The work we are doing with the Preserve The Legacy project not only includes the building of the immense Muay Thai Library, archiving the techniques, and documenting the men who embody them, it also includes interviews with legends, in Thai, letting them tell their own story. We’ve interviewed Fighters of the Year Dieselnoi, Namsaknoi and the late Sirimongkol. Going further, we’ve started through Patreon the Legends Speak series, which will largely be composed of living legends watching a fight video of theirs in real time, reliving their moment of greatness, along with bookend interviews about the fight. So little is preserved of these fights, and the fighters in them, this is the best way to fill in so many blanks history would otherwise have. This fight between Namkabuan and Ramon Dekkers is the first of that series.
This is really the first substantive time that we can read in English an elite Thai fighter’s experience of fighting the western legend of Ramon Dekkers. The fight happened in the tail end of both their careers. Dekkers would go on fighting, but Namkabuan would end up retiring in less than a year, but it is a beautiful example of Thai and western styles coming together in the ring. You’ll hear about Namkabuan’s problem of hitting Ramon’s Dekkers, the amount of shin pain he was taking, but also in how it was relatively easy to recognize the fighting patterns of Dekkers, and wait them out. You’ll also hear first hand about the rather large weight difference in the fight (weigh-ins were simply called off), something that does not get much attention in many of the western vs Thai matchups in that era.
You can read the public post on Patreon around this fight.
If you’d like to become a patron and support the development of these kinds of projects we’d love to have your support. It’s easy to do. Just go to Patreon and make a pledge (suggested pledge is $5). You can get access to over 100 hours of documentary, archived, commentary footage, and support projects like this one.
The next Legends Speak project in the series is Dieselnoi discussing and watching the Hold Grail of Fights, his fight vs Samart Payakaroon in 1982, hopefully up in a month’s time (we are working through the translation now).
More Interviews of Legends
Dieselnoi: As a patron you can watch this 18 minute interview with Dieselnoi on the state of Muay Thai. Dieselnoi was Fighter of the Year in 1982.
Sirimongkol: Everyone can watch this 26 minute interview with 1972 Fighter of the Year Sirimongkol, who sadly has now passed away. This is likely the last testament of his life as a fighter in English.
Namsaknoi, 1996 Fighter of the Year, is here for everyone to enjoy:
The aim is that with the creation of a vast documentary archive of long form sessions, with the Muay Thai Library, and now with translated one one one interviews with legends of the sport, we can build a reservoir of knowledge, preserving the greatness of the Art and Sport for generations to come. By bringing the legends themselves back to the video of their fights, we are rejoining their voice to, what previously was the only record we had of their remarkable achievements and lives.
More Namkabuan Nongkipahayut
The Preserve The Legacy Library project has already archived some of Namkabuan’s awesomeness. Below are videos and links to great material documenting his incredible style.
Namkabuan’s Slide Knee
Namkabuan Teaching the Explosive Slide Knee
Namkabuan and the Art of Bouncing Someone Off the Ropes
Namkabuan and the Fake Knee to Straight Right
You can read more about Namkabuan’s techniques here in this 8limbsus blog post which has some great GIFs
Or watch the full 28 minute Muay Thai Library entry with Namkabuan, as a patron.