23 February 2008

President of Clayton State Philosophy Club Wins NCSAA Muay Thai Kickboxing National Championship

MM Note: We thought we'd share this story about one of our southside soldiers for a number of reasons. It's rather irritating to have the press try to portray soldiers as dummies who can't do anything other than join the military... Hobgood is a great example it seems of someone with brawn and brain!

Clayton State University student Michael Hobgood (McDonough) won the National Combat Sports Amateur Association (NCSAA) Muay Thai Kickboxing National Championships on Feb. 15, in Washington, D.C.

“The competition is an adrenaline high, it’s an empowering feeling,” says Hobgood who is also currently a sergeant in the U.S. Army.

Hobgood is also the president of the Clayton State Philosophy Club. After resting up and flying back home from his kickboxing championship, on Saturday Feb. 16 he participated in the inaugural Southeast Philosophy Conference held at Clayton State. He presented his research on “Boots on the (Philosophical) Ground: Human Nature According to a Solider.”

Hobgood became interested in mixed martial arts when a friend in the army needed a sparring partner. He began training in 2001; however it was not until December 2005 that he began competing in mixed martial arts. He has participated in 76 fights and has held eight titles.

Hobgood retired from mixed martial arts in February 2007 and began Muay Thai kickboxing. He won the 2007 and 2008 Georgia State and Southeast Regional titles. Last year he placed third at the national competition, but this year he won and took home the hand-made champion belt.

“My fiancé, Kim, has been very supportive, as have my parents. My dad encourages me and my mom hopes that I come out alive,” he explains with a bit of humor.

The light of his life is his fiancé Kim’s daughter, Lauren, who he says he is thankful to have in his life everyday. Hobgood looks forward to being with Kim and Lauren full time – they are currently separated while they both are in school.

Graduation is nearing for Hobgood -- spring 2008 -- and with that many things will change for him. He will marry his fiancé this summer. He also plans to continue his military career with the U.S. Army. All of this will mean his retirement from Muay Thai kickboxing.

“I'm very excited about winning, but retiring and giving up a huge chunk of my life was rather sad. But that win put the perfect capstone on my career, I've done more than I ever thought I could, and I have no regrets about it,” says Hobgood.

“I do not like to sit still, I just don’t know what to with myself. I prefer to stay active whether it is physically or mentally,” he says of his joint athletic and philosophical interests.

Hobgood is a history major with a minor in philosophy and currently has a 3.53 grade point average. In his spare time, he does like to read military history as well as biographies and also likes to play video games.

“I'm 26 years old and a national champion with my health still intact. I'm living up to my promise; I always said I would leave the sport on my terms rather than get tossed aside when the sport was done with me,” he says.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.
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