“I fight fire demons every day, so I’m not afraid of fists.”
These are the words of Shin Dong-guk, a ‘firefighter fighter’ who achieved a stunning victory in a mixed martial arts competition at the age of 42. Shin Dong-guk won by TKO in 4 minutes and 5 seconds of the first round against Han Sang-kwon (27), who is 15 years younger than him, in the reserve match of the Road FC 065 lightweight (70 kg) tournament held at Anyang Gymnasium on the 26th of last month. Shin Dong-guk won two games in a row and recorded a record of 5 wins and 5 losses in mixed martial arts.
Shin Dong-guk said, “I am a perfectionist. The martial arts player is my ‘sub-character’, and he wanted to do his best and achieve good results in martial arts as well. “It is all the more valuable because it was a victory achieved after training in spare time during work,” he said.
Shin Dong-guk is an active firefighter with 15 years of experience. He is currently working as a firefighter at the Chungju Fire Department. He won the physical fitness category of the ‘National Firefighting King Contest’ in 2009. That’s why his colleagues call him ‘super firefighter’. His abs are clearly visible on his stomach.
Shin Dong-guk decided to become a firefighter after witnessing a car accident in 2006. At the time, he was driving his father’s car through downtown Chungju, his hometown, when he witnessed a truck overturn accident. Shin Dong-guk’s father immediately got out of the car and ran to the truck to rescue the driver. Shin Dong-guk just watched this from inside the car. He said, “When he encountered the scene of the terrible accident, his body froze with fear. When he was a special forces soldier, he was deployed to Iraq and had the pride of saying, ‘I am the strongest person in the world,’ but he did not have the courage like his father. At that time, I saw firefighters who had arrived at the scene carrying out rescue operations. “The sight of firefighters could never have been so cool,” he said.
Shin Dong-guk used this accident as an opportunity to prepare for the firefighter exam. He obtained a textbook and memorized it from the first page to the last. As a result, he passed the special fire and rescue examination in 2008.
Shin Dong-guk, who became a firefighter, battled incredible pressure from his first day. Shin Dong-guk said, “The accident scene is terrible. There were times when he recovered dozens of bodies. He said many firefighters died while carrying out rescue operations. “It’s not an easy task for a young firefighter to handle,” he said.
That’s why quite a few firefighters suffer from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). It is a maladaptive phenomenon such as anxiety and depression that appears after experiencing a shocking situation such as an incident or accident. Even he, who became a firefighter at a young age, could not avoid PTSD. He suffered from insomnia and had nightmares even when he could barely sleep. He suffered from depression and even visited a psychiatrist. Shin Dong-guk said, “As my health deteriorated and I became more irritable, I often argued with people around me. “I felt like something really big would happen like this,” he confessed.온라인바카라
He took up martial arts in 2016 to combat his depression. He worked his heart out while sweating it out in the gym. He debuted on the professional stage in 2017, a year after entering martial arts. He debuted at the age of 36 and emerged as a ‘late star’ with 3 wins in 4 games. He entered the ring wearing a fire protection suit and a helmet, and ran with ‘119’ engraved on his competition uniform.
However, after receiving the sudden spotlight, he lost his original intention. Shin Dong-guk said, “After winning one after another, I was so excited that I thought I had become a real professional fighter. “I worried about ‘what kind of performance should I do if I win, and how should I leave a great impression?’” he said.
Then, they lost 4 times in a row over 3 years starting in 2019. Falling into a swamp of frustration, he decided to quit martial arts. Then, last June, he received an offer to play as a replacement for an injured player. The opponent was a strong man who unfortunately lost in the 2022 Road FC lightweight title match. Shin Dong-guk thought of this game as his retirement stage and did his best to prepare. While training for a 200m sprint near the fire station, I put my two-year-old twin sons to bed and sweated alone in the living room. He also lost 12kg of weight.
Experts thought that Shin Dong-guk would lose, but the result was unexpected. He escaped his losing streak with a TKO win. In addition, we regained confidence by winning the game last month. Shin Dong-guk said, “I hope that after seeing me win, people in their 40s and 50s will have the courage to say, ‘I can do it.’ “I also want to let people know how hard firefighters put their lives on the line.”