While I’ve thought for a while it might be cool to have a t-shirt made, and readers have asked if I would make one, it just hadn’t yet been the point of my career when it seemed right to have a t-shirt. Having now passed 150 fights in Thailand, and setting my sights on an impossible new goal of 200, I thought maybe it’s time for the T-shirt, and as I started designing it I felt like I really wanted my shirt to celebrate the Muay Khao fighting style, which is an under appreciated, minor fighting style in Thailand, with a wonderful history of all time greats in its column. Everything came together about a month ago when I got a nickname in the Thai press, which is an insanely satisfying compliment, to be respected by those that follow and report the sport daily. You can read about that nickname from the Thai Press here, Sao Nakleng Khao (Miss Gangster Knee). So the shirt was going to be in support of the pursuit of 200 fights in Thailand, a celebration of the Muay Khao fighting style, which I love, and really a Sao Nakleng Khao/Miss Gangster Knee shirt, which is badass all on its own.
The design on the front features a modified photo taken by Tom Brown, an excellent Muay Thai photographer in Pattaya, and the Anglo spelling of the Thai for Miss Gangster Knee. The Thai on the back of the shirt reads: “Muay Khao” (Knee Fighting), “Mai Toi” (Don’t back up) and “Sao Nakleng Khao” (Miss Gangster Knee). The knee fighting style is typified by mai toi, the forward walking down of the opponent, but it’s also a phrase that my trainer Kru Nu said to me a lot when we started training together. (He says it less now because I don’t back up anymore, haha.)
The price on the shirts is a touch steep, but the good thing about this vendor is that there are lots of color choices, and styles to choose from: everything from a tank top to a hoodie. I also had to build in a little bit of cushion so I could afford to buy shirts for myself, my husband and my Kru…and maybe Dieselnoi as well, the King of Knees. Please know that in buying this shirt you are supporting me, my fighting and my writing, as I seek additional sources of revenue to remain here in Thailand, facing financial reality.
In previous incarnations of endeavors which raised money, I’ve aimed to build in a portion that can be offered as a modest donation to the Golden Horse Monastery in the mountains of Northern Thailand. It’s a matter of feeling connected to Kru Bah’s mission to help orphans. If you don’t know what Kru Bah and the Golden Horse Monastery does please watch the full documentary of their work (free), one of the best films on Thailand that I’ve seen. As it happens, Kru Bah’s nephew Zippy has been a strong supporter of mine, morally and as a friend, for a few years now, always extending his hand in private messages to uplift me. I’m very happy that these shirts and tops will be sending a $2 donation to the Golden Horse Monastery and Kru Bah, who is still recovering from a debilitating stroke.
All in all, these shirts and tops are just a big celebration of Muay Thai, female fighting, Muay Khao history and this incredible Miss Gangster Knee thing that’s happening. Buying and wearing a shirt is sending support my way, and the way of the Golden Horse Monastery too. If you’d like to offer more support directly to the Golden Horse Monastery you can send me a message and I’ll put you in touch with how to do so. If you’d like to support me directly you can do so through a monthly pledge on Patreon, which will give you immediate access to my growing Muay Thai Video Commentary Library as a bonus.
Mostly though, I just hope you love the shirts. I have such wonderful fans and readers, your enthusiasm has carried me through darker days, and points when the grind is just feeling endless. If you do get a shirt please send me a photo of you with it on Facebook so I can see what they are like on a real person! When I get mine I’ll be sure to be posting that as well!
make sure you check out all the color and style options on the site