Gannat Refaat | Muay Thai National Champion Dreams of the World Title 

May 2, 2023
Kristin Jankowski

“I want to be a Muay Thai World Champion,” says Gannat Refaat.The 17-year-old Egyptian girl has a soft voice. Gannat wears white sneakers and black jogging pants. “I became the National Champion of Muay Thai in my weight category this year. And since then, everyone in my school is respecting me a lot,” she continues with a big smile on her face. “It is also my wish to get a scholarship to study English Literature at the American University in Cairo,” she adds confidently.

Muay Thai is the traditional sport of Thailand. It is the “Art of Eight Limbs”, and it is one of the most effective combat sports in the world. Muay Thai practitioners use eight body parts for striking: two hands, two legs, two elbows and two knees. All of the techniques in Muay Thai involve the whole body. And every movement requires proper footwork and hip rotation to get maximum power.

Muay Thai is not just a great way of staying physically fit – it is also contributing to psychological wellness, and it teaches you how to defend yourself in an emergency. It is a powerful sport which encourages discipline, mindfulness and compassion. It is a tool to stay calm and focused during times of stress.

“When I start a fight, I am not afraid. I am confident and I believe in myself”, says Gannat. Muay Thai teaches self-respect. This is a way of life. Through Martial Arts, practitioners learn how to overcome difficult situations. And how to make the best out of it.

Gannat’s father, Master Refaat Ahmed Sayed, is the Technical Manager of the Egyptian National Muay Thai Team. He was the one who prepared Gannat for her first big fight. “I had a knee surgery, and I couldn’t walk during that time,” Refaat remembers. “I was sitting on a chair and trained Gannat for six months at home. And she is not where she it right now, just because she is my daughter. She works hard and she is very committed. This is why she is also training with the National Team now,” he adds proudly.

For a few months she has been helping her father to manage his Martial Arts Academy in the neighbourhood of Maadi in Cairo. Gannat is also training Muay Thai students.  “I am studying English at home. I am improving my skills, so I can communicate with almost everyone who comes from abroad to practice Muay Thai here with us,” she explains.

“And one day, inshallah, I will travel to Thailand and train at the prestigious Tiger Muay Thai Gym. They are producing world Champions,” she smiles as she climbs up the Boxing Ring.

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