Fun and fitness turns to full-blown fighting spirit
MUAY THAI: Chantelle Seaman went to Snake Pit Muay Thai for "fun and fitness" but she was immediately drawn to the close-combat sport.
Within three months of her first visit to the Rockhampton gym she had joined the fighters' class and three months later she had her first fight.
"I went to have some fun and for fitness but once I got a taste for it I decided that I wanted to fight," Seaman said.
"I love everything about it.
"The team atmosphere is amazing. It's electric when we've got seven to 10 fighters in the gym working as hard as they can.
"People who don't do it can't really understand the commitment that it takes to fight."
Seaman, 30, is a single mother of two and a photographer who runs her business, Mill and the Sea, named after daughters Millie and Sienna.
She said juggling family and work life and her demanding training schedule was a challenge but she made it work because of her love for the sport.
"Finding the balance is probably the hardest thing," she said. "You have to be committed to training because this is not a sport you can take lightly.
"You can't go and train once or twice a week - you have to do it every day, over and over.
"My whole life I've played team sport where if you get tired you can pass the ball or have a break.
"With muay thai, it's all you - you're the only one in there, the only one who can win the fight.
"Those two-minute rounds can feel like an hour but you've just got to push through it."
Seaman is gearing up for her third fight at Rocky Rumble 19 Part II at Callaghan Park on Saturday, August 10, and is confident about her chances against Brisbane's Stephanie Ochoa.
While she lost her first fight convincingly, she took some valuable lessons from it.
"It was a super hard fight. I got knocked down on the mat over and over and over but I kept getting back up," Seaman said. "It taught me to be strong and to just keep going.
"Even though I was beaten quite easily my heart was in it. I still wanted to go back and train hard, keep learning and work on different techniques."
Seaman knows she will go into next month's contest a much better fighter.
Trainer Torin O'Brien agreed, saying Seaman's growth since her last fight in December had been "enormous".
He said her toughness was one of her biggest assets.
"She's fought twice now against bigger and more experienced opponents and that hasn't deterred her.
"She's strong, she's got a chin (she can take a shot without being fazed by it), and she's powerful and quite aggressive.
"She's up against a strong opponent at Rocky Rumble and I'm expecting it will be a very good fight."
Tickets to Rocky Rumble are on sale now at razorevents.com.au