Iggy Mcgowan – Muaythai Trainer, Massage Therapist and Mindset Mentor
Through the chaos of the kids classes and in-between clients, I was able to steal a few minutes with Iggy to learn a bit more about who he is and why he’s so good at what he does.
Hey Iggy, thanks for chatting! You were a long time Muaythai fighter; how long have you been training and fighting for?
I’ve been fighting and training people for 16 years; I started with Karate, then started Muaythai at 15, and had my first fight at 16. I also started training other people shortly thereafter and now I’ve taught Muaythai, boxing and kickboxing over the last 16 years.
What’s your most memorable experience from fighting?
There are two, the first is my first title win at 16 – it was for a NSW Title, and at that time there weren’t many people my age to fight, so it was against an adult. I knocked out my opponent in the 2nd round.
Oh man, that’s crazy. And super cool that you had a title fight that first year!
Yeah, I think I had about 15 fights in 2 years and I was just fighting anyone in front of me, age / size didn’t matter.
And the second one?
It was when I went over to Thailand for Enfusion. It’s a reality series, kind of like the Ultimate Fighter, and it was a Super Heavyweight eliminator. We had the option of getting matched for our fights or we could pick and I decided to pick the biggest guy there – UK Champion Daniel Sam. I sized everyone up over the first few hours, and I could tell that no one wanted to fight him; he was about 40kg heavier than me, but I wanted to show people that fear is simply an illusion, so I picked him.
That’s something that is definitely a core feature of your philosophy, that elimination of fear, how did it go?
The fight went the distance but I lost in the end. It’s one of my most enjoyable fights though, because I was the underdog and he was the favourite to win. I like to go towards the thing that everyone turns away from; by facing the most challenging thing, I collapse that illusion of fear.
That’s very cool man, I’ve seen photos from that fight and he was so big next to you, that’s a huge testament to your character and the way you teach now. Why did you stop fighting?
I stopped mostly because of injuries; I really needed to give my body some time to heal. I also got to a point where I didn’t feel the need to keep going. I wanted to spend more time on my work guiding and teaching others.
Have you noticed any differences in yourself from when you stopped fighting to become a trainer?
I’ve always trained people, even while I was fighting, so really the main change is that I’ve got more time and energy to spend on other people and getting them where they want to be.
Where do people usually want to be, when they come to you?
Fitter, stronger, healthier version of themselves, and to gain confidence and discipline.
Was there anyone that you didn’t think could do it?
I know that anyone can do it. I try not to have any expectations or judgements when we start, but I’ve trained people that have been 50+ years old, who have never even considered diet, discipline, exercise, any of that, and seen them completely change their lives around within a year. If I can do it, then anyone can – I’ve certainly had some colour in my own life which has allowed me to understand how to help other people find their own power.
There’s a few ways you do that, you’re a massage therapist, trainer, and a powerful asset in helping our fighters navigate the unpredictable mental states that come with fight prep. What about those colourful experiences has led you to developing your unique brand of coaching?
I’ve always been very into self-development and understanding how the mind works and why we do what we do. I’ve spent my life developing an understanding of how to operate at our optimal level. I’ve faced plenty of adversity over the years and I was able to apply what I was learning and transformed my own life. So now I guide others in mastering their mind and transforming their own lives.
I use a lot of your metaphors when explaining Muaythai techniques to students, it’s so effective. What made you want to create Via Bellatoris and share that experience and knowledge?
Martial arts will always be around because it requires discipline in both the body and the mind – the martial artist is in complete control of their entire person, and their mind and body work together.
So taking the experiences and knowledge I have, combined with my skills in martial arts, now it makes sense for me to pass that knowledge on to anyone who needs it. I guide others to complete power within themselves through the way of the warrior; Self knowledge = Self Mastery.
That’s why I love my work, and why I do what I do – I guide people to their own power, by giving them the skills to turn their own lives around.
It’s definitely tangible, you’re a man that walks the walk and talks the talk. What can people expect if they train with you?
To become the best version of themselves both physically and mentally. To understand themselves deeply. To become a skilled warrior with great combative ability. To have fun and feel amazingly confident and proud.
Sounds ok I guess… What have you learned about yourself from training other people?
So much! I learn from each and every client I have. They are like stones that I sharpen my blade against in every session.
And lastly, what do you do when you’re not here?
I love to relax and spend time with my partner and her daughter. Go to the beach, train, and visit my family.
Any last words?
If anyone wants to know more about my services, they can go to iggymcgowan.com or give me a call to organise a session. I haven’t met anyone who has tried it and not loved it; martial arts will give you confidence and develop your focus, making you more powerful in all aspects of your life.
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