clips of Niamh Griffin above
Female Muay Thai in Documentary
I was watching a 2002 documentary that followed 3 fighters in Bangkok – the future writer of A Fighter’s Heart Sam Sheridan, a Thai female fighter, and a young Thai boy – and was pleasantly surprised to see Niamh Griffin interviewed for a few segments. I first met Niamh digitally when she interviewed me for her blog in the article: Inspiring Sports Women From New York to Chiang Mai. When we talked she said she had been a Muay Thai champion, but it was pretty cool to unexpectedly see her in this film. I separated out these pieces so they could live a little bit beyond the film. As women fighters we need to not only tell our story, but also preserve the history before us. A small bit of that.
If you want to find out more about Niamh the best source may be this excellent 2011 interview by Action81.com
Emmet Ryan : Hi Niamh, thanks for joining us on Action81.com. You’re a former two-time WMC Intercontinental Bantamweight Champion but I know a lot of our readers want to know, how did you end up in Muaythai/Thai Boxing to begin with?
Niamh Griffin: I was working in Bangkok, Thailand teaching English in a secondary school there. And as you know when you go to a country where the culture is so different, you want to learn something about what the people like doing. I went to see a few MuayThai shows in the stadiums, and thought it was fantastic but I had no idea that non-Thais could compete. Then I met two Canadian men who were training in Bangkok. They encouraged me to come down to their gym and see what a training session is like and I was hooked from the first day! That was in May 1998. I had been living there since August 97.
ER: It must have been quite the eye-opening experience. Had you done any boxing or combat sports before moving to Thailand?
NG: No, I would have considered myself too soft! I had just some the normal Irish stuff – camogie, swimming, badminton I suppose, it was easier to take it up in a new country because it seemed quite exciting and “exotic” and so it was less intimidating than walking into a gym in Cork might have been
The film was made by Susanne Cornwall Carvin.