Shaun Boland: I began my career in the Martial Arts back in 1973 when I took up Judo under Sensei John Culley 3rd Dan. I competed nationally and in 1974 won the Bronze medal at the National Judo championships in Derby.
In 1975 I joined the RAF and began to train in Tang Soo Do and again competed nationally winning a variety of Gold, Silver & bronze medals for individual and team fighting. In addition to Tang Soo Do I also trained in Boxing and was RAF Novice welterweight boxing champion in 1983. While in the RAF I trained with many styles of Martial arts & combat and studied fencing and knife fighting. I left the RAF in 1989 and continued to train. I completed my diploma in fitness and nutrition and became a fully qualified fitness instructor/coach running circuit classes for my local recreation centre. During the ’90’s I began studying Wing Chun, Jeet Kune Do and Preying Mantis Gung Fu. In 1999, aged 40 and after an 11 year break from fighting, I entered the San Shaou British full contact championships in Coventry. I won the bronze medal which bought me back full circle to when I won my first medal in Derby.
While preparing for my British title attempt, I trained in Muay Thai at Kru Byron Gibson’s Surprendre gym in St. Ives Cambridgeshire. Kru Byron handed over the gym to me in 2000 and in 2001, with Kru Byron’s blessing, I changed the name to Chao Phraya Muay Thai for which I am now the Chief Instructor and founder.
In 2005 I travelled to Bangkok Thailand and trained under Bramarjarn Woody and Arjarn Parnpetch Rirom for my Kru grade.
In addition to running Chao Phraya Muay Thai I also train and co-ordinate fighters for shows throughout the UK. I am the founder and run ‘Fighting Fit, without the hit’, which is a Muay Thai based fitness pad workout. I write for Men’s Health, Combat & Fighters magazine. I am a part of the TMAS (The Martial Arts Show) demonstration team, I professionally referee and judge Muay Thai nationally and more recently have worked on P4TV as a presenter & pundit.
Muay Thai and the Martial Arts has given me great experience and adventures in life and I continue to learn & experience more every day. In return it is always my aim to pass on, without restriction and to the best of my ability, the knowledge that I have gained.