Silent but Deadly

That’s Rhiannon “The Mini Beast” Coleman.

The club’s focus this weekend belongs to one Clinic member and that is Rhiannon Coleman, our first and currently only female MMA fighter. She heads down to Portsmouth with her coach Paul Hines and a convoy of keen supporters to embark on her first MMA fight – it’s a momentous occasion for Rhiannon and of course the MMA Boxing Clinic.

In our own way, we all train hard; especially our fighters but I can’t imagine many put in more hours than Rhi.   She told me that her average week of training looks something like this;  “So…Monday MMA Beginners and Advanced, Tuesday morning – MMA, evening – MMA Conditioning and Sub Wrestling, Wednesday morning – Boxing, evening – MMA Beginners and Advanced, Thursday morning Covent Garden Boxing,  evening – MMA Conditioning and Sub Wrestling (although sometimes I take Thursday off), Friday morning – Strength and Conditioning with Tony then Boxing and in the evening sparring when i can make it from work, Saturday Paul PT and sparring.  Sunday rest day!”  To save you counting that’s 15+ hours a week.

The middle sibling of an older sister and younger brother, Rhi always appears quite timid in company – she’s certainly not as vocal as her cohorts!  However, get her one-on-one and you can barely shut her up.  I’m hoping that in the Portsmouth cage this Saturday, going head-to-head will have a similar effect.

Rhiannon has come a long way since starting boxing with us in Covent Garden – just goes to show that first impressions do count. “ I started at the Covent Garden Boxing Clinic and was so impressed with the intensity of the classes and the coaches…it was a massive level above anything else I had ever done.  Then with Angel opening and offering more classes and more excellent trainers the obsession manifested!”

She didn’t always want to fight but she credits Head MMA Coach Paul Hines with harnessing her talentandturning her into a fighter, “Paul made me want to fight.  His encouragement to train hard up to a fight and his motivation to push to that next level has helped me get in the ring and now the cage.”

Our coaches caught on pretty quickly that sometimes they need to be Rhi’s off button.  When I ask her if she ever lies her answer is telling, “When Paul asks if I’ve eaten breakfast and when Ben V asks if I’m tired!”  Yes  – they’ve got her back.

The gym is clearly Rhi’s place of worship and in an environment where curse words are as common place as an Amen in church, it’s surprising (or maybe not if you know her) that Rhi does not swear – if she wants to throw an insult she’ll just call you ‘a knob’.”

Forgetting that Rhi has been on a fighter’s diet for the last eight weeks, I get her thinking about food by asking her what her last meal on earth would be, “Right now, I want to eat everything! I like puddings best so probably Cheesecake…”

And, when I ask her what makes her happy – you’ll realise that one-on-one she really doesn’t shut up, “Rolling around with Boys and being hit in the face apparently!!  Loads of stuff…going home to my family and dogs, hanging out with my favourite people, training in an amazing gym, being surrounded by amazing fighters, trainers and fellow trainees, having a fun job, doing triathlons…erm, a lot of things make me happy.  I’m definitely not complaining right now!”

Rhi, if you read this, I know one thing that will make us all happy this weekend and that is for you to have the time of your life in that cage.  I’ve seen you train and there’s no question – you deserve to win.  Good luck from us all at the MMA Boxing Clinic.

Sue Finnegan

July 2011

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