I first noticed Mia Kang on Instagram when she commented on some of my posts on MuayThaiGram.
As I began to check out her profile, I noticed a few posts of her training so I began to do a bit of research on her. To think a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model was into Muay Thai, I had to find out more! I reached out to Mia and was very honored that she agreed to be interviewed for Muay Thai Authority.
Mia was born in Hong Kong, her parents are South Korean & British. She began modeling at age 13 and achieved a lot of success at an early age. Eventually she took a break from modeling to finish her education. She earned a master’s degree in finance & financial law and began a career in trading commodities. She decided to give modeling another shot and last summer she won the 2016 Sports Illustrated Model Search Competition, which landed her in the latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Also in 2016, she traveled to Thailand on a 10-day vacation that turned into a 6-month stay that included living and training Muay Thai. I hope you enjoy learning more about Mia as she trains for an upcoming fight in Koh Samui, Thailand on May 7th.
MTA: How long have you been visiting Thailand?
Mia: I grew up in Hong Kong, so Thailand was always a nearby holiday destination.
MTA: On your visits to Thailand, did you get to watch Muay Thai and where?
Mia: Yes, I have watched Muay Thai at all the stadiums in Koh Samui as well as the Thai Fight, Max Muay Thai in Pattaya, and in Bangkok at Lumpinee and Rajadamnern.
MTA: Did you ever try Muay Thai for fitness before?
Mia: I first tried Muay Thai 3 or 4 years ago with my personal trainer, just for fitness.
MTA: Did you ever train in any other martial arts or combat sports before the recent 6 months in Thailand?
Mia: No but I have continued my training since I left Thailand.
MTA: Who is your favorite Nak Muay(s) (Muay Thai fighters)?
Mia: Saenchai and Buakaw.
Mia arrived to Thailand less than a week ago to begin training and preparing for a fight in Koh Samui in May. She is also planning on training in Bangkok with Saenchai, Singdam and Manachai.
MTA: I know it’s not very likely to know your opponent but do you have any idea who you might fight in May in Koh Samui?
Mia: I have no idea who I will fight. There are not many female Thai fighters who are my height but I’ve seen one and I have her in mind.
MTA: Any reason why you would fight in Thailand with full rules Muay Thai (with no protection) vs possibly in America where you are based out of now?
Mia: I am a professional model, so I can’t fight very often because of my job. If I am going to do this once (who knows when I will be able to do this again) I would rather do it as authentic as possible, in Thailand with a Thai opponent who has been doing this all her life, so that I can learn as much as I can from the entire experience.
MTA: Are you afraid of getting hurt or even scarred when you fight?
Mia: I am fully aware of the potential outcomes but I believe in my ability. People keep asking me if I am scared or afraid of getting hurt and honestly I’m focused on what I’m going to do to her not what she could do to me.
MTA: I know that training has given you a lot of self-confidence, what makes you want to fight?
Mia: People are born fighters or they aren’t. You can’t teach someone to WANT to fight. I don’t do things half assed, I do it 0% or 100%, I always knew I wanted to take it all the way. I want to test my ability – Muay Thai isn’t like BJJ or Karate where we can get belts that measure our ability, the only way we can do so is to fight. I want to challenge myself.
MTA: What are your plans/goals in reference to Muay Thai?
Mia: Let’s see how this fight goes. Maybe I will step out of the ring and say great, that’s ticked off my bucket list. Maybe I will step out and say when can I fight again?!
MTA: What are your plans after this fight?
Mia: I will return to modeling and the entertainment industry. I will also maybe try my hand at MMA.
It’s always great to see the sport of Muay Thai growing around the world. I want to thank Mia for the interview and wish her the best in her upcoming fight. For more information about Mia, you can follow her on twitter and instagram @MissMiaKang.