‘Snowboarding Is Like Medicine’ – ‘Smokin’ Jo Nattawut Opens Up About Life Away From Muay Thai
When he’s not scoring highlight-reel knockouts under ONE Championship’s bright lights, “Smokin” Jo Nattawut can often be found racing down a mountain on a snowboard.
On December 8 in U.S. primetime, the 34-year-old Thai will square off with promotional newcomer Luke “The Chef” Lessei in a featherweight Muay Thai showdown at ONE Fight Night 17: Kryklia vs. Roberts on Prime Video.
Now in his final preparations for that contest in Bangkok, Nattawut recently spoke to onefc.com about his love for snowboarding – and how it helps him become a better fighter.
“Snowboarding is like medicine to me because I’m not the guy who’s always in the gym – like, Muay Thai, Muay Thai, wake up fighting… I’m not that guy. No, it is not my thing.”
Despite his many career accomplishments – including over 70 career wins and a WMC Muay Thai World Championship – the hard-hitting veteran has never been one to only live through combat sports.
Instead, snowboarding is a welcome break from the rigors of training.
A United States resident since 2013, the Thai star found the hobby when he was living in the mountains of Colorado. He was hooked from the jump:
“I used to live in Keystone, Colorado, a small mountain town. Everybody there has the same hobby, right? We all have the same job. People go snowboarding.”
The nearly 4-mile track outside of Keystone remains Nattawut’s favorite place for snowboarding today.
And while he no longer lives in Colorado, he’s prepared for another season of riding, as he’s set to spend the winter in Seattle and has already purchased a season pass.
He summed up what he so enjoys about racing down a mountain:
“I just love it. I love the view, the feeling, the technique. I just love it. It’s something that’s me.”
Nattawut: ‘Happiness Helps With Everything’
According to “Smokin” Jo Nattawut, the key to success in his athletic career is maintaining happiness outside of the ring and the training room.
He’s undoubtedly an incredibly dedicated fighter, willing to put in long hours in the gym while pushing his body to the absolute limit.
But as he explained, he needs frequent escapes to ease his mind:
“For me, I want to live a happy life. And if I do Muay Thai every day, I wouldn’t be happy. So many people would be happy. They want to do Muay Thai. Wake up? Muay Thai. Sleep? Muay Thai. Wake up? Muay Thai. And they’re happy, so I’m happy for them.
“But I’m just different. You know, I’m not happy with that. That’s not my happiness. So my happiness is to get to do something that I like.”
To that end, Nattawut’s happiness is found in snowboarding.
More than just an exhilarating way to pass the time outside of training, “Smokin” Jo says that snowboarding – and any other activity that makes him fulfilled – directly and positively impacts his fighting career, allowing him to bring a positive attitude to the gym.
“It helps with everything because, like, the first thing is happiness. Happiness helps with everything, right? Even your fighting. Even if you’re not a fighter. If you’re a doctor, it helps with everything. It’s healthy.
“Happiness helps with everything. So that helps. That’s something that made me happy. When you’re happy, you work better, and your life’s better.”