Fight off flab at Thai boxing camps

Tubby tourists fight off flab at Thai boxing camps.

In a sweltering training camp on a tropical Thai island, sweaty tourists wearing oversized gloves and baggy shorts slam their fists, knees, elbows and feet into a row of heavy bags.

Welcome to the latest craze in extreme fitness — Muay Thai boxing.

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With worries growing about bulging waistlines, many foreigners are flocking to Thailand to spend their holidays not on the beach, but in a humid gym to follow a punishing regime of training in Muay Thai and other martial arts.

Some are going to even more extreme lengths, quitting their jobs to spend weeks or months training in an effort to win their long battles with obesity or hone their skills in the hope of becoming professional fighters.

Jordan Henderson, 26, left behind his London lifestyle of long work days, parties and overeating after the doctors warned him that he faced looming heart problems due to his nearly 184-kg weight.

After a month at a training camp in Phuket off the Andaman Coast, he had shed about 20 kg.

“You’re in an environment where it’s hot all the time, surrounded by people doing fitness,” he said after an early morning workout. “It’s about taking yourself out of the box that you live in and just focusing on one thing, and that’s to train and lose weight.”

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The first few days were far from easy.

“It was horrible — the heat and the training, the aches you get and the dramatic diet change,” Henderson said.

“I’ve gone from eating whatever I liked to grilled chicken, steamed vegetables and brown rice — hungry for weeks,” he added.

But despite the gruelling regime, he never considered packing his bags and leaving early.

The art of eight limbs

Thailand is home to a flourishing Muay Thai training industry that welcomes thousands of guests every year, thanks in part to the popularity of mixed martial arts, which combines striking and grappling techniques.

“Mixed martial arts is the fastest growing sport in the world and Muay Thai is an integral part of that,” said Will Elliot, director of Tiger Muay Thai, one of more than a dozen such training camps in Phuket.

“It’s definitely extreme to travel halfway across the world,” said Elliot, whose camp welcomes hundreds of guests each month paying up to about $100 per week for group training.

“But we’re in the tropics. It’s hot. We’re in Thailand, the birthplace of Muay Thai, so it’s about immersion,” he said.

Muay Thai, Thailand’s national sport, is known as “the art of eight limbs” because it combines punches and kicks with elbows and knee strikes.

Anyone thinking about signing up should be prepared for the challenge.

“It’s very physically intensive. At the end of a workout you’re going to be exhausted. So if you can maintain that twice a day in combination with a diet, your fitness is going to increase rapidly,” Elliot said.

It worked for James Mason, 29, a former used car salesman from Britain who weighed 200 kg when he arrived in Thailand a year and a half ago but has since shed more than 100 kg.

“The doctor told me that if I didn’t do something drastic to change my life, in five years’ time I would be dead,” he said.

“When I first got here I couldn’t walk 200 meters without my back hurting. I had to sit down and take a breath. I’d be dripping with sweat because of the heat and the humidity.”

Three months into his training in Thailand he caught a flesh-eating bacteria and required three operations, narrowly avoiding having his leg amputated.

But he recovered and returned to his regime, and recently completed a 900 km charity bike ride from Phuket to Bangkok.

Don’t forget to duck

At the Tiger camp, about 20 students from countries including Australia, Britain, Egypt and Russia sweated their way through a recent beginners’ class under the close watch of muscular former Thai professionals.

“One, two, duck, body punch,” shouted one of the instructors as the students, each at varying levels of fitness, practiced their moves.

After warm-up exercises involving jogging, stretching, star jumps and shadow boxing, the students paired up to spar, punching the air within a whisker of their opponents’ ears.

“You’re meant to duck!” one girl reminded her friend after a near miss.

The main goal of most of the trainees is not to become a boxing champion but to lose weight, said instructor Phirop Chuaikaitum, better known as Ajarn (Master) Dang.

“They run for a long time, stretching, punching in the air for a long time — that makes it easy to lose weight,” he said.

“But we don’t make it hard because they will get hurt. We do it slowly but non-stop for 2½ hours. They only have a 3-minute break.”

There is no slacking off, even for royalty.

“There was one guy who was a prince from Dubai,” Phirop said.

“He came for the beginner class. I hit him with a stick and he told me that he was from a royal family. Whether you’re a construction worker or member of a royal family, when you come for boxing training you are all equal.”

As the session neared an end, sweat dripped from the students’ foreheads and they grimaced with pain. The knock-out blow — 100 push-ups to finish — was inflicted on those who still had energy left.

“It does hurt. You’re sore everywhere. Sometimes it’s tough to walk,” Henderson said. “You’re dripping in sweat but once you get back, have a shower, a swim in the pool — you can’t buy that feeling.”

Source: www.japantimes.co.jp

Being a Female Muay Thai Fighter

Melissa Ray talks about being a female muay thai fighter in Thailand.

A lot of people don’t see combat sport as suitable for females. This couldn’t see this as further from the truth. Often we have found their technique to be superior to their male counterparts. Many of our sparring partners have been females that push us to a new level.

In this episode of Muaythai Journal, that was released just before Women’s Day former Muaythai Journal speaks to Melissa Ray from Muaythai on the brain on life as female Muaythai Fighter in Thailand. Melissa is a 4 time world champion and possibly more impressive has a PhD in Neuroscience (the study of the brain). Lets see what she has to say.

Melissa trains out of Eminent Air gym in Bangkok and trains alongside some of the best Nak Muay that are around, many of whom have already been featured in Muaythai Journal. She runs a very insightful blog with interesting articles using her knowledge from her studies such as: “The psychology of a rematch”. I highly recommend you check it out.

Thanks again to Muaythai Journal for the upload.

Muay Thai legend passes away

Muay Thai legend Apidet passes away at age 72.

Apidet Sithiram, one of the greatest Muay Thai fighters of all time, passed away yesterday of lung cancer. He was 72.

Apidet

His daughter Saivarun Swatpoklang said her father died at Phramongkutklao hospital following a long battle with cancer.

Mrs Saivarun said Apidet, whose real name was Narong Songmanee, was diagnosed with lung cancer last year and had since been hospitalised.

Nightly prayers are being held at Wat Bang Phli Yai in Samut Prakan until Tuesday and the royally sponsored cremation rites are scheduled on Wednesday.

Apidet was born in tambon Bang Nokkwaek in Samut Songkhram. He specialised in kicking and was dubbed the ‘Kicker of Bang Nokkawek’.

He was so dominant in the country’s traditional martial art that it was difficult for him to find an opponent.

He then switched to international boxing and became welterweight champion of both Lumpinee and Rajadamnoen stadiums.

He was a trainer at Fairtex boxing camp before his death.

Source: www.bangkokpost.com

Learn to be broken

Learn to be broken…

Breaking a fighter.
It’s a phrase you hear often in Muay Thai Boxing but what does it really mean?

Recently in sparring, I had a chance to think about this. I’d like to be all tough and say it was on my mind because my incredible dominating style broke my opponent’s will. But nope, it was me.
I broke…

I’ve only been at it for nearly a year now, and while I’m certainly not any sort of dangerous talent, I feel like I know my way around a little at this point.

After the end of training, we started our usual sparring session. By my third partner, one of which I hasten to add was our Kru Leigh Edlin. I was absolutely cream-crackered (knackered). There are reasons for this – I had been sick and been away on holiday so missed a few weeks of training – but the main reason is I’m still not at my best possible shape YET!. This has happened to me before – and I’m afraid, it’s the side effect of being a part time trainer. The thing is, in Muay Thai, when I’m tired I have enough strength that I can mostly still survive. I sort of know what I’m doing, and can deal with a more fit opponent while minimizing damage.

As I was trapped in a corner of the ring, when it came to me… this person is too good, too strong, too talented. And the the big one: I can’t stop him/her. That moment? That’s breaking – the realisation that you can not win!!

Of course, it’s not actually a “realisation” because that implies that it’s a verifiable fact. It’s not. You may not be winning now, and it may be quite difficult to win, but you can. And yet in the heat of the moment, it becomes a fact, and that’s what makes it so insidious and so dangerous.

From there, I bottled out from some sparring rounds but slogged through the last few minutes, and went home. And here’s where I was faced with a tough question – what now? Where do I go from here? I’ll admit, there was a large part of me that wanted to quit and be done. I’m in my very late 30s, never going to really fight (well maybe 😉 – how much further do I want to go with this?

But the next week, I dragged myself to the club. And you know what? It was excellent. I was back in my comfort zone, I felt good, I felt like I could do it. The moment of breaking will pass!!

But has it? Because it’s easy to feel confident when you are in your comfort zone. The real question about braking is what you do when someone pushes you out of that zone. And so far, that has not happened to me since… but it will?! And how will I respond the next time?

That’s a question I can’t answer. I can only hope that my experience will make me stronger for the next time. Maybe it will. Or maybe being broken is like being knocked out – the more it happens, the easier it is to happen again. I hope it’s the former, but fear it’s the latter. Time will tell. And either way, I will continually learn from my Kru & Club Members…

Many Thanks again to Leigh for helping me settle into the club and many thanks to all the club members, who have made me feel so welcome and have got me addicted to Muay Thai.!

Staffy

Cheers
Paul Stafford @Paul_Stafford
Chao Phraya Academy Member

I’d also like this opportunity to wish our Kru Leigh Edlin
in his forthcoming ISKA European Title Fight on Saturday 13th April More Info & Tickets HERE

Chok Dee Kru!!!

Muay Thai Finds a Home in the UFC

Muay Thai Finds a Home in the UFC

Rarely will there be a mixed martial arts fan who doesn’t love a good knockout. The thunderous clap that’s heard when a head kick lands or the perfect thud of a punch connecting when knuckles meet jaw, the knockout is just about the purest form of a finish as there is in a fight.

Muay Thai & UFC

In MMA, many of the fighters that compete at the highest levels in the UFC have backgrounds in the striking arts.  UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva grew up as a Muay Thai fighter in Brazil and actually just recently opened his own Muay Thai gym in California.

Lion Fights, a Muay Thai-only promotion based out of Las Vegas, is tapping into the carnal nature of fans who love a good striking battle where fighters can use all of the weapons at their disposal and ultimately want a great knockout.

Unlike kickboxing, where certain rules prohibit the use of elbows or certain techniques from within the clinch, Muay Thai brings striking back to it’s most basic elements of knocking out an opponent by whatever means necessary.

“If you love stand-up fighting and you love the elbows and the knees, then you have to love Muay Thai.  At Lion Fights, we feel like we’re at the right time to brand Muay Thai with Lion Fights, and bringing in these major international stars and developing our own stars it’s making a mark,” Lion Fights owner Scott Kent told Bleacher Report.

“Kickboxing is what it is. K-1 had a great run and it’s still popular in Europe, but when you start taking away weapons and you take elbows out, it has an effect on the fighters themselves.  Muay Thai fighters don’t want to fight kickboxing rules because they want to use all their weapons.  Not only in Muay Thai but in MMA.”

Numerous MMA fighters have shown their support of Muay Thai by attending Lion Fights events in the past. Urijah Faber, Gilbert Melendez, Cheick Kongo and a number of other competitors have attended Muay Thai events because not only do they train in the sport when preparing for an MMA fight, but they love the art form that goes along with a great striking battle.

“We are lucky to be at the epicenter of the UFC world here (in Las Vegas), and we’ve been able to tap into that,” Kent said.  “The response from the fighters has been great because they all train Muay Thai and they can appreciate how it’s applied.  We love the support we get from the UFC and mixed martial arts.”

Several top fighters either already train in Muay Thai or have actually fought in Muay Thai bouts in the past, but like so many great Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitors of the past, will the best strikers of today become MMA’s stars of tomorrow?

Kent says it’s inevitable that the temptation to move from Muay Thai to MMA will always be present, but he hopes to give strikers a home where they can ply their craft and not have to go anywhere else to look for a paycheck.

“Inevitably because of the size of mixed martial arts, the questions are going to come up,” said Kent.   “I’m not aware of a Muay Thai fighter that’s been really successful crossing over into mixed martial arts that hasn’t had a lot of cross training.  Now they have an avenue to get more sponsorships and make more money and we won’t lose those fighters to mixed martial arts.”

Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained first hand unless otherwise noted.

Source: www.bleacherreport.com

Last Man Standing

Last Man Standing

Please support our Kru (Instructor) who is fighting for the ISKA European Title!!
SEE KRU FOR TICKETS

LAST MAN STANDING 3K KO TOURNAMENT & SUPER FIGHTS SATURDAY
13/04/13

This years LAST MAN STANDING 3K KO TOURNAMENT under Full Thai Rules will be contested at 62KG max from Birmingham’s biggest new venue The Bingley Hall in Hockley Birmingham.

The Bingley Hall is a state of the art 2000 seat/standing venue located at the heart of Birmingham Central. The venue offers everything from onsite bars and hot food to ample car/coach parking facilities for over 600 vehicles! There are no obstructions and the ring can be clearly viewed from anywhere in the venue. The show will feature dancers, fireworks, laser lights large TV screens, chill out areas and most importantly the strongest card to take place in the Midlands to date!

A CLASS FULL THAI RULES 62KG MAX
1) Carlton Lieu (Team Tieu) ISKA English Champion & Ringmasters Champion
2) Ross George (Kaang Raang) ISKA Commonwealth Champion
3) Matt McKeown (Black Diamond) WRSA English & ISKA Midland Area Champion
4) Ricky Sewell (Liams Gym) British Champion
5) Sean Clancy (Siam Warriors) ISKA Irish Champion
6) Angelo “Devilman” Campoli (Italy) Italian no1 & Yokkao Extreme Winner
7) Anthony Ferguson (Pumped Gym) European Champion
8) Brian Totty (The Griphouse) Scottish Champion

RESERVE MATCH
9) Jack Cooper (Middlesbrough Fight Academy / Porpromin Muay Thai Thailand)
10) Jack Battershall (Shin Kick) ISKA Southern Area Champion

ISKA European Title Fight
Leigh Edlin (Chao Phraya) V Diego Santuccio (Italy)

A CLASS
Reece Crooke (Evolution) V Joseph Lasari (Italy)

ISKA Super Heavyweight Midland Area Title
Chris Cooper (Black Widow) V Andre Groce (Firewalkers)

Just added to the undercard:

Lucien Alleyne (Black Widow) V Thai Hoang (Team Tieu)
This will be a great fight between two very talented young fighters expect fireworks and a great display of Muay Thai.

Naqqash Khan (Black Widow) V Glenn Sweetman (Corefit)
Another great fight between local lads just added to the card.

We will also be releasing match ups shortly for Iman Barlow, Jose Valera, Jon Greenwood and many other top names.

Tickets are now on sale and we’ve already started selling VIP tables for this event so book yours now!

£600 VIP Table for x10 people including x3 course meal & waitress service
£60 VIP Table Seat including x3 course meal & waitress service
£30 Adult Standard
£15 Junior Standard

Doors Open at 4.00PM / First Fight at 4.30PM

Smash 3 Muaythai – Videos

Smash 3 Muaythai – Videos

Smash 3 Muaythai – James Bowen v Dean Lynch

Smash Muaythai 3 – Danny Hammer v Kev Mcalister

Smash Muaythai 3 – Joshia Gillespie v Luke Donoghue

Smash Muaythai 3 – Josh Williamson v Luke Davis

Smash Muaythai 3 – Garry Kewley v Sam Ward

Smash Muaythai 3 – Luke Imeson v Liam Nolan

Smash Muaythai 3 – Matty Shippen v Chris Cooper

Smash Muaythai 3 – Kate Stables v Ruth Ashdown

Smash Muaythai 3 – Simon Forrest v Anthony McGee

Smash Muaythai 3 – Gavin Rogerson v Danny Leadbetter

Smash Muaythai 3 – Jon Greenwood v Peter Rai