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Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu

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  • Birthday 12/17/1964

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  1. I would really think so. I don't get to shoot fights very often, because I'm usually filming them. But I do think so.
  2. 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
  3. When advancing you can also teep the thighs - underutilized - and the hip. This keep people from setting up on you.
  4. As with any pattern making, if you become predictable vulnerabilities arise. So look into switching things up. A big one to add is Yodkhunpon's galloping footwork. Here's a public video there is more in the Library: This footwork allows you to cross distance quickly, as with any closing pressure speed is an important factor. You can mix up the march with the gallop. Also, the hop in can also break patterns. Sylvie has that here: And lastly, a really good tool, seriously under-utilized by closing fighters is the teep. If you can mix teeps in in you advance it goes a long way to preventing your opponent from just timing you, and hiding your own rhythm. Mixing in the high-knee march, the hop in, the gallop and the hop in gives you a bunch of different looks. It's just up to you to make your own recipe. And, of course, once again, the speed of your advance is a big deal. Something that might get you swept at half speed might be untouchable at full speed.
  5. A Case History This is just an addendum case history for those who are interested in the role of magic in the argument's flow. It provides historical context to the notion of magical combat in Thailand, of which there is little. We do have the Burmese description from the Nai khanomtom verses, which attested that his victories were due to the beguiling nature of his Ram Muay, but aside from this the joining of martial and magical combat has very little written historical record in English (the Thai epic poem Khun Chang Khun Phaen, aside). Here is an essay on a southern Thai policeman, Khun Phantharakratchadet (1898–2006), who lived at a time of Siam's transition between local powers to Royal Nationalism, and embodied a masculinity that likely had very deep roots in Thailand's fighting culture. Rural male leadership, religion and the environment in Thailand's mid-south, 1920s–1960s Craig J. Reynolds Rural_Male_Leadership_Religion_and_the_E(1).pdf This essay provides a great overview of the man who would become the most famous policeman in Thai history. Because Muay Thai is a performance of hypermasculinity studying the historical masculinity of Khun Phan for me gives deep (but perhaps narrow) insight into the prowess that is being expressed in traditional Muay Thai settings. He is a man from time past (read more on Muay Thai and Thai masculinity here). But for our essay series, it's in particular the way in which Khun Pan studied and armed himself, magically, as a policeman, walking the legal line between officer and Nakleng, that helps fill out the gaps between "fighting techniques" and "magical techniques". For that another work by Craig Reynolds on Khun Pan is best cited. Below are relevant passages: AND AND... REYNOLDS, CRAIG J. Power, Protection and Magic in Thailand: The Cosmos of a Southern Policeman. ANU Press, 2019. JSTOR The historical story of Khun Phan not only keyholes us back into vivid history, exploring the roots of Thai hypermasculinity, it also ties together the conceptual marriage of magical and technical knowledge in fighting. It teleports us into the values and concepts that likely structured rural Muay Thai, festival combat. As we seek the sacredness of Muay Thai combat, Khun Phan orients us toward principles that light the way. If you want to be entertained on the myth of Khun Phan, this film and its sequel dramatize in a Thai heroic fashion the magical and masculine qualities of the figure.
  6. Short Essay 3 Every Muay Thai fight fought in Thailand begins with an incantation. As much as the West, or even modernizing Thais might want to prevaricate over just what the Wai Kru and Ram Muay is (is it religious? is it just respect and tradition? is it animism?), antecedently, and one might say essentially, this is magic. It is actually magical combat. The battle has already begun, on the magical plane...if you hold the required beliefs and practices. You are not just thanking your teachers, I would argue, you are actively connecting to them. You are drawing into the ring the powers of the ones and things which created you, as a fighter. You are powering up, loading the chamber, in the Wai Kru. In the Ram Muay, even though you may not be aware of the full meanings of the figures you are impersonating, or the gestures you are repeating, these are magical in nature. To say that they are magical is not just to say that they represent supernatural powers, they are also the enacted devices to connect to those powers, those forces. And in this regard, they are wicha. In many respects the Thai concept of wicha is close to the Anglo suffix -ology. It denotes a field of study, a knowledge. You find it in the name of the fighter Yodwicha, supreme knowledge. But the Southeast Asian concept of knowledge, in these contexts, isn't so much a thing of dusty books, or theorems. It is, in a sense, much more grounded in a more physical way. It is embodied, often. It pervades the body of the knower, and it connects to real world forces. It composes a technique, a series of techniques that bridge the individual to the world, and back. What you are seeing in the Ram Muay (and the Wai Kru) is a wicha. Much of the intentional (magical) nature of these techniques, wicha, have eroded with the changes in culture, but it is still important for the understanding of the meaning of Muay Thai in traditional settings to appreciate that what is happening before the fight is a wicha, just as the techniques displayed in the fight are also a wicha. When you take hold of what a wicha is in this contex, you can see how it draws a line between the two axes of Muay Thai performance, it brings together the reality of animality, and the esoteric art of divinity. It keeps animality from becoming blind and unguided, and it keeps divinity from becoming to ethereal, too unattached, too evaporated. It is the shoreline between animality and divinity, hopefully captured by the arrow in my illustration above. There is a wonderful moment in an as-yet-unpublished interview we did with Krongsak, one of the great fighters of the late 1980s. We asked him "Who would win between Samart and Somrak?" (these two fighters are two of the most femeu, artful fighters of Muay Thai history, but of different generations). Krongsak smiled. "What promoter would put on such a fight?...Who would pay to go to sleep?" It makes me laugh every time I think of this answer. It brings out the reality that the great eras of Muay Thai were actually constructed through the matchups they made, pitting contrasting styles against each other, but it also brings out one of the great problems with the femeu axis of Muay Thai. As stylish fighters like Samart or Somrak perform these absolutely brilliant ho-hum, too-cool-for-school victories, the femeu style itself ever threatens to be too far above the fight, too detached, too unreal. For Krongsak putting these too matadors in the ring together would be the most boring thing in the world - noting that Krongsak is telling a playful joke here, though a joke with reality to it. It is enough to say that if there are indeed Girardian sacrificial dynamics operating in traditional Muay Thai, there is a certain sense in which the sacrifice has to be real. It requires an animality balast to the rite, for it to have its psycho-social effect of purging the unlocalized violence in a community. This animality can come in the presence of a "bull", let's say in the classic "Muay Khao vs Muay Femeu" matchups, or perhaps more evocatively, it can be present in the wicha of a particular fighter, their unique marriage of art and violence, in their technique and their style, fighters like Wangchannoi, Wichannoi, Namkabuan perhaps, that combined both art and violence in a single form. In any case, what is important here is that the ring is a place of grounded art. It begins with magical, ritualized combat, and conducts itself with the techniques of power and art, as they have been taught by local knowledge. This is something I'll return to later, the way in which the wicha that is expressed come out of local wisdoms. The wichas are reflections of particular lineages, families, communities and regions. Wichas of technique not only ground divinity, but they also historicize it, and personalize it. This historicization is really important because it plays into the performative meaning of the display of wichas, especially when on the stage of the fighting ring. Just what is Magic? I believe, to understand wicha one is only aided by understanding what magic is. To this aim it's instructive to follow up where anthropology has been. Anthropology has long had this problem: How to study other cultures and their beliefs without imposing bias, especially the bias that one's own culture is superior. With magical practices and beliefs it was quite difficult to avoid the instinctive conclusion that magic was just underdeveloped, primitive "Science". It was just "wrong" Science that didn't get how the world worked, but nonetheless attempted to control and harness it. To this aim Anthropology, in examining otherwise exotic and primitive cultures attempted to work out the differences between magic and belief, or at the very least to see how they may be different. If its not too far afield, I want to quote this graphic from the essay Science & Religion, Magic & Technique, from "Malinowski's Magic: The Riddle of the Empty Cell" (1976). It outlines the ways in which rite, ceremony, magic and technique intersect: My reason for including the above is in a certain respect a way of complexifying just what we think we see when we look at the fighting arts (the wichas) of Thailand, and the rituals of the Wai Kru and Ram Muay. In a certain respect, both the fighting arts and the magical arts are ways in which the individual, and the community, deal with and give meaning to unknowable circumstances. Wichas, traditionally, draw on all four quadrants of the above, and when they do so they historicize the agent in a lineage of knowers. Referring to the diagram I started with short essay with, they bind together the animality of reality, and the rarity of the divine, and most importantly, they do this in the context of performed battle. It is a battle of wichas. I'm not going to go too much further into this - there is a great deal to be discussed under the Anthropology of magic - a great entry on Magic and Anthropology is found here - it is enough to simply understand that traditional Muay Thai, its performance, is a battle of wichas (composed of techniques) and that these wichas work to weave together the two axes of animality and divinity, contesting that new reality in a ritualistic, socially defined entertainment space, a space ultimately I hope to inform and define within Girard's sacrificial dynamics. (Don't worry we'll get there!) I want to end this portion of my series with the thoughts on magic from the book Magic’s Reason An Anthropology of Analogy by Graham M. Jones. Jones is particularly interested in the magic of illusion, slight of hand, often in the western sense of magical entertainment. In this passage though he talks about the deeper meanings behind the techniques and display. For him the veritable skill of the magician performs something transcendent: And added to this I'd like to end with a modified graphic of 3 different kinds, or ends of magic, knowing that we can also apply these same categories and purposes to the technical displays of fighters in the traditional ring.
  7. Two more thoughts on this, because it's a complicated issue. 1. Why not show your coach the Yodkhunpon shadowboxing session so he knows what page you are on. It could be that you are doing it earnestly, but maybe missing elements of what could be found in the video. It helps to have an educated eye looking on. If you want to gift him a month of Library access for free, we can do that. Just have him sign up and we'll send a refund for that month. 2. In a very different direction, we have a philosophy of gyms and training opportunities what is the logic of the Cupcake Bakery. If a bakery is really great at making cupcakes, and everything that comes out of it is cupcakes...and you don't want to be a cupcake, you want to be something different, it doesn't mean that you can't "go" to that bakery. It just means that you have to look at what the process (the gym, the coach) produces, and know that at a certain point you have to break off, or include other processes...or, you'll become a cupcake. For someone like Sylvie there just is no gym, trainer, promotion, NOTHING that will produce what she wants to become. None. So it is all cupcake bakeries, croissant factories, ice cream cake showrooms, it's all processes that make things other than what she wants to be. So, it takes a careful combination of processes - processes that make other things - to (possibly) create something new, the thing she wants to be. It means, unfortunately, ALL the processes are "wrong" in some way. But taking elements from many of them, changing those processes over time, could combine some of their strengths into a virgin ground territory. It also takes great patience and perspective for any particular process. It just isn't going to be baby bear. All are going to be mis-fitting.
  8. This is not true, at least for Thailand's Muay Thai. You can hit the back of the head in Thailand's Muay Thai. It isn't done a lot, because it can be read as unsportsmanlike, or dirty boxing, but it's legal. It's one reason why there is a very big "don't turn your back on the action" priority in Thailand. You MUST protect yourself. You'll also see refs run in and break positions where the back is exposed, just as a matter of protection.
  9. This is Sylvie's article written way back in 2016, talking about necessarily training against the grain: https://8limbsus.com/muay-thai-thailand/mosaic-of-knowledge-multi-gym-approach
  10. I think from your description, no matter the facts or possible agreements, you FEEL like there isn't support, and isn't a path there. This is really, really important. So many fighters just stay locked into training environments and relationships that just are not good for them, emotionally, spiritually, when they themselves feel deeply about their art, their progress. I say, when in doubt, when your instincts tell you that things are not right, move. A move tells YOU that your passion is right - even if you are making mistakes along the way. Gyms, by their nature, can be very closed-minded spaces. With the Library you are being exposed to a huge Universe of striking wisdom and techniques, much of it lost or on the way to being lost. It is going to cause some friction. What we try to do to alleviate these problems is to expand training beyond a single gym. Train in multiple spaces, under different people, so it isn't always you vs the coach. But, if it gets to the point where you feel that the coach is protecting "his way" so hardcore and does not fundamentally have your growth at heart, just move. This is a feeling. It's important to own those feelings.
  11. From your description, my personal advice would be to just use your hands to stress your opponent. Just keep on them, keep touching them, bring the power down, get them holding their breath...and then go for finishes later in the fight with hard weapons (kicks, knees or a power shot). If you are that superior to your opponent. Hands are great stressors. This kind of crescendoing tempo is very "Thai". Touch, touch, touch, touch...damage. Touch, touch, touch, touch...finish.
  12. I should add to the above, in case it isn't obvious: You cannot trade landed punches for landed kicks, all other things being equal, in Thailand's traditional Muay Thai. Punching fighters have an additional burden of evidence. I'll also add this. As a female fighter, while the traditional Muay Thai scoring system does not favor you as a punching fighter, you are favored in another way, at least when fighting Thai female fighters. Because they grew into the sport organized around the high scores of kicks (and to a lessor extent knees), they are much more adept at defending them, and much less adept at defending punches (to be very general about it). What you are throwing has an additional burden for scoring, but maybe has a higher chance of landing. You see this play out in the very different 3 round entertainment Muay Thai fights where Thai female fighters are asked to fight well out of their element. They are punch-heavy, no-retreat allowed promotions.
  13. A couple of things here. 1. In Thailand's Muay Thai you can't just "appear unphased" by kicks and knees, and nullify points. Kicks and knees to the body hold the additional "score" of showing control over the body center, just by landing. This is different than punches, which require the physical and psychological effect for score. Yes, by bluffing no impact from kicks and knees you minimize the score, but these are still points against you. 2. It really depends on what you mean by "passive". You need to know what the score is to read the behaviors of both fighters. Thais, traditionally, once they have the lead, retreat and "protect" the lead. This can be read as lacking in aggression by westerners, when in fact this is often pulling away in the fight. If a fighter who is behind in the fight starts marching forward, and throwing a lot...but not having a lot of impact, this fighter would be seen as actually falling further and further behind. They are "chasing". Sharpness in technique does really matter though. It shows self-control, control over the fight space, balance, timing. If you are truly displaying dominance over the fight space, then this will score. I can't quite picture the fight engagement you have in your mind here, but if you are checking kicks and avoiding knees, and landing impactful shots, you should be winning the fight...though that also has to be put in the context of who is advancing, who is retreating, and what the score of the fight is.
  14. To the question at the end - I seem to remember that you are experienced in Thailand's Muay Thai - the Golden Rule regarding punches in Thailand is "there has to be effect". In other words, you don't just get credit for throwing them (ie not for "being active" or "being aggressive"). In fact, if you are being active or aggressive and missing all the while, it actually can score against you. You are exerting effort, but it is wasted, inefficient, non-potent effort. This goes to the question of whether you should go for knockouts, or for "dominating" your opponent with punch combinations. The answer is: which one would you more likely show effect (physical or psychological) on your opponents? That's the approach you should use. This really changes though if you fight on the new 3 round Entertainment Muay Thai shows (Superchamp, Hardcore, even Thai Fight or ONE). These shows seem to favor aggression for its own sake. Throwing 10 hard punches that miss can very well earn you a round, especially if you are coming forward. In those shows generally the more you throw the better, as long as you aren't being caught on the counter.
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