEW BREED II in the Thai capital this Friday, 11 September.
Before she attempts to carry her family legacy forward in the previously recorded catchweight Muay Thai clash, learn about the teenager’s beginnings in “the art of eight limbs” and the people who have always inspired her.
‘Always Part Of My Life’
Supergirl has been practicing “the art of eight limbs” ever since she was a toddler.
“My father has been teaching me Muay Thai since I was young – around 2 or 3 years old,” she says. “I don’t even remember when I started. Muay Thai was just always part of my life.”
She does, however, remember the valuable lessons her dad imparted on her as she developed her skills.
When neighborhood boys tried to bully Supergirl, for example, the family patriarch told her that while she knew how to defend herself, she shouldn’t use her combat sports training on the streets.
“My father always reminded me that if you know Muay Thai, you are not a gangster. If you want to fight, you have to fight in the ring and follow the rules,” she explains.
At the same time, the youngster admits that she initially had no desire to get into a ring and compete under official instructions. Muay Thai was merely something that she and her sister did to stay healthy and pass the time.
“My parents never thought that my sister and I would turn out to be professional fighters. We trained for fun, for exercise, and to protect ourselves,” Supergirl says.
But like many practitioners who start Muay Thai just for fun, Supergirl was eventually drawn to competition and first contended in the sport at a local temple festival when she was 10 years old.
“I was so excited,” she recalls. “I won my first fight by KO in the second round. My father said nobody believed him when he told people I fought for the first time.”
She also collected her first paycheck – a 300-baht purse. But the USD$9 reward was nothing compared to the success she would find as a teenager.
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Supergirl’s father is a former professional fighter, but the emerging martial artist had another role model to follow. Her sister, Wondergirl, is five years older and was already establishing herself in the Muay Thai circuit.
So, Supergirl trained alongside her older sibling and picked up everything she could about “the art of eight limbs.” And after a successful pre-adolescent run in the sport, a 15-year-old Supergirl nabbed her first championship victory in February 2019 at the Sports Authority Of Thailand’s Nai Khanom Tom event.
Two months later, another dream came true when she not only competed on the same card as her older sister, but also won a title alongside her – Wondergirl winning the PAT 118-pound Muay Thai Championship and Supergirl earning the PAT 115-pound Muay Thai Championship.
The younger sibling defended her belt three months later, knocking her opponent out in the second round. After that, fans could not talk about Thailand’s female Muay Thai scene without mentioning Supergirl.
As Wondergirl was coming into her own and ventured away from the family gym to compete out of Fairtex Training Center, the teenager made a different decision.
“I use my father’s camp’s name while my sister uses Fairtex and trains over there,” Supergirl says.
“I think it’s good for her that she chooses her own way. She likes the new place, and she has met new friends, coaches, and sparring partners.
“For me, I am happy here with my parents. I still like to stay close to them.”
By sticking at Jaroonsak Muaythai camp, the younger sister continues to study Muay Thai under her father, who in turn has developed his daughter into one of this generation’s most dangerous knee strikers.
A Future With ONE
Supergirl is now looking to take her khao yad sai – or “stuffing knee” – style to the global stage, where she wants to compete against the sport’s greatest athletes.
“The reason I signed with ONE is because it’s the biggest martial arts organization in the world. Many fighters would like to join here, and I am the same. I would like to step up for the challenge,” she says.
“I saw my sister debut in ONE on television,” Supergirl says. “Wow, she changed a lot! She looks stronger, more aggressive, and a lot more developed. When she won, my parents and I jumped and shouted loudly in our house.”
After those two performances from her sister, Supergirl knows she’ll have plenty of attention as she graduates to the largest martial arts organization in the world.
Though she admits to some nerves, the emerging talent also understands that a win on Friday night will get the world talking about the promotion’s newest Jaroonsak family member.
“Since [Wondergirl] had a very good performance twice, that puts more pressure on me. I have to be so good like her,” Supergirl says.
“I am very excited about my debut, and this is my first time with 4-ounce gloves. I would like to show my best performance so people will remember me.”
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