25 Feb Legends 2019 – Kickboxing In San Francisco
Fighter Michelle Jessica “Mije” Von Merta-Sustarich gives her recap on the event.
After a 2.5 year hiatus from her last fight- Muay Thai fighter and Personal Trainer- Mije came back strong in this fight against opponent McKenzie Himes, after recovering from two surgeries and losing 40% feeling in one of her legs. Calling it her “come back fight,” Mije spent the past 8 weeks prepping for her fight at her home team World Gym San Francisco under Kru Sam Phimsoutham, but the past 9 years of her life training to fight.
Elan Vital Media wants to know what it’s like to be a Muay Thai Fighter, and what motivates you to fight?
Mije: “Fighting isn’t just a sport, it’s a lifestyle choice. When you chose to fight, you’re choosing to commit yourself to day in and day out training sessions. A typical training week includes road work (running/strength training), pad/focus mitt work, bag work, partner work, and of course- sparring. Training lasts anywhere from 1-2 hours a day minimum 4-6x a week! But this sport saved my life! When I was 13 years old I got hit by a car and medically have been declared as “disabled” due to extent of my injuries from the accident. If it wasn’t for Muay Thai, I wouldn’t be walking today as it’s really served to be my own form of physical therapy. Somedays even know I can’t even get out of bed, but the more I train the more good days I have with my disability and the less I train the more pain I am in.”
This event brought together Muay Thai Schools from all over California to have their fighters of all ages to battle it out in the ring! Muay Thai, although being a striking sport known as the art of 8 limbs, brings people together that share the same passion and unite the community.
“Action” Shot: Photographer Kirk Davis
Muay thai Portrait: Photographer Alex Matt
Headshot: Photographer: Jorge Moreno Jr