Photo courtesy of Darren Langlois Photography. Website & Facebook

When you’re training for a title fight, it’s important to have a system of support in place to help you achieve your goals. It means working through past experience and knowing the challenges that lay ahead.

Mark is committed to improving his mental strategy and also his physical capacity. Working under coach Chad Sawyer at Champion’s Creed, Mark is gearing up for the Lion’s Fight Cruiser Weight Muay Thai Title on July 28, hosted in Connecticut at the Foxwoods Casino.

Lion Fight is the most active promoter of Muay Thai events and stands as the largest standup combat sports organization in North America.

Lion Fight’s full rules Muay Thai events are televised live nationally to over 42 million homes as part of AXS TV’s long-runningFriday Night Fights series. The company is dedicated to growing Muay Thai in America and to presenting world-class events stacked with the best fighters in the sport.

For Mark, training isn’t solely about the title: he sees the effort and dedication as part of the journey to becoming the best version of himself.

Mark explains that a fight demands the most of yourself and you need to be sound both physically and mentally.

With eight weekly training sessions, on top of a full-time job, with mental training through reading and meditation, and with the support of his girlfriend, Mark is well on his way to the fight of his life.

Mark practiced Taekwondo from the age of six until fourteen. He moved through team sports like rugby and football during junior and senior high school and found kickboxing after high school. From kickboxing, Mark moved into Muay Thai, and in 2016 he moved to Champion’s Creed to train under Chad Sawyer. Mark knew about Chad’s accomplishments as a fighter, as well as his reputation as a coach, running a successful striking program.

Chad Sawyer with Mark MacKinnon Photo courtesy of Darren Langlois Photography. Website & Facebook

Mark was quickly caught up with Chad’s unorthodox movements, rhythms, and tricks that he brought to the sport, which were ‘boxing-centric’ and most definitely not traditional MuayThai.

Mark believes the techniques taught by Chad help give fighters a one-up on their opponent. When asked how Chad is as a person, ‘humerous and light-hearted’ is the answer, yet also ‘tough when he needs to be.’

Mark would like the opportunity to give back and coach one day. He sees it as an excellent way to stay involved in the sport and to pass on knowledge; he believes that ‘teaching is the highest form of learning,’ a way for instructors to get a ‘better understanding of the fundamentals themselves.’ Coming out of a successful Champion’s Creed program, Mark can see that the energy and effort of coaches inspire others into a lifelong relationship with the sport.

Mark and Hope

When Mark isn’t training or working his full-time job as a plumber, he enjoys spending time with his two Italian Mastiffs Fury and Cassius and his girlfriend Hope.

It’s the supportive relationship with Hope that ensures he’s able to train and dedicate his time towards the title match. As a fighter herself, Hope understands the sacrifices of time it takes to train. And she is excellent at helping Mark fuel through meals and also identify when he is getting burnt out and needs an extra day of rest. She is also there to be a motivator, both through her own training and to give Mark that push he needs to stay focused.

Mark is very dedicated to his mental training. A self-professed data geek he enjoys using apps and brainwave sensing technology to encourage his practice of meditation.

Mark is keen on ‘life mastery,’ using meditation, reading, and training all in balance to achieve his best self. Knowing that there is room for growth, Mark is challenging his cardio currently through additional training. Using data with his Garmin watch and training sessions focused on both aerobic endurance and anaerobic performance, Mark is feeling confident in his training and focused on the prize.

Clearly, Mark is enthralled with his life and with the possibilities that a life in the gym affords personal growth.

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  Posted: Thursday, July 5th, 10:00am a year ago

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