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  1. I wanted to comment on this theme of MMA in regards also to what Kevin said on your last Muay-Thai Bones Podcast ep 26. Kevin spoke that he felt a red line had been crossed by allowing MMA in Lumpinee. He said He didnt want inferior MMA being shown there as one reason. He spoke of the inferior MMA of One Championship as compared to the UFC. Though the pool of fighters in One is smaller, it has for instance Team Lakay from the Philippines, and the Lee family of Hawaii: Angela, Christian and now Victoria who could be champions in the UFC too, The UFC is best at exploiting and ruining the lives of its fighters who are subject to terrible contracts and endless bullying by this massive corporation. Thank God One Championship exists, and many thanks to Chatri Sidyodtong for bringing Muay-Thai and Kickboxing into the program in 2018. The real problem of having MMA in Lumpinee is the problem of MMA itself. MMA usurped MuayThai years ago as the premier fighting art. In the early 90s when they had the first cage fights, it was also a contest of which style would prevail. Unfortunately BJJ was the winner in those early years. Muay-Thai was only useful in standup, and striking could only prevail on the feet. If the fight went to the ground grapplers would prevail. Wrestlers, judokas jui jitsu, and sambo fighters could easily take down a stand-up fighter and submit or choke him out. A third point which makes MMA the most attractive art is the streetfighting aspect which makes it more "realistic" to the bored average Western viewer. So MuayThai is seen as only one part, -and a less important aspect of MMA. What I am getting at basically is that from a Muay-Thai standpoint it would be better if MMA: A) Never existed, or B) Would just go away!
  2. A few weeks ago I became aware of a Khun Khmer promotion : MAS Fight Town Cambodia on You Tube. https://www.youtube.com/c/MasFightCambodiaTownFullHDTV/videos What is unusual is that some bouts feature a one 9 minute round whereby as in Kard Chuek only a knockout is a win, otherwise it is declared a draw. Their are also cash prizes awarded abundantly to the fighters. If you had 6 and a half hours time this past weekend you could, and still can watch UAM MuayThai Underground Series 1 from Dubai https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1EIELRu6Hw&t=18070s Though mostly amateur fights their were two main card events that were great : Kadhi vs. Barboza was great for elbows and Macatanngay vs "Wonderboy" Jurayev showed: Dont get a good Uzbeki fighter mad at you !
  3. Regarding the topic of 3 round fights, last year I sent a couple of emails to One Championship complaining about this practice, but I received no replies. MuayThai has not become more attractive by shortening the rounds. Quite the contrary! If you have two equal fighters, usually after 9 minutes it goes to the scorecards, and it is mostly a split decision, and inconclusive who won. In my opinion it can be argued that MMA is the primary reason for the demise of Muay Thai and K1 kickboxing, or more accurately, MMA stole the show (and the money) from Muay Thai. Muay Thai has to compete with the longer rounds of MMA and western boxing, and with such short and rushed fighting it appears to casual onlookers as inferior to the above! Ironically, in MMA there is a better capability for a fighter to clinch and knee without disturbance by the referee because the ref is not allowed to interrupt ! This is how it should be in Muay Thai ! Maybe I should email Stephan Fox about this. Is that a good idea?
  4. Just saw Sylvies fight number 259 which was Kard Chuek. Kevin on his commentary spoke familiar sentences. "The ref is breaking the clinch immediately", "they are not letting clinch happen in this fight". Thankfully Sylvie won the fight despite the referee! Knee and clinch fighting known as Muay Khao, are Sylvies expertise, but are the one aspect of fighting, and the only part that can be interrupted soley at the discretion of the referee !! If the ref does not want Sylvie to win, or does not like clinch fighting, or thinks it is boring, then he can, by constantly seperating the contestants influence the outcome of the fight! In Sylvies case it can mean an unecessary loss! If a referee would interrupt kicking or boxing or elbows he would be booed out. Hence Muay Thai cannot honestly be called the art of 8 limbs anymore! Sylvie should be allowed to clinch undisturbed in a fight, and unfortunately this tendency and the propensity to shorten fight lengths to only 3 rounds are making many contests basically kickboxing matches with elbows. When fights are rushed down to 3x3 minute rounds, technique goes out the window, so the only thing that counts are offensive weapons and the ability to clobber your opponent as fast as possible. My suggestions: Muay Thai was not always fought with boxing gloves, so hemp bandaging(Kard Chuek style) or mma type gloves are a great option and should be left open to the agreement of the contestants. Fight durations should be viable and agreed upon by the contestants, not the promoter- why not have 3 x 5 minute contests or a 6 rounds of 3 minutes or 7x 2minutes. Having someone of clout such as Dieselnoi or Karuhat write a letter to the Muay Thai authorities to stop discriminating against Muay Khao stylists and reversing the trend evident in Max, Thai Fight, One Superseries, of shortening fights and not allowing any clinch action.
  5. The thrill of doing something dangerous? Proving oneself as worthy of admiration and respect, attention? Going to war and winning? Coming home a hero? Protest against the status quo of regular "straight, boring worklife routines?" Are there deeper reasons for fighting? Here is Dr. Janovs take on early imprints. Please read the section about free diving, alot of this brings me to think about motivation for fighting Muay-Thai. http://cigognenews.blogspot.com.es/2016/02/still-more-on-act-out.html#comment-form.
  6. Hello Kevin, Interesting research. I would just like to make a few comments: Isnt it a tragic that a sport hundreds of years old( as is Muay Tha)i is dependant upon a sport 20 years old( MMA) to have its right to exist? Before internet coverage at least KI kick-boxing was very popular in Europe because of Eurosport on cable TV. Also shown were Muay-Thai bouts from a TV studio in Bangkok. What ruined the Muay-Thai reputation were the first UFC events which showed that BJJ was superior to MuayThai, or in more general terms- grappling was superior to striking. Lately this has been partially refuted by the rise of Jose Aldo, Cowboy Cerrone, and Joanna Jedrzejczyk,.but in general to succeed in MMA you need a solid BJJ and wrestling base. When K1 went bankrupt in 2010 alot of careers were cut short. Here is a great documentary about the rise and fall of kickboxing: http://www.damientrainor.com/2014/shin-on-shin-kickboxing-documentary-series I think one reason Muay Thai never caught on in USA were the leg kicks, the clinch, and elbows. The elbows were a source of contention for years in Germany. The MTBD( formed in 1984) wouldnt allow elbows for years in competition because of the danger of cuts and bad concussions. The Americans had their PKA Karate going, and low kicks were considered the height of dirty fighting!! Now in 2015, because of years of MMA (Formerly known as fighting without rules) exposure, the threshold for violence has fallen so much, that bloody cut up faces and brutal KOs, and broken arms mean nothing anymore and are considered normal. I would guess that the rise of interest in Italy for Muay Thai is due to Stefanie Picelli and her Yokkao branding which includes her promotions, fight gear and her seminars with Senchai and Pakorn. In Brazil I would guess it is the popularity of Anderson Silva and Jose Aldo that spark interest in Muay Thai in the land of the Jui-Jitsu masters. My theory for the stagnation of Muay-Thai would include career possibilities as a hindrance to growth. As Sylvie has pointed out most Thai women give up fighting in their 20s because their is no path to abundance. For the men in Thailand it is probably not much better. In the West because of the dominance of MMA the only way that promises financial reward is UFC, Bellator, and for women Invicta. For MuayThai you have Lion Fight or Glory for Kickboxing which I am sure, do not pay well since they are small organizations still establishing themselves. Another problem with the olympic acceptance of Muay-Thai is the inability to organize all the South East Asian fighting styles under one banner. Burma has Lethwei, Cambodia has Pradal Serey, Laos has Muay Lao, and Malaysia has Tomoi etc. These fighting styles are all similiar and sometimes indistinguishable from Muay-Thai but are not recognized as such by Thailand, or the international community due to politics and nationalism. The key to more growth for Muay-Thai world wide is "More Money" for fighters, more televised shows in the West, a magazine comparable to the high gloss "Fighters Only" for the MuayThai community and olympic recognition.
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