Student Highlight: Mohammed Al Aukili
Mohammed Al Aukili is a Green Shirt in Easton’s Muay Thai program, and has been a member since 2015. He grew up in Riyadh, Saudia Arabia, where began his training as a teenager in 2012. When Mohammed was in high school, his father was diagnosed with cancer and moved to New York indefinitely for treatment. Mohammed and his younger brother remained in Saudi Arabia living with their grandmother while they finished high school, and their mother and other siblings moved to New York to be with their father. During this time, Mohammed spent most of his free time playing soccer and video games. Wanting to try something new and challenging, he started looking for a new hobby. He tried a Muay Thai class, and quickly became obsessed. His passion for the sport guided him through his teenage years. At a time in his life when it would have been easy to get involved with the wrong crowd of friends or make bad choices, Mohammed’s Muay Thai helped him to stay on the right path and remain disciplined. He focused on his training and his school work, which led to him receiving one of the most competitive scholarships available in Saudi Arabia to attend college in the United States. Mohammed says, “In retrospect, it was at this stage of my life that my childhood ended and I became more mature, responsible and independent. Moreover, I learned to be confident and remain humble and respectful whether I win or lose.”
When he moved to Boulder to attend CU, he wasted no time finding a new place to train. He arrived in the middle of August 2015, and by the end of the month, he’d begun a membership at Easton. He quickly established a regular training regiment–six days a week–and before long, he was training with the Easton Fight Team. He loves being a part of the community, and says that joining a new gym when you already have experience can sometimes feel awkward and uncomfortable, but at Easton he felt welcomed on Day One. As a student, he is particularly happy with the coaching staff, and remarks that having several striking coaches who communicate with one another has been incredibly beneficial for his training. Each coach’s unique style of fighting, teaching, and delivering information make for a well-rounded learning environment. Mohammed admires the coaches’ determination and passion, always pushing their students to improve and perfect their technique. He says, “My favorite thing about the academy is the positive energy, how friendly everyone is around the school, and how I can always tell that we’re improving!” Mohammed himself certainly embodies this academy culture. He’s a hard worker with an easy smile, and his attitude is reflected in his training. As he’s become more embedded in the community, Mohammed has found himself spending more time on the mats, and often sticks around between his classes to help other students and his teammates work through techniques.
When asked what gives him the most pride in his training, Mohammed says being able to represent Easton as part of the Fight Team has been a great experience. He recently competed in the Colorado Muay Thai Association’s State Tournament, taking gold in his division. Looking to the future, he is focused on training hard and finding new ways to improve his game. He is also looking forward to spending more time on the other side of the mat, and getting involved in Jiu Jitsu in the coming months.