(above: 5 minute film)
Fighting the Dream – Muay Thai Film Short
Some time ago I got a message on my Facebook page from Rosie Brown, a freelance journalist based in Bangkok, asking if I’d be open to her coming up to Chiang Mai to talk with me about my life as a foreign, female Muay Thai fighter. I probably used more words than this, but the gist of my response was “Of course!”
Not too long later I got to meet Ed Kiernan and Rosie Brown of Yankee Brown Productions . They arrived at the camp during my afternoon boxing lesson with Neung and were very polite in their regard for requesting permission before exploring the whole space or taking photos, but also completely masterful in their ability to disappear into the space with a complete feeling of belonging.
They photographed me in training, doing ringwork with my husband in the day, and then later that night rode with us in the dark, crowded truck on the long roads to a festival fight out in Mae Wang. Both Rosie and Ed are personable, which makes their presence a welcome addition to any event but they are also very calmly observant in such a way that they are both there and not there. My friend Ying, who is a filmmaker, also shares this quality. It allows her to pretty much go anywhere she wants without ever being noticed or obstructed. It’s a trick that journalists must master in order to do good work, something not entirely like the Jedi mind trick of slipping through potential barriers by chanting, “these are not the droids you’re looking for.”
The festival fight was great and the film they produced really captures it well. We met a day or two after the fight for an interview, which was conducted at a nearby swimming pool, where we were able to sit and talk in a quiet setting and then when we were done go slip through the water against the backdrop of Chiang Mai’s incredible mountain range. Just as you would never question why someone would want to while away hours in that beautiful setting, one would never wonder why Rosie and Ed love what they do and they never questioned why I love what I do; they just asked me to describe how I felt in it.
What 50 Fights Means
On the 26th of July, this Friday, I’m due to fight my 50th. In this video that number is referenced as a milestone, the number at which my goal in moving to Thailand to fight was set and the marker which I now see has been outgrown. It feels wonderful to know that I’ve reached that goal, the one I announced to Andy four years ago as I climbed into the back of his truck after my third fight ever, but it also feels far less monumental. And that’s a good thing. It feels like one more piece within a much larger picture – a single note which adds to the melody of a song rather than the finale. I believe that 50 fights has great meaning and I’m proud of and excited by the accomplishment. But it’s also only meaningful within the greater context of fighting at all, the meaning is contained within the continuation of movement and not the goal itself. At this point, I’m more eager to celebrate 51 because that fight is what gives great meaning to the 5oth.