How Simon fell in love with Muay Thai

• By Michael Uugwanga

IF you have taken a look around gyms recently, you may have noticed something and that is more women and more girls are getting into martial arts, in particular Muay Thai, a sport code that is becoming more popular globally.

Although in Namibia, Muay Thai is not as big or poplar as other codes, the sport is   becoming one of the most appealing sport codes in the country.

One female Muay Thai fighter making a big name for herself in a man-dominated sport is Sonja Simon, of the Combat Club Windhoek.

Sonja (30) only joined Muay Thai in 2019 and is today one of the country’s most exciting Muay Thai fighters.

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Muay Thai is a combat sport that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques.

Muay Thai is related to other martial art styles such as musti-yuddha, Adimurai, Muay Chaiya, Muay boran, Muay Lao, lethwei, pradal serey and Tomoi.

“I was born in Windhoek, but I grew up in Okongo (Ohangwena Region) with my grandmother. It was my friend Jamie that introduced me to Muay Thai, after one day she needed a lift to Combat Club Windhoek and she was like this is something we can do together.

“At first, I never wanted to take it up, but after training a lot that is when I fell in love with Muay Thai,” Simon narrated.

So far, she has fought four times, winning two and losing two. Her last fight came against South Africa’s sensation Muay Thai fighter, Liandra Backer, in the super-featherweight division at the Eclipse Fight League (EFL) promotion held on 20 August in Pretoria, South Africa.

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Simon lost the fight to Backer on points.

“I trained very well and I was ready but the moment I got into the ring in the first round, I lost my tactics, and most of the time instead of attacking, I waited for my opponent to attack first.

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  I was less aggressive compared to my previous fights,” Simon said.

Although, Muay Thai is a potentially dangerous sport that can lead to catastrophic injuries, it is an effective weapon for women’s self-defence.


“Other than keeping myself fit and exercising, Muay Thai gives me confidence, self esteem, self discipline, and I get to experience new things. Ever since I started Muay Thai I have  learned a lot about myself, I also challenged my body to an extent  that I did not  think that  it was possible.

“I have also met a lot of people from different backgrounds and I am also working very hard to be the best Muay Thai I can be,” Simon said.

Simon is also urged more women to join the sport as it will help vulnerable women protect themselves from being abused by their partners or by criminals.

“To the girls/l/women out there who want to do martial, gender is not an obstacle .It  may look hard at first but once you put in the work, you will learn to love and enjoy the sport. It is also a sport in which one learns self defense,” Simon added.

Her coach, Pedro Costa has said that the sport is growing amongst women and that Simon is a true fighter.

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Costa is also the owner of the Combat Club Windhoek, which is home to about 50 females.

“Simon is a fighter and not many are fighters.

Since day one, I could see that Simon wants to fight. Muay Thai is growing well in the country. Muay Thai helps to empower women in self-defence when they are out there,” Costa said.

Simon’s next fight will be in Pretoria, South Africa against an opponent yet to be confirmed

“At the moment, I am not sure on the exact date but I was told it may happen sometime in December, in South Africa,” she added.