Fighting for my Future - Interview with Reuben Holden

Fighting for my Future - Interview with Reuben Holden

Background - Reuben Holden is a Te Kura student who trains in MMA but fights in Kickboxing. His powerful story and testimony talks about his struggles, his focus, taking risks and how to get motivated towards the things you want out of life.

Quote from Reuben - "You can choose the pain of discipline or the pain of regret"

Hi Reuben - you have just completed your first Kickboxing fight - what got you interested in this sport in the first place?

I got hooked on watching UFC and Israel Adesanya and his style and the way he fought really intrigued me so I wanted to train with the goal of eventually getting to the UFC.

Who introduced you to this sport?

Kelvin "Crazy-Horse" Joseph. The first time I trained with him I was really unfit and ended up having nightmares that night from having to train again!

Me with my MMA Coach Kelvin "Crazy-Horse" Joseph. 

At one stage you did stop?!

Yip - I did - I hit a brick wall! But, I got through but, recognised that I had been shocked by the intensity of trainings and not expecting it to be that hard. So I had to remind myself of my interest in this sport and acknowledged that even though it was hard I could prepare by doing little bits at a time. The key is to not stop! Stopping creates procrastination, procrastination leads to laziness and laziness leads to a feeling of hopelessness. It starts with a statement of intent - what CAN I do today?!

The more you know what's coming then the more you can prepare. Eventually everything starts getting better.

You are also passionate about the sport and so does this mean you were more likely to take risks?

Yip - the risk was there but I was curious to see how far I could go.

Are you glad that you stepped back into the sport and took the risk?

Definitely - I'm way fitter now, more confident and I love the trainings now because I'm mentally and physically more used to it. I can say that by taking a risk that it's helped me mentally more than anything. I learnt that it's good to work harder but also learn to take 'earnt' time out so you don't burn out (you can't do everything at once) - it's much better to focus on one goal at a time.

Has it been important to have support people around you?

Definitely - you can't do it alone.

With Kickboxing there would have been a lot of learning going on. How did you embrace learning?

Because it was something I loved doing I found it a lot easier to do and it becomes more fun to do it - you wake up in the morning excited and this also means it's easier to focus and not get distracted. Find the purpose! :)

The learning is beyond the brick-wall. Don't hit it and give in. Get support and work through it one goal at a time. It does get easier - trust me!

What are your plans for 2022?

I've been accepted into the Level 4 Fitness Programme with Toi Ohomai. After that hopefully work towards a Degree then one day have my own gym and do personal training.

It's important to know that I got into this programme based on my involvement and prior knowledge within the fitness industry - this helps HEAPS! Don't discredit your passions or projects. Go ahead and journal what you're doing as evidence. In my case Kelvin was my journal!

Are you excited about next year?

Yip - I can't wait. I started this year really struggling. I had no confidence and I was frustrated. But I'm on track now because I stuck to it and ACCEPTED support along the way which meant people being HONEST with me. Now I talk more, feel healthy and confident and my relationship with my others is better.

So with your first fight you had an excellent win and got an awesome medal. So - any money with that win?!

Hahaha - no unfortunately. Not yet at least but I will eventually work towards this.

Final statement from Reuben's Learning Advisor:

Good on you Reuben. There was definitely a positive shift and it came from you. YOU made the decisions. Kelvin helped, your family helped, and Te Kura helped but at the end of the day you had to make that decision and that what it all comes down to. That's why the credit goes straight back to you. And, it's not to get an ego about it but it's just a reminder that actually - yeah, I can do this! Yip - I'm going to have some bad days, that's life but if I focus on the things I've made breakthrough with then that eliminates any negative thinking and helps to keep you focused.

Thanks again for the interview Reuben. We are super proud of you and all the best for next year :)