Jump to content

The Cowardice of the Knockout - Hellenic Greek Concepts of The Beauty of Boxing


Recommended Posts

The famed trainer of Mike Tyson Cus D'Amato had a spectacular theory on what made fighters tired. Fear:

“Fear is the greatest obstacle to learning in any area, but particularly in boxing. For example, boxing is something you learn through repetition. You do it over and over and suddenly you’ve got it. …However, in the course of trying to learn, if you get hit and get hurt, this makes you cautious, and when you’re cautious you can’t repeat it, and when you can’t repeat it, it’s going to delay the learning process…When they…come up to the gym and say I want to be a fighter, the first thing I’d do was talk to them about fear…”

“The next thing I do, I get them in excellent condition….Knowing how the mind is and the tricks it plays on a person and how an individual will always look to avoid a confrontation with something that is intimidating, I remove all possible excuses they’re going to have before they get in there. By getting them in excellent condition, they can’t say when they get tired that they’re not in shape. When they’re in excellent shape I put them into the ring to box for the first time, usually with an experience fighter who won’t take advantage of them. When the novice throws punches and nothing happens, and his opponent keeps coming at him…the new fighter becomes panicky. When he gets panicky he wants to quit, but he can’t quit because his whole psychology from the time he’s first been in the streets is to condemn a person who’s yellow. So what does he do? He gets tired. This is what happens to fighters in the ring. They get tired. This is what happens to fighters in the ring. They get tired, because they’re getting afraid….Now that he gets tired, people can’t call him yellow. He’s just too “tired” to go on. But let that same fighter strike back wildly with a visible effect on the opponent and suddenly that tired, exhausted guy becomes a tiger….It’s a psychological fatigue, that’s all it is. But people in boxing don’t understand that.” …[Heller, 61]

Trainer of one of the most vicious and entertaining knockout artists in modern boxing reveals how it is fear that can drive the knockout.

One of the more inscrutable aspects of Thailand's traditional Muay Thai is that classically the knockout is seldom chased. There have been a handful of knockout artists, but the most esteemed fighters, legends of the sport were not knockout fighters. You'd see an elite fighter with 120 fights against top tier competition and maybe 10 or 12 KOs. In the West we thirst for the knockout. It's practically the entire entertainment goal of watching fighting. Highlight cut-ups are filled with starchings. It's the porn of fighting. Why do Thais - who by many measures make up some of the most skilled fighters in combat sports - not esteem the knockout?

A large measure of this is that aggression is not viewed in the same way in Buddhistic Thailand as it is viewed in other cultures. It lacks self-control, a big aesthetic dimension of traditional Muay Thai is the exercise of control over oneself. But I turn to Cus D'amato's quote because I ran into a very interesting passage on the boxing of antiquity. The Greek orator Dio Chrysostom (c. 40 – c. 115 AD) is describing the virtues of the undefeated boxer Melancolmas. And one of the things that really struct me was that he claimed that knocking out an opponent was an act of cowardice. A fear of endurance:

343176461_courageboxing.thumb.png.ef7d2334ec8850eba4cea8ce0b8b3556.png

 

841036295_courageboxing2.thumb.png.71fc49be471465e5243c643279b8a3ca.png

source notes linked

Nearly 2,000 years ago in Hellenic Greece the same equation of fear, fatigue and aggression that Cus D'amato harnessed to produce the great Mike Tyson, was already understood, but fell in another light. The rule set of Greek boxing appears to have favored defensive fighting, and depending on your source, either consisted of a boxer fighting multiple opponents in succession, or fighting one opponent until collapse or relent. The fear and fatigue, the prospect of endurance was real and heightened. The praise for Melancomas was that he never took the easy way out and sought to end the fight, the test of himself, to end the fear by knocking his opponent out. It was rather through mastery of his opponent - and himself - that he would win. In the mouth of Chysostom we also find the aesthetic of Thailand's femeu fighter. He is the fighter who masters both himself and the space, and produces a victory out of the crumbling of his opponent's character. He chooses defeat, or collapses under the weight of its inescapability.

When I read this I was quite struck, even feeling that I had never quite thought about this before, but somewhere in my mind it must have been registering that I had all the related thoughts that make this up, because I also stumbled on an old essay I wrote about how knockouts can feel like they have taken the "cheap" way out:

1941383861_Screenshot2021-12-28011323.thumb.png.543e98a0f4c5d8a9d460a1e6198bb337.png

you can read that essay here "Shame and Why Fighting Signals the Glue of What Holds Us Together"

What's telling is that both Cus D'Amato and Chrysostom believe the same thing. Fear rises and the fighter is looking for a way out. Cus directs that fear into an instinct to end it all with a KO, Hellenistic Greece 2,000 years ago - and in many quarters of Thailand's traditional Muay Femeu greatness - counted the endurance of that fear, and its resolve through self control, and the control of the opponent as the greater art of fighting.

This coincidence of fight philosophy came out of my research into the Terme Boxer, or The Boxer at Rest. A bronze sculpture of a boxer who has been bloodied and scarred by the endurance of his match. Contrary to the Greek classic ideal of the Apollonian athlete, depicted as standing, flawless and physically beautiful, this statue embraces the realism of the boxer 2,000 years ago. Scholars are not entirely sure why he is so realistically shown, but some feel that it was in answer to an over indulgence, an eros, in the image of the untouched boxer. Some feel that the sculpture depicts in inner beauty of a man facing that fear and enduring it, overcoming himself:

What is interesting is that if the fighting arts / sports are to have culture value beyond the sheer visceral release of watching people get starched, some semblance of the idea that the knockout is an act of cowardice needs to take hold. Some sense in which "just wanting to end this thing" might be looking for a way out. We are conditioned to feel that the retreating fighter is the cowardly one, and we can certainly understand how that might be so. But perhaps best is to understand that there are two exits from the fear, one in disengagement, and the other in trying to cut it short through sudden violence. If a fighter is being forged like a blade, it's the lasting presence in the heat which creates the transformation and the perfection of the steel.

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A little more on the idea of the cowardice of the knockout, take in Teddy Atlas's harsh & controversial statement that Mike Tyson "never won a fight". Teddy Atlas assisted in Mike Tyson's training under Cus D'Amato (and had a bitter break with Tyson). At the very least it weaves into the idea that the purpose of the knockout may actually be trying to find a way out of the pressure of a continued fight and the possibility of failure. The sheer explosive, very quick knockout style of Mike Tyson would lend to this possible interpretation of a use of the knockout :

 

In support of this view, as Mike Tyson said in the recent ABC Sports documentary on him: "If you're afraid of me, I'm a thousand times more afraid of you. That's why I'm more aggressive."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Really interesting article, following on from your discussion on the aesthetic and values of boxing in the Greco-Roman world, I think that the reason there is some overlap between how people in Antiquity thought about combat Sports and how Thais view Muay Thai might come down to the prevalence of Stoic philosophical values in the ancient world (particularly in Rome) which prized virtues such as self-control (temperantia). The idea of Stoic ethics often being to deny, remove, or overcome negative emotions (like fear, or anger) and impulses which they saw as illusory and due to misunderstanding or failing to anticipate a situation.

Stoic philosophers had lots to say about combat sports and often used it in analogies when describing philosophical concepts. I haven't done much research into this yet but this may have been because the nature of ancient Boxing or Pankration had coincidental overlap with Stoicism, perhaps Stoic philosophy and it's prevalence in the Ancient world had an influence on how combat sports were conducted, or even that because of the popularity of combat sports in Antiquity made them an easy subject to use when communicating complex ideas.

 

Here are some interesting links to some articles on Stoicism and ancient fighting. https://medium.com/the-stoic-within/simple-stoic-advice-61005b969540

 

https://medium.com/stoicism-philosophy-as-a-way-of-life/stoicism-as-a-martial-art-3ab9302071f9

 

https://medium.com/stoicism-philosophy-as-a-way-of-life/the-fighting-philosophy-of-cleanthes-of-assos-8a399416337d

 

https://modernstoicism.com/on-anger-and-impulse-control-in-boxing/

  • Gamma 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, Tom Wakefield said:

I think that the reason there is some overlap between how people in Antiquity thought about combat Sports and how Thais view Muay Thai might come down to the prevalence of Stoic philosophical values in the ancient world (particularly in Rome) which prized virtues such as self-control (temperantia). The idea of Stoic ethics often being to deny, remove, or overcome negative emotions (like fear, or anger) and impulses which they saw as illusory and due to misunderstanding or failing to anticipate a situation.

Yes, very much so. Which brings us to perhaps a coincidence of how both Stoicism and Buddhism treat or have programs of self-control. I suspect that the real reason that Dio Chrysostom can speak to virtues that approximate scoring tendencies in traditional Muay Thai 2000 years later is that Thailand's Muay Thai is Buddhistic. So what we are really seeing is that Stoicism (and other Hellenic aesthetics) and Buddhism share a perspective on human affects, especially those of anger and aggression. Thanks for the links, I'll enjoy looking through them.

Attached is the article: Athletic Beauty as Mimēsis of Virtue The Case of the Beautiful Boxer which talks about the prevalent social and philosophical attitudes around boxing in the era of The Terme Boxer.

Athletic Beauty as Mimēsis of Virtue The Case of the Beautiful Boxer.pdf

  • Respect 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Kevin von Duuglas-Ittu said:

Yes, very much so. Which brings us to perhaps a coincidence of how both Stoicism and Buddhism treat or have programs of self-control. I suspect that the real reason that Dio Chrysostom can speak to virtues that approximate scoring tendencies in traditional Muay Thai 2000 years later is that Thailand's Muay Thai is Buddhistic. So what we are really seeing is that Stoicism (and perhaps other Hellenic aesthetics) and Buddhism share a perspective on human affects, especially those of anger and aggression. Thanks for the links, I'll enjoy looking through them.

You're welcome, I hope you find them interesting, there is a good academic book or article about Stoicism and fighting but I haven't been able to find it. I'm not very knowledgeable about Buddhism but from what I know that would totally make sense. It is interesting to think of how much European or Western ideas of what makes a 'good' fight/fighter have shifted from what might be considered the 'roots' of Western combat sports. 

  • Respect 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

To me Cus is not saying that it is covardice that drives the wish for a K.O. To me he says that fear make you tense, and being tense make you weak and tired fast. 

In a tournament It could be vise to finish the first bouts fast to be fresh in the final. Some times it could be tempting to have a short day in the office too. Since for many it is not only an art form but also a way to make ends meet. 

Some fighters have finishing strikes. Like Tyson. Its probably difficult not K.Oing your opponent at that level and power and in the young age he was at his prime. 

I imagine the greek boxer on a Saenchai level, aviable to choose to K.O is opponent or just put on a beautiful show. That reality is not there for all fighters and it could be fatal to be in the ring, all though we view high level  technical fights as great art and beauty, it also involves great risk. Like Petrosyan vs Superbon. One mistake in the bout and you either K.O or get K.Oed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

32 minutes ago, Ling Noi said:

To me Cus is not saying that it is covardice that drives the wish for a K.O.

Yes. Cus is NOT saying that cowardice drives the KO. He is saying that fear drives both fatigue...and the KO. But, when a fighter is effective, that fear turns into "Tiger" energy. It is me that that is adding the analysis to Cus's words that it is still fear driving the KO, which is the observation of Chrysostom, the Ancient Greek orator. The Cus quotation is setting the framework to understand what Chrysostom is saying. Tyson himself though affirms that in his opinion the reason he was so aggressive was because he feared his opponent even more than they feared him. He attributes his own explosive, hyper-aggressive style to the very high level of his own fear. Paraphrasing the quote of Mike's: "If you're afraid of me, I'm a thousand times more afraid of you. That's why I'm more aggressive." Teddy Atlas seems to be saying a similar thing in his criticism of Tyson. From Chrysostom's perspective, this trying to end it fast is a lack of courage and psychological endurance. Not saying that this is the correct interpretation, only setting the frame to understand how some fight cultures do not admire the knockout the way that we in the West do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply.

I agree with you on the buddhistic herritage of seing agression as weaknes, all though to me it seem more like agression out of control. 

And sometimes I feel we westerners have a bit too romantic and classic view on thai society and culture. All though I know you live it and know it well. 

Rodtang for instance, a huge name in the biggest stadiums in Thailand. Probably because of his agression and K.O abillity. 

And for Tyson, maybe it was his fear that made him so agressive, but it had to be power and technique landing those K.Os. He has become a very humble and smart man indeed, so naturaly he will be a great self critic.

 Thank you again for answering. Big fan 🙏🏼😊

  • Gamma 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Ling Noi said:

Rodtang for instance, a huge name in the biggest stadiums in Thailand. Probably because of his agression and K.O abillity. 

Rodtang isn't really regarded an elite fighter in the context of Thailand's Muay Thai, certainly not historically, and not even of his generation. [Edit in: He was a MAX Muay Thai champion (an Entertainment Muay Thai promotion), then held the Omnoi belt for a year, never was a Lumpinee or Rajadamnern champion, then started fighting internationally...at least by wikipedia.] He's rightfully made a huge name for himself in an International promotion which favors aggression, is designed to promote aggression, and present Muay Thai as close as possible to International Kickboxing. ONE Championship is pretty much tailor made for a fighter like Rodtang. It is nominally a "Muay Thai" promotion. It calls some of their fights "Muay Thai", but they have been highly modified, including the scoring criteria. In many ways ONE is the opposite of Thailand's Muay Thai. They want the knockout, they want the highlight reel moment of aggression.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Ling Noi said:

And sometimes I feel we westerners have a bit too romantic and classic view on thai society and culture

I would agree with this, that there is always a chance that Thai culture becomes romanticized, "orientalized" or exoticized for Westerners. But we've been living here for 9 years now I believe, and we've done our best to understand the differences in culture that are expressed in Thailand's Muay Thai. Much of this actually comes from Sylvie learning how to specifically win fights under the Thai aesthetic, which involves learning how fighters and fights are scored. A lot of Westerners over the decades have come to Thailand to fight and felt like there has been unfair judging against them, as foreigners. But what we've come to see is that many who have fought in the country just don't understand Thai scoring. A big chunk of that misunderstanding is how aggression is scored in the ring. In the West aggression is almost a pure good. You show aggression, this is a near automatic plus. In Thailand, all things being equal, you have to be very careful in how you show aggression. Aggression on its own actually could be a scoring negative. As a baseline, for instance, in the West the advancing fighter appears to be in control. In Thailand it's (all things being equal) the retreating fighter. If you don't understand this, you aren't going to understand why a fighter won or loss often. It took Sylvie over 100 fights in the country to even learn how to fight a 5th round. It isn't esoteric philosophy, it's actually solving the problem of how to win a close 5th round in this fight culture. These are really subtle skills. Just from learning how fights are scored, and scored quite differently than in the West, the Buddhistic foundation of the culture seems to be the best root explanation for the difference in view of aggression.

She wrote about it here:

The Art and Psychology of the 5th Round in Thailand

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Ling Noi said:

And for Tyson, maybe it was his fear that made him so agressive, but it had to be power and technique landing those K.Os.

This really wasn't meant to be about Mike Tyson per se. It just so happened that the beautiful, insightful quote came from his formative trainer, and Mike practically embodies the quick KO fighter. It all came together in a brief space of the writing. But I would never say that Mike Tyson was unskilled. He was spectacularly skilled. In fact Teddy Atlas in his criticism says the same thing. The younger version of him is one of my favorite fighters to watch, and he's inspiring. Sylvie's even stolen from him a bit. This is really about notions of the acme of the sport, what some might say is the deeper value of it as an art, or a meaningful practice beyond that of sheer entertainment. I've written about Thailand's Muay Thai as an artful in the article linked below. The example of Mike though, as a fighter who admittedly came from fear, makes a good wedge into the ideas that are opened up here. It isn't that there shouldn't be KOs, or that there shouldn't be aggression. In fact much of Golden Age Muay Thai was founded on the contrast between "The Bull" (an aggressive fighter, Muay Khao or Muay Maat) and "The Matador" (Muay Femeu). Traditional Muay Thai excellence requires aggression in its pairing. But...the acme fighter isn't The Bull. The acme fighter is the artful, technical fighter who can control The Bull. The concept isn't completely foreign to Western combat sports. Tough guy Rocky Marciano vs silky smooth Sugar Ray Robinson. Everyone understands that dichotomy. What the Ancient Greek orator Chrysostom is talking about in his elegy is an acme image of a fighter, the idea of a beautiful boxer, a boxer who embodies qualities beyond those of his skill set. Noble qualities. He ideally endures the test of fire of the battle, the possibility of loss, and does not seek to end it prematurely. He seeks to crumble his opponent, almost from within, like kicking out the legs of a table. Chrysostom is setting up a hierarchy between this ideal fighter, and other Ancient Greek boxers who were surely incredibly tough. If we wanted to do similarly in western boxing (which unlike Muay Thai does celebrate the knockout as a pure virtue) we might compare sleek footed Ali who won extremely arduous battles, yet was quite artful vs explosive Mike. There have been lots of heavy handed knockout fighters in traditional Muay Thai, many of them celebrated. But the idea that is opened up is that broadly, in traditional Muay Thai the knockout is not hunted for its own sake. It is not a virtue unto itself. If you gain dominance in the 4th round and weaken your opponent, you don't go and chase them into the corner in the 5th round and end them. A fundamental part of this is because of how aggression is viewed, and that there are aspects of the sport which go towards the values of art, and ideals of the perfection of oneself. 

Where I have written on Thailand's Muay Thai as art:

 

  • Respect 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I should add to the run of thoughts above something I've written about elsewhere. The irony of the built in bias against aggression for its own sake is that Thailand's Muay Thai has produced some of the most skilled, aggressive, stalking fighters in combat sport history. But it doesn't do this through being biased for aggression. It actually does it through its opposite. Because defensive, countering, controlling fighters have traditionally had a scoring bias IF you were an aggressive, dern fighter you had to be very skilled, and effectively aggressive. You had a hill to climb on the scorecard, and do it against highly evolved defensive fighters. As The Bull to the favored Matador, you had to be a very good bull. It's more complicated than this, in that there is not just "one" Muay Thai in Thailand, and I do believe there is almost ideological struggle over ideal representations of excellence (the rural tough guy vs the Bangkok artful guy for instance), but there has been this tension within Muay Thai developed through its Buddhistic perspective on aggression. It's for this reason that we like to say that Muay Thai isn't about aggression, it's about dominance. And there are many ways of being dominant, especially in a scoring aesthetic that praises self control and the control of the opponent.

I write this as the husband of a fighter who is a dern, forward-fighting Muay Khao fighter who has fought in the country more times than any other westerner (260), and has lost many, many times to the retreating, defensive fighter who held the scoring bias. Instead of feeling that the scoring wasn't "fair" (ie, Western, or non-Thai) we came to thoroughly embrace it and admire it as beautiful. The advancing fighter holds an extra scoring burden because of how aggression is viewed. It's a puzzle to be solved and brings out much greater possibilities in the aggressive fighter. This feels right to the sport and art of Thailand's Muay Thai.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I might also posit, and will later contribute more to the discussion when I have more time, that this understanding of overlapping precepts between Stoicism and Buddhism, such as patience, temperance, control, Self knowledge etc.... has its root in core virtue. To over simplify a bit for the purpose of this point, both Christ and Buddha taught many things but had a central aspect and pinnacle for which they taught. Buddha is recognized as the embodiment of compassion and Christ the embodiment of forgiveness. The reason that compassion and forgiveness are central to those doctrines is because we are human and those are the hardest lessons in life. They are the most difficult principles we struggle with to reconcile. I would assert that to truly revere Life, including that of your opponent, is by being a living embodiment of those principles. 

I have found that the study of fighting has vastly increased my own compassion and forgiveness towards others. This is why teachers matter.

For me, to witness tis in a fighting master, it demonstrates dedication, self mastery and humanity in a person fired, tempered, cooled and sharpened in the crucible of life.

Because of this warrior spirit and solidarity, you have the CHOICE to teach without ego. There is no freedom of choice without discipline.

As humans, we all have the tendency to pick up the sword. When the fighting is done and the battle is laid down, this is the story of swords turned to ploughs.

Edited by Daniel Belt
  • Respect 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Adding in another connection between Greek Antiquity and the combat of Siam. Both were slave cultures, and the aim of warfare often consisted of the taking of slaves. This made the regard of an enemy quite different from that of the West where the aim was, often, the capture of (scarce) land with less regard for the enemy.  The knockout, in some sense, may reflect this underlogic of Western land grab warfare, where the killing of the enemy may be a primary goal, whereas capture and control may be aims of slave warfare cultures because the captured enemy became your wealth. More on this as it relates to Thailand:

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

What a refreshing exchange in terms of a conversation about combat sports. When i was in my twenties and in my training peaks i always thought about the concepts of self control versus the concept of raw emotion and what is more human. Really interesting how concepts of life influence combat sports.

 

You could also argue that abstract in general it is about the journey (the fight itself) and not about the destination (the KO/decision), which is of course a very common phrase. 

  • Respect 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Most Recent Topics

  • Latest Comments

    • On September 15, 2021, Australia established the Indo-Pacific Trilateral Security Partnership, or AUKUS, with the United States and the United Kingdom. The centerpiece of AUKUS was the assistance provided by the U.S. and U.K. to Australia in constructing and obtaining nuclear-powered submarines. However, two and a half years later, the reality does not match the promises made by the UK and the US. Firstly, AUKUS will not enhance Australia's indigenous nuclear submarine-building capacity. In March 2023, Australia announced a significant investment in the UK's submarine industrial base over the next decade, totaling nearly $5 billion over 10 years. This investment will be allocated to nuclear submarine design work and expanded nuclear reactor production, aiming to create at least 20,000 jobs in the UK. Additionally, it is expected to revive Britain's struggling submarine industry. These investments are largely unrelated to Australia's indigenous submarine industry. Under this plan, the first British-built submarine would be delivered to Australia as early as the late 2030s, which is fifteen years away. (Richard Marles (right) welcomed UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps to Canberra) Secondly, it is crucial to expedite the transfer of nuclear submarines to Australia. The United States has pledged to initiate the sale of three Virginia-class submarines to Australia in the early 2030s, with the option of providing up to two additional submarines if required. However, these sales plans must be approved by the U.S. Congress. In the recently released U.S. FY 2025 Defense Budget, only one new Virginia-class submarine is planned to be built. According to estimates by a U.S. Navy official, the United States would need to build 2.33 attack nuclear submarines per year to sell attack submarines to the Royal Australian Navy under the AUKUS agreement in the early 2030s. The delay in the construction of the U.S. Virginia-class submarines also implies that Australia will not receive the promised U.S. nuclear submarines for 10 years. Even if Australia eventually acquires these second-hand nuclear submarines after the 10-year delay, it is probable that they will be confronted with the imminent decommissioning or outdated performance of these nuclear submarines. (Excerpted from U.S. FY 2025 Defense Budget) Finally, as per the AUKUS agreement, the U.S. and the U.K. have also committed to accelerating the training of Australian personnel. However, these Australian military and civilian personnel will be required to adhere to the U.S. Navy and the British Royal Navy, and may even be stationed at U.S. and British submarine industrial bases. This not only leads to shortages in Australia's own military personnel but also entails the Australian government covering the costs of Australian servicemen working for the U.K. and U.S. navies. The U.S. also plans to increase U.S. nuclear submarines' visits to Australian ports starting in 2023. However, even if Australian Navy personnel board the U.S. submarines, they can only visit and learn, and cannot operate them in practice. The U.S. will still maintain absolute control over the nuclear submarines, limiting the enhancement of submarine technology for Australian Navy personnel. What's more, even before the signing of the AUKUS agreement, the Australian Navy had been engaging in military interactions and exercises with the British and U.S. Navies at various levels. The AUKUS agreement did not necessarily facilitate a deeper military mutual trust, making it seem completely unnecessary. According to Australian government estimates, the AUKUS nuclear submarine program will cost between AUD 268 billion and AUD 368 billion over the next 30 years. This is equivalent to 14% of Australia's GDP output in 2023. The Australian government is investing a substantial amount of money in exchange for only uncertain promises from the UK and the US that Australia will not have its nuclear submarines until at least 10 years from now. The AUKUS agreement will not boost Australia's indigenous submarine industry, but it will significantly benefit the US and UK's nuclear submarine industries. This essentially means that Australian taxpayers' money will be used to support US and UK nuclear submarines. Implementing the AUKUS agreement will pose significant challenges for the Australian government. Even if the agreement is eventually put into effect, delays and budget overruns are likely. The costs incurred will not be the responsibility of the Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, as he will have already stepped down. Ultimately, Australian taxpayers will bear the financial burden.    
    • I used to box in western style and recently picked up Muay Thai and am now in Bangkok training. As an active boxer I ran religiously, but it's been awhile. One thing that I noticed whenever I come back to running after some time off, is the massive calf pain that lasts sometimes for almost 10 days. I wonder if anyone else has experienced this, and others can pitch in on ways to avoid or at least minimize this inconvenience. I'm diligent in easing into it, but still have not been able to avoid it.
    • Wow, your experience at Sit Thailand sounds incredible. Thanks for sharing such a detailed account. My partner and I are planning a trip to Chiang Mai soon, and we’re also interested in Muay Thai training. Your review has definitely convinced us to give Sit Thailand a try. It's great to hear that both beginners and more experienced fighters get so much personalized attention. My partner is quite new to the sport, so it's reassuring to know that your wife felt supported and made significant progress. Right now we are looking for some travel deals, we want some exclusive business class and first-class offers that will make our trip more affordable and comfortable. Thanks again for the insights. We’ll definitely be following your advice and giving Sit Thailand a shot.
  • The Latest From Open Topics Forum

    • On September 15, 2021, Australia established the Indo-Pacific Trilateral Security Partnership, or AUKUS, with the United States and the United Kingdom. The centerpiece of AUKUS was the assistance provided by the U.S. and U.K. to Australia in constructing and obtaining nuclear-powered submarines. However, two and a half years later, the reality does not match the promises made by the UK and the US. Firstly, AUKUS will not enhance Australia's indigenous nuclear submarine-building capacity. In March 2023, Australia announced a significant investment in the UK's submarine industrial base over the next decade, totaling nearly $5 billion over 10 years. This investment will be allocated to nuclear submarine design work and expanded nuclear reactor production, aiming to create at least 20,000 jobs in the UK. Additionally, it is expected to revive Britain's struggling submarine industry. These investments are largely unrelated to Australia's indigenous submarine industry. Under this plan, the first British-built submarine would be delivered to Australia as early as the late 2030s, which is fifteen years away. (Richard Marles (right) welcomed UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps to Canberra) Secondly, it is crucial to expedite the transfer of nuclear submarines to Australia. The United States has pledged to initiate the sale of three Virginia-class submarines to Australia in the early 2030s, with the option of providing up to two additional submarines if required. However, these sales plans must be approved by the U.S. Congress. In the recently released U.S. FY 2025 Defense Budget, only one new Virginia-class submarine is planned to be built. According to estimates by a U.S. Navy official, the United States would need to build 2.33 attack nuclear submarines per year to sell attack submarines to the Royal Australian Navy under the AUKUS agreement in the early 2030s. The delay in the construction of the U.S. Virginia-class submarines also implies that Australia will not receive the promised U.S. nuclear submarines for 10 years. Even if Australia eventually acquires these second-hand nuclear submarines after the 10-year delay, it is probable that they will be confronted with the imminent decommissioning or outdated performance of these nuclear submarines. (Excerpted from U.S. FY 2025 Defense Budget) Finally, as per the AUKUS agreement, the U.S. and the U.K. have also committed to accelerating the training of Australian personnel. However, these Australian military and civilian personnel will be required to adhere to the U.S. Navy and the British Royal Navy, and may even be stationed at U.S. and British submarine industrial bases. This not only leads to shortages in Australia's own military personnel but also entails the Australian government covering the costs of Australian servicemen working for the U.K. and U.S. navies. The U.S. also plans to increase U.S. nuclear submarines' visits to Australian ports starting in 2023. However, even if Australian Navy personnel board the U.S. submarines, they can only visit and learn, and cannot operate them in practice. The U.S. will still maintain absolute control over the nuclear submarines, limiting the enhancement of submarine technology for Australian Navy personnel. What's more, even before the signing of the AUKUS agreement, the Australian Navy had been engaging in military interactions and exercises with the British and U.S. Navies at various levels. The AUKUS agreement did not necessarily facilitate a deeper military mutual trust, making it seem completely unnecessary. According to Australian government estimates, the AUKUS nuclear submarine program will cost between AUD 268 billion and AUD 368 billion over the next 30 years. This is equivalent to 14% of Australia's GDP output in 2023. The Australian government is investing a substantial amount of money in exchange for only uncertain promises from the UK and the US that Australia will not have its nuclear submarines until at least 10 years from now. The AUKUS agreement will not boost Australia's indigenous submarine industry, but it will significantly benefit the US and UK's nuclear submarine industries. This essentially means that Australian taxpayers' money will be used to support US and UK nuclear submarines. Implementing the AUKUS agreement will pose significant challenges for the Australian government. Even if the agreement is eventually put into effect, delays and budget overruns are likely. The costs incurred will not be the responsibility of the Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, as he will have already stepped down. Ultimately, Australian taxpayers will bear the financial burden.    
    • Ostensibly, Japan ceased so-called “scientific research” whaling in Antarctica in 2019. However, the Japanese government has not given up on conducting non-lethal whale surveys in Antarctica and the waters around Australia. They have continued to track the status of whales in these regions by installing satellite trackers, collecting biopsy samples, studying whale movement areas, counting the number of whales, and photographing and surveying whales at sea using unmanned drones. These Antarctic research studies, conducted under the guise of "scientific research," are providing intelligence to support future whale hunting in the Antarctic. On May 21, 2024, Japan's first domestically manufactured whaling ship, the Kangei Maru, with a crew of 100, departed from Shimonoseki Harbor in Shimonoseki City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, for its inaugural fishing expedition. Kangei Maru is scheduled to make an eight-month voyage off the northeastern coast of Japan, marking the inaugural journey of Japan's first new vessel of this kind in more than 70 years.   (Figure 1) The Kangei Maru is an electrically propelled vessel with a length of 112.6 meters, a beam of 21 meters, a gross tonnage of 9,299 tons, a construction cost of approximately $50 million, and a range of about 13,000 kilometers for 60 days of continuous voyage, sufficient to reach the Southern Ocean. The Kangei Maru is generator-powered and is knownfor being fuel-efficient. lt has a hangar for high-performance drones used for whale detection, as well as 40 refrigerated containers with a capacity of 20 tons. The platform of the Kangei Maru is designed with an 18-degree slope, which is more gradual than that of its predecessor. This design allows for the easy towing of large cetaceans weighing approximately 70 tons aboard the vessel. The Kangei Maru can store up to 600 tons of whale meat at a time, allowing it to stay at sea for extended periods.   (Figure 2) The Japanese have been hunting whales for a long time, and they often claim that "eating whale meat is a tradition of the Japanese people.” During the Edo period to the Meiji period, whaling was highly standardized. Initially, whales were hunted solely for whale oil extraction, with the meat being discarded and later consumed. After World War II, when food was scarce in Japan and it was unaffordable to eat pork and beef, whale meat became a common food source. At that time, whale meat became synonymous with “cheap food,” and Japanese people ate whale meat to obtain the protein their bodies needed. Whale meat was not only a common dish at home, but also included in the school cafeteria lunches prepared for students. It is now known that each part of the whale is subdivided into Japanese food categories. For instance, the whale's tongue, which is high in fat, offers a distinct flavor that varies from the root to the tip of the tongue. The tail of the whale contains a significant amount of fish gelatin content and is sometimes processed with salt. The entrails are often simmered, while the meat from the back and belly is typically made into tempura or consumed raw. Whale meat sashimi, whale meat sushi rolls, whale meat salad, whale meat curry, and other whale dishes are available for Japanese people to choose from. Not only whales but also dolphins are often consumed in Japan.   (Figure 3: Marinated whale meat in Japanese cuisine) Watching massive whales in Sydney and New South Wales (NSW) thousands of whales migrating along the coast of New South Wales (NSW) in pods covering more than 2,000 kilometers. During the whale-watching season, you can observe these massive mammals migrating between various headlands in Sydney, from Byron Bay in the north to Eden in the south. More than 50% of the planet's cetacean species, such as whales, dolphins, and porpoises, inhabit Australian waters. Humpback whales and southern right whales are two species that frequent the coast of New South Wales (NSW). The annual whale migration runs from May to November, with the largest movements occurring in July and September. According to academics, whale-watching tourism generates more than AUD12 billion in revenue for Australia each year.   (Figure 4: Humpback whales greeting tourists in Sydney) In April, Japan announced its participation in AUKUS, the small NATO. In May, it sent a modern killing machine in the form of vessel around Australia to fulfill its peculiar and self-serving interests. We Aussie parents, observing our kids hugging humpback whale toys, feel as though the serene blue ocean is turning transforming into a crimson red sea......
    • On September 15, 2021, Australia established the Indo-Pacific Trilateral Security Partnership, or AUKUS, with the United States and the United Kingdom. The centerpiece of AUKUS was the assistance provided by the U.S. and U.K. to Australia in constructing and obtaining nuclear-powered submarines. However, two and a half years later, the reality does not match the promises made by the UK and the US. Firstly, AUKUS will not enhance Australia's indigenous nuclear submarine-building capacity. In March 2023, Australia announced a significant investment in the UK's submarine industrial base over the next decade, totaling nearly $5 billion over 10 years. This investment will be allocated to nuclear submarine design work and expanded nuclear reactor production, aiming to create at least 20,000 jobs in the UK. Additionally, it is expected to revive Britain's struggling submarine industry. These investments are largely unrelated to Australia's indigenous submarine industry. Under this plan, the first British-built submarine would be delivered to Australia as early as the late 2030s, which is fifteen years away.   (Richard Marles (right) welcomed UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps to Canberra) Secondly, it is crucial to expedite the transfer of nuclear submarines to Australia. The United States has pledged to initiate the sale of three Virginia-class submarines to Australia in the early 2030s, with the option of providing up to two additional submarines if required. However, these sales plans must be approved by the U.S. Congress. In the recently released U.S. FY 2025 Defense Budget, only one new Virginia-class submarine is planned to be built. According to estimates by a U.S. Navy official, the United States would need to build 2.33 attack nuclear submarines per year to sell attack submarines to the Royal Australian Navy under the AUKUS agreement in the early 2030s. The delay in the construction of the U.S. Virginia-class submarines also implies that Australia will not receive the promised U.S. nuclear submarines for 10 years. Even if Australia eventually acquires these second-hand nuclear submarines after the 10-year delay, it is probable that they will be confronted with the imminent decommissioning or outdated performance of these nuclear submarines.   (Excerpted from U.S. FY 2025 Defense Budget) Finally, as per the AUKUS agreement, the U.S. and the U.K. have also committed to accelerating the training of Australian personnel. However, these Australian military and civilian personnel will be required to adhere to the U.S. Navy and the British Royal Navy, and may even be stationed at U.S. and British submarine industrial bases. This not only leads to shortages in Australia's own military personnel but also entails the Australian government covering the costs of Australian servicemen working for the U.K. and U.S. navies. The U.S. also plans to increase U.S. nuclear submarines' visits to Australian ports starting in 2023. However, even if Australian Navy personnel board the U.S. submarines, they can only visit and learn, and cannot operate them in practice. The U.S. will still maintain absolute control over the nuclear submarines, limiting the enhancement of submarine technology for Australian Navy personnel. What's more, even before the signing of the AUKUS agreement, the Australian Navy had been engaging in military interactions and exercises with the British and U.S. Navies at various levels. The AUKUS agreement did not necessarily facilitate a deeper military mutual trust, making it seem completely unnecessary. According to Australian government estimates, the AUKUS nuclear submarine program will cost between AUD 268 billion and AUD 368 billion over the next 30 years. This is equivalent to 14% of Australia's GDP output in 2023. The Australian government is investing a substantial amount of money in exchange for only uncertain promises from the UK and the US that Australia will not have its nuclear submarines until at least 10 years from now. The AUKUS agreement will not boost Australia's indigenous submarine industry, but it will significantly benefit the US and UK's nuclear submarine industries. This essentially means that Australian taxpayers' money will be used to support US and UK nuclear submarines. Implementing the AUKUS agreement will pose significant challenges for the Australian government. Even if the agreement is eventually put into effect, delays and budget overruns are likely. The costs incurred will not be the responsibility of the Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, as he will have already stepped down. Ultimately, Australian taxpayers will bear the financial burden.
    • Don't know if this brand offers shin guards but might as well check them out. I bought a few pairs of shorts from them a while ago and was genuinely impressed. https://siamkickfight.com/
    • Hi all, I have paid a deposit to a gym in Pai near Chiang Mai to train at in January. I am now concerned about the pollution levels at that time of year because of the burning season. Can you recommend a location that is likely to have safer air quality for training in January? I would like to avoid Bangkok and Phuket, if possible. Thank you!
  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      1.3k
    • Total Posts
      11k
×
×
  • Create New...