On first glance, there aren’t too many similarities between the art of roofing and the art of eight limbs. For Chris Shaw however, one wouldn’t have existed without the other.
Whilst Tanko’s native Scotsman always believed he was born to fight in some capacity, it was actually his profession as a roofer that led him on the path to Muay Thai.
“I was doing an apprenticeship when I was nineteen and met a guy there who was into combat sports,” Chris told Tanko Management. “He had been going to the gym to learn this Thai kickboxing and one day I just decided to tag along.
“Two months later, I was competing in my first fight.”
Like with so many other athletes on the Tanko roster, it only took a handful of training sessions for Chris to realise Muay Thai was what he wanted to do with his life.
“I’d always loved to fight,” Chris told Tanko. “But I didn’t have a proper outlet for it at first. When I was much younger I was hanging out with bad people. Looking back, I wish I’d channelled my fighting into combat sports at an earlier age. I eventually found boxing which I enjoyed, and after that I really got into Muay Thai.”
Chris doesn’t have long-stemmed family roots in combat sports like fellow Tanko athletes Cody Ditchev, Dakota Ditcheva or Rajan Swali, but there’s little doubt in his mind he was born to be in the ring. But, as our Tanko fighters will testify, a natural gift for fighting isn’t enough on its own. In order to succeed in this sport, you’ve got to be passionate and committed, but above all else, you’ve got to have a strong work ethic. Chris certainly does.
“I train six days a week before work which begins at seven in the morning, and usually work every day until about five in the afternoon,” Chris explained. “In the lead up to fights, I train twice every day. It’s my life.”
Chris’ exhausting schedule is enough to send the biggest fitness fanatic sprawling to the floor panting for the breath. Yet, the Glaswegian appears perfectly content with his demanding routine.
“It’s true I don’t have much spare time,” Chris admitted. “But when you enjoy what you do, it doesn’t feel much like work. Whenever I’m not in the gym or in work, I relax with my fiancé. All my free time is dedicated to her. We’ve been engaged four years now and are due to get married next December.”
From the roof to the ring, Chris is always building something, whether it’s a house as part of his day job, or a game plan for an upcoming fight. He’s fully immersed in a hundred-mile-an-hour combat sports lifestyle. It’s safe to say there’s plenty to more to come just yet.
Whatever you do, don’t blink.