Loy Krathong Festival Fights
The holidays are coming! The Loy Krathong festival is right around the corner which means fights. The annual holiday sends out decorated lanterns onto the water.
Held in November the festival enjoys Muay Thai bouts. Two athletes from Fairtex will go to Rayong to fight in the shows. Val and Karen will be testing themselves in the festival fights.
Festival fights play an important part in Muay Thai. Most Thai fighters will get their first taste of the fight game in festival fights. The low key affairs can be very fun… and very disorganized.
Both Val and Karen are excited to get a taste of Thailand's fight life!
Chokun Back In The Ring
(In this photo: Fairtex FGV18 Grappling MMA Gloves)
Chokun is in the ring again. The hard hitter just turned 16 and is ready for the big leagues.
“My purse before Covid was 3,500 to 4,000 baht,” he said.
Now he’ll be fighting on Fairtex Fight Promotion for a much bigger payday. The younger brother of the legendary Stamp Fairtex is training at Fairtex in preparation for his fight later this month. He fights on November 12th at 55kg.
Stamp Prepping For Special Rules
(In this photo: Fairtex BGV14 Gloves, Fairtex BPV1 Belly Pad, Fairtex SP5 Competition Muay Thai Shin Guard, Fairtex KPLC5 Muay Thai Pads)
It’s nonstop for Stamp. After a successful USA seminar tour with 9 seminars in 12 days, she’s back to the gym. She’s prepping for a big fight.
She’ll be taking on Anissa Meksen in a special rules match up. The first round will be Muay Thai, the second MMA, the third Muay Thai, and the final round MMA. Meksen dismissed Stamp. “She’s a dancer. I’m a real fighter,” Meksen said. Stamp readily admitted that yes, she can dance but wondered out loud how many belts Meksen had won.
Stamp has won 4 belts within ONE Championship.
Meksen has yet to win any.
The bout will be settled on January 14th in Bangkok.
Renovations At Fairtex
The gym is expanding!
Under the supervision of Mr. Wong, the training center is getting renovations. The BJJ area is being moved to a new indoor area.
The former BJJ area will become three more Muay Thai rings.
The Fight Visa Office is relocating to the front of the gym.
Construction due for completion by the end of November.
(In this photo: Fairtex KPLC5 Muay Thai Pads)
A strong neck is vital for Muay Thai, MMA, and other combat sports. To strengthen their necks, the Fairtex athletes regularly hang upside down on the corners and do neck shrugs.
The exercise is done after every session, with sit ups, push ups, pull ups and other conditioning exercises.
New Strength And Conditioning Regime
(In this photo: Fairtex Muay Thai Jersey)
Things are getting heavy. Mr. Wong has implemented a new conditioning program for the athletes. After every afternoon session, the boxers must shadowbox with weights.
The five minute rounds are long when holding even light weights. The exercise creates strength in the upper arms. This helps with keeping the guard up even when tired.
A Look At Our Sparring Gloves
(In this photo: Fairtex Muay Thai Curved Pads, Fairtex Gloves)
Athletes at Fairtex spar twice a week. Once on Tuesday afternoons and then again on Saturdays. The boxers don 20 ounce gloves. These bigger gloves help the athletes bang away without getting hurt too badly. The gloves are a combination of tie up and Velcro strapped for the best fit and ease.
When not in use they are dried out. They are placed in a row where they can get plenty of sun and fresh air. Ready for the next time they are needed.
Different Types Of Knees In The Clinch
In the clinch, there are two dominant types of knees: knees to the side and knees up the middle.
In the gym, knees to the side are hit with the inside of the thigh. During actual fights, the point of the knee is used to target the opponent’s body. These knees don’t generally score as high during fights as they don’t do as much damage.
(In this photo: Fairtex LKP1 Leg Kick Pad, Fairtex FMV9 Contoured Focus Mitts)
Knees up the middle break the posture of the opponent. They also do the most damage. When done in gym clinching they are done without power. Primarily they are used to fold the partner over. These knees score high because of the damage they do.
Kendu Irving Gets Sponsored
After his third successive win, Mr. Wong has extended an offer to Kendu Irving for sponsorship. The New York athlete is excited for the opportunity.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Irving said. “A lot of people come out to Thailand for it. I’m honored that Mr. Wong thinks that I’m worth investing in.”
Irving will now get free training, room, and food from Fairtex. In exchange, Fairtex will manage his career and take a part of his purse. A formalized contract is usually signed between foreign fighters and gyms.
For Thai athletes, the contract is overseen by the Sports Authority of Thailand. Contracts for Thai athletes generally last roughly seven years.
Tiw Fairtex Becomes A Trainer
Fighting is a hard life. There are injuries, hurdles, and obstacles to overcome. In his recent fight, Tiw broke his nose. His injury means that he will be unable to fight for two months, at least. To continue to make an income he has become a trainer at the gym.
“I’ll stop fighting for 2-3 months,” he said. “I have a family to support.”
Once his nose is healed Tiw plans to go back to fighting. He began at 10 years old and is now 26. The Muay Khao athlete is a veteran of 200+ fights.
He has big dreams and while his plans are on hold for a moment, he’s helping others accomplish theirs.
Author: Matt Lucas