Muay Thai film ‘Fighter’ reveals mystique of popular Thai sport.
Marko Randelovic’s film ‘Fighter’ shows the life of a former fighter who now trains young local and foreign Muay Thai boxers in far northern Thailand.
Marko Randelovic’s film ‘Fighter’ shows the life of a former fighter who now trains young local and foreign Muay Thai boxers in far northern Thailand.
Muay Thai, also known as the science and art eight limbs is an ancient martial art that has been allowed to evolve over the years to become one of the most effective unarmed combat systems in existence. The art brings huge physical and spiritual benefits to all practitioners. Muay Thai students experience massive improvements in fitness and strength, better co-ordination and improved mental well-being.
I have been training in Muay Thai for more than 7 years now and absolutely in love with Thai Boxing. Unfortunately for me though in the later years of my sport, has not been so kind on my body. Although one thing you will notice if you train in the sport, that not a training session goes by where your not injury free!
Tankō are setting new standards in the combat sports industry, supplying a range of products tried and tested by world champions. I have been recently very lucky to be one of the first owners of a pair of Tanko Gloves, that have been kindly supplied by Phill Shedden – Promoter at The Tankō Main Event.
I’m reviewing a blue pair of 14oz vecro, which arrived within a day! As soon as I tried them on, they just felt right… really really comfortable and certainly felt as good, if not better than my old Twins or King Gloves!!
The Tankō design is extremely resilient enough to offer a reducing impact result so you can even train for longer without feeling your hands need a break, something that is essential not only when you are training but also when you are facing tough, long fights or sparring. Also, the adopted nylon implemented in the interiors is water proof but it will let your hand breath appropriately, so you don’t get with wet hands and they won’t start to behave slippery inside the gloves.
The velcro wrists supports are very comfortable and enlightened position for your hands while you are attacking. These gloves are also available with a laces, so you can make it tighter to adjust the size of your hands and come in all the usual sizes. To keep the gloves exactly tight to your hand’s shape is very important, otherwise you might even break or seriously injury your hands.
All of the Tankō range are made from high quality leather and have high density padding to help with protecting your hands. These boxing gloves in particular have extra padding on the hands for hitting the heavy bag or sparring with a training partner. These gloves are as high quality as they come, super durable, comfortable, protective as well as cool looking.
If you want a snug fitting glove that offers excellent protection when punching and blocking then these are the gloves for you. An incredibly reasonable price at £60 for such a high performing glove. These gloves will become legendary for their longevity and reliability I’m sure!
Last, but not least, these gloves are simply quite beautiful. They have a traditional, vintage Muay Thai style and are very light. Just because your focus is your opponent doesn’t mean you cannot distract them with great looking gloves!!
Brought to you by:
Jamie Tankō, Panicos Yusuf, Dakota Ditcheva, Brendan Loughnane & Phill Shedden
By signing, developing and promoting the most gifted fighters in Britain, Tankō Management is tirelessly supporting the growth of UK combat sports – aiming to continually increase audience exposure and enhance standards across the board. Behind the scenes are a hard-working team who commit to Tankō in the same way professional fighters commit to every contest. We’re dedicated to ensuring the UK combat sports industry continues to develop a knowledgeable and passionate audience by supporting exciting events that take the country by storm.
For more information on Tankō Equipment visit: www.tanko.co.uk
For more information on Tankō Main Events visit: www.tankoevents.co.uk
One of the fastest growing sports in the world today, mixed martial arts (MMA), owes it’s success to the origins of fighting. If it weren’t for the rampant obsession with various styles of unarmed combat throughout history, there would be no base for such a promotion to exist, let alone flourish.
One such base style is Muay Thai, the art can be traced back to the 16th century, originally known as Siamese style boxing and made famous by Nai Khanomtom in 1767. The Siam fighter was captured by the Burmese during battle, and was given the opportunity by his captors to fight for freedom. He used what would later be called Muay Thai to win the fight and gain his release, and became a national hero. It was this single event that helped catapult the art to becoming a national sport soon after.
Fast forward to present day MMA, and Muay Thai is more alive than ever. Coaches and fighters recognise the advantages gained in the striking department when Thai boxing is introduced, and it shows in some of the top strikers’ game-plans and resulting finishes.
The striking parts of the body in Muay Thai are the fists, elbows, knees and shins. Clinching is also allowed. With these tools, the techniques are broken down in to six categories, as follows; Punching (Chok), elbow (Sok), kicking (te), knees (Ti Khao), foot thrust (Theep) and clinch/neck wrestling (Chap Kho). Within these categories there are many different methods of delivering the techniques, and many transition perfectly in to MMA.
Although the fundamentals of stance and striking style are very different to that of a solely MMA trained fighter, the most effective movements of Muay Thai can be tailored in to a combatant’s arsenal to devastating effect!
Developed over hundreds of years, the ancient martial art of Muay Thai is known for its tremendous power, maximum efficiency, and raw simplicity. Often referred to as the “Art of Eight Limbs”, Muay Thai utilizes a beautiful symphony of kicks, punches, knees, and elbows with fluidity and grace.
Muay Thai is now one of the most well-known and practiced martial arts in the world. It has proven to be effective, which is why it is most common striking base in the vastly popular, fast growing sport of mixed martial arts.
We give you 10 reasons why Muay Thai is the perfect martial art:
1) It is widely recognized as the most effective striking art in the world.
Muay Thai is by far the most effective striking art in the world. Muay Thai has been tested in competition and real-life situations for hundreds of years, refining the art to be as fast, efficient, and powerful as it can be. On top of that, its consistent testing in combat between highly skilled practitioners has developed every aspect of the art to an extremely high level.
2) It is effective in all ranges of standup fighting.
Muay Thai is a martial art and combat sport unlike any other. The art incorporates the use of knees, elbows, shins and hands. This allows the practitioner to use all the weapons available to the human body in kicking range, punching range, and the clinch, making it effective in all ranges of standup fighting unlike most other striking based martial arts.
3) It is simple and easy to learn.
While there are hundreds of different techniques in Muay Thai, it is also a martial art known for it’s raw simplicity. That’s why Muay Thai is for everyone: men, women and children alike. In Thailand, it is actually more common for practitioners to start as young as five or six years old.
4) It is highly effective for self-defense.
Muay Thai is also one of the few martial arts in the world that has been undeniably battle-tested and street certified for real-life encounters. Although widely regarded as a striking based martial art, Muay Thai also contains throwing techniques, locks, using of an opponent’s own momentum, and even submissions. The conditioning of mind, body and spirit involved in Muay Thai also gives practitioners the confidence needed for real-life self defense situations.
5) It is both an aerobic and anaerobic workout.
Muay thai is specifically designed to promote the level of fitness and toughness required for ring competition even for recreational practitioners. With running, jumping rope and shadowboxing it provides an aerobic workout to prepare you for more intense workouts. Muay Thai also builds great anaerobic endurance with exercises like punching and kicking on the pads or bags, and clinching to work your body to its limits. This makes Muay Thai not just a perfect martial art, but also a very effective form of exercise. With continued training, Muay Thai will vastly improve your strength, dexterity, and cardiovascular performance.
6) It burns over 1,000 calories an hour.
Nothing spells perfect more than a martial art with the ability to help you burn 1,000 calories an hour. Muay Thai is the standard of a perfect total body workout. It is a fun and efficient way to burn fat and lose weight that also builds your core, flexibility and overall strength.
7) It toughens your mind, body, and spirit.
The art of Muay Thai toughens your mind, body, and spirit. As the late great Muay Thai Grandmaster Kru Yodtong Senanan once said, “Muay Thai is good for your confidence and inner strength.” On top of enhancing your physical conditioning, Muay Thai builds confidence and promotes discipline of the mind through the control of emotions and feelings.
8) It is one of the key foundations for the sport of MMA.
As the most effective striking martial art in the world, it is no wonder why Muay Thai has become one of the key foundations of the vastly popular, fast growing sport of mixed martial arts (MMA). Some of MMA’s greatest fighters and champions use the art of Muay Thai as their main striking base.
9) It will unleash your human potential in all areas of life
One of the biggest misinterpretations of Muay Thai is that it is just a sport of violence. But like many martial arts, Muay thai also cultivates important values that are rooted in rich tradition. It has the power to humble, discipline, and also inspire, which is arguably the most important aspect of any martial art. Muay Thai instills in its practitioners many great qualities including courage, humility and warrior spirit. These qualities will no doubt help you unleash your greatest potential in all areas of life.
10) Beneficial and Enriching…
To sum it all up, Muay Thai is beneficial for just about anyone. But remember, it is also up to the practitioner to make learning this perfect martial art even more enjoyable and enriching.
Some info sourced from: www.evolve-mma.com
One of the biggest rivalries in stand up striking is Kickboxing vs Muay Thai. Given the fact that most Kickboxers fighters don’t train with elbows, clinching, or throws, it is only a fair fight if Thai fighters fight under the Kickboxing rules. This means that in every “Kickboxing vs Muay Thai fight,” it is essentially a Kickboxer vs Muay Thai Fighter who isn’t allowed using half of his weapons.
Recently, more Thai fighters have been fighting in Kickboxing promotions, in pursuit of a bigger pay day. For Muay Thai fighters who don’t have good boxing skills, this can often result in Knockout losses.
This fight between Yodsanklai vs Marat Grigorian showcases the classic matchup of Kickboxing vs Muay Thai in a Kickboxing setting. Check out the full fight below:
A very noticeable difference between between Kickboxing and Muay Thai is the way fighters block body kicks. Instead of using their legs to absorb the impact of the kick, Kickboxers use their arms to absorb the damage of the kick. While this does a good job of protecting the side of the body from any impact, the arm and elbow take a lot of damage from the kicks.
Repetitive kicks to the arm over time will weaken a fighters punching ability as the fight wears on. Over time a fighter will have less knockout power in the later rounds of the fight.
Yodsanklai exploits this difference against Marat Grigorian, beating his opponent with relative ease. There was no time in the fight where he was in danger from Marat, a fighter who packs a strong punch. (Marat recently Knocked out Aikpracha)
Since Yodsanklai Fairtex is a southpaw fighter, his left kick is his weapon of choice. He demonstrates that you don’t have to be fancy to win fights, you just have to be effective at what you do. Instead of throwing a variety of flashy kicks, the whole fight he smashes his left kick against his opponent who is unable to block it.
Throughout the entire fight, Yodsanklai uses 3 basic moves that win him the fight: Right Jab, Left Straight, Left Body Kick
No flashing spinning back fists, flying knees, head kicks or anything else. His opponent was not blocking his body kicks, so why would he change something that was working? Even though Yodsanklai has a lot more tools at his disposal, he knew that his opponent had a lot of knockout power in his hands.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”
Marat’s strategy the entire fight was to come forward with aggressive punches and try and get a knockout win. While this strategy is effective against Thai fighters who lack boxing skills, it is not a winning strategy against Yodsanklai.
Yodsanklai once again showcases why he is the best Thai fighter that is currently fighting foreigners at the higher weight classes. His mix of timing, power and speed make him a tough matchup for anyone, regardless of their fighting style.
If you study of Muay Thai, chances are you do it for the love and not the money. More than likely you’ve heard since day one… “This sport isn’t about becoming rich.” But still, most Muay Thai fighters are struggling to get that break, to land the fight that will put them on the map to finally score a big day payday.
But how much is that payday exactly? In MMA, we see great champions are making huge amounts of cash and even huger sponsorship deals. More than likely, those at the top of the sport are at least earning in the six figure range, sometimes more. So how do these contracts compare to a top of the line Muay Thai fighter, holding a belt in the prestigious Lumpinee or Rajadamnern stadiums?
A current Lumpinee champion makes roughly 60,000 baht per fight (Around £1,200) Only after the gym takes their cut of profits, fighters are typically left with around 20,000 baht for themselves (£400). Doesn’t seem fair or much does it?!
There are ways for Thai fighters to earn significantly more money through gym bets. You might have seen certain fights advertised as having a 1,000,000 baht prize placed on them. These are usually large bets put on particular fights for gym owners to make an extra bit of money if they feel like their guy has a significant advantage going in. If a fighter invests his own money into the bet, it’s possible that he will receive a cut of the earnings. Of course, this is a very dangerous game. Losing means sacrificing an already minuscule paycheck, and perhaps being forced to fight more frequently to make up the difference.
Despite Thailand being a land where the cost of living is much lower than much of the western world, £400 per fight is still not very much money, especially at the highest possible level of the sport. Not only that, but the 60,000 baht pay day is only for top of the line competitors that have already established names for themselves.
Fighters that aren’t champions usually receive somewhere between 10 and 15,000 baht (£200 – £300). It can vary depending on how much interest there is for a fight, betting, and other factors, but typically the price range stays within those two numbers.
For farang (foreign) fighters, the paydays are much less. A foreign fighter will earn between 2 and 5,000 baht per fight if they are competing at Lumpinee stadium. This comes out to less than £100 per match-up.
There is more demand for farangs in the outlying markets, like Phuket and Koh Samui. Foreigners can make significantly more in Bangla than anywhere else, because that’s what the gamblers and audience come to see.
The real market for Muay Thai lies outside Thailand. International fighters can often earn more than double what Lumpinee champions pull in, despite the quality of competition being much lower. It is not incredibly difficult for a decent Thai to make over 100,000 baht per fight. It’s also much easier for farang fighters to come by competition their own weight, at a price that allows them to live above the poverty line.
Because of the low pay for Thai boxing within Thailand, many former Lumpinee or Rajadamnern champions end up in demeaning or ill-fitting jobs after their careers are over. There is not enough money saved up to retire comfortably, nor do they have many skillsets beyond the scope of muay thai. To make a living, skilled nak muays absolutely must take up a coaching position. Finding a teaching position inside the country is difficult, considering the market is already flooded with extremely high level trainers. Going international is an option, but many former fighters don’t want to be away from their friends and families for extended periods of time.
Right now, gamblers in muay thai are making huge amounts of money off the fighters, who are seeing very little of it for their efforts. We can only hope that the future sees either a change in the wages for some of the greatest athletes in combat sports, or newer organizations give stadium fighters the amount of money we all know they are worth.