Updated: Apr 30
.Coach Alain, one of our Jungle coaches. You will often see him on Saturdays coaching the afternoon classes. When he’s not coaching or training together with the other members, you would probably see him, standing at a corner working from his phone or laptop.
Born in the country best known for waffles, beer and chocolate – Belgium. He’s a sweet loving husband who likes to spend quality time with his wife whenever time allows him.
Some of you may be wondering, what is Alain doing in Singapore, away from his home country? Well, the reason is that his wife is a Singaporean! 11 years ago, the couple met when they were both in Thailand on a holiday (what are the chances really, Thailand isn’t even that small). Both of them were training Muay Thai in Thailand for 4 months.
After training together for approximately a month, there was a small Friday night gathering for the gym goers. It was only then when both of them started talking to each other, instead of exchanging punches and kicks in the gym. Things started to bloom between these two love birds and after a few years, Alain made the decision to move permanently to Singapore. Away from Belgium, it is undeniable that he misses his family and friends, the food and of course, the insanely cheap booze.
Alain started his martial arts journey with full contact Kickboxing and Shotokan Karate at the young age of 14. His love for martial arts began even before he started school, where he actually practiced a bunch of martial arts moves on his own. Alain enjoyed watching martial arts movies starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and Bruce Lee. So, it was only a matter of time for him to look at joining a dojo/gym to receive proper martial arts training (for those who are unfamiliar with the term “dojo”, it is a room or hall in which judo and other martial arts are practiced).
Alain has tried a variety of martial arts – full contact Kickboxing, Shotokan Karate, Kyokushin Karate, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiujitsu (BJJ) and ultimately Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Alain mentioned that it was impossible to choose one martial art he prefers or thinks it is the most important. He loves Muay Thai, BJJ and MMA which blends everything together. Alain admits he does look back fondly on his Kyokushin Karate days, which got him to grow his physical and maybe even more so his mental toughness. Right now, Alain’s main interest is steered towards striking and he wishes to get more refined in his striking skills, especially in the aspect of footwork.
One of his greatest fight memories was in 2009, Alain took part in his very first MMA fight where he was given quite late notice (less than 2 weeks before the event). Most likely someone pulled out last minute and the organizer needed a 70kg replacement. Back then, Alain was mainly a striker, doing a mixture of Kyokushin Karate and Muay Thai. His BJJ skills were close to non-existent, only training once a week. It was also the time when he had just started a new job, hence it was difficult for him to take time out to train for the
fight. Since he could not train adequately for the impromptu match, he knew that he had to keep the game plan to striking instead of allowing his opponent to bring him to the ground. To avoid stressing him, his coach decided to not disclose all information on his opponent and have him focus on his strengths. Alain knocked his opponent out within 15 seconds into the fight. Only after the fight, Alain’s coach proceeded to enlighten him about his opponent’s background – a Judo black belt, with a couple of MMA fights already on his record.
Learning martial arts has always been a pleasure for Alain. He took up coaching because he believes that sharing the passion he has within, is a natural thing to do. On top of that, he conceives that coaching helps him as a fighter. Alain’s coaching is really clear, where he constantly provides explanations to what he teaches. He guides and checks on each and every student diligently, ensuring that everyone knows the proper techniques.
Prior to Jungle, Alain was and is still mainly working for the well-known Ritual Gym that specializes in High Intensity Interval (HIIT) training sessions. In the past 6 years with Ritual, he has worked as a Customer Service Associate, Ritual Coach, Branch Manager at Holland Village’s outlet. And now, he is currently working behind the scenes as a Project Manager, focusing on the local expansion.
Having joined the Jungle has been amazing for him thus far as it enabled him to share his martial arts skills and experience. He mentioned that he looks forward to conducting more classes in the future especially once the new gym opens!