One of the driving philosophies behind what I’m trying to do here at 8limbs.Us is attempting to bring a “piece of Thailand” to everyone who does not have the good fortune and opportunity to come and train (and fight) here. It’s a rare and just very special opportunity, Muay Thai here is like nowhere else in the world, and anything I can do to make it more imaginable, more possible, means something. I try to do this through vivid descriptions, fight videos, vlogs, personal experiences, photos. Anything that feels like it’s bringing a bit of Thailand to those elsewhere in the world, I want to do it.
Some of you know that I’ve had to turn to Patreon support in order to remain here in Thailand and continue my 8limbs.Us article writing. The response has been amazing, and even though I haven’t reached sustainability yet, I am getting close. 61 people, and one official sponsor, have expressed commitment to me, trying to keep 8limbs.Us going, and I’m deeply appreciative.
Patreon Update – so this is where we are at on Patreon, a look at the kinds of monthly commitments people have made, and how far we are. About 22% to go before 8Limbs.Us is sustainable.
You all are literally keeping this site going.
So part of what I imagined from the start of Patreon is that I’d like to send a small piece of Thailand, literally a piece, to a randomly drawn supporter, every month. It won’t be much, but just the idea of something unique going out to someone who believes in my work means a lot to me, and connecting this piece to someone who wants to help perpetuate it is meaningful. This first month it will be a small Genesha amulet I found during my visit to the Silver Temple in Chiang Mai. You can see it here:
To Be a Part What You Need to Do
Each month it will be a little something like this for one of my Patreon supporters. In order to be eligible you need to be one of my monthly supporters on Patreon and what I’ll need from you is to send me your mailing address. This way I know that you are definitely interested in having the amulet – it will also keep you in the running for any future drawings, so just send me your name and address through Patreon once to be on the list for these giveaways every month. This way the drawing will be held only among Patreon supporters who would want the amulet, and each person’s chance of getting something increases because it’s a small pool. I’m going to send a message out to all my supporters on Patreon itself, it’s best to reply there, but you can also email me at Sylvie AT 8limbs.us. If your name is drawn, wherever you are in the world I’ll send it to you.
If you aren’t a Patreon supporter yet, you can join here: Patreon. Even a dollar ($1) a month pledge goes a long way, and has an impact for me. Once you subscribe, message me with your mailing address and you’ll be entered into the giveaway every month.
Ganesha – Phra Pikaset
Ganesha – he’s called Phra Pikaset in Thailand – is a very cool deity, and one that has been with me in my learning path here in Thailand since the beginning. The elephant-headed god is the both the placer-and remover-of obstacles, and I’ve definitely meditated and pondered on that dimension of him. People have asked me if I am a Buddhist, and all I can offer for an answer is that I’m learning. Respect and devotion to figures of power like Rahu and Ganesha are a definite part of my Muay Thai journey as a fighter. In Thai culture small amulets like this one are worn around the neck for good luck, so you don’t have to partake of the deeper meanings to find value in the amulet.
The Wat Si Supon, where this amulet came from, is the home of a very beautiful silver Ganesha. Here I made an offering on that day, and filmed it to capture a feeling of what it is like there. Seeing where the amulet is from also gives more meaning to whomever gets the amulet:
A Robert Cohen Signed Photograph
Robert Cohen shot this fantastic photo of me, you can read about it here. It’s in a very special place for me at Petchrungruang Gym. That bag in the back is where I’ve spent – and still spend – countless hours doing my work. I love how the photo is both luminous and gritty. It’s what Muay Thai feels like. When I set up my Patreon rewards I then later added a few elements to some reward stages, and one of those was that $15 supporters would get a signed copy of this photo mailed to them. I’m mentioning it here because this happened after several people already became supporters, so they might not know this yet. If you’d like to be part of the $15 support you can edit your current pledge or if you are not a member yet, you can join. This round of photos will be going out probably around the 23rd of November. If you’d like me to personalize my signature in anyway, just let me know in a message.
If you have any ideas of cool things that maybe I can send out in my monthly giveaway just drop me a line on Facebook PM or you can email me at Sylvie AT 8limbs.us.
So there we have it. 8Limbs.Us is looking like it has a much brighter future than it did even a month ago, though I still have a way to go before it is secure. I’m excited about the way that I’m now writing for my readers, and I’ve been working very hard to improve both my article rate and the depth of my writing to really make the site worth supporting.