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This is a topic I have been meaning to bring up a while, but being hesitant since it might get a bit heated. However my curiosity won this battle as I am very interested in hearing other peoples’ views, especially trainers/coaches/teachers/instructors.

So here goes.

The self-appointed assisting coach or as some name them, mansplainers. The person, not a teacher, who comes with unsolicited advice in the gym.

I have always done some kind of exercise one way or the other, but it never became a true interest until I started yoga seven years ago. And with yoga, only the teacher will adjust your alignment (with few exceptions). The teacher understands anatomy, the asanas (posture/movements), and is trained to perform physical adjustments. If you have a good teacher, physical adjustments are done with such care and compassion. You are gently but firmly guided into the posture. It is a great way to learn.

On a job mission a few years back, I visited a studio that offer Budokon yoga,  a special kind of modern yoga which is infused with martial arts. A great experience and highly recommended.

Afterwards though I was talking to the teacher and this fellow student chats me up and out of nowhere he says he noticed I had over-extended my knee during practice. I am what you might call an experienced, advanced level yogi in terms of difficulties of the asanas I can master. But yoga has very little to do with difficult arm balances and so much more to do with presence and his comment brought me out of my presence, out of my physical body and mind, and into the thinking and judging brain of mine where I started over-thinking of where I kept my limbs and if I am doing things correctly and suddenly hyper-aware of the other people in the room.

And this to me is what unsolicited advice does. It robs me of my presence in training and learning and suddenly I become aware I am being observed by others.

When learning muay thai in Thailand as an adult. Well, it is an incredibly humbling experience. Due to language barriers, you will be made fun of when teachers instruct you, with exaggerated charades they will show you what kind of mistakes you do. And there is a clear hierarchy you need to submit to. And if you do not speak the language, you will have a hard time explaining yourself when being criticized and you can just nod and say yes. People will laugh and make jokes you do not understand.

In these situations it is wonderful to have training buddies who know you. Who can help you. Where there is mutual trust.

What you don’t need is someone you do not know giving you advice you did not ask for.  And I think it was Timothy who said it well in a different thread, you need the space to make your own mistakes.

As stated above, this is just my perspective and I am interested in other peoples’ views on this.

Edited by LengLeng
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10 minutes ago, LengLeng said:

And this to me is what unsolicited advice does. It robs me of my presence in training and learning and suddenly I become aware I am being observed by others.

I think this is why, often in real, long term training gyms that raise Thai boys up there is very little correction. And, why, you don't get everyone on the gym doing the same motions, having the same muay. Growing young fighters tend to be more nudged towards better technique, rather than "corrected", especially not repeatedly. And emulation becomes a strong tool of honing techniques, rather than teacher direction.

This may be related to the guest post I wrote for Sylvie's blog:

Precision – A Basic Motivation Mistake in Some Western Training

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From a western perspective, in a group class setting,  senior students are expected to give training advice. One reason is in anticipation of them being teachers themselves one day, another is kru's eyes can't be everywhere at once. I personally don't mind it, if I find it valid. If I don't find the critique valid, I just tell them that's the way I do it.

Edited by Jeremy Stewart
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For sure this happens way more in Western gyms than in Thailand. What country did this happen to you in, just out of interest?

Not a trainer, but out of pure guesswork? Might be the lack of training time & resources that makes this happen. 1 trainer and 40 people on the mat for a mere 1 hour session, basically means you get hardly any input from the teacher, so the 3 or 4 most experienced people in the room will - out of honest to God good intentions - try and help the new people in their first few weeks / months. Because somebody did it for them once. Which is nice of them - and to be fair, helped me out a tonne on my first day. But you also get it from people who suck and have douchebag attitudes, so yeah that's the frustrating part.

Training in different European countries makes you realise that half the job is remembering who to never partner with again, who to never spar with again, and regularly position yourself on the far side of the mat from them so as not to be paired up. Sounds bitchy, but there it is.

You guys often think this is 'mansplaining' but.... like...genuinely.... guys do this to each other more than they do it to girls. 

It's also a question of different people being wired to learn in totally different ways. Dunno how to prove it, just an instinct. But personally, always been totally incapable of learning anything by reading or listening to teachers give long winded speeches. The way a musician learns has always made more sense, you watch your teacher's movements, his finger mechanics, listen to the sound produced, then try to do it yourself. No reason for it to be more complicated than that.

 

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24 minutes ago, Oliver said:

You guys often think this is 'mansplaining' but.... like...genuinely.... guys do this to each other more than they do it to girls. 

Men "Mansplain" to other men all the time. In fact that is how they develop the habit. In fact, I just did it.

25 minutes ago, Oliver said:

trainer and 40 people on the mat for a mere 1 hour session, basically means you get hardly any input from the teacher

To offer the other side of it, this is really common in Thailand, and not because there are 40 people in a class. Sylvie calls it "Sensei-ism". Usually or often older, or long term people in the gym who themselves don't work very hard, maybe they've been coming for many years, off and on, and one of the biggest pleasures is trying to convey how much "knowledge" they have. Happens all the time.

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6 minutes ago, Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu said:

To offer the other side of it, this is really common in Thailand, and not because there are 40 people in a class. Sylvie calls it "Sensei-ism". Usually or often older, or long term people in the gym who themselves don't work very hard, maybe they've been coming for many years, off and on, and one of the biggest pleasures is trying to convey how much "knowledge" they have. Happens all the time.

 

Not sure I understand - this older person doing the sensei-sim thing, is this a Thai or a farang?

Only met a couple of white dudes over there who would chat shit to you constantly, & usually they wanted you to invest in their pyramid scheme or something after bestowing their great boxing knowledge. But like, sketchy characters who left fairly quick. 

As for the mansplaining thing... often what you're looking for you will find, whether it's there or not. 

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8 minutes ago, Oliver said:

this older person doing the sensei-sim thing, is this a Thai or a farang?

farang, for sure.

8 minutes ago, Oliver said:

Only met a couple of white dudes over there who would chat shit to you constantly, & usually they wanted you to invest in their pyramid scheme or something after bestowing their great boxing knowledge. But like, sketchy characters who left fairly quick. 

I guess we go to different gyms. It's definitely a type we have run into again and again. I'm not sure if @LengLeng is talking about this type, but I just wanted to throw it out there that this does occur in Thailand, as people have been mentioning western gym contexts.

8 minutes ago, Oliver said:

As for the mansplaining thing... often what you're looking for you will find, whether it's there or not. 

Hmmm. No, mansplaining is just an air of authority men are raised to take on and feel comfortable with (especially online, where social cues are minimal). It's a pattern of talk that, very broadly speaking, women are much less comfortable with. It's the assumption "I know more than you likely know" as a way of entering communication. Happens all the time. Raised as a man I definitely have been cursed/blessed with it. You don't have to really look for it, like a rare rabbit in the woods, it is pretty much everywhere. Sylvie gets it all the time when people first come to the gym and imagine that they are super experienced when compared to her.

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That's like... thinking about it / over analysing it way too much for me to comprehend. 

Isn't life hard enough without deliberately making it harder, and bringing it that level of negativity into your brain when you're doing what you love?

But to be fair, that's fairly shocking that white people will come into your gym and preach to her after over 200 fights. Surely you just have to see somebody shadowbox or do 1 body kick to know if they're better than you..?

Maybe our gyms are quite different, yeah. Like, not only did none of my trainers speak English, but neither did the other farang really. Only had my 1 Brazilian friend to talk to in almost a year in Bangkok, which was awesome tbh. It lets you off the hook if you're a quiet person who doesn't talk much anyway.

 

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At the yoga class I attend, the instructor frequently tells the students they have "beautiful variations". We all are working toward the same posture but because we are all individuals, our forms are unique to us. 

I definitely think the way that men and women are socialized affects our confidence about giving advice to others. I have offered advice to new people in various contexts if the teacher is occupied elsewhere, but I usually phrase it as a question "May I make a suggestion?, Would you like some help/advice?". If the person says no, then I keep my advice to myself.

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1 hour ago, Oliver said:

That's like... thinking about it / over analysing it way too much for me to comprehend. 

Isn't life hard enough without deliberately making it harder, and bringing it that level of negativity into your brain when you're doing what you love?

Yeah, white guys like you and me are privileged. We can coast through lots of situations and not have to think extra "negative" thoughts because we have a passport to get through all kinds of things that others don't. It's a luxury. The first step, at least for me, is realizing that yeah, I'm privileged, and other people in the same space don't experience it quite so smoothly as I do. If these people bring up certain problems that would never occur to me I take a step back and don't immediately say "Hey, you are being negative" or "why you looking for all that stuff". Sylvie tells a great story about how she wasn't able to clinch train in the main ring of her gym in Chiang Mai. It was the "man's ring", women were not allowed to enter it. It's where almost all the heavy clinch was done, and the hard sparring. Muppets were getting pretty high level clinch work, western guys who were not even fighters, while Sylvie (who was actually a clinch fighter with maybe at the time 50 or 70 fights) was getting almost no clinch work. It wasn't on purpose. It wasn't nasty, it's just the way it shook out. All the guys would just climb in and clinch. They hadn't a clue that Sylvie couldn't go in there. Occasionally a guy would say "Hey Sylvie, why don't you come in and clinch". They had a passport, one they completely took for granted. It wouldn't even cross their mind that you actually needed a passport (a penis, really) to clinch. But you kind of did. These kinds of invisible barriers are everywhere, often in much more subtle ways. Just because the barriers don't affect you or me doesn't mean that people who are stopped or slowed by them are being negative by calling attention to them. Sylvie didn't make a stink about that ring. But she suffered under it and its prohibition for a long time. She finally just left the gym and found a gym where women can clinch with males in a single ring and get all the real work. The same thing goes on with power dynamics and how instruction or information is passed between individuals. The tendency to "mansplain", broadly speaking, is really not much different than a bunch of western dudes climbing into the men's only ring to clinch. It isn't something special they are doing. That's just how one talks. It isn't something that feels privileged, it would never occur to them that you have to be a special type to do this. If you aren't clinching in the ring - as Sylvie wasn't in that ring - it must be that that's just not what you want to do. At least for me these are really important distinctions.

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22 minutes ago, Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu said:

...she wasn't able to clinch train in the main ring of her gym in Chiang Mai. It was the "man's ring", women were not allowed to enter it...

Yeah that's fucked up. 100%.

 

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I try not to give unsolicited advice, but I am certain I have been guilty of it at some point. I usually only suggest things or mention things if I am drilling or sparring with someone. For me this is an appropriate setting because we are supposed to be helping each other to get better. Just walking up to someone you don't know and spot correcting them is weird lol.

Also, never under any circumstances should they touch your body to make a correction without asking first. I don't care if you are male, female, or whatever, don't touch people without asking first. I personally don't like people touching me even if I do know them, and if you do it without knowing me you are likely to get a bad reaction out of me. I think most people have good intentions with all this, but you never know how the other person is going to take it or what kind of past personal issues they may have.  

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4 hours ago, Tyler Byers said:

 

Also, never under any circumstances should they touch your body to make a correction without asking first. I don't care if you are male, female, or whatever, don't touch people without asking first. 

 

That's super normal in yoga though. Its legit, not meant to be creepy or molesty at all. 

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2 hours ago, Oliver said:

That's super normal in yoga though. Its legit, not meant to be creepy or molesty at all. 

Permission should still be asked.  Even if someone is my friend, if I am coaching I will ask them if I can touch them before I make any sort of correction.

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4 hours ago, Oliver said:

That's super normal in yoga though. Its legit, not meant to be creepy or molesty at all.

I'm not familiar with yoga, but that's actually a perfect example of why it is better to ask. For example, if I went into a yoga studio for the first time I wouldn't realize that to be a normal thing. And if someone I didn't know just started touching me they might lose a hand lol. They may have had only good intentions (I legitimately believe that most people do), but me being very protective about my body due to some traumatic events is going to cause me to react in a way that will likely be violent in some form. It's simply a trigger that I struggle to control. The entire situation can be avoided by simply asking "Do you mind if I touch you to adjust your form/technique?". 

Edit: Also Oliver, it is a good idea to ask like this if you are a trainer/gym owner for your own legal reasons. Sexual assault claims (whether true or not) will usually destroy a business. By asking first you decrease liability as well as establish a healthy relationship with your students. 

Edited by Tyler Byers
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Nah, you wouldn't react like that in a yoga studio. They have that whole hippy vibe. Ya know, peace & love, universal oneness, candles, pan pipe music, white people with dreadlocks. It's immediately obvious to you that you're not in any danger. 

Actually wait, whats the difference between getting touched by a yoga teacher and your trainer in the gym slapping you hard in the face with a thai pad if you drop your guard too much?

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6 hours ago, Tyler Byers said:

I'm not familiar with yoga, but that's actually a perfect example of why it is better to ask. For example, if I went into a yoga studio for the first time I wouldn't realize that to be a normal thing. And if someone I didn't know just started touching me they might lose a hand lol. They may have had only good intentions (I legitimately believe that most people do), but me being very protective about my body due to some traumatic events is going to cause me to react in a way that will likely be violent in some form. It's simply a trigger that I struggle to control. The entire situation can be avoided by simply asking "Do you mind if I touch you to adjust your form/technique?". 

@Oliver @Victoria Pitt @Tyler Byers

In western studios most yoga teachers will announce to the class that they will adjust you and give students the opportunity to opt out of this. Especially Male teachers I've practiced for have been very careful about this. 

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On 7/12/2019 at 1:10 PM, Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu said:

I think this is why, often in real, long term training gyms that raise Thai boys up there is very little correction. And, why, you don't get everyone on the gym doing the same motions, having the same muay. Growing young fighters tend to be more nudged towards better technique, rather than "corrected", especially not repeatedly. And emulation becomes a strong tool of honing techniques, rather than teacher direction.

This may be related to the guest post I wrote for Sylvie's blog:

Precision – A Basic Motivation Mistake in Some Western Training

This is so beautiful. I've never thought of it that way. I also love this post. 

I also really like to learn this way although of course it's time consuming. But to move with others, look at them, emulate movements and finding your own inner music. I find it such a rewarding experience. I don't have a goal with martial arts. Of course I want to be the best I can be. But mainly, I just love being in the gym and move and sweat with others and being able to discover new movements within myself. 

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21 hours ago, Jeremy Stewart said:

From a western perspective, in a group class setting,  senior students are expected to give training advice. One reason is in anticipation of them being teachers themselves one day, another is kru's eyes can't be everywhere at once. I personally don't mind it, if I find it valid. If I don't find the critique valid, I just tell them that's the way I do it.

This is also my experience and I think it's a good system. I also do not mind it. But you will always have those who overestimate their knowledge and dish out bad advice. Which I guess it's the issue. 

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19 hours ago, Oliver said:

For sure this happens way more in Western gyms than in Thailand. What country did this happen to you in, just out of interest?

But you also get it from people who suck and have douchebag attitudes, so yeah that's the frustrating part.

This was a yoga studio in South Africa. 

And yes advice are not a bad thing...it's when the wrong people give bad advice. 

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18 hours ago, Oliver said:

 

Not sure I understand - this older person doing the sensei-sim thing, is this a Thai or a farang?

Only met a couple of white dudes over there who would chat shit to you constantly, & usually they wanted you to invest in their pyramid scheme or something after bestowing their great boxing knowledge. But like, sketchy characters who left fairly quick. 

As for the mansplaining thing... often what you're looking for you will find, whether it's there or not. 

Never met any western guy like this? I feel it's hard to generalize too much, short term visitors are different than longterm etc. But in my experience, the more skilled and experienced the fighter, the less advice they give. My closest friend was one of the best boxers in Europe. She will give me mental advice, how to prep for fight, how to deal with training or swollen knuckles. But she will never comment my movements. Even though I ask. It's more: keep working have fun it will come. 

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16 hours ago, Tyler Byers said:

I try not to give unsolicited advice, but I am certain I have been guilty of it at some point. I usually only suggest things or mention things if I am drilling or sparring with someone. For me this is an appropriate setting because we are supposed to be helping each other to get better. Just walking up to someone you don't know and spot correcting them is weird lol.

Also, never under any circumstances should they touch your body to make a correction without asking first. I don't care if you are male, female, or whatever, don't touch people without asking first. I personally don't like people touching me even if I do know them, and if you do it without knowing me you are likely to get a bad reaction out of me. I think most people have good intentions with all this, but you never know how the other person is going to take it or what kind of past personal issues they may have.  

I'll take that on board, Tyler. I always ask my female students. Never once have I thought to ask the males.

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31 minutes ago, LengLeng said:

This is also my experience and I think it's a good system. I also do not mind it. But you will always have those who overestimate their knowledge and dish out bad advice. Which I guess it's the issue. 

Oh for sure. From a teaching perspective, I try to keep an eye on the interactions of my students. I clip no it alls right in the bud.

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4 hours ago, Oliver said:

Nah, you wouldn't react like that in a yoga studio. They have that whole hippy vibe. Ya know, peace & love, universal oneness, candles, pan pipe music, white people with dreadlocks. It's immediately obvious to you that you're not in any danger. 

Actually wait, whats the difference between getting touched by a yoga teacher and your trainer in the gym slapping you hard in the face with a thai pad if you drop your guard too much?

Obvious to you perhaps, but I can assure you that not everyone who has been through traumatic situations is in control of their bodies at all times. For guys just coming out of war zones or people who were abused badly as children, women who have been raped, etc. they still see danger everywhere. It's more about never letting something like that happen to you again and you remain on high alert no matter how safe a situation seems. I've nearly hit several people with elbows simply for walking up behind me when not expecting it. It's not something I have control of, my body moves and reacts on its own.

I know what you are saying about over thinking things, but imo simply asking is the respectful thing to do. A yoga teacher will likely announce it at the beginning of class, and then again just before they adjust you. It's not about the act of touching per se, but about the consent to do so. As for a trainer in a gym, I personally would be pretty shocked if a trainer hit a student hard without any warning. Usually you give the student several verbal warnings, then maybe a quick swat or tap but even that is at a speed that is slow enough so they understand what is happening. In Thailand things are a little different due to the language and cultural barriers, but that is also something you accept as you come into that environment.

 

2 hours ago, Jeremy Stewart said:

I'll take that on board, Tyler. I always ask my female students. Never once have I thought to ask the males.

I think a lot of times people just assume guys are alright with it. This might be a personal thing, but I'd rather get hit hard with a pad then have someone place their hands on me to turn my shoulders/hips more. While placing your hands on someone may seem like a "softer" touch, it makes me deeply uncomfortable. Due to some childhood stuff, being hit is normal and being touched/hugged took me about 20 years to get used to. In my experience a lot of the guys who end up at combat sports gyms are products of abuse or guys with PTSD of some sort (whether from childhood or military service). Not all of them obviously, especially as combat sports are becoming more main stream, but you just don't know people's background. Plus it sets a good example for the younger kids (male and female) and teaches them appropriate behavior for their future so they know what is ok or not ok in case their parents aren't teaching them at home.  

 

 

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    • What is interesting about this is that it is one of the few steps taken at the New New Lumpinee which doesn't seem like a bend toward Western (or Internationalist) ideas and instead is broadly in support of the ecosystem which has produced Thailand kaimuay Muay Thai superiority for decades. Modernist views are against children or early youth full contact fighting, but in this case Lumpinee is lending its name to younger fighters, in hopes of developing stars and their following much earlier in their lives. No matter what one thinks of child fighting in Thailand its a fundamental part of why Thais fight like no other people in the world, just in terms of skill. Interesting to see Lumpinee leaning into something there has been pushback on.
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    • Two things may have persisted through all these years. Sylvie just has always patchworked her training approach. At the time of the the first video she's taking the train down from Fort Montgomery where we lived in a little rented house next to a National Park, to train in Manhattan. We were just piecing training together because there was no real path to where she wanted to get as a fighter, no "Point A to point B, just do all the work, listen to all the right people and you'll get there" path. 11 years on we are in the exact same place. There is no point A to point B path. She's much, much further down a path of her own invention, to be sure, tinkering steps forward up a rock wall, but everything unstable that she faced 11 years ago is still right there. She's training sometimes at her old gym, sometimes alone working on self-curation, daily in sparring at another gym, privately with Yodkhunpon, and all the intermittent training in filming legends and great krus in the Library. But, from at least my perception, nothing has changed at all in this. She is not being carried by a process, or by powerful others, and in this sense is exposed. There is no safe port. And because her process involves sharing her flaws with others - unlike every other fighter I've ever seen, where it is regular to hide your flaw and amplify your best qualities - this exposure is hard to carry. The other aspect that has persisted is that because she's a true disruptor in the sport, doing things outside of the expectations and ways of others who are invested quite differently, there is a constant social current she is swimming against. In the first video she's talking about YouTube criticism, but more this is just push back against who she is. So many have come to support her over the last decade, and lent their voices & resources to make the path possible, but still there is, and may always be a detractor audience, which in part comes from the fact that she's still doing things that nobody else does. In the second vlog she's matured into her place in the sport, taken root in herself...to some small degree, but personally the same pressures of resistance press upon her. The road is no easier at this point, than it was 11 years ago. In fact in many ways its even more difficult...but, what has changed and deepened is the richness of what she has built up inside, with 268 fights and a decade of sharing her flaws with others for over a decade. She has more substance and standing and belief in what she is doing. This is what I see.
    • The above video is from almost 11 years ago. Sylvie is up the Hudson River where we lived, taking the train down to NYC to train in a Muay Thai gym in the city, more than an hour away from the small town we made our home. This video just gives me quiet tears, hearing her sincerity in response to some pretty harsh commentary coming through YouTube. One of the things Sylvie was exposed to was, from the beginning, being an outsider to "Muay Thai" proper. She was training with a 70 year old man in his basement in New Jersey, an hour and a half's drive away. She was putting up videos of her training because there was nobody like Master K, her first instructor, online anywhere. There was pretty much nothing of "Thai" Muay Thai online. A small community of interested people grew around her channel, but also came the criticism. From the beginning there was a who-do-you-think-you-are tone from many. You can hear it in her voice. She doesn't think she is anyone. She just loves Muay Thai. She's the girl who loves Muay Thai. I cry in part because many of the themes in this video are actually still operating today. She's a huge name in the sport, but personally she is really still just the girl who loves Muay Thai, who takes the alternate path, doesn't ride with gyms, doesn't care about belts, doesn't want to fight Westernized Muay Thai. She's burned a path into Thailand's Muay Thai for many, but she's just replaced Master K - who to this day loves Muay Thai as much as anyone we've ever, ever met, with the possible exception of Dieselnoi - with legends of the sport. Karuhat, Dieselnoi, Yodkhunpon, Samson, Sagat. These are her fight family. And the same quiver is in her voice when she thinks about, actually yearns for, their muay. Wanting to be a part of it, to express it. From someone on the inside, it's just striking how little of this has changed, though like a spiral it has been every climbing higher, towards more ratified and accomplished feat, many of them feats that nobody will duplicate...simply because she's just The Girl Who Loves Muay Thai, and is taking the alternate path. She's running through the foothills of Thailand's greatness. And like then, when people in Muay Thai criticized her, today she has the same. The same unbelievers. And it's as pained today as it was on this day in the video. What's remarkable about her journey is that it necessarily has involved sharing, exposing, all of her flaws to everyone. She's likely the most documented fighter in history. We've put up video of every single fight and probably a 1,000 of hours of training. She has lived herself as exposed to everyone, as much as a fighter can be. What I'm amazed by, watching this 11 years on, is her equipoise, her balance in holding the harshness of others, and her lack of ego in all that she was doing. One of the most difficult things she's encountered in developing as a fighter, reaching for the muay of yodmuay, is actually developing an ego, a pride or dignity, which is defended not only in the ring, but also in Life. How does one get from the above, to where one needs to be as a fighter? What internal transformations have to occur? I happened upon the above video today, the same day Sylvie posted a new vlog talking about her experiences in training with some IFMA team teens at her gym. She was reflecting on how many of the lessons of growth she had not been ready for as a person years ago, especially lessons about frustration and even anger. You can hear the frustration in the video at the top. Mostly it falls behind a "I mean no harm" confession. She's just loving Muay Thai and sharing it. The impulse of those shared early videos of Master K eventually became the Muay Thai Library documentary project, likely the largest, most thorough documentation archive of a fighting art in history of the world. It's the same person doing the same thing. Even to this day, nothing of this has changed. But, what has changed is the depth of her experience, in over a decade of love for the sport, and in fighting an incredible 268 fights, and counting. Take a look at the vlog she put up today, and see what has changed. From the above has come one of the most impactful western Muay Thai fighters in history, both as a person and as a fighter. And the mountain is still being climbed:    
    • What is interesting about this is that it is one of the few steps taken at the New New Lumpinee which doesn't seem like a bend toward Western (or Internationalist) ideas and instead is broadly in support of the ecosystem which has produced Thailand kaimuay Muay Thai superiority for decades. Modernist views are against children or early youth full contact fighting, but in this case Lumpinee is lending its name to younger fighters, in hopes of developing stars and their following much earlier in their lives. No matter what one thinks of child fighting in Thailand its a fundamental part of why Thais fight like no other people in the world, just in terms of skill. Interesting to see Lumpinee leaning into something there has been pushback on.
    • Last week (or so) a video went "viral" on Thai social media. It was a scrappy street fight between a young kathoey (generally used for male to female Trans, but less frequently used also for female to male) protecting herself from a local, cis male bully. Nong Ping is the young Trans woman and in the video, shot by a bystander on their phone, and she absolutely goes to town on this bully. In the end the bully is standing, panting, tired, and nose dripping from his nose. After this video got so widely shared, Nong Toom - "The Beautiful Boxer," and the most famous kathoey celebrity and former Muay Thai fighter - took Nong Ping in under her wing. Nong Toom has had the young woman staying with her and has begun training her in Muay Thai, saying she already has heart and now just has to learn the skill. Nong Toom even accompanied Nong Ping on a TV show that is more or less a platform for guests to air out their grievances and settle disputes (Sia Boat and his fighter who has been charged with throwing a fight for money appeared on the show a month or so back). Nong Ping and her bully appeared on the show with the host, and Nong Toom at the table as well to educate this bully and the public. Here are some photos of Nong Ping. The first is a screenshot from the street fight, the remainder are those posted by Nong Toom as Nong Ping is a guest in her house. Nong Toom says she believes Nong Ping will have the opportunity to have a professional fight after she's been training for a bit. (As per Thailand's laws, Nong Ping will face either a cis male or another kathoey.)   For the latest Thailand Muay Thai News Updates check out our Muay Thai Bones Newsletter
    • No worries!! There are still some peeps Who'll keep stood up for it!!
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