On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Mario Marin, a former professional fighter who has competed in Muay Thai, boxing, and MMA, and is now head coach at Team Red Planet - Muay Thai
He is also the trainer for a new series of self-defense training sessions called Trans Boxing Brooklyn
These classes are for trans and gender nonconforming people who want to learn self-defense or even just have a good workout, in a trans-friendly environment. He is working with Nola Hanson and Joss Martinez on these classes, which are chiefly aimed at beginners.
The next class is Thursday, August 24, from 6-7 PM EDT. The location is Team Red Planet - Muay Thai, 105 Ralph Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11221. It is free to attend, although donations are suggested.
We spoke with Mario Marin by phone Wednesday.
"The event itself is basically a safe space environment we're providing for transgender, non-binary persons, that perhaps don't feel comfortable going to your average boxing gym or your average Muay Thai gym," said Mario Marin, who is cis (not trans) and straight.
"I train in a lot of gyms, and I can understand that it can be a little bit macho or a little bit intimidating for some people. And so we wanted to create a time and place where you can just show up and be yourself, and nobody really is going to ask any questions, and put out a great environment for training.
"I feel that boxing is a great form of self-defense, and I feel that it's a great exercise, and it should be available to basically anyone at any time. But unfortunately it's not always the case, and so we're starting from scratch."
With this, their third class, "Hopefully from there we can grow, and just continue to add more and more classes, and create just a wonderful, enjoyable environment for transgender and non-binary persons."
We also discussed how "to learn to fight is to fight"; how this training can develop self-confidence for its participants "from the inside out"; why it is important for trans, non-binary, and gender nonconforming people to take up an interest in combat sports; how future classes may also be held in grappling styles such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and catch wrestling; and much, much more.
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Thanks, Eddie Goldman