Having trained in photography in college, it was during her time as a sports photographer that Ruth discovered Muay Thai and decided to try it out on a serious level at the age of 27, which might be considered quite a late age for taking up a competitive sport.
“I’m proof that you can do anything at any age” is Ruth’s mantra.
15 years of fighting and Ruth was a 5 x World Champion with 3 World WBC titles and the only woman in the world to achieve a WBC Diamond Belt. During her fighting career, Ruth travelled the world, visiting destinations including Hong Kong, Australia, China, Italy, Turkey, France and Spain, competing in over 100 fights against some amazing opponents. Ruth also became well-known for her spectacular walk-outs - making quite the entrance! All this was thanks to some incredible support - in particular, Crawley Martial Arts Academy and John Jarvis.
Since retiring, Ruth has been inducted into the WBC Muaythai Hall of Fame and is currently the WBC Chairwoman for Europe.
During her competitive career, Ruth became a fully qualified Personal Trainer, working at Crawley Martial Arts Academy. Having been on the receiving end of world class support, training and the sharing of expertise, Ruth is passionate about paying that forward.
Ruth’s Yoga journey started many years ago, having practiced with many teachers. However, Ruth recalls one particular teacher that made a difference. The way he spoke to her completely resonated with her, taking Yoga to a whole new level.
“I achieved balance that I never could before, despite years of competing at top level in Thai Boxing and for the first time found a peace from my overactive brain. I left the class uplifted, lighter.”
Whilst Ruth couldn’t commit to regular Yoga due to her busy training and competing schedule she often feels, in retrospect, that Yoga would have really helped support her professional competing career, both physically and emotionally.
“Yoga is, in many respects, a ‘Ying’ to Thai Boxing’s ‘Yang’, but the benefits it brings in terms of flexibility, enhanced movement and fitness, not to mention the mental wellbeing that it promotes can provide incredible support to an advanced athlete - prevention of injury, healing from injury and focussing thoughts. It would have really helped during times when I doubted myself, or lost fights due to mindset rather than my ability. The hardest part of being a fighter is the constant battle with your mind - even with all the training, your head will win or lose you a fight. Yoga really helps you to take control”.
Ruth returned to Yoga in a more serious way when she retired needing a focus and challenge in her new chapter and a genuine urge to help people on their fight journey. Travelling to India to learn and qualify with the Yoga Alliance as a teacher, today she has an enthusiastic following for her ‘Strong Yoga’ classes which she meticulously plans and has an enormous amount of passion for.
A selection of images in the following galleries and throughout this website have been featured with kind permission of Dave Fordisque.