When Camille Venturina closed the door on a toxic relationship, she felt like she needed a change. Despite having a successful career in advertising and a strong foundation in martial arts, the former Filipino national rock climber needed something to help her regain her confidence, poise, spirit, and tenacity.
Camille found her way back to martial arts but instead of Taekwondo - her martial arts of choice throughout her teenage years - she decided to try out Muay Thai.
“I started training Taekwondo when I was in school. It happened by chance. I wanted to join a sports club and I thought Taekwondo would be cool. Needless to say, my father, who always wanted a son, was so happy when his little girl started kicking pads,” said Camille.
“I was a brown belt when I stopped Taekwondo and then started rock climbing. However, when I was in a really bad relationship, I did not feel like myself. So, when it ended, I took all the negative energy and channeled it into Muay Thai,” she added.
Camille tried several different training facilities before finding a home at Fitness and Martial Arts (FaMA) under the tutelage of Tanaphong Khunhankaew or “Kru Ping” as he is fondly known by his students.
“I really liked the vibe at FaMA when I did my free week trial. Everyone was so cool and friendly. I’ve tried Muay Thai in several different countries but it was at FaMA that I felt like I was at home. A lot of it was because of Kru Ping. He is friendly but firm when it comes to training.”
It was also at FaMA that Camille started dabbling in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). The appeal was being able to subdue a bigger, stronger opponent using leverage and joint locks instead of strength. “I used to watch BJJ class but I was afraid to try it because it was mostly guys and everyone was bigger than me,” said Camille.
“However, when FaMA brought a female guest instructor to teach for a month, I was intrigued to try grappling.”
Eloisa Souto (BJJ Black Belt, Brazilian Nationals and World Championships medalist) was invited to teach and train at FaMA as part of an on-going guest instructor program, to give students the opportunity to learn from various instructors from around the world.
“To see a female instructor teaching was really cool. That’s when I put on a gi and started training BJJ. Now I am hooked,” said Camille.
Despite her busy schedule and constant traveling, Camille tries to clock in at least four to five sessions a week and does not plan to slow down.
“I’ve lost eight kilograms since I joined FaMA about a year ago, and I am happy to have found a great place to train with awesome people.”
FaMA - Fitness and Martial Arts Established in 2016, FaMA is a world-class martial arts training facility located in the heart of the Central Business District in Singapore. Walking distance from the Clarke Quay MRT station, FaMA’s main goal is to help people improve their lives through martial arts regardless of age or athletic capability. Each program is led by experts in their respective fields. Whether it is weight loss, a fun workout, camaraderie, competition training, or just to break a sweat, FaMA has something for everyone.
Muay Thai, or The Art of Eight Limbs, is a martial art developed in Thailand thousands of years ago to help the Kingdom protect itself against invaders. Using the human body as a weapon, Muay Thai practitioners are well-versed in punching, elbowing, kicking, kneeing, and clinching with their opponents. What was once only used for self-defence and protection of the Kingdom, Muay Thai has grown to become one of the most popular sports not only in Thailand but in the world. Muay Thai is known to provide a complete total-body workout that will help build lean muscle, core strength, and help with weight loss. At FaMA, Muay Thai classes are taught daily by Tanaphong Khunhankaew, or better known as Kru Ping, and Coach Jerel Louie.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or BJJ as it is commonly known around the world, is a self-defence martial art that enables a smaller, weaker person to protect themselves against a much larger attacker using leverage and pressure. Formed from Kodokan Judo in Japan, Jiu Jitsu found its way to Brazil in the 1910s through Mitsuyo Maeda, a Japanese judoka and no-holds-barred prize fighter. During his time in Brazil, Maeda accepted a young Carlos Gracie as his student. Carlos would later pass on his knowledge to his brothers, most notably Helio Gracie - the father of modern Brazilian Jiujitsu. The Gracie family would go on to spread BJJ through The Gracie Challenge and eventually the creation of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Today, BJJ has grown to be more than just an effective unarmed fighting system. It helps young children deal with bullies and adults live a healthy lifestyle. BJJ classes are offered daily at FaMA under the tutelage of Black Belts Zoro Moreira and Robyn Goudy.
An all-in-one fitness class suitable for everyone, FaMA Fit incorporates moves from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Boxing and Kickboxing together with functional training to help develop flexibility, mobility, strength, balance, and stamina. For beginners who are just starting out, the FaMA Fit Fundamentals class is an entry-level program that will work the entire body. FaMA Fit and FaMA Fit Fundamentals classes are run by professional athlete Coach Kirstie Gannaway.