Stephanie Schmale kicks Jenn Wiebe while sparring at the Absolute Fitness gym in Red Deer Tuesday. The two Muay Thai fighters will compete at the TBA Classic tournament June 21-24 in Iowa. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)

WATCH: Red Deer Muay Thai fighters prepare for competition in U.S.

Stephanie Schmale and Jennifer Wiebe will compete in the TBA Classic June 21-24

Two Red Deer Muay Thai fighters are preparing for the tournament of a lifetime.

Stephanie Schmale, 28, and Jenn Wiebe, 25, will compete in the TBA Classic, one of North America’s longest-running Muay Thai (Thai Boxing) tournaments, in Iowa, June 21-24.

Schmale started karate as a six-year-old and really struggled. When she got older, she wanted to give it another shot, but instead of karate, thought Muay Thai would be a better fit.

“There’s a confidence you get through fighting,” she said. “When you’re in the gym, it reflects on the rest of your life. If you get through a fight camp in Muay Thai, you can mentally get through anything.”

The two are originally from Sylvan Lake and knew each other before training together. But it was Muay Thai that brought them closer, said Schmale.

“Jenn ‘fan-girled’ me at one of my first fights,” Schmale said. “She came up to me after and was all excited and … said, ‘That was awesome I can’t wait to do that.’ ”

The TBA Classic will be Schmale’s second time fighting outside of Canada – she competed in Hungary last year.

Wiebe started karate at four and worked her way to becoming a black belt. When she went to Thailand — where her father worked — she learned more about Muay Thai.

“I got to watch some Thai fights, and it was really exciting. So I trained in Thailand and got to do it,” she said.

Wiebe said this will be her first competition in a long time.

“You have a bit of nervousness, a bit of excitement. (There are) lots of things running through your head,” she said.

Will Quijada, the women’s coach at Absolute Fitness in Red Deer, said it’s impressive how much training the two put in.

“They train anywhere between three to four hours a day, four to six days a week.

“That includes: running, martial arts practice, their strength and conditioning,” he said.

Quijada said he expects them to perform well at the TBA Classic, which features some of North America’s best athletes.

“They have some tough fights ahead of them, but they’ve been preparing well. Everything’s been going well in their training camps … so we’re going for the belts,” he said.

The two could fight up to four times during the tournament.



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Stephanie Schmale (right) blocks a Jenn Wiebe kick while sparring at the Absolute Fitness gym in Red Deer Tuesday. The two Muay Thai fighters will compete at the TBA Classic tournament June 21-24 in Iowa. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)

Jenn Wiebe (left) and Stephanie Schmale spar at the Absolute Fitness gym in Red Deer Tuesday evening. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)

Stephanie Schmale kicks Jenn Wiebe while sparring at the Absolute Fitness gym in Red Deer Tuesday. The two Muay Thai fighters will compete at the TBA Classic tournament June 21-24 in Iowa. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)

Jenn Wiebe (left) and Stephanie Schmale spar at the Absolute Fitness gym in Red Deer Tuesday evening. (Photo by SEAN MCINTOSH/Advocate staff)

Just Posted

Prosecutor illness delays dangerous driving trial

Red Deer man facing dangerous driving charges in connection with 2016 d0uble-fatal collision

RCMP officer fires his gun in confrontation with suspects near Maskwacis

RCMP were called to Samson First Nation with report of shots fired early on Monday morning

Scares and chills await at haunted house in Red Deer

Zed Haunted House helps raise money for Boys and Girls Club of Red Deer District

PHOTO: Renewable Energy Fair at Red Deer College

The Renewable Energy Fair and Workshops event was held at Red Deer… Continue reading

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Local Sports: Rudy Soffo valuable to Kings on the court

When Rudy Soffo first saw the RDC basketball Kings roster he was… Continue reading

Except for 1 kick, Saints, Ravens are evenly matched

BALTIMORE — In a matchup between the league’s highest-scoring offence and top-ranked… Continue reading

Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets a top award for comedy

WASHINGTON — After a 35-year acting career and with two iconic television… Continue reading

Ricky Skaggs, Dottie West enter Country Music Hall of Fame

NASHVILLE — Bluegrass and country star Ricky Skaggs, singer Dottie West and… Continue reading

AP Exclusive: Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair, thesis for sale

LONDON — Stephen Hawking was a cosmic visionary, a figure of inspiration… Continue reading

Canada deemed U.S. a safe country for asylum seekers after internal review

OTTAWA — Canadian immigration officials have determined that the United States remains… Continue reading

Bombardier sues Mitsubishi over alleged theft of aircraft trade secrets

MONTREAL — Bombardier is suing Mitsubishi Aircraft in the United States over… Continue reading

Three strong earthquakes reported in Pacific Ocean off Vancouver Island

Three relatively strong earthquakes were recorded Sunday night in the Pacific Ocean… Continue reading

Most Read