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Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening School teacher and Muay Thai proponent, Hee (left) with head coach Eugene Gan. Photos: Gracie HeeBefore 2014, Gracie Hee would never imagine herself kicking and punching her way to winning Muay Thai competitions.Today, the primary school teacher in Kuantan is so passionate about the sport that she is a coach and serious contender.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño Together, Hee and head coach Gan aim to get the sport more recognized and accepted in the community.“We want our community to live a healthy lifestyle and we hope to share the many benefits of Muay Thai with all,” says Hee.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss “A person’s reflexes and co-ordination will also get better in time. Muay Thai will train your endurance in the sport, mentally and physically. This is a high-intensity sport that has been proven very effective for losing weight, of course with the right diet too,” says Hee, adding that there are usually crossfit workouts, bodyweight exercises and stretching exercises at the end of the class.The sport, she emphasizes, is suitable for both genders and various age groups. The youngest student at her gym is five years old while the oldest is a woman of 60.“The culture and tradition behind this sport also teaches a person to be humble and respectful. It has helped me to make friends and connect with so many people worldwide. Everyone is like a family to you in this sport,” she enthuses.Hee strongly believes the sport is an important skill for women to learn.“Muay Thai is very relevant to women as an art of self-defense. The basics of Muay Thai teach one how to attack and defend, which is very helpful when we are in a tricky situation and need to defend ourselves.“For instance, now I won’t freak out and panic if I were put in a dangerous situation because I know I have the ability to protect myself. I know how to stay calm and think of a solution. I know what my strengths are, and Muay Thai training has definitely improved my reflexes, agility and stamina.”Currently, Hee is committed to promoting the art to more women in the coastal city of Kuantan.“I believe that Muay Thai can not only make women feel stronger but actually be stronger. It’s time to change the stereotyping in sports where Muay Thai is categorized as a bloody, brutal and aggressive sport for males only.“This is true if we look back at the history of Muay Thai when it was not a sport yet. It was used for self-defense by Thai warriors in the battlefield.“However, in our modern society, it has been modified into a sport. With rules and regulations introduced, Muay Thai has become a very safe sport worldwide. It has also been made a part of self-defense and fitness programs.” “As time passed, the head coach Eugene Gan discovered that I had a talent in the sport. With more hard work, passion, dedication and discipline, I ventured into competitions and started helping to coach in classes,” shares Hee, who holds a Bachelor of Education (Tesol) from the University of Auckland, New Zealand.Today, Hee readily sings the praises of Muay Thai for its many benefits.“You get to live a healthy lifestyle, make friends and learn self-defense. Muay Thai training can be very versatile. There are so many types of Muay Thai training. It is not only a competitive combat sport where you must enter a ring and compete,” she says.Muay Thai is also a very unique sport as it combines a lot of elements to promote better fitness, says Hee.“Muay Thai will improve a person’s cardio and stamina through pad work and bag work. It also improves a person’s flexibility where there is a lot of hip rotation in executing the techniques, including punching, elbows, knee techniques and kicks.ADVERTISEMENT Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? BREAKING: Corrections officer shot dead in front of Bilibid MOST READ View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Behind Karl-Anthony Towns’ huge night, Minnesota turns back Miami LATEST STORIES “Muay Thai has changed my life. Even though I led a very active lifestyle before by going hiking, jogging, playing badminton, swimming and doing zumba, I had zero background in martial arts.“I never thought I would be able to be so involved in this sport to the extent that I am coaching and actively competing. Muay Thai teaches me that learning never ends despite your age,” shares the 28-year-old from Trengganu, Malaysia.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionIt all started when she was first posted to Kuantan as an English teacher in 2014. Her colleague told her about Maxx Muay Thai gym that had just opened and asked if she was interested to try out the sport.“I fell in love with it immediately. Initially, it was more about getting in shape, exercising, making new friends and sweating it out. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion
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Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting The U.S. is ranked No. 1 in the world and will face the Czech Republic, Japan and Turkey during Group E games in Shanghai. The Americans will hold training camps in Las Vegas and Los Angeles in August, then have exhibition games in California and Australia before arriving in China.The U.S. is seeking its third consecutive World Cup gold medal.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce reacts in the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers Wednesday, April 10, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)Atlanta Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce has been added as an assistant coach for USA Basketball this summer, when the Americans will compete in the FIBA World Cup in China and try to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.Pierce is replacing Indiana Pacers coach Nate McMillan, who withdrew because of scheduling conflicts. Pierce, the Golden State Warriors’ Steve Kerr and Villanova’s Jay Wright will be the assistants under head coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs.ADVERTISEMENT Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess Suns fire Igor Igor Kokoskov after 1 losing season PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss View comments MOST READ DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid LATEST STORIES Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess The World Cup stretches through Sept. 15. The demands of the schedule and the travel would have likely been too daunting for McMillan — whose Pacers are scheduled to open training camp not long after the World Cup gold-medal game, and will then travel to India for a pair of preseason games on Oct. 4-5.“It’s an honor to receive this opportunity to represent our country and to work with such great coaches and staff,” Pierce said. “My family and I are excited about and committed to enjoying this journey.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsPierce has history with U.S. men’s national team managing director Jerry Colangelo. When Colangelo was working for Philadelphia, Pierce was an assistant coach there.“He has demonstrated the ability in particular to be an outstanding defensive coach,” Colangelo said. “Also, it was evident during our time together in Philadelphia that he was a strong leader, players respected him a great deal. I think we’re fortunate to have someone of his abilities. I think he’s really a good addition.”