Tuesday, March 27, 2007

From street fighter to pro

Four years ago Jamie Johnson was a streetfighter, today he is a kickboxer preparing for his first professional fight against an opponent eager to smash an elbow, knee, hand or shin into his head.

On Sunday, the 21-year-old Taupo man will fight in Brute Force, a Melbourne- based tournament for top Muay Thai fighters.

Muay Thai, a versatile, straightforward martial art where the hands, shins, elbows and knees are used extensively, is the traditional combat sport of Thailand.

Johnson, added to the line up by promoters just a few weeks ago after another New Zealand fighter pulled out, is looking forward to the chance to win the $10,000 prize purse.

He has upped his training and, with confidence in his ability, he has a good chance of making his mark on his first trip overseas since he was two years old.

I think I've got a fair bit of power and my fitness is a lot better than it used to be. It's exciting to get into the ring and it puts a different aspect on fighting,? he says. Johnson came across kickboxing almost by accident.

Three years ago the dairy farmer was on the lookout for a chance to take up boxing. Instead he found former professional kickboxer and trainer Scotty Thomson, who had recently moved to Taupo.

I headed on down [to the gym] and never looked back, says Johnson, who has come a long way since his days as a teenager on the lookout for a scrap.

I used to get into heaps of fights I just liked fighting, he says. Training has bought a new aspect to combat, which for him now requires brains as well as brawn.

It's [kickboxing] helped me control my anger a bit better and improved my discipline.? He trains at least three times a week and manages to build on his fitness in his spare time with a bit of pig hunting.

Johnson has learned a lot from Thomson, who has been involved in kickboxing for more than 20 years.

When the trainer and owner of Freestyle Gym arrived in Taupo, he intended to take a break from the gruelling sport - that wasn't to be. Since he has been here he has managed to get 23 people into the ring. Johnson has been the one who has stuck it out the longest.

Compared to places like Auckland, kickboxing is almost non existent in Taupo, which makes the task of finding sparing partners difficult. That could change, however, with the founding of a fight club at Freestyle Gym.

Thomson intends to have the club, which will cater to everyone from beginners to those who want to go pro, men and women, up and running in the next few weeks.

?What I?m doing now is stepping up to the next level by starting up a proper fight club here, says Thomson.

Meanwhile, whether Johnson wins or loses this weekend the experience will be invaluable. In the ring you don?t get beaten, you get taught a lesson, says Thomson.

You learn more from losses than you do from winning.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Many of the farang males in Thailand are well into Muay Thai – kickboxing. Local foreign residents go along to the various kickboxing venues in Pattaya to watch Thai guys beating the living daylights out of each other, but if you were to go to Bangkok there’s an attraction of a new kind –ladies beating hell out of each other.

Not ordinary ladies, you understand, at least one of them is a convicted Ya Bah (speed) dealer. Ms Samson Sor Siriporn is a prisoner at Bangkok’s infamous Bangkok Hilton, serving a 10 year stretch for dealing in Ya Bah. However, Ms Siriporn has done so well in her fighting career that she stands the chance of an early release on parole, due to having recently won the WBC light-flyweight title. Next month, 24-year-old Ms Siriporn will be fighting Japan's Ayaka Miyano and she thinks she’s in there with a good chance, not only of retaining her title, but also being able to go home to Lop Buri to start a new lease of life as a shopkeeper.

Ms Siriporn decided to become a pugilist two years ago, partly to relieve the sheer drudgery of prison life where inmates have to sew garments and sacks virtually all day long. However, Siriporn has so impressed her warders that she now has privileged treatment. Instead of having to sew, she gets to fight with her coach or do weightlifting. She’s also on a special high-protein diet and sleeps separately, with other privileged cons.

You might think that Ms Siriporn’s special treatment would earn the envy of her fellow, but less lucky inmates. After all, Thais do have quite a reputation for being envious. But no, the other inmates think she’s great. She also helps relieve the monotony, by staging fights at Bangkok Hilton Prison in Pathum Thani. In a place with few entertainments, the inmates wait eagerly for the next bout, cheering her every punch when she’s in the ring. They really appreciate her efforts. Initially, she had slight problems and threats from other aggressive prisoners, but surprise, surprise, the threats evaporated when Siriporn embarked on her new kickboxing career.

It’s not only her fellow cons that are impressed, either. The prison authorities think she’s great, too. They regard her as a model prisoner and have taken on board her professed reform and regret for her misspent youth. So much so, in fact, that they have taken the unprecedented step of offering her freedom. They appreciate the kudos that Siriporn is winning not only for the prison, but for Thailand as a whole. They also well appreciate the fact that in order to compete on the world stage in the World Boxing Council bouts, she would have to have freedom of movement, which is why they have offered her parole.

Siriporn’s fight for freedom is also supported by WBC Vice President, Kovit Bhakdibhumi, who maintains his organisation is right behind Siriporn in her efforts to secure a conditional release. "We want to show people can make good of their lives, no matter what they did in the past," he said. Bhakdibhumi also regards her as being a good kick boxer, who has exerted herself training-wise and has thus earned the opportunity to start again, but with a punch!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Krabi Krabong - Thai Weapon Martial Art

Krabi Krabong is Thai weapon Martial Art in Krabi Krabong have many The weapons techniques include training in these weapons:
-One Hand Sword
-Tho Hand Sword
-bladed staff
-throwing spear

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Thai Kickboxing: The Body As a Lethal Weapon

Thai Kickboxing (Muay Thai) is one of the remarkable features of Thailand's culture. Earliest accounts tells of the Thai children being encouraged to use their bodies to play games, thus the development of the basic exercises for their induction into Muay Thai in later years.

Thai Kickboxing is more about being acquainted with the body's weak and strong points in preparation for the art of unarmed combat. The body is divided into the nine principle weapons (Nawa Attawat): head, two fists, two elbows, two knees and two feet. There are combination weapons that can be used together with the primary ones. The combination weapons are the shoulders, arms, outer parts of the ankle and even the bottom.

The typical Thai Kickboxing move is the shin kick. The practitioner intends and exhibits a focused kick on the shins of the opponent in the objective of crippling his movement. Thai boxers, who have not trained enough, often fall on the ground when delivered a powerful shin blow. That is why no Thai kickboxer enters the ring without proper shin conditioning.

Mastering Thai kickboxing is not an easy task and requires complete dedication. The training is hard and long. Students are subjected to a punishing regime that includes shadow boxing, running and plenty of bag work. There are drills that one has to practice with Thai pads.

These Thai pads weigh five to ten pounds and cover the wearer's forearm. The trainer usually wears them to absorb the student's kicks, punches and other strikes. At times, the trainer uses them to punch the trainees too. These pads are in a way similar to boxing mitts worn by the modern boxers. So is the training.

Interestingly, there is little or no free sparring in Muay Thai training. Students usually box wearing ordinary boxing gloves. Another popular technique is to grapple standing up with the aim being to land a kick on the knee. However, such kicks and contacts are not overly encouraged.

So if you are planning on learning Thai Kickboxing be prepared for a grueling regimen. More importantly be prepared for the consequences of an art form that was born to meet the needs of the battlefield. Such an art form cannot be anything but potentially lethal. So either steel yourself for the kicks and punches or kick your desire to learn this martial art.

Buakaw Por. Pramuk "Thailand's K1-Max Hero"

Since he started his fighting career at the young age of 8, Buakaw has fought over 400 fights, starting in his home province of Surin in the northeast of Thailand, and then moving onto Bangkok after he moved to Por. Pramuk gym at the age of 15.

Buakaw has collected several belts to his name since fighting in Bangkok. The Omnoi Stadium featherweight title was his first belt, after that he would go on to take the featherweight champion of Thailand title. Buakaw then proceeded to win another Omnoi Stadium title belt, this time at in lightweight division. In December 2002, Buakaw won the Toyota Marathon 140 lb. tournament at Lumpini Stadium, beating the highly regarded Kobayashi of Japan in the final.

In July of 2004 Buakaw became the K-1 MAX World champion beating John Wayne Parr, Takayuki Kohiruimaki and previous champion Masato, all on the same night. In 2005 he nearly repeated his run for tournament champion but lost a controversial extra rounds decision to Dutch shoot-boxer, Andy Souwer in the finals. In the 2006 K-1 MAX World Grand Prix, Buakaw again faced Andy Souwer in the finals, but this time defeated Souwer by KO with a flurry of punches, thereby winning his second K-1 MAX Grand Prix title and becoming the first man to win that title twice.

Choi Loses to Mighty Mo at K-1 World Grand Prix

The world’s tallest mixed martial arts fighter Choi Hong-man suffered his first career knock out loss Sunday against an American opponent, 33 centimeters shorter than him, at the 2007 World Grand Prix in Japan.

Mighty Mo, 33, knocked down the 2.18-meter Choi 50 seconds into the second round of the bout, handing the South Korean his first loss since September when Choi lost to Jerome Le Banner of France by a unanimous decision.

Choi, 26, who beat reigning K-1 champion Semmy Schilt in May, has gone 10-3 since his debut in March 2005. He also lost to Remy Bonjasky of the Netherlands by a decision.

In the match held at Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Mo (9-4) floored Choi with a strong right hook before the referee stopped the bout.

Later in the event, Schilt clinched the newly created super heavy weight title after he overcame a first-round knock down to KO Ray Sefo of New Zealand in the second round.

In their last dual, in 2005, the Dutchman knocked out Sefo en route to winning the World Grand Prix throne.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Grand Master Preang

• Present Master of Muay Thai Chaiya

• Current Chairman of the Thai Martial Arts and Muay Chaiya Conservation Club , Muaythai Chaiya Foundation

Kru Preang was born on September 1, 1958 in the nearby province of Chanthaburi, Thailand. Since at an early age, he has developed a keen interest in martial arts / sports, especially in sports gun shooting. Widely acknowledged for his marksmanship, he was invited to join the Thailand SEA Games National Team, but had to deny the opportunity due to financial reasons.
He entered Bangkok to attend Ramkamhaeng University and joined the University’s Ancient Fighting Weapons Club, which was well known for its being a melting pot for such diverse weapons schools as
-Buddhai Sawan
-Padung Sith
-Pran Nok
-Meed Sun Tong (Golden Dagger)
Post-graduation, Kru Preang continued to seek and learn from other masters. It was then he heard of Master Tong Chua Chaiya (TongLoh Ya Lae), foremost student of the late GrandMaster Ketr Sriyapai, through a close friend.
25 years has passed since Kru Preang became Kru Tong’s student. Given his prior skills in ancient fighting styles, Kru Tong decided to teach Kru Preang the ancient style of Chaiya Boxing.
During his last years, Kru Tong has been heard repeatedly mentioning Kru Preang as his foremost student and only one of the two students to be granted a verbal “teaching certificate”, the other being Kru Yong of the Chulalongkorn University Thai Martial Arts Club. Together Kru Tong and his teaching assistant, Kru Preang, spent 20 years trying to teach the art Muay Thai Chaiya.

How Muay Chaiya is different from Modern Thai Boxing ?

Muay Chaiya was created in the ancient battlefields, when warriors still fought using sharp weapons and, in the event of being disarmed,body parts.As such, it is based on time-tested techniques and principles that were aimed at

1) ending engagements in the swiftest and surest manner
2) using minimal energy
3) ensuring that the learnt practitioner was least, if at all, hurt.

That certainly is not the case in Modern Muay Thai where boxers can be seen “splashing water at each other” (a phrase used to describethe useless and painful exchange of kicks and punches to entertain the crowd) with the end result of potential traumatic body injuries. As the core principle of Muay Chaiya states; before you learn how to inflict pain on others, learn how to protect yourself.

The Muay Thai one sees today at the weekly Lumpini Boxing Stadium matches and a host of other celebrated kickboxing events is a far cry from the true noble art of Muay Thai. The true ancient art of Muay Thai encompasses the full range of striking, grappling (not simply clinching), throwing, breaking, and smashing – each with its own infinite variations. Unlike today, where one can prepare for 6-8 months at a local Muay Thai camp learning the basic blocks and kicks and then enter competition, true old-style Muay Thai practitioners had to go through at least 2-3 years of footwork and stance preparation before being accepted by as true student. The purpose is two-fold: 1) to test the student’s patience and diligence and 2) to ensure the student has fully grasped the ancient Muay Thai footwork, of which Modern Muay Thai’s has no resemblance, before moving on. It can be said that one’s skills can be judged solely by their footwork.

The footwork skills one attains from Muay Chaiya allows one to cope with an opponents force in any way one wishes – deflecting, parrying, neutralizing, pushing back, or just simply stepping away. However, the footwork is not the only gem of Muay Chaiya. All body weapons within the Muay Chaiya system are truly functional, simple, yet flexible enough that a skilled practitioner can apply an infinite number of variations. The grappling, throwing, locking, and smashing techniques are unlike those of other arts. A complete system in itself, Muay Chaiya allows its practitioners to change from striking to grappling to smashing seamlessly.