8 Blade Warriors: Chris Nguyen
We’ll be exploring the milestones and tribulation stories behind one of Melbourne’s local Vietnamese community members and his still early journey within professional Muay Thai fighting. From an exclusive interview with Chris, we delve into the insights of his origins as well as his club’s empowering message for ambitious and early-stage fighters.
Introducing first … from the red corner:
At only 24 years of age, weighing in at 61 kg and standing at 1.7m
Coming in at 16 WINS, with one by way of KNOCKOUT
Ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for …
Starting at the age of 13, a young and troublesome Chris from Melbourne’s West, like any talent, begins his journey being told that he should have an outlet outside of school. Similar to many and not finding the educational pathway to be resonant with his talented ambitions, our fighter falls victim to high school’s nature of bullying and peer fighting.
A quiet and shy teen laces up his gloves and begins his new chapter.
Thus the start of Chris’ humble beginnings into professional Muay Thai boxing.
Respected and looked up to by peers of 8 Blade Warriors now, Chris’ instills that Muay Thai has helped him stay fit, be social and has taught him, more so, of life’s lessons in the most literal sense.
Innately a quiet introvert and passive student, Chris’ shy but ambitious nature brought him out of the tragedies that came of rebellious social circles to learn the harsh realities of physical punishment in the ring. Taken in by persevering coaches and mentors of growth, our subject finds that inside learning the art behind Muay Thai self defence and training came lessons of loyalty, respect and perseverance.
“Everyone is there for you when you win, but when you lose … it’s only those closest to you.” — Chris Nguyen
As any person learns growing up, coming to realise the solidity of friends and relationships stem at times of disheartenment and inner despair. Chris could only be an advocate for his most noted friends and fighting family Alex Illioski, Kongsak ‘Superboy’ Muensang and Domenic Leone, just to name a few.
Through guidance, comradery and unparalleled devotion from his peers, Chris has only learnt that determination with the support of friends in times of loss and hardship has given rise to the success he has attained as well as those yet to come.
“ They’re the faces that help me through the hard times in training and they’re the ones in my corner when I’m beat.”
Fighting side by side fellow fighter Alex Illijoski, trained by Superboy and Dom, Chris has always had brothers in arms to ensure his consistent presence in the gym and ensure that he was accountable for his successes after every loss.
The 8 Blade Warriors Gym, headed by Superboy and Domenic Leone, instills a hardworking, explosive and family culture that fills a warehouse located in Laverton’s North with padded equipment being tarnished by sweat and tears of his enduringly loyal students. Promoting an authentic and traditional methodology to Muay Thai in an environment that focuses on intensive training and a ‘fun fitness’ culture, training is no joke.
Within the family that is 8 Blade Warriors are persistent, passionate and an ever grinding community from a multitude of cultures that welcome anyone perseverant and or shy character, like that of Chris, that would like to pursue Muay Thai for ‘fitness fun’ or professional boxing. Accompanied by Alexi ‘The Great’ Petroulias, Nat ‘The Storm’ Edwards, Adrian Apap, Quan Trinh, Chiara Zigame and a family oriented approach to training and competition, 8 Blade Warriors encourages aspiring fighters to learn genuine and authentic Muay Thai martial arts.
With a similar upbringing to many, Chris has risen from challenges to develop a forever embedded work-ethic that is second to none. From his accomplishments that he owes to himself and his ‘second family’, he only wishes to encourage and inspire the shy, timid and passive kid that he once was to take action as:
‘Warriors Lead the Way.’