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Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu

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About Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu

  • Birthday 11/03/1983

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  1. Of note in the end of 1988 rankings, Somrak was ranked at #6 at 105 lb. Hippy was champion at 108 lb, Karuhat was ranked #2 at 108 at the same time that Wangchannoi had just become 122 lb champion. Karuhat does not get enough credit for how much he fought up in size. He didn't still weigh 108 when he became 122 lb champion, but he was properly a 115 lb fighter when he did. Wangchannoi and Karuhat are one year apart in age, they are just differently sized men. Rankings continued: of note, Jaroenthong was champion at 126 lb while Samart was ranked #1 behind him. And Sagat was 135 lb champion, with Gulapkaw (now head trainer at Jitmuangnon) was ranked #7 (he would later become champion).
  2. Do you stretch, use a foam roller, or get massages?
  3. Wangchannoi is no longer at the gym, he has moved to a small gym in Cambodia. Bangsaen had indicated westerners were welcome to train with the gym, but it Isa true Thai gym and ther aren't many options nearby so staying at the gym seems most likely the only accommodation if you intend to stay beyond a couple days. They don't have social media in English, so I'd recommend just going to the gym and pleading your case: https://maps.app.goo.gl/4N8wMms2sU3xkeBbA
  4. Kathoey is not a Thailand-specific cultural identity, so you can use this word for yourself here without any problem. It's not the most polite word, but it is the most common word and speaking to your trainers and promoters, this is the word everyone will use. It is also how Trans folks here refer to themselves, outside of formal writing. I think your chances would be best for fighting up in the North, in Chiang Mai, as there are so many stadia, fights almost every night, and the levels are along a spectrum. There are a number of Kathoey fighters active right now up in the North, sometimes coming down to fight in Bangkok, but with good recognition and presence in the stadia of Chiang Mai. You could also go specifically to train with Nong Toom at her gym in Bangkok. That will absolutely provide a supportive training environment and Parinya (Nong Toom) will have the kinds of connections you'd need to fight, but the opportunities would likely be less frequent than in Chiang Mai. I also am catching myself as I'm saying this, because even though there are tons of fights in Chiang Mai and they won't be making a big deal about your gender, there is never any guarantee that opponents will be available for anyone all the time; it will depend on size and skill matching.
  5. You just need to learn how to feel your way through movements with balance, it comes over time. But knowing where to "check" for your own self-correction is helpful in the meantime: distance between your feet in a comfortable stance, wide but not splayed; make sure your weight is on the balls of your feet and not too far on the heels or the blades of the feet (the outside or inside edge, meaning pronating or supinating (you can look that up on running forums)). Make sure your head is over your hips and feet, not too far forward or back. Keep your strikes reasonably within the "frame" of your body, not swinging too much out from your core and generating power and movement mainly from the legs and torso for everything.
  6. I'm posting this review sent to me by Naadia: In review - a month training and living at Kem Muay Thai Gym in the mountains in Khao Yai, Thailand There’s a sign as you enter the neighbourhood- it reads I Love Khao Yai Tiang. And I do, it’s impossible not to. With the weather being a little cooler than Bangkok and even the south, this mountain gym is isolated and wonderful. It’s the home of champion Kru Kem (sitsongpeenong). His little gym in a corner of paradise. His expertise is sharp and his time generous. Once you stop pinching yourself in disbelief you can really allow yourself to be loved and taken care of by Pee Kem and his family. And the man can love as well as he can fight; subtly, honestly and wholly. Sprawled out over a small valley the gym and accommodation share the land with Pee Kem’s family home and his large chicken collection. Outside his home is a small, silty fish pond which can be swam in. And often was by me. Huge spaces for dining, viewpoints, private balconies and hammocks allow for space and quiet reading spots. Pee Kem’s warm and bubbly wife, Pee Mo, who takes care of all your needs, made sure I celebrated my 40th birthday in style! They accompanied a student for a visa run, organised fights, excursions, massages, and a whole plethora of add ons which stave off any potential cabin fever. His children help out and often accompany students on excursions and if you’re really lucky, his youngest (7 years old) may even hold pads for you! It’s a real family affair. A short walk from the gym are a few village shops and a bike ride can take you to some cute mountain eateries. Otherwise it’s a true camp experience with two meals, two training sessions and accommodation in the package. And it’s one of the most reasonable around. The views are fantastic, the call to prayer from the mosque across the valley reverberates through the hills, crickets chirp, the chickens cackle, Nikethe camp dog howls back to the mosque, the jungle makes its noises yet peace is everywhere. Nine private en-suite rooms ensure the gym population stays intimate and family-like. Meal times are announced by the calling of your name (“Naaaaadia, dinner kaaaaa”) and food is adjusted to accommodate dietary and portion needs, and is delicious home style Thai food. For some context, I was training for my first amateur fight when I tore my ACL a week before I could get to Thailand. I was determined to work around my injury and keep my travel plans and the trainers at Kem Muay Thai were super thoughtful when understanding my parameters and also helped me in realising that I was more capable and powerful than I ever thought. In bigger gyms I had avoided class sessions as I was concerned I would exacerbate injury without someone always watching me. Pee Kem’s gym was small enough to have eyes on me at all times and I enjoyed working alongside my camp-mates. I’m a contract worker so gym-hop globally and the Muay Thai training here is excellent! Sessions include running pre session, weighted and unweighted shadow boxing, followed by bag and pad work. Emphasis is placed on technique with drills in focus, balance, posture and ending in hundreds of power knees, blocks, teeps etc Mornings tend to be a little lighter but sometimes they’d be some shockers in there! Conditioning segments with weight or ladder circuits also featured during the week. At the end of the session stretching would be done as a group, and Kru Kem and Kru Mee would have a chat and massage students, we were really well looked after. Both trainers ensured your headspace was right too, building self confidence, drilling mantras and “Kemisms”! “If Kem can do, you can do!” “You no scared, you Nak Muay”. I say that so often to myself now! I picked up some extra private sessions with Kru Mee, whose long career in training champs and handling injuries speaks for itself. He honed in on my clinching and really brought my technique to a new place, found sore points and guided me through the reintroduction of my switch and my right teep (I’d thought these were off Limits with my injury). I’m back in the U.K. now. Usually enamoured by the British summers it now irks me. The roses and lavender bloom but I yearn for frangipani, hibiscus and mountain flowers. My ears miss the chickens and whilst my ankles are bite-free for the first time in weeks I can’t help but miss the love on the mountain. I miss Pee Kem telling me “If you happy, Kem happy.” I spent a month with my now family, learning Muay Thai, training hard, but also being privy to life in an extended Thai family, being introduced to Isaan music and dancing, corrupting the camp (a story for another time lol) and making friends for life. And that, for sure, was worth every bite.
  7. Almost any gym can get you a fight. The part you should consider for yourself is getting to a location where fights are plentiful, so your chances of finding an opponent and a program during your stay are highest. Chiang Mai and Phuket have the most frequent fight opportunities.
  8. The bonuses are at both Lumpinee and Rajadamnern (although I can't tell you if it's still at Lumpinee now), and, as far as I know, it's the same 5 moves. If you win by KO using one of these moves, you get a 10,000 baht bonus. These are, technically speaking, Mae Mai Muay Thai, which means the artforms of Muay Thai and Muay Boran consists entirely of those, but Thais would refer to these moves as the former. They are intended, as far as I know, as incentives to use traditional artistic movements, but fighters aren't generally bold enough to go for them due to gambling pressures making fighters more conservative. The Mae Mai Muay Thai basics are taught in PE courses throughout Thailand, but it might be a one or two day course, or even a field trip, and aren't something as comprehensive as extra-curricular sports are. Maybe like how in America we had a day or week of Square Dancing and Line Dancing, but not a full course of instruction for it. Arjan Prayod, who taught Namkabuan and Nampon, is a school teacher (P.E.) as well as a Muay Thai gym manager, but he took kids that he saw with promise from sports in school and invited them to his gym; but he has worked with the government in designing school curricula with Muay Thai, little handbooks; we have one. If I can find it I'll send you photos of the pages.
  9. I will be sharing your words with Angie, as I'm sure they mean as much to her as they do to me. For me, personally, what drew me to Muay Thai was the performance of masculinity, with these simultaneous soft and fluid expressions. I've written on my blog about how masculinity does not belong to men; men "wear" it just as much as women can, it's not intrinsic or "natural" or inherent. Bev Francis, one of the most famous female Body Builders in the 70s and 80s pushed past the "acceptable" limit of muscles that "feminine" bodies into muscles that were heavily criticized as being "too much" for a woman. But Bev loved muscles and being strong for the exact same reasons males with those bodies love them: because it feels good. A pleasure not "belonging" to a gender, even if socially it is flagged or coded to the binary. As a cis woman, this is how I've navigated the very complex experiences of Muay. The parts that are masculine feel good for the same reasons they feel good to men, but I do get offended when folks comment that I "look like a man," or am "strong like a man." As a Cis woman, I have a more relaxed privilege to those offenses because I don't worry about "passing," but I do, at times, fret that I can never be unaware of being NOT A MAN in a man's arena. But vacillating in the in-between is where the real beauty is and, if Muay Thai allows you to explore and express your gender in a more nuanced way, then that's a wonder I have greatly appreciated as well. If you can find Superbank's stunningly beautiful Ram Muay, wherein he is pouring out feminine grace and at the exact same moment filling himself with masculine prowess...it's that. That's the perfect example.
  10. Recent review of Kem's Muay Thai Gym in Khao Yai Tiang: "The training is mind blowing. All three Krus are different but they’re not jusy chasing your endorphin high for you by letting you smash pads and feel the rush. There is so much technique work. I haven’t spent much time in classes in other gyms just mainly one on Ones as I’ve torn my ACL and didn’t fancy big classes injured but we are just a handful here so I know if he’s not training me Kem is watching me all the time. And so hands on in terms of the accommodation and other care eg he’s driving a student to Cambodia today for a visa run. Such lovely people. I’m humbled. And I can hear the call to prayer which is important to me. Thanks again for the recco." Naadia
  11. From my experience, you'd never be expected to change in front of anybody. Lots of folks arrive in their training outfit and leave in it, but there are almost always bathroom where you can change in private and shower, etc., that aren't group spaces. I would imagen that you'd be asked about the scars on your chest, just because both Thais and other nationalities training in the space tend to be forward in asking questions about and pointing out each other's bodies. Not necessarily in a mean way, but not always in a way that feels very good, either. If you have some kind of document from your doctor, I imagine you could keep that on your person for any issues at customs, regarding bringing your testosterone with you. It is, afterall, a medication. I don't believe it's a heavily regulated medicine in Thailand (in Pattaya there are bodybuilders who do their HGH and steroid cycles here, although the market for that is technically not legal but definitely not heavily enforced). Regarding your worries about fighting, those don't seem pretty common. You just have to decide whether it's meaningful for you to do it or not. If you do choose to fight in Thailand, I highly recommend you do not disclose being Trans, simply because it will severely complicate the task of finding an opponent. You'd be entering into a low-level, low-profile kind of fight situation and, since you pass, matching you with another inexperienced man would be the thing to do. If you disclose being Trans, they might be obligated to match you against a cis woman, which would require you to more or less "perform" being a woman for the fight (you'd likely have to wear a sports bra, for example, and you'd be referred to as a woman by the announcer, etc.) That said, many people come and train in Thailand without fighting and have wonderful and fulfilling experiences. But it's also a much more straight forward opportunity for you to get to fight than if you try to do so in the West.
  12. Hi, Yodkhunpon uses the gallop to cut off the ring and corral the opponent; what Namsaknoi is doing is getting outside the opponent's guard, which is why it's used from so close. He moves the opponent's guard with his own arms and kind of "ladder climbs" their guard to slip to the outside, where he has a pretty open shot and they have virtually no defense. This can only happen from very close; if you do it from far away, the opponent just adjusts their feet and they are facing you again.
  13. If you want to do some boxing in addition to Muay Thai, Sasakul Gym is great. It's also just a short dostance from both Samart Payakaroon Gym and Chor Payak Gym, all North of Bangkok in the Lam Luk Ka area. Chor HaPayak has fighters frequently on Channel 8, Omnoi, Petchyindee and I don't know if foreigners regularly train there but they are welcome.
  14. The more "play" you can do, the better. If you can spar, great. If not, feel rhythms amd timing in shadow and on the bag. The most unpredictable aspect of fighting is that the opponent thinks differently than how you or your training partners do; or their nerves make them even unpredictable to themselves. So try to find opportunities to FEEL your way around movements and strikes, rather than thinking so much.
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