LA Asks: Hindy Weber And The Behind-The-Scenes Story About Her Muay Thai Tournament Experience  - LA Lives

Unveiling an insider perspective on Hindy Weber’s journey in the Muay Thai ringand what compelled her to compete.

Lifestyle Asia caught up with Hindy Weber at Holy Carabao Farm and The Farm Shed Cafe at Acacia Waldorf School to learn about her Muay Thai experience. The farm is a beautiful getaway nestled in the heart of nature in Sta. Elena Golf and Country Estate. In this heartfelt one-on-one with Hindy, we explored the inner workings of her mind as she shared the story of her Muay Thai journey and how it all revolved around the milestone of 2023–her 50th birthday. 

Hindy Weber wins her first amateur Muay Thai fight at 50
Hindy Weber is fit, strong, courageous, and absolutely fabulous at 50

How did you get started in Muay Thai?

“Four years ago an Elorde gym opened near our community and my friend Melanie said, ‘Hey guys you want go train in this boxing gym?’ And at that point we were already doing our own fitness routines. And so we just checked it out and the coaches were amazing and it was really a good workout. So we started bringing our kids of all ages. My youngest at that time was six years old and then my oldest boy was about 20 years old at that time. So we just started training and ended up loving it.

READ ALSO: One With Gaia: Hindy Weber In Her Element

Then lock down happened. So we created a fight club-slash-bubble with our favorite coaches from that gym–Coach Ainie Abubakar and Coach Jessie Bitaga. And so they became our coaches and we kept training all throughout the lock down and that’s it. Our entire family, all ages, even some of our staff joined.

The thing is I’ve always really liked martial arts even as a child. I took Kung Fu, Karate, so it was always kind of there. I love Kung Fu movies and fight movies.” 

Hindy Weber and daughter Anouk
Hindy with daughter Anouk who, like her mom, finds joy in Muay Thai

What compelled you to compete?

First my eldest son competed a couple years ago. And then my best friend’s son also competed about a year ago. And it was at that fight that my friend Melanie again–she’s the one who eggs me on–said, ‘You’re next.’ And I was like no, no way I can’t do that because when you’re at an actual fight, in person, live, it’s really very intimidating.

I thought she was just joking, I didn’t take it seriously but a few months later, two months before my 50th birthday, I said, ‘Oh my gosh, I think I might actually do this. I might have what it takes.

I wanted to do something to commemorate my 50th year. And do something that terrified me. At that point in my fitness I was training to do a marathon already. But I don’t know, it didn’t really scare me so I was looking for something that really challenged me to that point of facing fear and overcoming the odds.’

I was just joking my coach, I said, ‘Do you have a 50-year-old category? Because I don’t want to fight someone young and super strong and get clobbered, right?’ 

She said, ‘Yeah we’ll find one.’

But I don’t think there really is one, and there was none, so I ended up fighting a 20-something-year-old. 22 or 23 something like that. But they base it on weight class.”

Hindy Weber and daughter Anouk both love Muay Thai

How did you prepare for your fight? 

“Physically, I was training with my coaches. Coach Jessie is an international referee and also a Muay Thai coach and was a Muay Thai fighter, together with his wife. It’s nice to have that male-female perspective. And in between I would do conditioning, I would do weighted sprints to work on my stamina. I thought that might be the way I could have a chance was with my stamina. Because I wasn’t sure that I was going to be able to do it with brute force.”

How long did the preparation take?

“So that was just since I decided, it was just two months. 

But the real challenge was a week prior. Because I didn’t tell anybody that I was doing this. I didn’t tell my family. I didn’t want people to get negative or to try and stop me. It was really something I was doing for myself. I wasn’t out to get famous or to prove something. I could have lost and I said I don’t care if I lose. But I just wanted to really try something like that. 

And the mental preparation is actually the toughest thing. Because it’s a dangerous sport especially at our age.”

Hindy Weber and daughter Anouk practice Muay Thai together

What was the toughest part about it mentally?

“Really overcoming a fear of getting knocked out. The reality that you can really get knocked out. And no amount of training can prepare you for the actual fight. Because when you’re training the coach is giving a percentage of his or her strength on you, right? At most 50%. But usually just 30% of strength.

Even when I sparred with my husband; he allowed me to spar with him on one night. Even if you’re hitting each other on the face it’s really just a smidgeon of what it feels like in the actual–against an opponent who has no desire but to knock you down, knock you out. That’s their one desire, right? It’s to knock you out. So they’re giving their all. And to face someone who’s giving their all, is the toughest thing, really. And you have to give your all. So to give your all is not something you do everyday–to really push your energy and your skill to that extent.”

Hindy Weber and daughter Anouk with their dog TRex
Their adorable pup, TRex pops in the shoot with Hindy and Anouk

And giving your all during the fight–did you? Did you give your all?

“Oh my gosh. It was everything I had–everything I had. And it felt like it wasn’t enough. To be honest after round one I thought that the fight was over because she knocked me down. I thought it was going to get called. If my coach called it out, I would have agreed because I really felt I was drowning in her punches. She was so strong, I was in shock. It was like, ‘Oh my God, what is this? I wasn’t prepared for this.’

Before I knew it, round two bell. And I just had to go face her again. It was my son, my eldest son, who kept following me around even if I fell, or when we were moving around the ring, he would follow me. 

I forgot everything. I forgot all the combinations. I forgot all the moves that I had prepared. And he was just like, ‘Just get your hands up Mom! Just get your hands up! Get up, get up!’

When I fell, he said, ‘Get up Mom, get up! Don’t worry about the points–just get up, get up! Hands up, hands up!’

Seeing a way in

And when I did that that’s when I started seeing a way in, and that’s when I was able to get knees in and some jabs in. And then I started noticing she was getting a little tired. I said, ‘Oh my God!’ I think second round we were still even. And then third round came and there, she got two TKOs in the third round. And I didn’t even know that I TKOd her. I was just like, ‘What’s going on?’ I wasn’t familiar with all the rules. And when round three was over I didn’t even think about having won. Or having lost. At that point you’re just, ‘Oh my gosh I’m standing.” I wanted to hug my opponent. You just went through that experience together like that.”

You were out to get scared. What was the scariest moment during the fight?

“Round one. She clobbered me. She was like a gorilla. I was literally drowning. I forgot every single thing I planned. Then survival mode kicks in. When you’re in survival mode, you’re not very accurate, you’re not calculated. You’re so messy. So when I look at the videos of the fight, it looks so messy. But as an audience member, you don’t realize how difficult it is.”

What was the turning point?

“The turning point was my son. Because I couldn’t hear anything. I couldn’t hear my coach. I couldn’t hear anybody. It was all a blur. But I heard my son’s voice. ‘Just get up, Mom. Just block your face. Hands up, hands up.’”

Hindy Weber after her Muay Thai fight. Here she is celebrating her huge win with her family.
“Hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” says Hindy Weber after her Muay Thai fight. Here she is celebrating her huge win with her family / Photo via Instagram @hindyweber

And because of that, it gave me a point of focus. ‘Just hands up, hands up.’ A point of focus. And then I saw a way in and that’s it. Round three, over. I was just happy to be alive and standing. And so when the referee raised my hand, I couldn’t believe it! I couldn’t believe it. And I was just so happy to share that with my gang, my fight club gang, my family who were all there.”

How did that feel–that moment of triumph? 

“I can’t explain it. It’s like no other feeling. I can’t explain it. I’ve won awards in school and even for my work in fashion. My business partner in Holy Carabao Farm–we’ve won awards too. But this is a little different. This one–it’s physical, it’s emotional, it’s mental, it’s spiritual. And you wouldn’t think. I never thought the sport of boxing or mixed martial arts was like this. I really never thought. Now I’m watching fights of Manny Pacquiao and everything. Because before I never really cared, you know? Watching all those fights and realizing, my God, that’s just really tough. And this is just my first fight. It’s an amateur fight. So it’s really no comparison to the professionals. But I got a glimpse of what it feels like.”

50 year-old Hindy Weber wins her first amateur Muay Thai match
Hindy was looking for a sport that would scare and challenge her, which she found in Muay Thai

Would you do it again?

“Maybe. I don’t know. I keep telling people there’s a reason why boxers retire at 30, 35, right? So I don’t know, I’m 50. I might tweak it a little bit. It took me a week to recover. I had whiplash. I couldn’t move my neck. I had bruising on my head. So those things you gotta be careful with also. But I’m thinking of tweaking the sport a little bit. A little bit more exhibition style for women in my age category who might want to try it and give it a shot without so much fear of getting injured. The hurt is inevitable but you don’t want permanent injury.”

Is there anything else you’d like to share about the experience with women our age who are looking to do something that scares them? What advice would you give a mom like yourself who is eager to try it but is feeling intimidated or afraid?

I think a lot of times we put the limits on ourselves. It’s not really life or other people that limit us though we use that as a reason very often, as an excuse. Oh my circumstances are this, and that’s why I can’t do this. Oh so and so is like this, my husband, or my child, or my work won’t allow me to do this, or my family, or my parents. There’s always going to be a reason but it’s really us that’s limiting ourselves, I think. 

On the other side of those limits, if we just push through, we will find ourselves–our truest selves. We will find healing, redemption, and it’s something that’s not manipulated, it’s not something that’s bought. You can’t buy it, you can’t learn it from a book, or a YouTube video. It’s really something that you learn for yourself on your own. And it’s really priceless.

Never let fear control your decisions in life. Be as prepared as you can be. And then trust yourself to push forward. It’s the only way to blossom.”

What do you love most about Muay Thai?

“I love that it is the art of eight limbs. You can use your hands, elbows, knees, feet. It is also very ceremonial, like a true martial art.”

How did your 19 year-old daughter, Anouk, become interested in Muay Thai too? When we were together, I saw and felt how much you both love and enjoy the sportwhere is this joy coming from?

“She loves it because it’s one of the few sports she can do while leaning against a wall, or on her knees or even lying on the floor grappling. We also have the best coaches, Jessie Bitaga and Ainie Abubakar, who accept her and work around her different abilities to make her feel empowered. It’s the joy of feeling empowered, able, and balanced in mind, heart and body.”

Hindy Weber and daughter Anouk with TRex
Mother and daughter team, Hindy and Anouk, experience joy and empowerment through Muay Thai

Text and interview by MAWI FOJAS DE OCAMPO

Photos by Willy Saw


Shoot Coordination: MAE TALAID


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