Documenting my journey as a female Muay Thai fighter in Thailand, sharing techniques, culture and personal perspective - over 250 fights fought

  • May 23, 2021
    It’s strange, in a way, that there are things about us that we ourselves do not know. I am both fond of reminiscing and also allergic to it, happily recounting memories from my childhood to my husband about my brothers and friends, but I prickle and have sudden amnesia when it comes to a question that raises something more difficult. Recently we were talking about...
  • May 18, 2021
    May 2021 saw the first announcements for women to be allowed to, invited and booked, to fight at Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok. Famously, women are barred from the Bangkok National Stadia, Lumpinee (Military) and Rajadamnern (Police), both of which are seen as the ultimate goal for young fighters all over Thailand. One of the first women to be invited to fight is Petthae Sor Sopit...
  • May 16, 2021
    There are few Muay Thai krus who still carry a stick while supervising their students. Off the top of my head I know Rambaa, Sagat, and Sangtiennoi. Of the 3, I’ve only ever been bitten by the stinging whip of Sangtiennoi’s switch, right on my ankle, as he scolded me for not getting up on my toe for a knee. His eyes are kind, he’s...
  • May 13, 2021
    Do read the (free) Patreon post which talks much more about this amazing video and has lots more on Dieselnoi and the 123 Book. When I’m able to make historic videos like this they are for everyone. In this interview with Dieselnoi we get the amazing view of the history of Thailand’s fighters from one of the best who ever fought, and who lived through...
  • May 10, 2021
    Anime is absolutely incredible, both visually and in what stories are told. The opening to Those Snow White Notes has some of the most beautiful animation that I would never even imagine myself, this soft gust blowing gently falling snowflakes into a dance. I’ve seen that, but I would never think to draw it. And the story is so simple that it seems like you...
5 Minute Documentary on Sylvie
My Latest Posts
  • I don’t know

    It’s strange, in a way, that there are things about us that we ourselves do not know. I am both fond of reminiscing and also allergic to it, happily recounting memories from my childhood to my husband about my brothers and friends, but I prickle and have sudden amnesia when it comes to a question that raises something more difficult. Recently we were talking about the sleeping arrangements in the house I grew up in. With 4 children and large house, there was a reshuffling several times throughout my...
  • Women Fighting At Lumpinee: My Interview with Thai Female Fighter Phettae

    May 2021 saw the first announcements for women to be allowed to, invited and booked, to fight at Lumpinee Stadium in Bangkok. Famously, women are barred from the Bangkok National Stadia, Lumpinee (Military) and Rajadamnern (Police), both of which are seen as the ultimate goal for young fighters all over Thailand. One of the first women to be invited to fight is Petthae Sor Sopit (or Teptong, above) and, in interviewing her, she expressed what I had already suspected but had not heard outright: this dream is one imparted...
  • The Boatman

    There are few Muay Thai krus who still carry a stick while supervising their students. Off the top of my head I know Rambaa, Sagat, and Sangtiennoi. Of the 3, I’ve only ever been bitten by the stinging whip of Sangtiennoi’s switch, right on my ankle, as he scolded me for not getting up on my toe for a knee. His eyes are kind, he’s tall and feels more towering than his actual stature, and you want to be correct in equal parts to avoid getting hit by the...
  • Dieselnoi Walks Us Through Muay Thai History | All the Great Fighters of Thailand

    Do read the (free) Patreon post which talks much more about this amazing video and has lots more on Dieselnoi and the 123 Book. When I’m able to make historic videos like this they are for everyone. In this interview with Dieselnoi we get the amazing view of the history of Thailand’s fighters from one of the best who ever fought, and who lived through the Golden Age of the sport. And, you get to know him as one of the most passionate men in the world about Muay...
  • Anime and Legends – Reaching For Your Own Song

    Anime is absolutely incredible, both visually and in what stories are told. The opening to Those Snow White Notes has some of the most beautiful animation that I would never even imagine myself, this soft gust blowing gently falling snowflakes into a dance. I’ve seen that, but I would never think to draw it. And the story is so simple that it seems like you could never make a whole show of it: a young man’s grandfather was a master of an outdated instrument, he knows how to play...
  • “I’ve got the bravest little sister. Maaaan, I’ve got such a brave sister.”

    The downstairs floor of the house I grew up in was always significantly cooler than the upper floor of the house. The floors were concrete, whereas upstairs was unfinished wood that offered splinters and creaky betrayals of each footfall. A long crack ran along the length of what we called the “downstairs kitchen,” but was more or less an extension of the “laundry room,” which really was just a little extra space next to the enormous octopus-shaped central furnace to the house; behind that was my room, which was...
  • Leaving Pain to Weakness, From Shame to Strength

    I woke up shivering, my teeth ground together and my temples aching from the pressure. My fingertips felt numb as I consciously uncoiled them from the sleeping bag, which I was clutching around my body. Only a few feet from me was a black pot-bellied stove, a pile of wheat-colored wood next to it. I took a breath and peeled the sleeping bag from around my shoulders, kicking my legs to escape the pupal casing. A thick cloth, not unlike an oven mitt, wrapped around the coiled handle of...
  • Infomercial Heroes, Clark Kent and Peter Parker

    I’m starting to write again on my blog. There is a lot of amazing content on my Patreon, which I spend most of my off-training hours creating for my wonderful patron supporters, but I want to get back to writing. These posts won’t have a purpose, or maybe even a focus, just me sharing my thoughts and writing for myself, and for you too. Dusk is falling like a cloud over the landscape around the taxi, which is chewing through the road in front of it. The glowing green...
  • Vlog #365 – How Karuhat Reads You Before You Strike and More Magic

    Much has happened in the last weeks, some of it quite painful. This post is about my return. I had a chance to train with Karuhat for a few days following our attendance of Namkabuan’s Funeral in Nongki, Buriram. We drove back down to Pattaya and he stayed with us for a couple of days. I wanted to spar with him lightly, and even more just work with him and move. It’s been a while. Above are my thoughts on the first day, so many things coming back to...
  • The Menstrual Cycle & Muay Thai Training: Important for Female* Fighters & Those That Coach Them

    *The phrase “Female Fighters” is used in the title for brevity and discovery, read as: “People Who Menstruate”. Read more of my Gendered Experience articles here. There are a lot of reasons why talking about the menstrual cycle – the whole thing – is important for athletes. Firstly, the “this is super private and should be kept private” approach keeps us from acknowledging that our bodies are going through some serious swings throughout each month, and not just our bodies but our brains are actually generating and responding differently...
  • What It Is Like to Train At Sangtiennoi’s Muay Thai Gym – Clinching With a Champion

    We shot more than an hour of my training at Sangtiennoi’s gym about 40 minutes north of Bangkok, just to give everyone a sense of what it is like to train there. It is one of the more authentic Thai gyms, run by a legend of the sport. Kevin’s beautiful photography captured the feeling of the space in the morning, and I put my commentary over it all, talking not only about the training itself, the great padwork, Sangtiennoi’s instruction, but also broadly about training in Thailand itself, the...
  • Muay Thai Bones Podcast ep 18 – and so much more

    Lots to get caught up on! The Muay Thai Bones podcast is back, with an episode covering some of the more psychological aspects of Muay Thai and being a fighter, as well as the preciousness of the Muay Khao fighting style which recently has been under some threat of being phased out, albeit briefly. Watch episode 18 here on YouTube (below), or get the audio version for your listening ease here as a patron. So much more has been going on I shared a story that Yodkhunpon told me...
  • Study of the Muay Thai Diamond Guard – A New Guard from Old Ways

    I’m writing this to create a resource chain for anyone else who wants to take a deep dive into exploring this technique. I’ve been working on a side project, along with Sylvie 3.0, a process of leveling up in all my skills and habits as a fighter. This side project is what Kevin and I are calling the “Diamond Guard.” It’s a guard inspired by the Old School cross-armed boxing guard from western fighters such as Archie Moore, Gene Fullmer, Joe Frazier, Ken Norton and George Foreman (I link...
  • Using Your Legs in Muay Thai Clinch & Clinch Basics

    It is no exaggeration to say that there is nowhere else in the world like Thailand to teach you how to clinch. Yes, it’s the high level of technique and deep pockets of knowledge, the sheer breadth of skill. But more than any of that it’s the possibilities for experience. Some who come to Thailand gyms with an aim to learn clinch might be disappointed by how little “instruction” there is, because the pedagogy of Thailand and the methods of everywhere else can be so different. But I like...
  • A Big Catch-Up Vlog #352 – Sylvie 3.0, Ruup & Sparring

    It’s been a while since I’ve vlogged my process, so this is a big one. Join me as a ramble about how I’m handling coming back to training with a new mission. I’ve talked about Sylvie 3.0 and “growing eyes” in past Muay Thai Bones podcasts. This is devoting the next full year to a transformation in my capabilities. Most of all I want to start to see much more in the pocket, and in the name of that I’m just going to take on much more sparring, a...
  • The Vipassana of Feeling Your Kick, Part 1 an Introduction

    This video is “Part I” of a Sylvie’s Technique Vlog that I’m filming, examining the simple but very detailed way in which we can all learn to “feel” our techniques. Feeling is so important. It’s more important than any of us ever really know, but it’s something that I’ve been taught more times than I could ever count. The teachers who really stand out for explicitly focusing on feeling are Chatchai Sasakul (Trainer of the Year across all sports in Thailand in 2011) and Sagat Petchyindee. They’re so brilliant...
  • When Hippy Fought Chatchai as a Boy in His Own Words

    Below is a story told by the incredible yodmuay Hippy Singmanee. He posted this on his Facebook Page (and the story is apparently in his biography, but I don’t know where you can buy this). You can find the post here, and follow him, but I include the Thai below as well. With the support from my patrons, one of the projects we’ve been able to do is Thai to English translations. Mostly we’ve been putting these projects toward translating interviews with Thai legends, or more recently in translating...
  • My Vlog #2: Enough With Pad Porn – A Film Study at 200 fps

    Guest Post – I’ve been exploring serious photographic captures of what Muay Thai is in Thailand, and of Sylvie’s particular experiences as the most prolific western fighter in history, in the country, and as a nakmuay ying, negotiating the traditions, customs and habits of a masculine space. You can find some of the better photos I’ve produced on muaynoir.com where higher definition versions can be seen with a click. A lot of what I was originally doing was around the concept of Muay Noir. I discuss the beginnings of...
  • English Trans. Chamuakpet vs Paidaeng Raja Belt Fight 1994

    Kevin and I are starting a new effort in our Preserver The Legacy project. With the support of our patrons we are hiring translators to create subtitles for classic Muay Thai fights. We’ve all enjoyed watching great fights and hearing the enthusiasm, but we are missing a ton of information when we can’t understand the commentator. The fight above with Chamuakpet going for his 8th national stadium belt vs Paidaeng, younger brother of Nokweed Davy, is our first translation fight. There are so many great things in the commentary,...
  • On Photography: Before The Mirror and the Titian Palette

    look at a hi-res version of the photo: Before the Mirror by Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu In this series both Kevin and I write independently about a photograph, first my thoughts, then his… Sylvie writes: This photo is of me at Thapae Stadium in Chiang Mai, where I’ve fought over a hundred times. It’s any moment, just putting Vaseline on my face before my fight. This is something that in and of itself is a story. Fighters often depend on their cornermen to wrap their hands, give the oil massage,...
  • Wichannoi and Dieselnoi: My Personal Reflection

    Dieselnoi is my hero, it’s no secret. Over the years of knowing him, I’ve been influenced by him as a fighter, a teacher, a mentor, a friend, in ways that I couldn’t even articulate fully. He’s had massive impact on me, in how I think about Muay Thai, how I think about training and fighting and the honor of self-responsibility. We text to each other into the night, until his thumbs get tired and he just changes over to voice messages, or just calls me. And yet, he cuts...
A Husband’s Point of View
  • Pride Projects and Shame Ditches – Mental Training

    My arms are burning and I’m thirsty. The soft, pudgy flesh of my clinching partner pillows under my forearms as I snake and move and turn him, the insides of my legs slapping the sides of his body and occasionally his elbows, where he drops his arms down to try to protect his body. I feel his resistance, which is manifold: he’s resisting my movements, but he’s also pouting. He’s expressing his dislike of this experience with every cell in his body, but he cycles through going limp to...
  • When You Can’t Train – The Sulk vs Focus

    My last fight – you can watch it here – left me with a souvenir of 8 stitches, right between the eyes. That’s a lucky number for me, I’m into it, but returning to training with a cut on my face is always a slightly tricky process. Surely, everyone who has been with me in the gym for these past 5 years is used to me by now – I’ve been called “Cyborg” and “Iron Lady,” “The Machine,” and “crazy,” because I’m always right back at it. Most of...
  • Mental Training – How Negative Thoughts Can Become Like MRSA

    There’s a phrase, “it’s 90 percent mental.” I’m coming to realize that the more experience you gain. the more time you spend on a single, focused endeavor, the closer that 90 percent goes toward 99.9 percent. Or maybe it’s even all mental and we can escape the body in some kind of Nirvana-state of Muay… I don’t know yet. The other day an Instagram post from Mental Coach, Kara Loewentheil came up on my feed. I needed it. I have needed it: yesterday, today, probably a bunch of tomorrows. It’s an important...
  • Your Technique is Perfect, Right Now, The Way It Is | Mental Training Reading

    We are doing a Muay Thai Mental Training Reading Group, together. On Facebook for everyone – you can join here – and on Patreon in live video conference call with my supporters – you can see our first session here. We’ve covered the first two chapters of the book The Inner Game of Tennis, and on Friday morning (Thai Time), we’ll meet and talk about chapters 3 & 4. This is a small, short book that changes people’s lives, as it teaches us to quiet down our Inner Coach,...
  • The Ketogenic Diet and Muay Thai | How I Gave Up the Carb and Saved My Mind

    The Keto Diet, ketogenesis: The keto diet features very low carb (- 20 g), moderate protein, and high fats, designed to switch the body from sugar-burning to ketone-burning, with suggested benefits of mental clarity, recovery and anti-inflammation, and weight loss (for those that need it), making use of hormone and metabolic responses evolved in humans through long periods of fasting or lean eating. What follows is not an expert telling, you can Google about and find more on all the things I bring up, but it is my telling....
  • My 3 Day Vipassana Mediation Retreat in Pattaya

    So starts my path to enlightenment. Kevin and I turn down the street indicated on our Google Map directions and it’s pretty clear, immediately, that this isn’t what we’re looking for. Kevin immediately suggests we ask someone, which is super easy for him to suggest because he doesn’t speak Thai, so he never has to do the asking. I’m shy, so I decide to creep down the street on the motorbike first, seeing if maybe, somehow, this street lined with bars might suddenly turn into the kind of street...
The Muay Thai Bones Podcast – Us on the Road
My Muay Thai Vlogs – Experiences and Thoughts