Redarmemag – What and when was your first exposure to martial arts?
Tiffany Van Soest – My first exposure to martial arts was watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Power Rangers as a little kid. I wanted to do karate like them so I asked my parents and they signed me up when I was 8 years old.
Redarmemag – What inspired you to start training?
Tiffany Van Soest – I was just a little kid who wanted to be like her favorite action heroes. When I got older, it became more of an outlet for me and something that I just absolutely loved to do.
Redarmemag – How was the transition from karate to Muay Thai to MMA?
Tiffany Van Soest – It isn’t too hard (still a work in progress). From karate to Muay Thai was all about going through the target with my shins when kicking versus snapping my foot out. Other than that, the transition has been fairly smooth. From Muay Thai to MMA, learning the bjj and wrestling is a huge part of the transition.
Redarmemag – How much of your Shorin Ryu do you implement into your fight game?
Tiffany Van Soest – However much is “built in” to me. I rarely consciously use my Shrorin Ryu while fighting but there are certain movements, techniques, etc. that are just so second nature it just happens.
Redarmemag – What made you decide to start fighting and what advice can you offer to anyone male
or female looking to do the same?
Tiffany Van Soest – I wanted to compete in Muay Thai just to see if I could. It was a step up from the karate point sparring I had been doing so I was looking to challenge myself even more. I would tell anyone who wants to fight to just stay persistent and consistent no matter what.
Redarmemag – Could you describe the sensation of stepping in to fight for the first time?
Tiffany Van Soest – A serving of pure adrenaline with a side of nervous energy
Redarmemag – Do you have any pre fight rituals?
Tiffany Van Soest – Ummm… Lets see. Oh! I always drink 1 Heineken before bed the night before the fight. And I always have to have my right hand wrapped first. The right glove always has to go on first as well.
Redarmemag – What would say has been your toughest fight and why?
Tiffany Van Soest – My fight with Caley Reese. She’s definitely my toughest and most skilled opponent as well as most experience. When it came down to it, she really used her experience and strength to implement a game plan to slow me down and keep me from fully implementing mine.
Redarmemag – What do you think about the current state of women in MMA?
Tiffany Van Soest – It’s great! And it’s only getting better. Women are finally starting to get more exposure and opportunities with and through MMA. I’m looking forward to continuing to contribute to its growth in whatever way I can.
Redarmemag – Does training camp vary for a Muay Thai fight vs an MMA fight for you?
Tiffany Van Soest – Definitely. I’ve only had 2 amateur MMA fights. I doubt I was doing my camps correctly for them because back then I was so new to it haha! But next time I train for an MMA fight I’m positive there will be more wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu than anything.
Redarmemag – How does it feel to be part of the first women’s MMA bout held in mainland China?
Tiffany Van Soest – It was a great opportunity that I am thankful for. Do I wish the outcome had been different? Absolutely! But I’m still grateful that I was able to help bring WMMA to the people of mainland China.
Redarmemag – If you could fight anyone from the past or present, what would be your dream fight?
Tiffany Van Soest – I’d like to fight Lucia Rijker because I’m a glutton for punishment. Haha! She’s always been someone I’ve looked up to and respected. She’s an incredible fighter.
Redarmemag – What do you think of the current rise of Glory in the states?
Tiffany Van Soest – I think it’s great! It’s just what the sport needs. It needs exposure through a big, well run organization and Glory is a great platform. Especially with the TV deals. Americans are finally being able see the best kickboxing in the world and they’re becoming fans. The sport is differently growing a little bit. It still has a long way to go though.
Redarmemag – Once done with fighting would you consider opening a gym or transitioning elsewhere (film, commentating, coaching)?
Tiffany Van Soest – Absolutely! Film, commentating, and coaching all sound great!
Redarmemag – If you weren’t involved in martial arts and competing, what would you see yourself
doing for a living?
Tiffany Van Soest – I have no clue. Probably doing the same thing I do for a living now (since as a Muay Thai fighter, I do not make enough money to pay all of the bills). I’m a personal trainer. I love being active and to be honest, I don’t have the attention span to work a desk job or some other kind of 9 to five.
Redarmemag – How did you get your nick name and who gave it to you?
Tiffany Van Soest – My first karate and Muay Thai instructor (also K-1 fighter) Joey Pagliuso gave it to me when I was 17 after a round of sparring. I got hit REALLY hard and it kind of “set me off” like a bomb because after that, I went crazy for the rest of the round. After the round ended he said “Dang Tiff, you went off like a ticking time bomb! Tiffany ticking TimeBomb! Tiffany TimeBomb! That’s you’re nickname!” I didn’t like it at first, but it grew on me.