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Interview with Thomas Lemaire, a kick boxing prodigy

Thomas Lemaire, an M1 Skema Student, did an interview with us about his kick boxing practice. 

So here's what was said in the interview : 

S.B : Hello Thomas, thank you for agreeing to do the interview with us, so how can you present yourself in a few lines (your sports and school curriculum...) ? 

T.L : My name is Thomas Lemaire, i am doing an M1 in the campus of Skema Paris, i am trying to be a friendly and " good camarade "  inside the campus, but besides that I devote all my time to the practice of Kick Boxing, the discipline in which I fight at the semi-professional level. 

S.B : Well and how did you manage to combine your studies and your discipline at the same time?

T.L : I had never done high-level study and sport before. When I was in high school I had good results in cadet and junior but nothing transcendent (I only won at regional level, never national). At the beginning of my higher studies I continued in leisure for personal and obviously academic reasons (moreover, I was not at all encouraged to practice it in the well-known Bordeaux business school where I was educated), then I participated in 3 amateur events of English boxing where I did 2 wins for 1 defeat which in my eyes is average. During the 3rd year of my bachelor, I decided to resume Kick Boxing in competition. I did as best I could, but I was training more or less correctly. During the second semester internship my schedule was perfectly suited to training and I was able to concentrate, thereafter I devoted 7 months to sport and incidentally to the Tage Mage. Amateur career review: 3 national titles in -91kgs (Full Contact twice, and K1) and vice-champion of France heavyweight in Low Kick

S.B : Ohh great and did Skema organize your schedule well and allow you to progress well in your sport?

T.L : By cons with Skema, is totally different. The school listens to its athletes. Indeed I had just passed semi-pro arriving on the Paris campus. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mrs Nathalie Sanchez who helped me during the process to obtain the high level status. I frequent 3 combat sports clubs in Paris as well as the sports hall. I can train from Monday to Sunday from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m, it's wonderful. If there are really specific trainings that I cannot miss, the teachers let me go ahead before the end of class. I have a friend whom I thank, who gives me lessons when I am away. In any case I can train twice a day without problem. 

S.B : About the kickboxing french cup, how can you describe your participation in this competition ? how many matches have you played ? 

T.L : I would rather say French Open, because in the semi-professional you have many events as the championships, the Galas which are the organized evenings where we fight in professional format and the Cups, Tournaments... which are actually Opens that group together the amateurs and semi-professionals. About my participation which was unexpected as i was preparing the French Low Kick Championship (scheduled from March 6 to 8 but was canceled because of the Coronavirus epidemic). My season was very special: I won the K1 qualification championship by forfeit and I was positioned on 2 galas, the first of which was canceled and for the second the Swiss promoter never contacted me again. So my coach decided to register for the Coupe de France just to test before the most important events to come. As no semi-professional registered, I had an amateur opponent in the first fight. I was a little anxious, I must say that I am a big coward before fighting, but I work on it, I relax, I become aware of my abilities, I enter my bubble. When the fight begins I can finally express myself, give myself to the end. I am a rather aggressive fighter but we must find the happy medium so as not to run out of breath too quickly. 

S.B : What difficulties did you encounter during this cup ? and how did you overcome them ? 

T.L : During the fight, it was a little adrenaline but I could see that I dominated the 1st recovery, I still got stupidly countered because I chained with my hands too low in an excess of confidence. During the second recovery I knew that my opponent would jump on me and accelerate in the hope of catching up, I suffered the first attacks by backing up but very quickly I again imposed my rhythm. Fortunately, the same thing with the 3rd round. The feeling of victory, obviously it's great !! I was happy but disappointed anyway, for me I lacked precision and I got tired a little too quickly because of that. On the other hand, winning was proving to me that I had my place in Class A (class for amateurs)  and that's great, I'm still a little more confident now.

S.B : Congratulations Thomas. When will your next matches be? what are your future goals ? 

T.L : Thank you Skander. I still have a lot of events this season.The closest will be on March 21 in Le Havre at a gala which I hope will not be canceled. Many other events are in preparation and I hope that French Low Kick Championship will be postponed as soon as possible because this cancellation was a huge disappointment for me. 

S.B : I hope for you. I know that I bothered you, I just have two other questions to ask you Thomas. What are your future goals ? 

T.L : This season I aim to establish myself as the best semi-professional boxer in my category in France and to integrate the national team in order to participate in the European championships. I would also like, in the short term, to be able to face foreign fighters and why not a transition to MMA in the future. I don't want to go professional before the end of my studies and thus gain as much experience now. Then I would obviously pass as a PRO which will be exceptional ... a childhood dream !! 

S.B : You are someone very brave and very ambitious Thomas, last question for the interview. What are you going to do after your master? are you going to focus more on your sport or your studies? 

T.L : I still keep my feet on the ground. School for me is first of all a way of educating myself and staying socially active in an environment that I like. Then it's insurance, if I get injured, if I'm fed up or whatever, I have several strings to my bow. I realize that I have a dream of a young man, but where would I be when I turn 30 I cannot tell you with precision. 

S.B : Thank you very much Thomas for accepting the interview and good luck for your next meetings. 

T.L : Thank you Skander and see you next time



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