For 52-year-old Daniel Floerke, learning is a lifelong habit. An avid golfer and tennis player, Daniel picked up Tae Kwon Do several years ago to learn something new. After dabbling in the Korean martial art for several years, he switched to training Muay Thai at FaMA - Fitness and Martial Arts.
Daniel has always enjoyed trying new things. Never one to shy away from a challenge or an adventure, Daniel picked up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) after moving to FaMA. It took some persuasion from his Muay Thai buddies, who also grappled, but a free gi (BJJ uniform) when renewing his membership did the job. He eventually started training with Professor Zorobabel Moreira in the basic class, which is tailored for beginners.
“I feel like there is no reason for us to ever stop acquiring new skills. We can be lifelong learners if we wanted to,” said Daniel, who trains almost every morning or afternoon depending on his schedule. He switches between BJJ, Muay Thai, and FaMA Fit. He once did 12 classes in five days, an impressive feat for anyone at any age.
“With Muay Thai and FaMA Fit, I get a tremendous total body workout but with BJJ I feel like I am also working out my mind,” said Daniel. He further added seeing Muay Thai coaches, Tanaphong Khunhankaew (Kru Ping) and Jerel Louie, hold Blue Belts in BJJ made him excited to try it as well.
“Most gyms run their Muay Thai and BJJ programs separately and you don’t see coaches cross training. At FaMA, you will see the Muay Thai instructors put on a gi and train with others or you will see Zoro hitting the bag,” said Daniel.
Moving to FaMA
Daniel made his move to FaMA after his old gym moved to a new location and it was not convenient for him and his training partners. As a group, he and his friends decided to find a new place to train and that’s when he stumbled upon FaMA.
“We scouted several different places before settling in at FaMA,” said Daniel. One of the reasons why he and his friends picked FaMA was because of its facility and schedule.
“When we arrived at FaMA, it was a WOW moment for all us. The facility was bright and there were plenty of lockers and showers. There were classes all day but most importantly, the people at the front desk were amazing. The instructors are awesome too.”
FaMA’s staff immediately made Daniel feel welcomed unlike several other gyms that he previously scouted. The vibe, he says, was friendly and not intimidating. “There were no meatheads chugging down protein shakes and grunting at the front desk, so that’s a plus,” joked Daniel.
Training After 50
Unlike some of the younger martial arts enthusiasts and competitors, Daniel believes everyone should train at their own speed and leave their ego at the door. He stressed that trying to keep up with 20-year-olds is a very bad idea and can result in injury.
Daniel also takes Saturday and Sunday off and will not do any martial arts to let his body recover from the week’s training.
“I am happy that no one is pressuring me to compete or to get a new belt. All the instructors are being supportive of my journey and letting me do it at my own pace.”
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.