Jeff Chan Interview
Jeff Chan is an MMA fighter and a popular Youtuber who posts informative videos breaking down different techniques and tactics for everyone practising martial arts. He is of a rare breed of fighters sharing only practical knowledge.
You started at age 15, and accumulated an amateur record of 24 wins and two losses. Do you remember your first fight?
Definitely! I remember throwing the same combination over 10 times and winning with that same combination – it was the hook and double step low kick combo!
Why have you choose Muay Thai over many other styles? Was it popular in Canada?
I chose Muay Thai because it seemed practical and effective, and to be honest, my Kru at the time really pumped me up and made me want to get better. Although I enjoyed watching Jackie Chan and Jet Li movies, I always questioned the effectiveness of Kung Fu or Traditional Chinese Martial Arts. After a year of training, watching professional fights, and seeing others incorporate so many different martial arts into their style, I now believe those martial arts can work, it just depends on how skilled you are.
You travel a lot, especially across Asia, what is your favourite gym to train?
My favourite gym to train at is Khongsittha located in Bangkok.
You debuted in One Championship in January, how was it and what was the outcome?
ONE Championship was a great experience. I didn’t think that I would be fighting again, but when they reached out, how could you say ‘no’ to an opportunity like that. Everything and everyone on their team was extremely organized and the event ran smoothly despite COVID-19. I was happy to bring home the win by RNC submission in the second round.
How was it to coach your first fight of beginner fighters in Thailand in 2019?
I was very nervous but it ended up being a great experience for both myself and my students. Both my students were new to fighting, it was actually their first fight. They were also paired with fairly experienced opponents, just typically what happens with fights in Thailand – one opponent apparently had over 100 fights! But both of my students listened very well and one of them even won by TKO!
What is your favourite combo technique to win a fight?
My favourite combination is probably the hook to low kick!
You train at The Tristar Gym where Georges St-Pierre and Rory MacDonald trained to become champions. How is it to train under Firas Zahabi?
Firas is an absolute wizard in the sport of MMA. I have learned a lot from him and hope to continue learning from him. The Tristar gym is also full of experienced fighters, so there are always sparring partners to help you prepare for a fight! Everyone there is extremely welcoming, skilled, and helpful.
What lesson you have learned during many years of training?
A big lesson I have learned and truly only hit me during my last fight camp was to appropriately rest and recover. I had taken a significant amount of time off before my last fight and it was extremely tough moving to a new city, training with high-level fighters, and training twice a day. Even though I only had a six-week fight camp and you may feel like there isn’t enough time to train and retain everything you’re learning, there were days where I had to listen to my body and take the appropriate time to rest and recover.
Can you give some tips to beginners starting in May Thai?
Some tips for people starting out in Muay Thai or martial arts would be to remain open-minded and learn everything you can, but personally retain and use what works for you and your style, and reject what doesn’t. I was always open to learning new techniques, but I recognized that being a “smaller” fighter meant that certain techniques just wouldn’t work for me. I still love trying new techniques and practicing them on people, but I can usually tell immediately if something is going to work in an actual fight or competition for my style. But this feeling and knowledge happens after years of training and drilling.
On your YouTube and Instagram channels, you post informative content breaking down tactics and techniques. Can you recommend a few to our readers?
For beginners, I would highly recommend these videos:
What is the next step for Jeff Chan?
I hope to continue making high quality content for everyone and visit/vlog more gyms around the world, keeping people more informed on martial arts training.
Can you name three favourite champions you follow and maybe learned from?
Jose Aldo for his low kicks, GSP for his stance and takedowns, Dominick Cruz for his footwork, TJ Dillashaw for his head kicks, and Lyoto Machida for his blitz attacks!
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