In the first week of April, we will be hosting a 4 Legends Seminar in Bangkok with Dieselnoi, Karuhat, Chatchai and Namkabuan. You can find out more about it here. Each one of these men is absolutely amazing, very different styles, different techniques, different strategies, and quite frankly a lesson with any one of them is a wonderful opportunity. I’ve trained with all 4 and they’re some of my favorite fighters. But they’re also some of my favorite men, just in their personalities and how they express themselves through their Muay. To have all 4 of them, all at once, in one space teaching is just an incredible opportunity, and one that I’m personally really excited about.
One of the best things about this seminar, and why it might be the greatest seminar every held, is that this is limited to only a few people so you can much more focused attention from each legend. The maximum will be 16 people. The seminar will be held in the Sport Authority of Thailand complex in Hua Mak, in Bangkok. It’s a huge sports complex with a room for Muay Thai and boxing, which offers lots of space and a ring. We’ll break up into small groups and rotate through the 4 stations with each Legend, so you get an intimate learning opportunity with each. And, of course, at the end there will be a chance for photos and signatures.
above, a quick video pan of the space – a Google Map link of its location here
This is really a once in a life time thing, and something I could not have imagined as possible only a year ago, but the Muay Thai Library project has gotten such a strong response, and the legends themselves moved by it, it suddenly came together very quickly. In fact Karuhat informed me out of nowhere that he wanted to change it from 3 legends to 4 because Namkabuan wanted to be a part of it. Some of these legends do not even teach much any longer, Namkabuan is not actively a part of Muay Thai, and Dieselnoi has had health issues (though is as dynamic as ever), so this may be one of the last times to receive training from some of these remarkable 4. And, to see them all together, friends that they are of each other, is a rare, rare event.
I’ll be there to help facilitate, and to be part of it all. As I have trained with each of them I may have extra insight into what they are teaching can could help with language as well. But really I’m as excited as anyone else might be.
There are – at the time of this writing – only 9 spots left so reserve your spot now. A despot of 4,000 baht (roughly $130) is the full price of the seminar. 100% of the net proceeds go to the legends themselves. You can send payment via PayPal to the address: firstname.lastname@example.org – please put on the notation of the payment “4 Legends Seminar”. You can use the “send money to friends and family” option (or, use “Pay for goods and services” and add $4 USD or 125 baht to cover the processing fee). These payments are only refundable in two instances: If you cancel and another person takes your place, or, if the event itself is canceled. Message me if you have any questions. The Facebook event is here if you want to follow the developments and updates.
Dieselnoi is the “King of Knees,” and was nicknamed “Mr. Sky Piercing Knees” due to how long his legs are and how high those knees come. I’ve never met anyone who loves Muay Thai more than Dieselnoi does and his enthusiasm and excitement when he’s explaining something is infectious. Even if you don’t understand him when he’s speaking Thai, you get what he’s telling you because of that sheer energy. Dieselnoi was undefeated and reigning Lumpinee champion for several years until he was stripped of the title and forced into retirement… because nobody would fight him. That sounds really badass, but it’s also (and mostly) very tragic. Because Dieselnoi loves fighting and wasn’t at all done with it when he was forced to stop. So that fire is still hungry, which is rare to see in a man getting near to 60 years old. He’s also incredibly funny and is a pillar in the community of Golden Age fighters, totally the popular kid everywhere he goes. He knows everybody and everybody loves him. Due to heart surgery a few years ago and some more recent heart issues, Dieselnoi has to watch his physical output. Or, more accurately, we have to watch his physical output and force him to take it down periodically, because he only has one level and that’s full-throttle. They call him “Diesel” for a reason. But, even though he won’t be holding pads, his instruction really doesn’t need it.
Absolutely in the top running in arguing for the Greatest of All Time, Karuhat is one of the most loved fighters by Muay Thai fans who grew up watching fights during the Golden Age on TV. Karuhat was known for his incredible speed and Femeu style, with tons of skill and range of weapons, and just sheer ring IQ. He was nicknamed “Yod Sian,” which is a play on his name but also indicates the way in which he expresses this kind of supernatural ability to see and do. His eyes and response time are so quick, it’s like he’s Quicksilver moving so fast that the whole world seems in slow motion for him. He also fought up in weight a lot, taking significant weight disadvantages and winning with his unrelenting movement. Even though he’s Femeu style, he doesn’t back up. He told me that he started out in his hometown of Khon Khaen as a knee fighter, but became Muay Femeu when he moved to Bangkok and started fighting at Lumpinee. You can see this in his style, the way he just eats up space and presses. And as a teacher he’s very keen; he sees details and makes tiny adjustments that make really big differences. He understands more than anyone I’ve ever worked with how to basically create an invisibility cloak for himself out of relaxation; everything is fluid.
Chatchai is a bit of a standout in this group because, even though he had a successful Muay Thai career of over 100 fights and fought the top names from his time when they were all coming up as young fighters, but he’s best known for his boxing career. He was WBC world champion, fought Pacquiao (they’re still friends now), and won Coach of the Year (in any sport) from the King of Thailand in 2011. I don’t find that surprising. He’s incredibly gifted as an instructor. Even though his focus is in hands, the weight transfer and balance at the core of his basics makes a huge impact on Muay Thai techniques – and I suspect any sport, really. Working with Chatchai has absolutely revolutionized my approach to my Muay Thai and I credit him with being able to get more out of my lessons with all other Legends I see, as well as my daily training. Balance is everything, and Chatchai is balance. He’s one of the great teachers of boxing Thailand has ever produced and will perfectly compliment the Muay Thai instruction from the other three.
Namkabuan fought all the biggest names as he came up, a bit younger than the other Legends. He held on to his 130 lbs Lumpinee title for 6 years, which is an incredible feat. His style is very well-rounded and he used all weapons and all ranges, but he also is a very forward fighter and was well known for plowing his opponents clear across the ring. Then plowing was made illegal, so you don’t see it now, but when my own trainer catches my kick and runs me nearly out of the ropes he yells, “Namkabuan!” as he does it. Maybe like how everyone pretends to be Muhammad Ali when they do the “Rope a Dope” or shuffle their feet back and forth in that classic move. Namkabuan generates great power from really efficient movements and has a bit more of a bouncing, western boxer’s foot rhythm, as opposed to the Muay Thai rocking march, but also was renown for his body lock throws. His mid-clinch attacks were often the decisive late round finishers of closer fights. He was practically unstoppable in the mid-clinch.
With 7 spots left time is running out. Several people have verbally committed but not yet put their deposit down. If you are in Bangkok you would want to come! More than one attendee has changed their flight to make sure they could a part of this.
If you are not going to be in Bangkok the event will be filmed and I believe I’ll publish it with commentary on Patreon. If you’d like to become a supporter you can do so here. The Patreon Muay Thai Library is full of sessions from legends and great krus all over Thailand, and in many ways this seminar has grown out of that documentary project. By becoming a supporter you also get access up to 40+ hours of video and commentary.