Martial Arts Alberta: An Interview with Trevor "T.N.T." Smandych

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Soft spoken, a young face that has been called cute, and a handful of Titles in Muay Thai and Kickboxing make the appearance of this athlete very deceiving. Called "T.N.T." because of his fast and very unexpected knockouts in the ring, this "T.N.T." is really only dangerous inside the ring. Originally from an interview in early 1998, this has recently been updated for both the magazine "Martial Arts Alberta" as well as for this web page.

Martial Arts Alberta: When did you first start training in the Martial Arts?

Trevor Smandych: I started training in early 1991. Originally, I started training in traditional Shorinryu Karate under my coach Mr. Mike Miles. But in 1994, I then changed from traditional Karate and started training Muay Thai and Kickboxing under Mr. Miles.

Martial Arts Alberta: What made you change from Karate to Muay Thai and Kickboxing?

Trevor Smandych: I liked the fact that Kickboxing was more realistic and when it came to competition, there was contact involved. I didn't like Karate because you stopped a few inches short of actual contact.

Martial Arts Alberta: When did you have your first fight? Can you also give me a few details about the fight as well?

Trevor Smandych: My first fight was in April 1994. It was against Calgary's David Herceg. It was a Kickboxing bout (allowing leg kicks). I won the bout even though David weighed more (2 divisions above) than me.

Martial Arts Alberta: Which is your favorite bout?

Trevor Smandych: The one I had at the 1997 World Championships in Bangkok. I fought a fighter from Holland trained by Mr. Cor Hemmer's. Hemmer's is the coach (and father in law) of one of the greatest Muay Thai fighters, Ramon Dekker. I knocked the fighter out with a kick to the head.

Martial Arts Alberta: Who was your toughest opponent in the ring?

Trevor Smandych: Another fighter from Morocco, Fikri Tarti. I fought him in the 1996 IAMTF World Championships. He was too experienced for me. He won the Silver Medal losing to a Thai opponent in the Championship bout. He is now the WPKL Professional World Champion in his division. I would love to fight him again.

Martial Arts Alberta: Who would you really like to fight?

Trevor Smandych: Well, besides everyone who I have stated earlier, I would love to fight the USA's Danny Steele and Melchor Menor, and many other fighters from Europe and the Orient. It would be a very good challenge for me to learn and become a better fighter. Right now I am focusing on my next few bouts which will include some Thai athletes and a few European's.

Martial Arts Alberta: Who is your favorite fighter and why?

Trevor Smandych: Mike Miles. He was exciting to watch and very inspirational to me. It would be great to watch him fight again.

Martial Arts Alberta: You are respected around the world for your skills, yet in Calgary you receive very little press. How do you feel about this?

Trevor Smandych: I think Kickboxers and Thai boxers train very hard. I do not understand how the other sports get so much coverage and we get very little. They are not training any harder than us.

Martial Arts Alberta: What is your favorite fighting techniques?

Trevor Smandych: I love the knee and the clinch now. I also love the roundhouse kick. Our gym is also known in the Muay Thai circle for our use of the elbow. Even the Thai's know to watch out for our elbow skills.

Martial Arts Alberta: What are your goals in the sport?

Trevor Smandych: 1999 was one of the toughest years I have had. I broke my hand in Thailand (February 1999) which put me on the back burner for fighting throughout most of the beginning of the year. Then I busted up my shins and legs on 2 athletes heads (June and July 1999) before I fought in August. By the time I fought there I was so banged up that I could not even really hit my opponent. I want to rest up and heal and then I want to fight to become a Professional World Champion. It would be nice to start making some money as a fighter.

Martial Arts Alberta: Who is the most influential person in your life?

Trevor Smandych: My parents and my family are for sure. I think my coach Mike Miles has influenced me a lot as well.