Lindsay Scheer – The Real Fighter Interview

By Mike LNg

Lindsay Scheer

Lindsay Scheer is a professional kickboxer and Thaiboxer hailing from Louisville, Kentucky. Her 7 year career as a fighter has been a busy one. And looks to get even busier soon with the EnFusion 3 finale coming soon. Lindsay Scheer’s career thus far has been an impressive one and she has been matched tough in the course of her fighting career. Her current record is 23-9. During that career she has gotten plenty of stamps on her passport having fought internationally seven times in Holland(3x), Suriname(2x), Spain, Russia and Germany. Coming from the gym, many in America are considering one of the best if not the best kickboxing and Thaiboxing camps in the USA, Real Fighters, Lindsay has been a fun fighter to watch grow and improve each step of the way.

Lindsay Scheer and Real Fighters Team

Let’s start with how you got started in Muay Thai and kickboxing. How does a pediatric physical therapist discover Muay Thai and kickboxing?

Well, before I was a physical therapist, I was a physical therapy student…and a soccer player! I played soccer since I was about 4 years old, and soccer is what brought me to Louisville – and ironically introduced me to Muay Thai and kickboxing. I loved doing boxing workouts to cross train and complement my cardio while I played soccer in high school. (Eric later informed me that I could not possibly have been doing real boxing workouts because my form was terrible when I first came to the gym…I thought I was pretty good though, LOL!) I came to KY to play soccer for University of Louisville (and later Bellarmine University when I transferred to enter their PT program), and I missed my boxing workouts. One of my classmates invited me to take self-defense classes with her and I thought that maybe it would fill my boxing void…unfortunately, I was terrible at the ground stuff. So I went to open gym to practice with the Jiu Jitsu athletes. At the time, fighting sports had not become commonplace in the U.S., so the other guys were not keen on rolling with a girl. Eric Haycraft happened to be there finishing up his Muay Thai class and suggested that I try it out instead. And now 7 years later, the rest is history!

Have you always been an athlete in other sports?

Yes. I have been an athletic tomboy my whole life! The two main sports I played were soccer and gymnastics. But I also participated in many other sports throughout my youth for fun to stay active. I have an older brother and sister, and being the youngest, I wanted to be like them when I was growing up. So I played soccer to be like my brother. And oddly enough, I took classical singing lessons to be like my sister who has an amazing voice. I sang competitively through high school and continued to take voice lessons ½ way through my undergrad years. I only mention the singing part with the other sports, because I think it has been a major help to my fighting career with respect to dealing with performing in front of a crowd. I can remember looking out at the spectators during one of my walk outs to the ring and thinking how similar it looked to walking out on a stage…but obviously no one will be trying to knock me out when I stand next to the piano!

What sort of things attracted you to combat sports, specifically kickboxing?

As I had mentioned earlier, initially I was drawn to the cardio benefits that it added to my soccer performance. However, I fell in love with the sport the more I trained. I know that having such an amazing coach and gym definitely played a major role. Also, I think that being an athlete my whole life made me respect and appreciate the many aspects which comprise the sport and challenge me. I love all of the levels and intricacies that continue to reveal themselves the longer I train and fight. It’s not enough to be in great shape and tough, you have to be intelligent and strategic, as well as confident and calm…and at any given moment, you have to be able to draw on each of these components – some more than others depending on the fight. I can watch fights now with a completely different perspective and idea of the underlying things that are happening, and that is just incredibly fascinating and addicting to me!

It’s often asked maybe because there are so few female fighters the world knows about in Muay Thai: Do you feel some burden of setting an example for women who compete in kickboxing and Muay Thai?

I would be lying if I said no, but I try not to dwell on that issue because I think it can handicap my training and the perspective I have of myself as a fighter. Of course I love the idea of being a representative of my gender to all the little girls who want to someday comptete…maybe not even in fighting, but in sports, or even life in general. However, at my gym, I am just another fighter. In fact, my only other team mate at the moment is a 160 lb six-foot-something guy who routinely kicks my ass! While Eric constantly has to remind him that I am both smaller and not equipped with a Y chromosome to equal his size and strength, it gives me a sense of pride to know that we are able to train well together, and he does not feel like he needs to hold back…or, he forgets he has to hold back because I am challenging him. Therefore, when it comes to training and my fighting career, I try to hold myself to my own standards, and not those placed upon me by my gender.

It seems that the Real Fighters’ team has been steadily been building a reputation as a place that builds high quality fighters in a place perhaps not always renown for producing Muay Thai fighters. The USA scene seem mostly to be a bi-coastal phenomenon. What do you attribute Real Fighters’ success to despite fighting as a mostly away team?

Our success is comprised of 3 components: first and foremost, Eric Haycraft, who is in my opinion the best Muay Thai/kickboxing coach in this country (I may be a little biased, but there are plenty of references you can check to confirm that statement!). His experience, passion, knowledge, and most importantly, ability to impart that knowledge to his students, is by far what makes our gym able to compete on an international level despite our isolated and limiting location. 2. The work ethic and dedication of my teammates, past and present, who bust their ass every day to become better fighters and make everyone else better too. 3.The unwavering support of all our Real Fighter Gym members who help build our brand and believe in us and our system. Seriously, we are not kidding when we say that we have soccer moms with better technique than most fighters we see in mainstream fighting!

Who do you look up to in the sport of Muay Thai?

I have so many, I couldn’t really pick one person! However, I think that anyone who does not answer with Ramon Dekkers, Rob Kaman, or Ernesto Hoost as their first picks is crazy! That being said, while I am a huge fan of those three, I don’t think that I am able to translate/incorporate their styles into mine as a fighter, because they each have such specific styles that formed them and not the other way around. This is something that cannot be replicated (though many have tried). I also love watching Andy Souwer, Robin Van Roosmalen, Buakaw, and the Iron Lady herself, Germaine de Randamie. I was actually fortunate to get to fight on cards with her and see her fight live 2x and she is incredible. I am also a huge boxing fan and have to say Muhammed Ali (who hails from Louisville, KY!), Manny Pacquiaou, Mike Tyson, and recently Canelo Alvarez.

Lindsay and the Iron Lady, Germaine de Randamie

What keeps you motivated to keep fighting?

I find motivation in all aspects of my life. Of course from my coach, team, and love for the sport, but also from my family, friends, and even my job. I am constantly reminded in every area how fortunate I am that I have the ability to fight at this time in my life and am in an environment that supports it. I would not be completely truthful if I did not also mention Adrienne. After everything that has happened, I feel like I owe it both to her and to myself to give everything I have to make something of myself in this sport. Sometimes I have to draw on all of these areas to push me through on particularly tough days.

In the past International Federation of Muaythai Amteur (IFMA) games you placed bronze. What are your goals next year with IFMA games?

To win gold…simple as that!

The finale for Enfusion is fast approaching and you are one of the few Americans on the card. What kind of impression do you want to leave of American fighters?

Same answer as the female question…I am proud to be in a position where I get the opportunity to represent something greater than myself, but that is not my main focus. I just try to represent myself well and that is all I can do.

What was it like being under the constant scrutiny of cameras during Enfusion?

It wasn’t really a huge adjustment. Everyone there was very nice, and the main focus was fighting, wich definitely helped me to relax a little since I had a task at hand of being a coach. The cameras were the easy part…it was having to fix my hair and do my make-up everyday, even for training that was difficult!

Having been a long time amateur competitor what to you was the biggest difference when you moved over to become a professional fighter?

Honestly, having to deal with fighting less frequently, once a fighter turns pro, especially a female fighter is the biggest and most challenging difference. Our gym philosophy is that kickboxing/muay thai is not a recreational sport. It is very dangerous and the training must respect those dangers and exercise precaution. Therefore, there really was no difference with the actual process and the fights themselves – especially since Eric has done a phenomenal job of managing and matching my fights to help build and challenge me the right way as a fighter. The transition was pretty seamless for me.

How important do you think amateur competition is to developing you as a professional fighter?

It is crucial. A fighter’s amateur career is like a college degree: it takes time, money, and effort, but once you get your degree, the education is priceless, and it gives you the ability to be more well-rounded and adds longevity to your overall career.

Lindsay fighting at Muay Thai Premier League

Does your preparation change for a tournament as opposed to a single bout?

Maybe not necessarily the preparation, but most definitely the strategy. Strategy changes even with a 3 round as opposed to a 5 round fight! When it comes to tournaments, you have to walk a fine line – you can’t really go in with the idea of holding back, because that could cost you a win. However, you also have to be smart if possible to not incur a large amount of damage which could affect the outcome of your next fight.

I was always impressed with your scientific approach in the ring. How do you keep a cool head in the ring when faced with pressures in the ring and outside of it?

Thanks! Keeping calm and trying to maintain focus is always a challenge, especially as the cards got bigger and the opponents got tougher! I continue to strive to be more and more comfortable when I fight, but I think that making peace with the fact that it is normal to feel pressure and be nervous(that is part of the fun and part of the reason why everybody choses to compete at this sport) has really helped me to concentrate on the task at hand. Also, the preparation and hard work that I and my team put into all of our fights also helps me to relax and perform. Stress comes when you are ill-prepared. However, if you are prepared, then the nerves become inconsequential. Finally, I think that the fact that I also work as a pediatric physical therapist is also a strength for me, because it gives me perspective. It is very easy to become consumed with a fight, or even more so, one’s ego when it comes to sports, especially those that are more individual in terms of competition. However, getting to work with such amazing children and families on a daily basis helps to remind me that there is more to life than this fight. I am in no way undermining the sport or my love of it, but instead, recognizing that it is a sport at the end of the day and that there are far more serious matters to stress over!

Who so far has been your toughest opponent?

I’ve been very fortunate to fight some very talented and tough ladies, but toughest overall would have to be Denise Kielholtz. We are 1 and 1 and our rubber match is my first fight in the Enfusion finals. She is fast, explosive, and relentless in the ring, and I use her as my gold standard to help measure myself and my development as a fighter. I am very excited for the opportunity to fight her again. No matter who wins, styles make fights, and we always put on a great match!

Lindsay Scheer wins over Denise Kielholtz

Now that Enfusion’s final is almost here what can fans expect to see from you?

Excitement! Like I said, Denise and I always put on an entertaining fight that is very fast-paced and heavy-handed! As I have also mentioned, strategies change based on the format of the fight. This particular fight is a 3 rounder tourney, which means that you most likely are not going to win by KO because the fight is so short and it takes a couple more rounds for damage to set in. So you have to go in and be ready for non-stop action so that you can always win on points if the KO does not come!

Do you have a favorite technique you like to use in the ring?

I like to use whatever works! But I would have to say that I have relied heavily on my low kicks and right hand to get the job done throughout my career. However, I am always working on improving my other techniques to become a more versatile and well-rounded fighter.

Do you think it helps or hurt training away from bigger kickboxing and Muay Thai scenes?

It is what it is! You can’t help where you come from! I think it definitely makes success in the ring more difficult…especially when I am usually going against opponents who have the ability to train at a handful of gyms full of sparring partners, opportunity for fights, and even sponsors! However, I am more than confident in my team and my coach, and it makes success mean that much more knowing it came in spite of all the obstacles placed in front of us!

What do you think is needed most to help Muay Thai and kickboxing grow in the USA?

Interest and time! We are playing catch up with the rest of the world where kickboxing and Muay Thai have been mainstream sports for a long time. We have talent here in the states, it just needs time and opportunity (a.k.a interest) to flourish. We are definitely bridging the gap more every year!

Do you have any messages for your fans and supporters?

I am truly humbled at the thought that I even have fans and supporters! Again, I feel so lucky to be able to do what I do, and knowing that I have people who are behind me and want to see me succeed makes it even more special! Words cannot begin to convey my gratitude, but unfortunately the only words I have are “thank you.” So thank you all for everything you have done to take me this far and thank you for everything to come!

I would also like to thank “The Science of 8 Limbs” for taking the time and interest to interview me. I appreciate the all of thoughtful questions!
Thanks much to Lindsay Scheer and all at Real Fighters gym for the photos and making this interview happen.  For more information about Lindsay and Real Fighters check out their official website.

~ by fatsoking on October 29, 2012.

2 Responses to “Lindsay Scheer – The Real Fighter Interview”

  1. Really nice interview. I love how thoughtful Lindsay is in her answers and how she experiences Muay Thai, which is a boon to non-fighters and fighters (who don’t often get to read women’s perspectives) alike. Thanks for posting!

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