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  1. One of the more difficult and hidden aspects of gender gym dynamics that I've noticed is that because Muay Thai gyms are almost always male coded spaces it can be that there is a limited amount of social capital that women receive. That is to say, some women will get a desired amount of attention - the quality or kind of this attention may vary by gym - but because this is set up as inherently scarce, women will be even unconsciously forced into competing over that scarcity. This means that other women in the gym who may be more natural allies, making one feel more comfortable or at home, persons of support, inspiration or encouragement, actually become your competitors over "being authentic" or "being treated like a fighter" or even just "the coach pays attention to me". One woman may feel that the gym is pretty fair and supportive of women, because she's competed over the limited resource and won it, but other women may not. I'm not really sure what the answer to this is, other than being really sensitive to the idea that there may be hidden limitations of social capital. It can be very difficult, because a lot of what coaches can do is set up a scarcity in the first place, to motivate students. "I'll pay attention to you if you do it right", "I'll pay attention to you if you work really hard" "I'll pay attention to you if you show toughness". This leads to some very earnest women over-performing, or out-performing males in a space. They want to earn their rightful place in a male coded environment. But, this scarcity which should be a equally distributed scarcity also really easily can become quite gendered. That is to say: it's much more scarce for women than it is for men. In some gyms men will just take for granted something that women end up competing with other women for. Men compete with each other and will tend to bond. Women may experience competition with other women differently. Sylvie's talked about this female competition in the gym space a few times.
    5 points
  2. I wrote a poem to Sylvie about Karuhat once: "Karuhat, The king of cats, He has a hat, full of clapping bats And lots of friends, in as many flats He's not a brat. But if you act, Like a twat, He will pat your back and you will fall, In a friendly pit full of hungry rats." And this has been my input, lol
    5 points
  3. So, the title of the forum thread kinda says it all "what makes karuhat special, like no other fighter" Well, it's just that, he is not like ANY other fighter that I have seen, met or fought. Back in 1993 I was in Thailand for the first time training and fighting as a wide eyed teenager, full of red bull and dreams of Lumpinee Stadium! Before I went to Thailand I had studied Samart, Chatchai and Kongtoranee so made my home in Sityotong, fighting on small shows in Pattaya. I had seen video of Karuhat before then but did not know his name or where he trained. I went to Lumpinee one night with the camp to watch Chatchai fight and was lucky enough to be back stage helping out with massage and bandages etc. Considering that there were so many quality fighters in the old Lumpinee warm up area as soon as one character entered all eyes fell on him, like a magnet drawing a hushed attention to him, "Karuhat had arrived" He quietly and methodically arranged his shorts (sans label of course) bandages, warm up shorts etc into a quiet little corner and made his preparations for battle. (I still did not know his name at all then) My Thai was poor and I did not know how to ask. For those who have never been the Old Lumpinee stadium was a strangely magical place, when empty, just an old shack with barely spinning fans and a dusty stink to it, but on fight night a magical place indeed! Chatchai had fought and lost a close decision as the main event was about to start, he, and the other fighters form all of the other gyms hurried to catch sight of the small mad entering the ring with a slight smile and more than a slight swagger about him. "Karuhat had arrived" I was dragged by Kru Yodatong to "watch, watch" and I watched as he explained with his hands as i could not understand him. He placed on hand horizontally at chest height "Boonliai, Chatchai, Dekkers, Numphon, Sangtienoi" then he took his other hand and placed it at his chin level, again horizontal "Karuhat"; he was explaining "there are levels to this" and he is above them all! There started my love affair with his style, grace, power, swagger, smile, style (yes I had replica shorts made up and even a side part in my hair). It was the timing, the bravado, the slickness and the speed that excited me and prompted me to try and copy him in every was at the start of my career. He stood out, he gave and received so much respect with ease. But for me the one thing that makes him stands out is when after winning at Lumpinee, was that I got to say hello to him and share a few moments. In true Thai style, it was less of what was said (very little apart form me prostrating and saying in a strong English accent "Sawadee Krup") He pulled me us and asked "nak Muay"? I nodded, he then did the ultimate Thai thing of squeezing my muscles on my arms, shoulders, and legs, he kind of looked me up and down, I was not muscular, I was not strong and he could see that but what he mimed next will stay with me forever "He spoke in Thai but I didn't understand - I did understand what he meant though" He gestured like a big strong fighter, he pushed his nose down like it was broken, made some clumsy punches in the air, then shook his head, waved his finger to say NO. Then the poined to himself, showed a couple of teeps, a couple of pivots and japs "bop,bop" he said, then he brushed his hand over his face as if to say how handsome he was and no scars "YES YES" and a thumbs up. He was telling me to fight smart because of my frame - then a little smile and he was whisked away for a press conference. So, that's why for ME he will always be so special, he made time for a farang kid in the middle of a room full of experienced amazing Thai fighters. So, I just want to thank him! Thanks for letting me rant and geek out over him for a while :)
    4 points
  4. For me the trickiest part of shadow kicks is that a target actually interrupts the overall trajectory, so not hitting anything kind of makes the balance difficult. If your kicks on pads and the bag are fine, I recommend kicking a few times, then just back up so you "miss" the target and try to throw your kick exactly the same as when you hit the target and see what that looks/feels like. Then you can recreate it and do it a gazillian times.
    4 points
  5. Because we've shot so much with Yodkhunpon it makes sense to put everything there is so far in a single place. This way you can browse through the documentation and if you are a superfan get more and more of this wonderful fighter. Biography The tales of The Elbow Hunter are a series of patron-supported short interviews we have done with Yodkhunpon talking about his life and career. You get to see the gentleness that lies beneath his violent elbow style: Sylvie telling a story of Yodkhunpon he told her: Slow Motion The Muay Thai Library Sessions with Yodkhunpon #9 Yodkhunpon "The Elbow Hunter" pt 1 - Slicing Elbow (37 min) watch it here Simultaneous Raja and Luminee title holder at 118 lbs, Yodkhunpon was one of the most feared elbow fighters in Thailand, and in this session he teaches the looseness and spacing that made his lead elbow such a viscious weapon. He also shuns the traditional rocking chair knee, and instead teaches a powerful stand-in crossing, open-hipped knee that compliments his elbows up top. #15 Yodkhunpon "The Elbow Hunter" part 2 - Escapes (48 min) watch it here Part 2 of my session with one of the most feared elbow fighters of the Golden Age, Yodkhunpon Sitraipom, The Elbow Hunter of 100 Stitches. Lots of fine details in this one, escapes from clinch locks, turns and catches. Best is his floating, gentle style that also holds such violence. #84 Yodkhunpon Special Intensive - The Whole Elbow Style (70 min) watch it here No other fighter in all of Thailand has developed so complete and pressuring a style based on the weapon of elbows. In this session the Elbow Hunter of 100 Stitches presents his whole galloping style, revealing how he opens up windows for his elbows, and uses those windows to then open up attack with other weapons. #104 Yodkhunpon Sittraipum - The Art of Shadowboxing (64 min) watch it here Some have said this is one of the favorite sessions in all the Library. It's very rare to get detailed instruction and advice on How to Shadowboxing, let alone from a great fighter fo the past. This is a FULL hour of how to shadowbox, learn with me as I learn from The Elbow Hunter of 100 Stitches Yodkhunpon, the greatest Elbow Fighter in Thai history. Bonus Session 9: Yodkhupon Sittraipum - Lethal Smoothness (73 min) watch it here In this session Yodkhunpon really delves down into the smoothness of his style, with great emphasis on his galloping footwork towards the end. It's all about building a pressure style that does not strain, but rather exerts a constant music of forward attack. Yodkhunpon on The Art of Shadowboxing #104 Yodkhunpon Sittraipum - The Art of Shadowboxing (64 min) watch it here Some have said this is one of the favorite sessions in all the Library. It's very rare to get detailed instruction and advice on How to Shadowboxing, let alone from a great fighter fo the past. This is a FULL hour of how to shadowbox, learn with me as I learn from The Elbow Hunter of 100 Stitches Yodkhunpon, the greatest Elbow Fighter in Thai history. Yodkhunpon Techniques Knees Footwork Hitting Guard A Free 30 Minute Training Session w/ Commentary - Him Teaching His Style Watch With Me Fights of Yodkhunpon Sylvie and I have done watch with me edits of fights of the Golden Age, these are the fights of Yodkhunpon we covered: His Championship Fights: A Footwork Edit: A Yodkhunpon Fights YouTube Playlist Modern Martial Artist's Breakdown of Yodkhunpon's Style The Muay Thai Library Sessions with Yodkhunpon #9 Yodkhunpon "The Elbow Hunter" pt 1 - Slicing Elbow (37 min) watch it here Simultaneous Raja and Luminee title holder at 118 lbs, Yodkhunpon was one of the most feared elbow fighters in Thailand, and in this session he teaches the looseness and spacing that made his lead elbow such a viscious weapon. He also shuns the traditional rocking chair knee, and instead teaches a powerful stand-in crossing, open-hipped knee that compliments his elbows up top. #15 Yodkhunpon "The Elbow Hunter" part 2 - Escapes (48 min) watch it here Part 2 of my session with one of the most feared elbow fighters of the Golden Age, Yodkhunpon Sitraipom, The Elbow Hunter of 100 Stitches. Lots of fine details in this one, escapes from clinch locks, turns and catches. Best is his floating, gentle style that also holds such violence. #84 Yodkhunpon Special Intensive - The Whole Elbow Style (70 min) watch it here No other fighter in all of Thailand has developed so complete and pressuring a style based on the weapon of elbows. In this session the Elbow Hunter of 100 Stitches presents his whole galloping style, revealing how he opens up windows for his elbows, and uses those windows to then open up attack with other weapons. #104 Yodkhunpon Sittraipum - The Art of Shadowboxing (64 min) watch it here Some have said this is one of the favorite sessions in all the Library. It's very rare to get detailed instruction and advice on How to Shadowboxing, let alone from a great fighter fo the past. This is a FULL hour of how to shadowbox, learn with me as I learn from The Elbow Hunter of 100 Stitches Yodkhunpon, the greatest Elbow Fighter in Thai history. Bonus Session 9: Yodkhupon Sittraipum - Lethal Smoothness (73 min) watch it here In this session Yodkhunpon really delves down into the smoothness of his style, with great emphasis on his galloping footwork towards the end. It's all about building a pressure style that does not strain, but rather exerts a constant music of forward attack. Aside from the Library if you really want to dive deep you can also rent or buy or subscribe to the Sylvie Intensive Series which includes 7 days of learning from Yodkhunpon, over 7 hours. All the earned profits from tht series go to Karuhat and Yodkhunpon: browse that series here If you'd like to help support Yodkhunpon you can also get a shirt we've designed for him showing his bloody elbow wearing his Lumpinee Belt, 100% of the earned profits go to him! get that shirt here
    4 points
  6. So here is an informal list of gyms I'd generally recommend, and a short synopsis why. These are maybe one-month-stay recommendations. These are not reviews, just quick overall impressions. Keep in mind, I don't really spend a lot of time in gyms during regular training hours, and I'm not drawn to mega-gyms with lots of trainers, students and new facilities. I just get asked this question a lot so this is my best answer on my experiences, and sometimes from feedback I've heard from people I've sent there. If you have a question you can post it on this thread, or create a new thread in this Topic. I've included links to filmed sessions with some of the krus that head these gyms, I'd strongly recommend watching them to get a sense of the gym and the teaching style. [updated March, 2022] Sit Kru Thailand (Chiang Mai - contact here) Thailand Pinsinchai is a late- Golden Age fighter, so well rounded in beautiful technique, powerful striking, and a great teacher. He was originally part of the Santai krus, so he has experience with western fighters, but has opened his own gym in Chiang Mai. Importantly, he trains his own son as a fighter, and a handful of young (teenage) fighters who are frequently on Channel 7 and Petchyindee shows. The reason this is important is that gyms can have a sweet spot they hit when a Thai team is being built, which makes them very full of focus. Kru Thailand streams training often, you can find video of it here. The gym is on the premises of a resort, so you have a room right there if you wish. The facilities are nice but not fancy, but mainly Thailand is just an excellent teacher and a funny and sincere man. You can see how great Kru Thailand is as a teacher in my hour long Muay Thai Library sessions with him. Session 1 all about technique, Session 2 on clinch Yodwicha Muay Thai Gym (Buriram - contact here) Yodwicha is kind of the last of the great Muay Khao, at least in the true sense. Since he doesn't fight in Thailand anymore, his style is more of an "international" hands and forward-fighting, but he never forgets his roots. You'll be training with one of the best fighters in the world. He's a very generous and patient teacher and his wife Yanisara is a wonderful woman who speaks quite good English which is always a bonus. The gym has moved to Buriram from its former location in Bangkok. I have not visited or seen this new location but have heard from a recent couple who trained with him there that the experience was great. Another perk is that Yodwicha is still an elite fighter, so you can be there while he's preparing for fights and see what that looks like, as well as help him if you're of a suitable size. You can see Yodwicha's teaching style in this great Muay Thai Library session in his gym. Or. Kham/Fight House Thailand - Singburi with Kru Diesel (Singburi - connect to them here) Famed Kru Diesel is the big draw of this gym, but there are a number of very good fighters training there too. Kru Diesel is best known for having brought up two Muay Khao superstars at F. A. Group (Petchboonchu and Yothin) but he has moved to be the head trainer up in Singburi, where at the time of this writing he's rebuilding Sirichai (formerly Tanadet Tor. Pran49 - see this quick interview here), a handful of young male fighters. Female superstar Sawsing also trains there and brings female fighter teammates like Dangkongfah, Fahseetong, Petsaifaa, et al. Kru Diesel is a mastermind for the Muay Khao style, an amazing padman and a truly great teacher. For Muay Khao, this is a top option. The gym currently has nearby apartment options, but they tell me to build fighter dorms early 2022. Importantly, this is a legendary kru involved in building a legit Thai fight team, who also has lots of experience of training western fighters as well. These kinds of sweet spot gyms that are authentically Thai, but also understand western needs are rare. This session was filmed at FA Group, but you'll get a strong sense of Kru Diesel's teaching: Kru Diesel F.A. Group - The Art of Knees (84 min). A new session is coming to the Library that I've filmed at Fight House in Singburi. Follow Kru Dieselnoi Facebook, he live streams a lot. This gym is not easy to find, but here is the Google Map link to it. Manop's Gym (Chiang Mai) - For those that want a gym that is a bit more personal in their training Manop's gym in Chiang Mai is definitely something to check out. Manop is famously known as Saenchai's Yokkao trainer, and he's left Yokkao now to start his own life in Chiang Mai. He is incredibly perceptive as a teacher, very, very technical. I'm not sure I've run into a more precise and intuitive teacher of technique, a man with a gentle spirit as well. He also works really well with young western fighters. The gym is in a quiet neighborhood outside of the city, and seems like a great opportunity learn and train hard. If you check the threads of this forum you will find some very positive, thorough reviews of the gym a solid year or more into its foundation. Also it would seem very women-friendly, as Kru Manop raised his daughter Faa to become a fighter. You can see Kru Manop's teaching style in my Library sessions with him: The Art of the Teep (90 min), Session 2 - The Art of the Sweep (57 min) We did this quick video edit of the gym in 2020 if you want to take a look Gyms I Haven't Been To in While But Probably Still Recommended Kem Muaythai Gym - clinch heavy, gorgeous mountain location, run by a great fighter in Kem, access to Isaan festival cards. Kem's Muay Thai gym may be one of the best in Thailand, high up on a mountain near Khorat. I call it the Shaolin Experience. Big beautiful resort like grounds, grueling training sessions, at times lots of active fighters. The connection to Isaan fighting is very special, there is nothing quite like festival fighting. It's one of the best experiences you'll have as a fighter. I wrote about the gym a few years ago here: Kem Muaythai Gym: Hardcore, Beautiful, Clinch Gym - You can see Kem's teaching style in the Muay Thai Library: Session 1: Building a System (52 min), Session 2: Mastering Everything In Between (80 min) Hongthong Gym (Chiang Mai - contact here) - My private with Joe Hongthong was absolutely wonderful. He thinks creatively about the fighter I am, and then about how to enhance that. They've had successful women fighting out of their gym, and from personal experience I'd say that if you are a Muay Khao fighter Joe would make a wonderful teacher. The gym is very connected to the local Chiang Mai fight scene, and to Bangkok fight opportunities and is very fighter-oriented. mid-sized western fighters seem like they've had success training and fighting out of this gym. Watch Joe's training style: Developing the Muay Khao Style | 87 Minutes - Joe Hongthong - Chiang Mai Please post all gym recommendation questions you have for me here on this thread, or start your own thread. That way the conversation can develop and benefit others too! (This list and its descriptions will be revised over time)
    3 points
  7. Last night at the Petchyindee show at Rajadamnern Stadium there was a disagreement about the outcome of one of the main events and this happened: https://fb.watch/dHq7PRppGW/ Gamblers stormed the ring and the man waving his arms around trying to get the crowd more riled is known as Hia Dtee (in this case the "hia" part means an uncle, but it's often changed in comments to be spelled like a swear word). He's a major player and is associated with TDet99, which is a group of fighters that are managed separately but train out of Petchyindee. Sia Boat, the head of Petchyindee (the "sia" here also means a ruch uncle in Chinese dialect) has struggled with his fits at his shows many times. Petchyindee just announced they will be adding another show on Monday nights, making them the most frequent promotion around with 3 shows per week (Mon, Thurs, Fri) at 2 dofferent stadia. After last night's erruotion, Rajadamnern announced that Hia Dtee and 2 other gamblers are banned from entering the stadium, at all, indefinitely. Petchyindee's Monday show is at Rangsit, so we'll see if the ban carries over or if it comes dorectly from the stadium. (Hia Dtee in yellow, Pern and Lek flanking) there is a general consensus that gamblers and gambling is out of control with their influence over decisions. Gamblers think referees and judges are corrupt and fighters are lazy. Arguments over decisions are as frequent as there are promotions, every single one has SOME online debate raging for a day or two after. Promoters are tired, fans are always complaining, and Lumpinee banned ALL gambling when they reopened their doors after Covid closures (the stadium is more or less dead as a result of that and a few other factors). Raja banning individual gamblers is a better move than attemtping to ban all gambling, but these are also heavy hitters... the state of Muay Thai in Bangkok is complicated and this is today's hot issue. Yesterday was Mathias's dad being an ass, tomorrow will be whatever happens tonight.
    3 points
  8. I've read a similar post on how to improve conditions for women at the gym but I haven't quite found what I was looking for. A few years ago, I started to train Muay Thai. At first, I didn't feel the gender inequity because I was just working out. But now that I want to get ready for my first fight, I've hit a wall. There are not many women in Muay Thai, much less in advanced categories. I usually train with the same 2-3 women that are somewhat advanced and that I feel we can make each other better. However, I train 6 times/week. They train much more sporadically. So I'm often left to find other partners that are usually beginners which is fine once in a while but when it's 75% of my training, I quickly feel like my progress is stalling. Sometimes, I train with my boyfriend who is certainly up to par to help me progress. However, I'm 5'2 120 lbs and he's 6'1 180lbs. When I hold the pads for him, with 180lbs of muscle, his blows are too powerful. I always end up with a massive headache (from the vibrations on the pads) and pain in my forearms (from his kicks), even when he doesn't go full force. I'm afraid that it will either cause micro concussions or a stress fracture. And even if it doesn't, it's more than an inconvenience. The reason I mention women and not just general people in my weight category is because I feel that the bigger issue is the gap in women's progress (also, not many people in my weight category in general). So recently, I asked the head coach for a solution, explaining the situation (which of course he already knew because I've mentionned it before). His only solution was for me to go to beginners' class, where most of the women are. He doesn't have a mean bone in his body but he doesn't always understand the struggles. I was very displeased, especially that we were planning my first fight before the last shut-down we had in December because of COVID. I must say, my gym is very inclusive and I feel safe. I'm just frustrated I can't progress as much as I want. The thing with most women at my gym is that they do it to get in better shape but not many actually want to get better in their technique. Because they've never been told they could? Because they think getting better necessarily means they need to fight? Maybe, I don't know. I'll for sure talk to them about it. I've been offered the opportunity to coach at that gym. I think that is one way to change women's mentality and help them progress and at least make them feel they can progress if they choose to. I want to bring forward a class or program that would make women more comfortable in progressing (many have told me that titles like 'advanced' lessons intimidate them , especially with the majority of really tall men that attend). I feel like my post is a little scattered but I wanted to explain where the problem stems from. So, my aim is to help women exploit their potential and make the male coaches more proactive when it comes to gender problems. I was thinking of doing a women-only class tailored to the needs of those who attend, but that's as far as my idea goes. I would really like having a great plan to present to the owners and other coaches. I'm hoping you can share your tips and tricks. I look forward to reading your feedback, solutions you've witnessed, whatever you think might help.
    3 points
  9. Hi there! I've just finished my first session at Hongthong this evening so I might not be the most qualified person to comment as I haven't trained at Santai but from my perspective things were really lovely at Hongthong. I had some technical correction from my pad holder but not to the point where it seemed like I had been doing things wrong forever. In terms of fighting I've gone there expressly for the purpose of fighting and they seemed really happy and willing to let people fight (someone actually agreed to a fight at the time I was there so its not like it is a 'behind closed doors' deal). Unfortunately, I can't comment from the perspective of being a female fighter in a gym but that being said it seemed like the women who trained with us today were included. I don't feel like they were as actively included as men were. I had to offer to spar with one of the women because she was left without a partner but I'm not sure if that is just a one-off or a long-term thing. I do know that women do fight out of that gym successfully so I imagine you would have opportunities to get rounds in and all that. But, from my perspective as someone who is openly, though not too openly, queer I felt comfortable. People were respectful and didn't seem to be creepy towards the women at the gym though I don't speak Thai and can't comment on whether anything was happening that I didn't understand. From a community standpoint they were lovely I was introduced to everyone, and they made an effort to remember my name. I got good treatment and jumped right into the group really, I've even been invited to a gym drinks on the weekend. So in terms of 'community' it seemed really nice but I can't say whether that will be universal as I'm able to pass as a cis-het man. All in all, after only one day of training I plan to go back, unfortunately I'm not staying at the gym but the facilities didn't seem to bad. I think they were only built in the last 5 years or so. Sorry that I don't have all the info you need but I hope this helps! :)
    3 points
  10. February 1st will present the first all-female card at Lumpinee Stadium, it's GoSport (the promotion that introduced women to the ring there) and doesn't indicate whether all these fights are 5 rounds or if some are 3 rounds. It appears to all be Thai women and the Main Event is Sanaejan (the first female fight for the Lumpinee banner was Sanaejan vs Buakaw, but wasn't IN the stadium due to Covid restrictions, so this will be her first time actually in the Lumpinee ring) vs Somrasmee, who was "Rising Star of the Year" in Thailand's Northern region last year or the year before.
    3 points
  11. There is a topic that I’ve been hoping to discuss recently regarding my own personal experiences and those that I’ve heard about from other women. My experience at multiple gyms as well as the one where I currently train, is there is a “boys club” that exists and creates a certain barrier for women who train. I’ve only trained in the US, so that is my frame of reference for gym culture. A (male) business partner and I are hoping to open a gym in the near future. I’m hoping that this discussion will help inform the culture we create as well as improve the approach of current gyms. I’ve noticed more than one coach almost entirely ignore women who train either as beginners or experienced fighters. Men are given more attention in terms of coaching, encouragement, and feedback. I’ve also observed that women, myself included, seem to get excluded from conversations, condescended to, have borderline or blatant sexist comments directed toward them, and assumptions being make about fighting knowledge as well no matter the level of experience. Other than power level, there have only been a handful of times where experienced being treated differently in sparring. I’m not sure if that’s a common experience for other women or not. This question is addressed to other women who train. What is your experience in this regard? Have you felt that this was common in gyms where you have trained? Do you feel like it slowed down your progress with learning? How do you think the gym culture can be improved so women become more skilled? I’m asking men, respectfully, to refrain from saying things along the lines of “That doesn’t happen” or “women are being too sensitive”. You are welcome to constructively participate in the conversation and ask questions but please do not deny that other people experience things. Men, please be respectful and measured in your responses. I'm placing this here instead of in the women’s only forum because I feel it’s important for all people to read and consider these observations. It’s important for the growth of the sport and for women to have better experiences in the gym.
    3 points
  12. I’m not sure there is anything I can add here because this spelling out exactly what I feel like I’m responding to both personally and as a potential gym owner. Very insightful and I’ll have see if I can find some what Sylvie has written about how this happens. That scarcity is a very real thing and quite frequently does not filter down to women regardless of skill level, even if she is a fighter. As a woman in my mid 40s, I’m *never* going to a high priority for 99% of coaches. I’m a woman, I’m older, I’m past the prime age where sexual interest is a major driving factor, there is no potential there for being a legit fighter, professional or amateur, etc. But I see even the younger women that have far more potential than I do and pro female fighters having the same issue. And it keeps the ball rolling because the scarcity breeds lack of trust between the women at the gym. So not only are you not getting in optimal training with men, you also aren’t getting it with women either because there isn’t enough trust built to push each other to be better. I like my female training partners but sometimes it feels like that isn’t necessarily reciprocated. It doesn’t have to be like that.
    3 points
  13. One thing I wanted to mention is also us women understanding how much power we have and how hard we punch. I might be mistaken, but I feel sometimes women tend to go pretty hard because guys we spar with never want to admit when hurts. So we don't learn to assess our own strength in strikes.
    3 points
  14. What you're describing is internalized sexism. So, you deal with that. It's not your "fault" and it doesn't make you bad, but you do have to acknowledge and recognize it first and foremost in order to go about addressing it. Women aren't children. Women aren't weak and unable to make decisions for ourselves. Women go to sparring for the same reasons men do, to be challenged, to improve, to experience pressure. By giving priority to your discomfort, you are robbing your teammates of all those benefits. Be generous, just as you would for a male teammate. Note size difference and skill disparity and make adjustments for those, just as you would for a male teammate. Also, thank you for asking this, as it demonstrates you do care and want to do better for your teammates.
    3 points
  15. What would be good etiquette if, as a man, the reason for this attitude during sparring (or any other sort of intense pair training) is mental discomfort with the idea of throwing even mid-level strikes with women? I've found myself paired with girls and it is quite uncomfortable to try and disregard this cultural norm. I did that exact thing described of just using defence and letting the girls work their offence during these routine 'colosseum' exercises (I forget the English term for it) at a gym I trained at, where the instructor would make one of us (sometimes a woman) do rounds with almost everyone at a time. It wasn't supposed to be sparring, but eventually the one doing the rounds would get tired and more desperate, so they'd put more behind their strikes and, between men at least, you'd end up reciprocating with similar intensity. I use this example because, even if you oppose to being a sparring partner for a female (if your instructor lets you, that is), you might find yourself in a situation where you'll basically be doing light sparring with them, and might adjust your power a bit too low for those that want to be treated equally. Sorry if this is a bit of a convoluted question, but basically I wanted to take the chance (and please do excuse me if I'm unknowingly derailing the topic of conversation) to ask what you think would be the right procedure for males that just feel uncomfortable hitting females but nonetheless get thrown in situations where you have to be available for them and actually want to help them improve their skills in any other way you can (as you would with any other training partner, since that's obviously the idea- to get better together). Thanks!
    3 points
  16. My experience as a female who has trained in a variety of western gyms is as follows: 1. Being paired with men who will decrease their intensity too much out of fear of "hitting a woman" which hurts both of our training but is especially frustrating to me. I have to ask them to go harder, the coach has to tell them to go harder and sometimes they will and sometimes they still won't. 2. Not being taken seriously, left out of the gym "community" which usually consists of the coach and his best male fighters. 3. Sexual harassment or unwanted attention from other members; same age, older, single, married. It's demoralizing but women are sadly used to being in spaces that are not friendly to them. The gym owner and staff need to be in charge of establishing and controlling the gym's culture. There should be an anonymous complaint box, established rules and no tolerance for sexual harassment. If possible the gym staff should take interest in all its members and try to understand why they are there and how they can support their goals.
    3 points
  17. I've been training (US-based) for about 5-6 years. I was lucky to have the option of finding gyms that weren't sexist in the ways you described, but in visiting other gyms or trying other gyms to potentially join I have experienced a lot of sexism. In the US, I'm considered a fairly experienced amateur fighter with 21 fights, but when I visit other gyms I almost invariably get paired with the only other woman in the gym, regardless of size or skill level. This drives me nuts, because I'd much rather have a partner with comparable skill - whether that person be male or female! It also poses a problem as sometimes there are men more appropriately sized to work with me, when I'll get paired with a much larger woman. Combine that with a skill discrepancy, and it makes me feel like I'm only good enough "for a girl" and not to train with the majority of the fighters. In sparring, I get a lot of guys trying to go light on me but they go so light that they're basically shadow boxing or going super slow. If I pick up the intensity, sometimes they get mad and try to hurt me. Neither is beneficial. I also get a lot of those guys that just shell-up and say "hit me, hit me!" and (maybe this is just me) I find this super condescending because if I wanted to just hit something that doesn't move I'd hit a bag. In some cases, I've asked coaches (that I'm more familiar with) "hey, you paired me with her, but I think this other person would be a better match based on skill and/or size." In my own gym, I try to take my turn teaching newer people how to hit and hold pads - we all have to learn. But when I'm paying to drop in at another gym, I am paying to work, not teach their new students to hold pads. The biggest thing I've learned is just to advocate for myself. It's really hard, and the response isn't always what we want but I find that 95% of the time people don't realize they're behaving in a sexist way and didn't realize how you interpreted what they did. Sometimes I've been given really thoughtful reasons why I was partnered up the way I was, too - trying to inspire a student who's expressed interest in fighting by letting them work with a fighter who "looks" like them. As for the "boys club" part of it, sometimes I find this. I always ask myself if I really want to be in that club. If yes, I assert myself. If I have valuable knowledge, I put it forward. Sometimes though, I can see that this is a group I don't care to be part of and I have no problem just walking away. I'm happy to share my thoughts if they ask, but unconcerned if they don't and that they don't consider me one of them. Many gyms have cliques and sometimes those cliques are all-encompassing. I'm not trying to join a Muay Thai cult - just train and fight and make some friends. I hope this helps!
    3 points
  18. Thank you Kevin for voicing this and as a man understanding this. I really appreciate that. I find personally it's really hard to speak about these things. When as a woman you get discriminated against because you are a woman (and this happens a lot), those situations are easy to fix: everyone gets to spar, everyone gets clinching etc. The hard part is the benefits you might receive because you are _not_ like other women. So there are situations where you receive a lot of attention because you are not what they expect a woman to be (oftentimes playing that card of being very strong physically but just sweet enough so that they accept your male coded attributes), but you know for sure that this attention is at the same time cutting into attention that could have been given to other girls, because of the scarcity you speak of. You "play the game" to get ahead. And you not proud of it, but as a woman you know it's a zero sum game. So the ideal situation is that your gender is viewed neutrally. But if that happens, lots of benefits are lost.
    3 points
  19. Thanks for raising this issue and for wanting to create a better gym environment for women. I second everything that Sylvie said. I'd definitely recommend having a reporting/feedback system, which people can choose to use anonymously. But also to make sure that gym members see and feel that they're listened to and that steps are taken after their feedback is received. Otherwise, it can become disheartening and the system becomes pointless. I've experienced all the things you mentioned. When it comes to sparring, I think it's important that trainers step in. Not just when things get out of hand, but when they can see that people are being treated differently. For example. I've been frustrated so many times by male sparring partners who've refused to hit me, spent the whole round just blocking, running away, or acting like a punch bag (regardless of their size or experience level). At times, my trainers have made comments, reminding them to hit me and spar properly. Other times, they've switched my partner for someone more suitable. That makes me feel like at least they have my back and encourage these guys to be better sparring partners. I understand that you can't (and shouldn't) babysit everyone all of the time, but just being observant of these imbalances can make a big difference in making women feel more supported. You've reminded me that I have an unpublished blog post written about a similar topic, so I'll get on and finish that!
    3 points
  20. I don't have a lot of experience training in western gyms, but when I have these experiences were my experience as well, and Thai gyms absolutely treat women differently from men but not necessarily in every aspect. I would offer that as a gym owner you will have to explicitly correct your trainers and even gym members on a fairly regular basis, as sexism is cultural and not specific to the context of the person or the gym. Normalizing communication between gymmates, as well as feedback between staff and members - across all genders - will make it easier and more reasonable for members to voice their needs. "This sparring is too hard for me," should be as valid as "this is too light for me." All genders. Maybe encourage training partners to communicate and check in with each other between each round. And an anonymous comments box to make complaints or suggestions about trainers.
    3 points
  21. Hello everyone, on wednesday I will be giving a talk at the danish art and sports festival Go Extreme https://www.kunsthalaarhus.dk/en/Exhibitions/Go-Extreme where Kevin has kindly agreed to lend me pictures for the powerpoint presentation. The format is very interesting, I think: I will be providing the theory, and two danish muay thai fighters Frederik Fenger and Mikkel Haahr will be displaying the points physically throughout the presentation, concluding with a fight. The argument will be as follows: The classic golden age muay thai dichotomy of muay femeu and muay khao is well established within these circles: the muay femeu is the matador, the muay khao the toro. The muay khao fights with heart, brute force, intensity, relentlessness, violence and strength; the muay femeu fighter is elegant, intelligent, evasive, transcendent, unphased and manipulative. I will argue that the dichotomy of the dionysian and the apollonian as conceived in the work Birth of Tragedy by Friedrich Nietzsche https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Birth_of_Tragedy is applicable and reflects the same dynamics, ideas and intuitions as our muay thai distinction. Following this, I will use Sherry Ortners classic Is Female to Male as Nature Is to Culture? http://radicalanthropologygroup.org/sites/default/files/pdf/class_text_049.pdf to further the dichotomy, concluding that these dichotomies as historically created reflect the same relation and opposition: male/muay femeu/apollonian/culture vs. female/muay khao/dionysian/nature. With this concessed, we run into an interesting paradox of masculinity: if hypermasculinity is conceived as the capacity for and willingness to use violence, masculinity cannot also be metaphysically defined as an identity that is opposed to (animalistic) violence. From this standpoint, I will be arguing with Judith Butler that a metaphysical conception of masculinity as a moral or identity of masculinity is untenable, and that through the Heideggerian reading of the greek truth-concept aletheia https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/heidegger/#ReaRelBeiTim, masculinity is an event of dominance, which does not have an intrinsic and transcendent identity or moral at its core, but is created as art from and in the body of the fighter. The reason muay thai is so interesting as a paradigm for the thinking of gender is that it reveals that masculinity, however, is not something radically constructivist or relativistic, seeing that the fight constitutively has a winner and a loser as its ontological foundation. This implies that masculinity is something that shows itself - or lets the truth of masculinity happen - through the art of muay thai. I will try to get it filmed and transcribed so that all of you who cannot attend will get to see it anyways, but I can't promise anything as of yet. Either way I'd love to hear what you guys think about the reasoning and elaborate in case any of you have any questions. Best, Asger
    3 points
  22. Hello everyone, finally got the video, hope you enjoy and looking forward to hear what you think!
    3 points
  23. I’m deeply worried about the future of traditional Muay Thai.
    3 points
  24. For me Karuhat is a representation of the true beauty of Muay Thai, obviously he is a femur but he just has a style and aura that is like nobody else which has me in awe every time i watch him. It’s from the way he throws every shot to how he makes everything look so effortless that makes him just so fucking cool but at the same time just beautiful to watch, and in my opinion one of the best ever. Every technique and shot karuhat throws is so so beautiful and fucking unreal, it’s in the way he moves and flows around the ring as if he’s melting, the way his shots just come out of nowhere and land with the most perfect technique all whilst making his opponents look so stupid as he does everything with such elegance and ease, it’s like watching an artist at work, it’s just fucking beautiful man. I’ll watch for literally hours videos of these golden era fighters, studying them but mainly just being in amazement of there styles and the passion they bring to the ring, the boxers nowadays just don’t really do it for me and the beauty of the sport with the showing of pure heart just isn’t there anymore. When i watch these fighters like karuhat i get a feeling i can’t describe of just excitement and pure fucking awesomeness, you can really feel the love these guys had for the sport and the passion they brought to the ring that made them so special, they fought with absolutely everything they had showing pure heart ans love for Muay Thai which you can feel through the screen. Every single day i train day in day out giving 110%, i want nothing more in life but to be a champion and have a love for this sport that is like nothing else i have ever experienced, karuhat is like a legend to me as well as every single one of these golden era fighters and i dream of being just half the fighters they where . If i where to win these shorts would mean a fucking hell of a lot, i’d never have them off
    3 points
  25. This is one of the most interesting things for us who laud the excellence of the Golden Age of Muay Thai, and the ages that surround it. The very truth of the matter seems to be: Fighting excellence has come out of great cruelty, intense difficulty, and even injustice. We think somewhat glamorously about things like how Dieselnoi's patron was a mafia boss and godfather, in the Hollywood sense, but this is, in a lived reality, a realm of harshness and crime. The romance we have towards traditional hierarchies include also injustices, and dictatorships in life. Muay Thai (as with so many fighting sports in the world) likely laundered not only slews of monies (gained from cruelty & suffering), but also social statuses. This is the nature of it all. It might be said that it was an immense oppression machine, a compression machine, that produced not only the excellence of these fighters, but also the fights and promotions that produced them. Talking this over with Sylvie, this seemingly inherent connection between cruelty and fighting excellence, historically, makes me value all the more the precious achievements in Self that people like Dieselnoi, and fighters of his age produced. These men fashioned high art, of themselves, in the harshness of opportunity and circumstance. From where we stand now, it seems like the worse thing of all to forget these men, to forget or lose what they created, out of that harshness. It was that medallion of gold that they mined from their flesh, forged into an art and history. When we remember them, when we document them, we extend its reason for being. Dieselnoi once was talking about the differences between his historical fate and that of Samart, in the context of having beaten him in the fight of the year, The Holy Grail of Fights. He says, he would not have wished upon anyone his fate. He explained that in Thailand it's not how you go along, its how things end. Just like in a 5 round fight, it's the 4th round that matters. For someone like Dieselnoi its the ending that matters, for all of us who are seeking to record and celebrate the creations of these men, the excellence they drew out of extremely harsh circumstances, its about fashioning that ending for them, the one that says: It matters. We can do that now.
    3 points
  26. the illustration above is of Karuhat done by graphic artist Luis Pinto, layered over a Van Gogh At bottom of this post is a segment from a ways back where Sylvie and I touched on some thinking I've had that placed Muay Thai, the art of Muay Thai, as one of the great Art Forms of our time. After reading this you can see the live thinking between the both of us on this. I for some time have tried to position Thailand's Muay Thai - and the all art forms of combat sports as well - in the context of other traditional fine art forms such a poetry, painting, dance, fiction, etc. The two bookends that we extemporaneously covered in the video below were the idea that Muay Thai (and full contact fighting arts), unlike almost all the others, is done under great duress. I think dance can be considered to be under something of intensity which is akin to duress, and we could talk about that as a special case, but the fighting arts, in so far they are arts, involve duress and bodily fear as the material, the paint and canvas, with which they paint. There is something quite special about this, I believe. The fighting arts are heroically expressing themselves at, in and on what can be thought of as the most base, or perhaps animal, in what is human. This canvas and paint is unique. The other bookend that is brought up below is that the art form of something like Thailand's Muay Thai, and maybe western boxing of the past when it was more composed of communities, is a Way of Life. Which means that it expresses something more than techniques, or excellence. It comes out of lives, values and culture, in a weave that makes it incredibly rich. Rich in an artistic way. I compare it to something like Fishing, which may be considered a craft, which also traditionally is a body of practices and techniques which are embedded in a Way of Life which might express the lives of an entire village. I'm purposely blurring the lines of craft and art here, largely because "art" usually resides in the hands of the privileged, and as we move along the spectrum towards craft we encounter the knowledge and practices of a people. How much of qualifies as Art is part of the question as to whether Muay Thai is a great Art Form, or even an Art Form at all. Given enough historical perspective individual art is understood to be an expression of a people in a historical time, such as the art of the Incas, the tragedies of the Greeks, the Impressionism of late 19th century Europe. Core to this perspective is raising an appreciation for what combat sports is, the position they have within a society, and laying some claim to the importance of the aesthetics of the combat sport performance. This dimension of fight aesthetics is what elevates fighting to an Art in the societal sense, I'd suggest, in the same way that painting or poetry can possess inherent expressive value, to the culture itself. This means that western boxing, the world's MMA and other combat sports have a claim to artistic value, even though they also ride hard the lines of commerce, popular culture and arguably the role of sheer spectacle, in the "bread and circuses" sense - see Noam Chomsky for that perspective. Perhaps like cinema, the fighting arts in sport operate between entertainment and art, which isn't to deny film or fighting its real value as an Art itself. This post just wanted to spin out some of those developing ideas, and in thinking about Thailand's Muay Thai explain why I believe it may be the greatest art form in the world. This isn't to say that it is better than poetry, or dance...or better than western boxing or Karate, but rather in a specific way see all the differing threads that it brings together into a single rope, that make of it something that is extraordinarily rich. That we raise up the importance of fighting arts themselves along with this discussion is also a benefit. To start with, one thing that arguably separates out Thailand's Muay Thai are the firm aesthetic demands that it places on scoring. For some this might make Muay Thai somewhat unreal as a fighting sport, because it's not all about the damage - though it clearly is one of the more violent combat sports on the planet, its full-rules version not even legal in many countries. Muay Thai has a unique combination of very visible violence, but also strong aesthetic guidelines. Things like fighter posture, displays of balance, self-control figure heavily on the scorecard, as well as the ability to express oneself narratively throughout the 5 rounds - narrative itself is the real of many of the fine arts (for more on narrative time in Thailand's Muay Thai see: The 6 Core Aspects of Muay Thai). Fighting in Thailand is expressly, even in terms of score, storytelling. (I believe fighting is also storytelling in other combat sports, in terms of audience appreciation, but this valuation is not expressly embedded in scoring criteria). Muay Thai advocates might say that these aesthetic principles in scoring are actually encoded guidelines for real fighting prowess, so that if you excel in balance, posture, artful dominance, narrative, you become a very effective fighter in the raw sense, but, it is really that there is a strong aesthetic demand that allows Thailand's Muay Thai to ascend up the pyramid of combat sports, as an Art. It is, or has a strong artistic aspect. And if it has a differential of artistic quality from some combat sports, it also distinguishes itself from more "traditional martial arts" that went through long periods of development apart from large volume full contacting fighting, in the hands of masters or teachers who perhaps somewhat aesthetically carved & preserved fighting skills. Thailand's Muay Thai exists pretty much baby bear between let's say western boxing and 1980 Korea's TKD. The product of 100,000s of full contact fights - determining its grounded efficacy - while maintaining an expression of the culture and the people out of which it has sprung, purposely. It is Buddhistic and artistic, but also it is quite reality tested, made from the lab of full-contact physically clashing, highly trained bodies. It's important to understand because people in combat sports, and traditional martial arts like to argue about which fighting form is superior, in some kind of abstract, almost technical way, as if you could take a blank fighter in art x, and a blank fighter in art y and come out with which art is better. Aside from that being not very close to how real fighting knowledge works, this is not what this is about. And, this is not about badassness, or technical proficiency. Nope. It's thinking about the Art value of Muay Thai, and other fighting sports and arts in general. And in terms of Thailand's Muay Thai, thinking about all the ways that information, distinction, criteria, belief, aesthetic ambition and experience come to be expressed through it, in real world fighting stages. Like other arts, fighting arts are staged. In a way, it's about all the influences of value that are poured into the expression of Thailand's Muay Thai, let's say over the last 100 years of its modernity. Its how much variation and richness, and portrayed human efficacy can be packed into a fighting art and its real world practice, so that we value it artfully, such that a comparison with the Fine Arts becomes interesting. In my mind, in the modern era, the West's culture of boxing say between the 1930s and 1980s is the closest thing I think of, a performed knowledge and rite, flowing out of specific communities & micro-economies that reached very high levels of skilled excellence, somewhat in parallel to Thailand's Muay Thai. The main difference between the two, in terms of Art Form evaluation, is perhaps the aesthetic dimension of Thailand's scoring criteria, the way that its Muay Thai reaches deeper into performance as art, explicitly, though it would be very interesting to talk about the evolving, often unstated aesthetic demands of boxing throughout its history in the West. There is a deeper dimension of the argument towards an Art, which I've begun talking about in this running short essay series (just below), which attempts to uncover some of the deeper cultural reasons why combat sports themselves carry so much meaning in a culture. They are not just "bread and circuses", but following the thinking of the sociologist René Girard - wikpedia here - who has studied the logic of Sacrifice and victim, they may serve a powerful purpose in equalizing and stabilizing a society or subculture. Much as older rights of sacrifice may have purged a community of inherent violence, combat arts that necessarily produce losers may very well be fulfilling a much older human sociological need. You can read into that possibility as it applies to Thailand's Muay Thai in my unfinished series here: This is explicitly not to say that Thailand's Muay Thai alone might fulfill this role, in fact almost any sporting event that produces losers (and winners) might be performing this role. But, it is to add importance to the kinds of things that are being expressed by the fighter/artist in the ring, an importance that the writers of history gift to the Fine Arts of the academies. Art is supposed to be transformative, expressive and illuminating, with roots into human rite and ritual. It may very well be that combat sports indeed are creating some of these same values, but perhaps in an older way. If we add the aesthetic dimensions that Thailand's Muay Thai folds back in, we can see the unique nexus of kinds value that may be braided. It is the very agonistic nature of the performance, the way that adrenaline, blood, fear, Amygdala, technique, self-possession, Buddhism, pain, recovery and respect mix that make of this art and sport at the very least a spectacular art. It's woven of extremely diverse strains of what makes us human, from the very lowest to the most high. And, as mentioned up top, it is not a rarefied art held by "masters". It exists in a living sense in households, community centers, in family relations, in circles and roots of micro-economies, a thick web of a turf of Life, perhaps how fishing or sailing as an art and craft might inhabit a coastal peoples for a century, expressing them. Filled with practical, hard-won knowledge, and also meaningfully imbued practices, the things that cut off the "artist" in the prototypical sense, are re-grounded in the lives of people, and all their beliefs. It's true. The Muay Thai of Thailand is changing. It could be said that the fabric of which it is woven is unraveling, however slowly or quickly we may not be able to tell, but it is still there before us right now, a certain kind of inheritance. It's the inheritance of a people, the Thai people, but it also I believe the inheritance of the world, because so much of Muay Thai has involved deep international influences, starting with Western Boxing and to a lesser degree Judo at the birth of its modernity in the 1920s. For a 100 years this art form has been catching the strands of the world's fighting arts and woven them into the tapestry, as well. It's okay if it's not acknowledge as the greatest Art Form in the World, but I do want the very idea of Art Form to be expanded to include the fighting arts, and for aesthetic concerns in a fighting sport to gain some weight when we think of the value of what is being done. It may mean something to us to understand that the fighting arts are performing something primally important to us, and that they are doing it both artfully and brutally. The Muay Thai Bones segment:
    3 points
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  28. Thank you for this! I will use this when I need to!
    3 points
  29. Sylvie's sponsor, Onyx MMA is in Singapore. https://www.onyxmma.com/
    2 points
  30. This is something I reflected on a lot the past two years when I moved to Myanmar. I'm left-handed but orthodox. In lethwei the fight style is different, you don't strike and move back to original position, rather you move forward and strike and strike again whike going from southpawto orthodoxand to southpaw again. For example you do a jab cross left knee/kick (as orthodox) while doing your cross punch you move forward end up in southpaw position and knee/kick from southpaw stance (rather than do a switch knee or switch kick). And in lethwei you often practise both stances while doing pads. It doesnt look very elegant. But. The benefit for me has been injury control. I have one bad knee and being able to switch stance better has easened the pressure on my bad knee, I use both sides of my body in a more balanced manner. However it messes up balance and you need to learn how to place your feet correctly. But as injury prevention it's gold when I feel my bad knee and want to protect it from knee teeps, I switch stance. Maybe from a muay thai scoring point of view it doesn't make sense but for me to manage injuries and keep both sides of my body strong it's been great. Also good for confidence to learn Im strong in both stances.
    2 points
  31. This reminds me - sometimes my instructor would have the class play shoulder tag. Stand in your fighting stance and try to tap each other's shoulders. The hand should come out the same way a jab or cross would. Eventually, the game would progress to tags to body and legs (using hands only). It gives us a chance to figure out how close we have to be to touch our partner's shoulder, and practice deflecting the other person reaching for your shoulder. And it takes "getting hit" of the table (though, you could get slapped on the shoulder pretty hard, but students don't seem worried). You'd also have to remind ppl to not to poke each other in the eye.
    2 points
  32. If you hold the pads away from your body and elbows close together, you will naturally extend your neck (with your head looking slightly up) which is a weak position to stabilize your brain for impact. Here's something for reference - tip #4 in this video: https://youtu.be/0500ZQltjck I'm small statured and have been able hold for much bigger partners. It's tiring because of their power but no headaches or any injuries. I stand firm, tense up my body to brace for impacts for kicks. If the impact is to much even with bracing and it ends up throwing me back, I simply go with it by walking backwards a few steps. I turn my shoulder in towards the punches to meet the impact instead of meeting the punch with my arm, which can hurt my shoulder. Also breathing out on impact can help also. I totally get your concern with headaches and head injuries. It might be worthwhile to ask your instructor to watch you hold pads and give you advice on holding pads safely.
    2 points
  33. Not an expert, no experience at all but I think helmets protect against cuts and bruises but do nothing to protect the the brain. In my opinion the larger target and increased mass may even make things worse.
    2 points
  34. Hi Priscilla, I know it's a while back but this is my experience : In January 2020, I went to Chiang Mai to train for two months. Sadly, COVID arrived and forced me to come home 1 week sooner. When I arrived in Chiang Mai, I visited both gyms. I arrived at Hong Thong between sessions, I guess, because it was completely empty. I didn't train there so I can't give any advice. I ended up training at Santai. It was a particularly busy time and they had 8-10 coaches. Some of them were still fighters so they would purposfully pick women to train and just do the basics. There was 1 coach who refused to train women altogether because 'Not strong enough'. instead of mentionning that to the person in charge of pairing, he would just swap with another coach and make the women feel like crap. 1 coach was completely jaded and didn't even look at us when holding the pads. There were 4 coaches I liked because they actually cared in teaching you something. Poye and Sak were my favourite. Sak mainly trained fighters. I know quite a few have left over the last two years but I don't know what the situation is right now. Not being a fighter yet, I often felt I was put in the 'women tourists not worth training' category. My experience there was bittersweet, especially that I went to Thailand only to train. Also, this might not be an issue at all but information worth knowing 1. Being beside a temple, women are not allowed to train in a sports tops. 2. The morning sessions were at 6am. As for the accomodations, they varied depending on the building. One has a nice pool. The mattresses in the rooms were hard and plastic-covered, but I think that's common. Many washing machines available. Quite a few restaurants within walking distance.
    2 points
  35. Fairtex has announced it will begin promoting at Lumpinee Stadium, starting in January, including MMA shows. So... that's happening. They also explicitly state "all genders," making them the second promotion to include women at the stadium (currently GoSport is the only promotion including women there). A Muay Thai Reaction As for how the New New Lumpinee, with its focus on omitting gambling and including very different promotions, one reaction from Thai fans is expressed in this post from a popular Thai Language news page. It says: Lumpinee will accept 3 rounds, 5 rounds, 6 rounds, female fighters, MMA, concerts - everything but gambling. (I assume the 6 round fights are boxing.)
    2 points
  36. This highlight compilation of Kingsaklek Tor. Laksong was posted on one of the Thai Language Muay Thai pages I follow. The titling is mine, I added it somewhat unnecessarily as he's always the red corner, but you never know whether links will be shared with the same context that an original share writeup offers. (Unnecessary information, but maybe you find it interesting: he's likely always the red corner in these chosen clips because the red corner is often (not always) the opponent who the odds favor before ever stepping in the ring. That means if it's a rematch, generally the red corner is who won the last fight. Or the more famous fighter between the two. Odds change all the time, at the drop of a hat, at a drop of rain, if a fighter looks left instead of right when he gets in the ring (meaning almost arbitrarily or even superstition), so for the "favored" fighter to be red, that means the odds favored them upon the making of the program and might no longer be the case by the time the fight starts.) There are a number of things to learn from this highlight, the first of which is that, without the indication of which fighter he is in each clip, you'd still be able to figure out which he is because highlight edits are designed to show the dominance of one side. That's one of the reasons I don't use or trust highlights for myself - they never tell the story of a fight, which is what I like about watching fights. Even the great OneSongchai tapes that are responsible for nearly all the Golden Age footage that most of us have seen on Youtube, they often edit rounds 1 and 2 together and then quickly get to the "action" of the important scoring rounds of 3 and 4, and the resulting "conclusion" of round 5. Often I'm frustrated by this, yelling at the screen about the edited first two rounds because, I mean, I want to know "how did we get here?" Kingsaklek is clearly very, very skilled. He's amazing and he's been so since he was just a kid. By the age of 14 he was already commanding a 140,000 Baht fighter fee. I'll put that in context: a mid-level fighter of decent skill and fame could command around 20,000 - 25,000 Baht fighter fee, maybe 30,000 Baht if they're the main event. And he was 14 years old 7 years ago, so that amount was even more impressive, taking inflation into account. I'm not arguing in any way that his talent is not superlative. But the edits, you'll note, are very quick. This means he's explosive, but likely not aggressive and relentless, the way the end result of this highlight video conveys. To be sure, there are a good handfull of moments within a single fight that can be clipped out and put together to make a really exciting highlight, so he is able to have many of these "highlight worthy" moments in a single fight and, indeed, a number of them are knockouts. But, as I yell at my TV screen, "how did we get here?" All those moments within the context of actual rounds and fights, where his opponents are also doing something to him, is much more impressive - in my eyes - to see how he was able to have that moment of dominance while the whole machine is on, rather than in a vacuum, so to speak. And finally, this is the most important point for me and one that Kevin and I have maybe touched on in a Muay Thai Bones podcast episode when talking about phenomenal "child" fighters. These fights span Kingsaklek's development over the years. Most of the fights are at Rajadamnern, the one where they're in yellow is at Omnoi and was likely a tournament of some kind. You can see his opponents get a bit better as the compilation goes on, indicated by how long the edits from each round are (meaning they went the distance, even with his dominant moments), and some have actual exchanges where the opponent gets a few good strikes in on him before he shuts them down. But something else you can see, if you have eyes for it, is how he becomes a bit more conservative as the compilation goes on. Yes, part of that is that his opponents are solid competition, but much of it - and I say this out of an estimated assumption about how money and Muay Thai work together in high-level stadium Muay Thai - has to do with the stakes. His flamboyance of movement in the first couple clips, when he's just a teenager, are outstanding. He takes risks and they pay off. As he gets bigger and visually older, he's more conservative; he's still confident, but takes far fewer risks so it's less performative. This is very illustrative of the progression of superstar "child" fighters to headline young men in stadium Muay Thai. Gambling, while a very important part of Muay Thai, is entirely at fault for this "cooling off" of young talent. Right now Yodpetek is probably the number one child fighter in Thailand. He's turning 13 this year, so near the age that some of these clips of Kingsanglek are. But he looks much younger than his age, Yodpetek still fights sub-40 kilos, meaning he's not allowed in the National Stadia yet. Since he's still fighting on the outskirts, the gambling is definitely already in place - in fact, the side bets are announced and boasted about in every single fight - but much of the money is coming from small-time or even de-centralized players. Once you hit the National Stadia, the money is huge but it's coming from bigger guns. It's a bigger deal if you lose, and so the flamboyant performances simmer into a more conservative fighting style. People watch Yodpetek and say he's the next Saenchai, so good at such a young age, imagine where he'll go! But look at Kingsanglek as the precedent, and he is one among countless: he will not stay what he is as he grows. Part of that is that his opponents will become better (fighting at 38 kg means most of his opponents are younger than himself and extraordinary talent at 12, 13 years old is more rare than the top fighters at higher weights and of more similar age and experience at the stadia), and part of it - a big part of it - will be the restrictive pressure of gambling money. I have no "conclusion" for this post. I just had all these thoughts while watching this pretty incredible highlight compilation and wanted to share what I see and think, the context I put it in, so you all can watch it with those eyes and contexts as well. To me, the progression of a "child" fighter is far more interesting than the out-of-context flare of a highlight video. I absolutely enjoy watching how amazing and skilled Kingsanglek is, no doubt, but I always prefer to see that skill in its "natural form," in the context of each actual fight. So, to youtube I go to stalk the origins of these clips, haha.
    2 points
  37. I just found out this fight is KO or draw so I can't win on points. The thing is my opponent asked to increase weight to 3kg above my current weight. I agreed. Then she suddenly pulled out (people gossip to me "she ran away"). Which is weird because she is younger, heavier, has more fight experience and expected to be next lethwei female champ. I also know her gym as well, it's a modern gym with focus on technique. Her last fight she won knee KO first round (also smaller fighter). Anyhow I went training anyway after I was told my fight was off. Then I was told she changed her mind again and agreed to fight but at a different event 3 days earlier. Apparently this one is more low key with no videos. So I guess it's a great of losing face or whatever. So if the fight happens. I need to go for KO. But I've been told that if the opponent just runs away and KO is impossible, I should avoid a situation where I'm chasing her and instead just display technique. This will help me get respect even if it ends in a draw. People at my gym don't speak much English. My Ajarn has asked an interpreter to support me to understand. But still, most things I know about this fight is from people writing me giving me bits n pieces of information and I patch them together. Location of the fight is only shared shortly before "to avoid the mil. junta to get hold of the events and start messing around". Which adds another dimension to fighting 55. Anyhow the training for this fight is (exhausting) but super fun. I learnt a new way of blocking body kicks, for example like the diagonal block, but really throw your knee into your opponent's inner thigh.
    2 points
  38. Thank you for this feedback. I think the communication aspect of creating a respectful training environment is very often overlooked. Encouraging people, especially people new to the sport and to the gym, to express their level of comfort with their training, sparring, etc. I specifically want create an environment that is encouraging and firm when new people are brought in. “Firm” meaning even if you are experienced in the sport doesn’t mean an automatic green light for being set loose. And also for people new to the sport to know that it’s okay to be nervous. And also to be aware that nervousness can lead to some poor choices when new to sparring and create problems unnecessarily. And as you said, this needs to happen across all genders. I was even thinking about having a required session *just* to coach people on how to spar safely, address safety issues for injuries, adjust power levels, communicate respectfully with training partners, etc before new people are permitted to participate. I think this will help all members but especially women who may feel uncomfortable without these guidelines specifically spelled out. Women being able to come to trainers, coaches, and me as the owner and know that they will be heard if something doesn’t feel quite right or if something happened that makes them feel unsafe is huge. That’s a great part to focus on so thank you for that!
    2 points
  39. Every injury is different, but a big part of my approach has been warm water massage, especially for shins, and to not use rest too much. Instead, active recovery: You can also read this article I wrote a few years ago, which details my injuries and some of how I responded to them: Large and Small – The Injuries and Ailments I’ve Had Fighting in Thailand
    2 points
  40. Hey Barbara, Happy to help. Thail Long should be open. I know why it was closed, they have a schedule on their website. I was asking my friend Ben and he said, Angry Monkey and Apex are also pretty good. Also, it depends where you're located. Thai Long is just north of the Petite Italy and Ben's home gym is in Rosemont, while angry Monkey is in Verdun. If you ever come to Ottawa, I train at Ottawa Fight and Fitness, it's a very nice a friendly gym. Thought recently they absorbed a boxing gym that closed, so there is a lot of focus on boxing lately, but still a good gym. Anyway, let me know where you go, especially if you go to Thai Long, cause I am moving back to Mtl int he comins months, year, and I was thinking of joining Thai long.
    2 points
  41. Below is my paraphrase of some Facebook talk between ex-fighters and legends of the Hapalang gym, the famed gym of the Golden Age which produced 3 FOTYs in Dieselnoi, Chamuakphet and Panomtuanlek. The gym's manager was murdered at Lumpinee between rounds, during Chaumuakphet and Langsuan. This is the posted photo that gave them to talk about it. Dieselnoi on the Hapalang photo, paraphrased: ...time flies by so quickly. Looking at this photo and thinking of all the boxers there every day, different weights, packed from earth to the sky. It didn't matter fight purse or training for a fight, we had parents back home in different provinces, but we could never go visit, even if they were ill. "What are you, a doctor? Are you going to heal them?" You'd only get short answers as news, barely knowing whether they had recovered yet. Two more comments relay that fighters ran away from the camp within 2 or 3 years due to not having money, or being worked so hard in training and fights without benefit. One remarks how he was there at the time that Sia Nao sold the gym to pay a gambling debt and then was killed not long after. Panomtuanlek comments briefly to Dieselnoi's comment, "Yes, I don't even know how to describe how it was."
    2 points
  42. I'll give this a go at the next class. I hadn't thought of the touch portion as a primary focus (even though it was the primary problem), but framing it like that makes a lot of sense. Thanks!
    2 points
  43. I love watching Karuhat fight, he -and his style- is so artistic, so inteligent, like im having a conversation with a Magistrate in my country (im a lawyer in my country and the best way to learn is to hear it directly from the judge/magistrate that signed the sentence, if you have the chance, wheter in class or in any context, its like finding milled gold) mixed with ballet. Smart, eloquent and beatiful. I dunno, maybe im a little crazy -plus the language barrier-, but there is nothing -and no one- like him, in my humble opinion. Awesome giveaway, sir, and ¡those shorts KICK ASS! Greetings from México! Margaritas are on me, folks.
    2 points
  44. Thai language source This first time I've seen this issue publicly stated, Sylvie's paraphrase of the Thai news: "Sia Riam" the head of FA Group gym in Bangkok is quoted as being heartbroken by the pattern of international fighters coming to a gym and being welcomed with training, sleeping, eating as a group. They come with "no name" but after gaining some recognition or "fame" other gyms become interested and these fighters are swayed by promises elsewhere. He says he is sure other gyms have experienced this and asks for the Boxing Council to make a decision regarding the problem. (The issue being that Thai fighters are bound by contracts and a fighter changing gyms is a contracted sale, whereas non-Thai fighters have no legal contracts. His call maybe that gyms exercise more respect for another gym.) Opinion and Context This issue of farang gym loyalty in Thailand has been a long running one, wherein westerners seek to find traditional training experiences (and even traditional fight opportunities), but in the quest for authentic Thainess also find themselves outside of the structures of control which hold those traditional forms together. Thais largely are both legally contracted to the gym they train under, but also are often somewhat morally bound to the fatherly figures (or even motherly figures) in those gyms, which traditionally can be adoptive families. You'll recall, there was a very large Thai side dust up over this as Buakaw sought to extricate himself from his Por Pramuk contract which had been passed down from the gym's patriarch who died, to the owner's son. Buakaw was a world famous celebrity of fighting and did not feel still bound by his older, traditional contractual obligation, entered into when he was 9 years old. In the West this battle some years ago was largely portrayed as him breaking out of onerous workcamp ownership of Muay Thai, but in Thailand even though the contract he was under felt quite inequitable, some felt this public move was improper. He won his market freedom of movement. This was a rare, very public dispute. Unlike Thai fighters, Westerners on the other hand often found themselves in a hybrid, nebulous place. More traditional gyms that also were westerner-friendly like famous Sitmonchai or Sangtiennoi's gym gave a strong Thai family gym feel and experience, but westerners were not contractually bound to them. This contractless state is common throughout the country. Technically western fighters exist in a kind of psuedo-commercial arrangement, paying for training (and sometimes room and board), but also experiencing the closeness of family-style bonds that make Thailand's Muay Thai like no other Muay Thai in the world. This can become even more complicated if gyms extend "sponsorship" to a western fighter, providing room and board for exchange of fight percentage fees, and also an (unspoken) tightening of the sense of obligation, something a westerner may not fully feel because it isn't their culture. The western fighter may still remain mentally in the western idea of training wherein a "service" is being provided to them, which they pay for (either in monthly fees, or in terms of sponsorship with fight winnings), and in which they as the customer have ultimate choice and authority. For the Thai, they will see it shaded towards more traditional values and obligations. There is no ultimate "right" or even truth here, because each of these value systems are competing against each other, and are layered on each other somewhat simultaneously. But there is capacity for LOTS of miscommunication. One could romanticly attach oneself to the "traditional" model, but perhaps would also have to ignore the degree to which boys are contracted out at a very young age, often, becoming orphans in Muay Thai. There is harshness in the tradition. Or, one can see in the commercial arrangement where the customer is always right a highly impersonal, detached quid pro quo, the kind of which many come to Thailand to escape or be relieved from. Instead, in the past, westerners have found themselves often floating between the two, improvising respectful compromise and struggling through shared expectation. What seems to have changed at this point is I suspect the rise of Entertainment Muay Thai. Entertainment Muay Thai is a promotional style of Muay Thai that has become quite popular with tv audiences, and has given a shot in the arm to western-friendly gyms in Thailand. These televised fights had new rulesets that helped favor western fighters to win (forward aggression, shorter non-narrative rounds, reduced clinch, fought in a lower talent pool) and they drew a younger, more casual audience among Thais. Western friendly gyms suddenly had weekly televised promotions in which to showcase their fighters which not only grew the gym name, but also excited the fighters themselves. In the past a western fighter in a Thai gym largely would not be part of the serious business model of making stadium champions or sidebet stars. Instead they might compose a kind of side project, folding westerners into their Thai training. It varied between gyms just how integrated westerners would become, and some gyms would focus on them more than others, even promoting them, arranging belt fights with international organizations, etc., altering their business model to include more and more Muay Thai tourism. But, Entertainment Muay Thai seems to have done something interesting. It has raised the value of the western fighter, within the subculture itself. Gym names can become associated with Entertainment Muay Thai "stars" (promotions like ONE, Superchamp, Muay Hardcore, MAX), and with this rise in value is the absence of the traditional forms of control. The social bonds of fatherly or family control, or the legal bonds of contracts do not exist. What is really interesting about this FA Group statement is that both the shared family space of the gym, and the legal recourse of rules are referenced. It does not seem likely that this is in anyway to change right now, but as western fighters indeed do grow in value in the fight culture the lack of authority can produce conflicts and misunderstandings. It's also important to see that this issue is not just between a prospective fighter and their gym. It also, as its expressed, an issue between gyms themselves, the sense that other gyms can come in and poach the value in a western fighter that the prior gym has worked to build up. This is probably the even more serious issue. In the West we are much more used to thinking of things in terms of individual decisions and freedoms, and sometimes as difficulties between a person and an authority. But in Thailand its much more socially bound. Difficulties reflect power across the community in something of a triangle. This is because face is an important part of Thai culture. It's not just that a gym might lose a fighter of value (negative profit), its also the social consequences, the loss of status, that can happen when something appears to be taken from you. This is one aspect of how the contracting of fighters works. Contracts aren't just used to control the movements and opportunities of Thai fighters (they are of course, but they are more), they are also used to save face when fighters are leveraged to be moved, often beyond the control of the gym. The original gym gains compensation as a modicum of face. This is a pretty regular practice among smaller traditional Thai gyms that will find that their young star that they have built up locally, since a boy, is now being leveraged beyond their control by a powerful Bangkok gym. They have the contract, but perhaps the family of the boy sees much greater opportunity with the famous gym. The contract then gets sold, and a sign of face is given, even though the gym might not have an ultimate social say in the matter. This leveraging of built (youth) talent is what is being referenced here, but in the context of the built (adult) value of western fighters. If you want the latest in Muay Thai happenings sign up for our Muay Thai Bones Newsletter
    2 points
  45. Hi, I tried to post this a few weeks ago while I was away working, but my reply wouldn't upload from my phone. Anyways, Burklerk is offering education visas at his new gym in Lampang. Lampang's a nice town and Burklerk is awesome. https://www.burklerkmuaythaiacademy.com/education-visa https://www.burklerkmuaythaiacademy.com/ I think I saw your friend's fight against Sawsing
    2 points
  46. A follow up, Yodwicha's team says they have turned down an offer for $115,000 to fight again for the same title in a rematch: Yodwicha, put off by the way the Vienot WMC title fight in France was handled just turned down 100,000 Euro ($116,000 US) for a rematch for the belt, a fight that would be in Las Vegas. "We have a long cue" his wife writes.
    2 points
  47. I think in my case, one came to the other and things were adding up. At the beginning I / we followed our Kru blindly. Training was hard and good and we learned and improved. But the more “fitness”-people joined, the worse the training became, the more side-effects came up, no more focus on developing fighters. Of course I completely understand his point and the points of all mentioned Krus! They all went their way, have their way of training, of teaching, of fighting. It’s not my/our western approach of things, but I can live with it - as long as I learn and improve.
    2 points
  48. Oh yeah, you need more than that, it needs to be as compact as possible. You can get in the bag and push with your legs also.
    2 points
  49. Gyms that I do not have personal experience with but have heard positive things about, or which I visited and have qualities that might appeal to a certain kind of traveler/student/fighter. These are not gym reviews, just quick impressions. Santai Gym (outside of Chiang Mai) - lots of people have had positive experiences here, including pro female fighters. I've heard that they teach one style of Muay Thai (from the famed Pinsinchai camp), so they may try to change your kick or your fighting style. This is good in that everyone is more or less on the same page, but also perhaps limited in the sense that the variety of Muay Thai found in Thailand is incredibly rich, even in a particular gym, which for me means more to learn from. People who seem to really enjoy the camp are those looking for "technical" instruction, enjoy more organized instruction, and they who like to bond with other western travelers/fighters, as the camp seems to have nice tight-knit community. They actively recruit and support female western fighters. new note (3/4/2019) - a mainstay as one of the most dependable gyms in Thailand, I've heard that they have in high season removed the cap of students they once had, and that the gym can get a little overpopulated, with the quality of training dropping for some. This is very hard to gauge from afar, but it should be mentioned as a possibility in high-season. Sitjaopho (Hua Hin) - This is a gym in Hua Hin that is quiet popular with those looking for "technical" instruction. It has a strong Swedish connection, as well as a following with some from the East Coast (USA). I've never been here and can't recommend on my own experience, but they have long-term and repeat clients. Chatchai Sasakul Gym (BKK) - the former WBC world champion boxer Chatchai is highly recommended if you want to work on your boxing. Precise technician, great instructor. Probably the best boxing gym in Thailand, home of several current world champions. Private sessions are best. You can see a full private session with him here. They also have some nearby accommodation for longer-term stays as well. Dejrat Gym (BKK) - This is a hidden gem in Bangkok run by the coach of the Thai National Team, Arjan Surat. Watch our session together. It just is a very "Thai" gym, so I couldn't recommend it in a broad way, either in a cultural or instruction sense. It's no-nonsense Muay Thai that is focused on its serious Thai fighters. They have had experience with female fighters. Go here only if you want some sort of immersion, are prepared to work very hard, and be positioned in a traditional hierarchy. Not a lot of English spoken. My session with Arjan Surat: Arjan Surat 2 - His Old School Tough & Defensive Style (94 min) Burklerk's Gym (Lampang, contact here) - outstanding instruction from a Legend in sleepy and beautiful Lampang. He and his wife have opened up a brand new resort style gym in Lampang. I wrote about his original home gym here: Burklerk's Family Run Gym in Lampang. Burklerk has a beautiful, powerful style and each time I visit I learn things. Even 5 minutes with him is gold. It's a small community gym in a quiet neighborhood, but not a fighter's gym really. Go there for the time with Burklerk, but there won't be much sparring or clinching. My session with Arjan Burklerk in his original home location: Burklerk PInsinchai - Dynamic Symmetry (82 min) Keatkhamtorn Gym (Bangkok) - This gym is an authentic kai muay gym in Bangkok in that it is still very focused on growing Muay Thai stadium champions from an early age. This means that it is a great gym for small bodied westerners especially those interested in immersive clinch. Immersive clinch the way Thais learned, but be warned it takes a while.They have tons of young male fighters between 45-52 kg, and are a Muay Khao gym, which means that you'll be encouraged to develop proper clinch fighting habits. I will definitely make this my clinch gym when in Bangkok. The owner, Teerawat Chukorn is a Police Captain and very kind, and speaks English. You can contact them through their Facebook page which will respond in English. Rambaa Somdet M16 (Pattaya) - Want to train with a Thai MMA legend (their first MMA World Champ), and to do so for cheap? Rambaa's gym is awesome in a very Thai way. Mostly it's neighborhood kids, and a few Thai fighters, but every day this small gym pulses with Rambaa's personality. I'm not sure what his current rates are, but he has some accommodation right on premises, a daily/weekly/monthly building right up the street (with air-con and wifi) and his private sessions are some of my favorites. His gym is mostly young kinds, so maybe not ideal for bigger bodied fighters who need clinch and sparring partners (other than the trainers or a few of his late-teen fighters). This is all about his love for the sport. I wrote about Rambaa's Gym here. I'd say it is only for the adventurous, those who know at least a little Thai. PhuketKing Muay Thai Gym - I don't have any experience in the regular training of this gym, but I went to do a private with Kru Pot, the head trainer, for the Muay Thai Library and can say he is excellent. Anything he's in charge of will be worthwhile, especially for Muay Khao style, and he's a really wonderful man. I'd highly recommend private training with him, if you can. My session with him in the Muay Thai Library: Kru Pot" Bunpot Sor. Boonyaa - Muay Khao Depth (63 min) PK Saenchai Gym (Bangkok) I have never been to this gym at all, but it is a favorite of Westerners both who are seeking to train under a big name and those who have been in Thailand for a long while and decide to move over there for the fight opportunities and training alongside contemporary stars of Muay Thai. The head trainer is Detduang Pongsawang, who was a great fighter in the Golden Age. From what I understand it's a kind of "build a bear" method for training, so you can decide how much or how little you want to do by speaking with the manager and he works it all out for you. He sounds very personable and his English is very good. Lanna: [for those of you who have followed me for a really long time, I used to train at Lanna Muay Thai in Chiang Mai - my first 2 years in Thailand I fought out of that gym. It is no longer the same gym I trained at, but it is the same location and under new ownership it is called Boon Lanna Muaythai Gym.] I cannot comment from experience on what training at Boon Lanna Muaythai Gym is like now, but two of my favorite trainers are still there: Nook and Kru Daeng (one of the best privates in Thailand) are still there, and the training seems like it's become much more regimented and thorough. On the other hand I've heard that in high-season months it can become quite crowded (like a few other Chiang Mai gyms) and that this can impact the amount of guided work you can get. I'm only speaking from afar, but I'd say that if you go to Lanna you should plan to also take a few privates with Daeng to make sure you get the most out of it. I still recommend this gym as a place where you will be able to get fights if that's what you are interested in. Chiang Mai is full of fight opportunities and the gym is well integrated into the various promotions.
    2 points
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