Dealing With Loss
(In this photo: Fairtex BPV3 Belly Pad)
Gasjang came back to the gym. The fighters return after their bouts to talk to Mr. Wong. Often they will bring energy drinks or snacks for the team. They thank the trainers and their fellow fighters for helping them.
They also get feedback from Mr. Wong. The owner of the camp will talk about their performance.
Gasjang cut her opponent in the first round. The damage to Francisca Vera was visible. It was a long gash on the forehead. Gasjang tried to open it more. She could not. In the second round, Vera came on strong. She knocked Gasjang out. Gasjang collapsed onto the referee.
Everyone at the gym saw her fight. They saw her lose. They saw her knock out. But Gasjang felt it.
Best Fight Friends
Iony Lawrence and Kendu Irving fight. The United Kingdom’s boxer and New York City native love the game. Lawrence fights this Friday, February 17th. Kendu Irving fights the next day on the 18th. Both are on Lumpinee. Lawrence is on ONE Championship. Irving on Fairtex Fight and the Thaiwatsadu tournament.
The two fighters are both coming off wins… and are winning hearts along the way.
Dokmaipa Fairtex is a left handed fighter. When she fights she uses her hands and a big left kick. Fighting against a southpaw like Dokmaipaa is very difficult. The angles are different.
Her most recent opponent Barbara Aguiar felt the angles. Dokmaipa sent her to the canvas with her hands. After the bout, the Brazilian fighter had a broken nose.
Attacks from an orthodox opponent come straight in. Against a southpaw, though the angle is about 30 degrees off the center. This slight shift makes defensive positioning difficult.
It becomes even more difficult when the athletes are constantly vying for position. A southpaw fighter will try to move to the outside of the lead foot of the orthodox opponent. This position battle is seen with the footwork and with the hands. The boxers will usually fight with their hands. The boxer with the hand higher and outside is considered to be winning the battle.
Catching the kick
Regan Gowing of Canada and Kru Chao show what happens when kick is caught. If the boxer catches the kick they will need to protect their face.
In the first photo, Gowing is doing just that. She uses her glove to prevent shots from coming in. She also leans back slightly and pulls the leg up high into her arm pit
In the second photo, you can see Gowing’s leg is bent slightly. Kru Chao is turning her leg so that she is not as stable. Turning the leg or pulling up on the leg causes instability. It also makes it easier to attack.
Spraying Down The Ring With Kru Chai
The ring canvases can get hot because Thailand is hot, hot, and super hot. Spraying water on the canvas cools it down. It also makes the footing better.
Muay Thai athletes practice bare feet so being able to move around correctly is key.
Training on wet canvas is a great experience for fighters of all levels. It is not uncommon to have promotions run during the rain. This happens especially with upcountry fights.
When the canvas is slippery certain weapons such as knees outside the clinch, push kicks, and body kicks require more dexterity.
Even high level bouts will have wet canvasses at times. The corner of the ring will often be soaked. Water is poured on athletes in between rounds.
Pre Bout Haircuts
Before bouts, many athletes will go to the barbershop.
“I always cut my hair before fights,” Iony Lawrence said. The ranked UK athlete fights on ONE Lumpinee.
“In England, I do corn rows,” she said. “Out here in Thailand one of the girls will braid it for me. This time I found an African salon in Bangkok to do it.”
Braiding hair is important for female fighters. Keeping the hair tied down and close to the head prevents it from getting entangled during the fight. Also, if the hair is loose it can obstruct vision.
Many female fighters will shave the underside of their hair to make the hair lighter. Others will decide on a more boyish cropped cut.
Mr. Wong Supports Chatri Sityodtong
(In this photo: Fairtex Script T-Shirt)
In a recent interview, the founder of Fairtex Mr. Wong, talked about the state of Muay Thai. He began Fairtex in 1971. Over the last 30 plus years of growth, he’s contributed in countless ways to the sport.
“I always try my best to help Muay Thai grow in the world. All I can do is very limited,” Mr. Wong said. “But there is one person, only this person can bring Muay Thai very far. This person is Mr. Chatri Sityodtong.”
Chatri Sityodtong, the CEO of ONE Championship built the organization to its current massive success. They are now having weekly bouts at Lumpinee stadium in Bangkok. Regular bonuses of 350,000 baht and more are given to high performing athletes.
Author: Matt Lucas