These are my thoughts and experiences as female Muay Thai fighter, covering as much of the sport and art from my vantage point as I can: techniques, issues of gender, sak yant, everything as I evolve as a fighter and a person.
Sean “Muay Thai Guy” Fagan invited me to the August Nak Muay Nation training camp at Khongsitta Gym in Bangkok. We scheduled two days, allowing me to take part in 4 sessions with the group that has been training at the camp for the month of August (and some of them carrying over from the previous training camp in July). The camp was being hosted by American Fighter Muay Thai Athlete Paul Banasiak. This would bring 3 Muay Thai bloggers together! My taxi picked me up at my apartment at 5:30 in the morning and we made the 2.5 hour
above, YouTube video of Andrew Zimmern receiving his Sak Yant You can read about my own Sak Yant experiences here Since the airing of Andrew Zimmern’s Driven By Food I’ve already received a lot of questions about how to get a Sak Yant from Arjan Pi Bangkating, so this post is a basic 101 on how to get in touch with him so you can arrange a Sak Yant session. Arjan Pi moves between locations in rotation. Most of his time is spent in Chiang Mai and in Bangkok (his Bangkok location is just outside of Bangkok in Rangsit).
I descend the steep stairs at the front of WKO, holding on to the handrail as the deep drop between each metal platform is designed for someone taller than I am, and feel the hot afternoon air rush into me as I open the glass door and exit the air-con. The metal of the lock I use on my helmet is hot to the touch as I unchain it from my bike and I have to carefully angle the helmet as I pull it over my head, to avoid scraping the stitches that sit in a row of knots at
Training with the legend Karuhat is some of my favorite time spent doing anything. There’s something about his energy that really speaks to me. There simply is nobody else who fights like Karuhat, whose name means a fortress and that’s pretty much how he looks when he’s checking kicks faster than my eyes can read them on the screen. But it’s not as though he never gets hit – he stands in and that means taking strikes – but it’s as if they don’t register at all. Occasionally he gets tagged and it knocks him off balance, but he catches
May 27, 2016 – “The Verona” at Prachin Buri – the video above has some audio problems This was one of the rare occasions where I got to fight with other fighters from my gym. I love that opportunity, it’s very rare for me, but it also creates a bit of pressure because there’s so much going on and even if it has nothing to do with me, the results of your teammate’s fights can affect the mood. We happened to have tons of fighters on this card, which meant we also had a really big entourage from the gym, which
It’s very hard to learn the clinch anywhere in the world outside of Thailand. Truth told, it’s hard in Thailand also. Part of that is that the clinch is not really instructed so much as learned through hours and hours of simply doing and figuring out for yourself what works and all the many things that don’t work. Because it requires so much time and trial and error, most of us simply don’t get the exposure – we just don’t have that kind of immersion and time – to really learn the artform within the artform of Muay Thai. I’m by no means
A few years ago I was listening to a podcast of a bunch of East Coast dudes talking about Muay Thai. They were laughing about how people who don’t know anything about the sport will ask what belt grade a fighter is (for those who don’t know, outside of individual gyms there are no grading systems of colored belts, prajaet, shorts, etc.) and concluded that for western boxing the mark of a fighter is Cauliflower Ear, but for Muay Thai it’s scars on the eyebrows from elbows. At the time, I hadn’t had any cuts at all but was probably
On August 23rd at 9pm EST the Travel Channel airs Driven By Food with Andrew Zimmern, the Bangkok episode. I was one his hosts in Bangkok, showing him Muay Thai and Sak Yant in the city. In December of 2015 I had the opportunity to film with a new show on the Travel Channel, hosted by Bizarre Foods’ Andrew Zimmern. The new show was under the working title “Meter’s Running,” now called “Driven by Food,” and Andrew explores locations and cultures via taxi cabbies as guides. My bit was mostly explaining Muay Thai. Filming was a long, exhausting and very fun