In our second episode of Fighting Mentality, I take a look at WBC Muay Thai Champion, BKB and World Lethwei Championship (WLC) fighter Toby ‘Wardog’ Bindon.
In this series, we take a look at what the fighters go through outside of the ring, the side of the fighter that we as fans don’t get to see. How do they recover from those potential career-defining injuries? What is it like suffering those big losses? How do they get prepared for the biggest fights in their career? And, of course, how it all began. During this series, I hope to answer all of these questions and more.
When was it that you first decided to get into martial arts, what was it that made you want to start, was there a motive that got you to start?
TB – ‘I was born into martial arts. When I learnt to walk, I learnt to punch. From age 4 is when I started real martial arts training from my father.’
Tell me about what you go through when you lose a fight, how do you feel, your emotions and thoughts and how do you overcome that to get back up and start over again? It can be the 1st loss you suffered or every loss, is there a recurring emotion?
TB – ‘No matter how much experience you get, for me, each time I’ve lost it sucks really, really bad! I’m usually very annoyed at myself for a day or two and need my space. Then it’s onto the next, as you get more experienced you look at losses as learning curves, it’s always a lesson. But it sucks. I hate to lose. You just look at it from more of a learning point of view, the more experience you get which makes it easier I suppose.’
Have you suffered a serious injury in your career? If so how did you feel when it happened, what were you thinking? How did you get through the injury and what made you want to continue fighting after the injury?
TB – ‘My worst injury is when I suffered ligament damage in my knee from a leg kick I received. I had a lot of worry that it was going to need surgery, which luckily it didn’t. It tested me, as I had to take 6 weeks off with no training, which is hard for me, as I train every day, fight or no fight so that was hard, but I just listened to coaches and followed the physio plan. I got through the injury by watching, training, and studying footage of fights as well as figuring out how to improve mentally. The thought of not fighting never entered my mind.’
What you consider to be your biggest fight to date? How did you feel in the lead up to the fight, what were you feeling going into it? How did you manage to control those emotions during the fight and then how did you feel after the fight was over?
TB – ‘I put so much time and effort into the training, not just physically but also mentally, emotionally & spirituality, so my vision was on winning 100 percent. I just love to fight, so that’s what you go through in the changing room, I’ve done all the graft and this is what I love, so I’ve just got to go and perform. When I won the WBC title and by trademark KO, I was so happy, it felt out of this world!’
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