Stirred but not shaken

In mixed martial arts Trini Chan found the adrenalin rush she’d been seeking.

At five-foot-three and 115 pounds, 30-year-old Vancouver accountant Trini Chan might not be the first person you’d expect to see in a mixed martial arts ring. But as an adrenalin junkie — who also loves to ride her motorcycle, scuba dive and travel — martial arts such as jujitsu, Muay Thai and kickboxing give her the rush she can’t get enough of.

“I did the whole rock-climbing, running thing, but it wasn’t doing it for me,” Chan says. “I realized I’m more of an adrenalin-type person.” While she was always interested in contact sports, she’d never participated in any until her neighbour convinced her to give jujitsu a shot in 2012.

While in many contact sports Chan would be at a disadvantage because of her small size, in jujitsu it’s an asset. She can use a larger opponent’s power to her advantage and lock onto the weaker parts of her body. “It’s not an easy sport to get into,” Chan says. “You’re in each other’s face. It’s a close contact sport that a lot of people wouldn’t feel comfortable doing.”

While managing a demanding day job as a business evaluator and accountant, she typically spends two-and-a-half hours five days a week doing jujitsu and Muay Thai training at a Vancouver MMA gym. For the past two years, Chan has also made month-long trips to Thailand to build her Muay Thai skills. “That’s where they breed all the champions,” she says. “You just hone your technique and learn how to anticipate certain moves.”

Her training has already paid off. Back home, she has won two gold and two silver medals in jujitsu and won gold for both kickboxing competitions she participated in this year.

And her martial arts skills have assisted her in her career. “It definitely helped with my confidence and my outgoing personality. When [clients] deal with [me], they’re not dealing with someone who is shy and not very sociable,” Chan says. “With jujitsu, I can anticipate a few moves ahead, which can translate well with my work life.”

Chan has her sights set on becoming a business adviser but, when asked, says she would also consider putting some of her business knowledge to use to start her own gym. “I love sharing my knowledge whether in accounting or in martial arts. I want people to learn and be able to relate and take an interest [in both],” she says.

About the Author

Dexter Brown


Dexter Brown is a freelance writer based in Whitby, Ont.

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