We sat in a hotel April of 2012 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. 4 different schools from across the Greater Toronto Area and roughly 22 of us were consoling a friend who lost his fight and was frustrated with his performance. Matt Embree pushed the rest of us out of the way and shoved our friend hard to get his attention.
“If you haven’t lost a fight that didn’t force you to train harder, learn more and developed an insatiable thirst to win again…then you haven’t fought anyone worth fighting“. – Matt Embree
I never forgot those words and pass them on to our fighters, students and those curious about competition. This is SUPPOSED to be hard. You are SUPPOSED to challenge yourself and the person that you end up being after your rounds invested in the ring is usually stronger, smarter and better than the one that went in.
“In my heart I know I can win this fight. Its obviously not an easy path, and will have to have alot of things going in my favour, maybe even some luck, but I believe in myself. This is what we do. He is great but he is still a man, and any man can be beaten. Warriors understand the nature of this, its Man vs Man. All men bleed the same. The odds on the outside are one thing, but when we are in there it is 50/50. Its a fight. And its going down” – Matt Embree
Matt was given an opportunity to fight a LEGEND in our sport with Saenchai, role model to many of us that train in Muay Thai and simply one of the best to ever climb over the ropes. Combine that with the fact that it was a Kardchuek match, (no gloves), and that’s double jeopardy. Matt rose to the occasion and finished the fight on his feet with a BIG feather in his cap.
Congrats Matt, it may not have ended the way we wanted it to, but you need to know that we are all proud of you and look forward to seeing how you will quench “the thirst” next!