How Rami ‘Pitbull’ Mungul Made It As A Pro Kickboxer
Over these past five years, the fighting scene has blown up in South Africa, with many more people are interested in fighting and also watching the sport. The future for competitive fighting in the country looks promising. From boxing to MMA and kickboxing, there’s something for everyone. We chatted to kickboxer Rami ‘Pitbulll’ Mungul, a martial arts and pilates instructor, to find out how he stays fighting fit.
Hailing from Randburg, Johannesburg, Mungul got his start in martial arts with Taekwondo. “[I was] bullied as a young child which inspired my uncle to enrol me in classes in the hope that I would learn both the discipline and how to defend myself”, he says.
Given that the majority of his family have practised martial arts, Mungul says he knew he’d take that route, too. He grew up watching action movies, something he says greatly inspired his passion for the art.
Three movies inspired him, “Kickboxer, The Tiger Blade and Karate Tiger, which feature some of the world’s most renowned martial art talent, such as Jackie Chan, Jean Claude Van Damme and Atsadawut Luengsuntorn,” he says. It was also watching MMA fighter Chris ‘The African Warrior’ Ngimbi, fight that made him determined to professionally practise kickboxing.
It’s this determination that resulted in the ‘Pitbull’ having an nine fight winning streak before he made his professional debut, and keeps him pushing to be the best he can be. “I train six out of seven days a week and I rest on Sundays,” he says.
“During the day I focus on fitness, strength and core training, in addition to running. In the evenings I practise Kickboxing and Muay Thai”, he says. Other than his martial arts training, the 22-year-old says the pull up is his go-to exercise. “I believe it’s a vital move and could potentially save your life one day should you find yourself in a situation that requires that kind of flexibility, strength and ability.”
Food as fuel
When it comes to eating, he eats 4-5 small meals a day that are mainly made up of naturally low-carb and high protein foods. He starts the day with green tea and lemon which is followed by oats/granola and eggs with vegetables.
His lunch consists of tuna or chicken, with an afternoon snack of fruit salad. When dinner comes around there’s more protein, with two chicken breasts and streamed vegetables. He’s a firm believer in steaming his food, “it retains all of the nutrients and there are no added calories”, he says.
Mungul’s advice to anyone looking to enter the professional world of kickboxing is “just do it”. He says kickboxing is beneficial on a variety of levels. “As a discipline, you improve your posture, self-esteem and ability to focus. Further, you develop lean muscle and strength”.You can watch Rami ‘Pitbulll’ Mungul vs Adrian ‘Sparks’ Van Wyk at the Supreme Fight League (SFL) title fight on Saturday, 4 August at the Barnyard Theatre, Johannesburg.