March 7, 2018 / Lifestyle
Jay Demetrulias | Muay Thai
Some men train hard, some train harder and then there are those who thirst for going the distance to master what they want to become. Meet Jay Demetrulias he’s a boxer, mixed martial artist, Muay Thai fighter and the 2007 Armed Forces Pankration Middleweight Champion. For eight years he’s been training in the art of Muay Thai and recently I had the privilege of photographing him study and practice Muay Thai here in Pattaya Thailand. Two training sessions in the same day granted him the desired time to focus on legwork, clinch work and cardio. Below is me documenting a day in a life with Jay Demetrulias.
Location: Pattaya, Thailand
“When you think you are done you’re only 40% into what your body’s capable of doing. That’s just the limits that we put on ourselves.” – David Goggins
Questions & Answers
1. Tell me about a favorite scene from your favorite movie? Pulp Fiction is on the top of my movie list, and there isn’t even a close second. This is tricky because the dialogue throughout the whole movie is brilliant. Two come to mind.
The foot massage conversation between Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta before they go into the apartment to get vengeance for Marcellus Wallace. They’re having this calm, philosophical conversation full of humor about what a foot massage means right before they shoot everyone in the apartment.
The next one is in the diner when Samuel L. Jackson keeps his cool and takes a seemingly hopeless situation and turns things around. The whole conversation from start until he makes the guy go get his wallet. The robber asks him which one it is. “The one that says bad m’f’r.” I bought that wallet on the 20 year anniversary of the movie, and I still use it four years later.
2. What’s the most interesting thing about you we wouldn’t learn from your resume or social media? I’m a book reading nerd with a degree in Psychology. Also, the lessons that I learned from the ring have completely transformed me as a person and improved my character.
3. Pick any man in the world, who would be most influential to you and why? Joe Rogan, without question. I can relate to him on so many levels. I started listening to his podcast during a time when I didn’t really connect with anyone. I’m a fighter, but I love to read and have deep conversations while still being able to make d*** jokes in between. Not appropriate during day-to-day operations in the military. After listening to him and seeing how open he and his guests were about a lot of similar things, it influenced me to express myself more openly. I became even more comfortable in my own skin. I’ve become authentic in a world full of people trying to be what they think others want them to be.
His way of being authentic, humble, getting after it, taking no BS, and not letting anyone fit him into a mold has inspired me to do the same.
4. Share your story, how did you get started with Muay Thai Kickboxing? I moved around a lot growing up. I was made fun of and didn’t have support to reassure me when I doubted myself. I got beat up pretty bad when I was in the sixth grade. These experiences drove me to learn how to fight. Also, I always loved boxing since I was a kid. It has always been in me. I may have had doubt, but I was always strong-willed and tough. My dad is Greek. I have family from Sparta. There’s no way to know for sure, but I think my Greek blood is also one thing that led me to fight.
I started out with western style boxing, but the gym where I trained closed and there were was nothing else available where I lived. One day I saw a flyer for the Armed Forces Pankration Tournament. It’s MMA with no strikes to the head. It was 12 days away. I was not in fight shape and I only knew basic boxing. My Chief put together a strategy and I won the tournament. He was the reason behind that victory. I was hooked on competing in combat sports after that. The feeling of overcoming my fears was something I knew I wanted in my life.
5. Share your greatest lesson learned from one of your fights (victory or loss)?
There are two lessons that I learned from one of my fights:
1. WIN OR LEARN
2. DON’T LET FEAR CONTROL YOUR LIFE
I fought for a European Championship on three days’ notice.
When I arrived at the airport, the promoter told me that my original opponent was unable to fight, but they had another opponent for me. He also told me that it was a three-round fight. I asked him about my new opponent, and he said, “He’s very technical.” “There’s some fuckery afoot,” I thought to myself. I got his name and looked him up when I arrived at the hotel. He was three-time European Champion with much more experience than me.
The morning of the fight I’m looking at the flyer. We’re the main event and the fight is for the IMTKA European Championship. The fight is five rounds. The promoter told me that it was three rounds. I had never fought a five round fight before and I took the fight on four days notice so my cardio was not what it should be. I discussed it with the promoter and I decided to fight anyway. I could have refused to fight. The deck was stacked against me. Ultimately, I put it out of my head and decided that I was going to relax and have fun.
I fought the best I knew how that night. I had my moments. I hurt him in the fight, but his experience eventually showed. It was a competitive fight that went the distance. He won the decision. My opponent told my coach that I’m the toughest opponent he’s ever faced. I was supposed to be there as the “sacrificial lamb,” but I didn’t get the memo.
This my favorite quote that applies to fighting and life: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt
6. What’s been the best advice you received about Muay Thai Kickboxing? Have fun!