A New Muay Thai Blog and Much More
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For those of you who follow my Muay Thai exploits on other social media, you might know that I have a YouTube channel dedicated to my training with Master K and uploads of my fights, as well as a video journal that handles my thoughts and processes surrounding fighting, as well as a Facebook “Like” page for updates, sharing videos, interacting with folks, etc.
Since moving to Thailand in order to train and fight full-time I’ve been working on creating a website in order to host all of my various social media under one domain 8Limbs.Us. The upside is having everything together in a more comprehensive approach, which also lends itself to my being able to write more, rather than compartmentalizing my experiences into these various expressions.
It’s the hope of the website to be a Muay Thai community page and nexus for sharing Muay Thai experiences. The impetus for 8Limbs.Us was an appreciation for how rare and precious an opportunity it is for me to be able to travel to Thailand to follow my dream. Very few persons get this opportunity and even fewer still are women. So I made it a goal to share as much of this experience as possible and I also acknowledge that there are many voices to this story, not just my own, so while I will be expressing a lot myself I also want to include the many people who share this journey with me, via the various social media I was already using, and who belong to the Muay Thai community at large.
The blog is a large part of this new website and it will be taking a slightly different – elaborated, rather than changed – form. My friend Robyn strongly advised me (in the way that a lady with a gun pointed at you is “strongly suggesting” you cooperate) to write more. I certainly have the material for it as each day out here is so packed with events and emotions/thoughts surrounding them. But in order to digest it all I will likely be writing more to the traditional blog format, including smaller pieces on observations or realizations throughout the week with larger “thought piece” articles continuing to appear as they reveal themselves to me.
It is also my hope that through comments and guests posts from other female fighters many voices will be heard here.
Another page on 8Limbs.Us is a layout of all my fights, most recent to the first. It’s a far more comprehensive way to be listing them than what I had previously been able to do with YouTube by itself.
It’s interesting to see them all in one place, laid out almost like comic cells. It’s pretty cool to see them condensed side by side like this because they are not collapsed together in my mind at all. So much happens to a fighter between fights, even within fights, that the same fighter never steps in the ring twice – like the eternal truth by Heraclitus that you can’t step in the same river twice.
It also helps to put everything in context. A fight is a thing to itself, but it’s not exclusive of the process of learning – fighting is part of training. To see them all together like this and knowing that the cells will just keep collecting puts in perspective the big picture, which is that each fight is part of a larger journey and deserves the energy you put into it, but it stays there as a stepping stone for everything you work to build on top of it.
Video Journal and My Map
In addition to fights being organized and easier to navigate, the complement to my fights and training videos are my Video Journal Updates. These have their own section on the website so they are much easier to view as well. And because they have their own little box for the latest video, I’ll be held accountable for the same video being in that spot for too long and will be compelled to record more of them. Having fights every two weeks helps in that regard as well!
Another feature which is unique to 8Limbs.Us is an interactive map which shows where I’ve trained around the US and in Thailand, as well as reviews and explanations on each location. It’s pretty cool to be able to see the actual Google Map images of the locations at street level and is very helpful for finding any of these places if you’re interested.
All websites have an “about” page that usually offers a mission statement or a brief biography of the person or organization about which the page is oriented. I’ve written a little bit of this, explaining how I came to Muay Thai and how/why I’ve shared my journey thus far and a little bit more about who I am. I will write more on it when I can, it is a page in development.
The Design – Deep Soni and Alexis Marcou
I love octopi. On many occasions I have used internet image searches in an attempt to find beautiful, engaging and powerful images that represent the strength, intelligence and movement of an octopus, but more often than not I come up with a lot of cartoons or photographs of inert creatures. Thanks to Pinterest, I stumbled on this incredible image by Greek artist Alexis Marcou. I completely fell in love with the image and wrote to Alexis, asking him if I could use his artwork in the background on my upcoming website. He wrote back and generously donated the image to me, offering me a high resolution version.
I love the way the movement of an octopus is captured in this image. I’ve really never seen anything like it. The tentacles are inky and fluid, yet strong and the strangeness of the edges are completely balanced by the detail and realism of the center.
Unfortunately due to the design of my website (which I LOVE) the image disappeared in the background and much of the movement and dynamic of the octopus was hidden behind content. Happily, the designer of my site, Deep Soni, has a keen aesthetic eye and he redesigned the background using Alexis’ artwork and an image from Wat Pho (a Thai temple) in order to create his own vision.
I’m blown away by what Deep’s design does as a background image. In the way that Alexis’ octopus is so fluid and beautiful in its stark simplicity, Deep’s redesign of it uses an opposite, yet exquisite approach of color and pattern in order to let the octopus “creep out” from behind the content on the website. I love how the pattern from Wat Pho connects the image to Thailand and how the colors are feminine, but not “girly.” I just keep staring at it and each page exposes different pieces of it. Just wonderful.
The Donors through Kickstarter
8Limbs.Us was made possible through the generous Kickstarter donations of:
James Palmer, Jairo David Avila, Stephen Noton, Patti & Steve Gassaway, Sid & Darlene Trapp, Beth Klink, Augie Matias, Michael Meyer, Trip Maddock, Bryan James, Maya Long, Robyn Klenk, Gilbert King, Patrik Edqvist, Javier Rosario, Kelly Sulimay, Elspeth Shell-Moyer, Yoshiaki Kawatsura, Megan Angelini and many more.
Some are family and some of are friends. Some are people who I have met personally in my Muay Thai path and some are those who just have reached out to me digitally. I cannot thank you all enough, and may good things come of 8Limbs.Us