My name is Eric Rivera. In 2005, my training partners Mark Trillas and later, Vinny Scotto, created Florida Sanshou & Muay Thai (FSMT). Our goal at the beginning was simple; create a website to help promote our local Sanshou team that was competing throughout Florida. The company slowly grew from promoting Sanshou in Florida, to promoting both Sanshou and Muay Thai in Florida. And from promoting Sanshou and Muay Thai fighters from our own gym, to promoting and following the careers of our fighting friends nationwide. Ever since my first trip to Thailand, I knew Muay Thai would be an important part of my life forever. During training sessions, speaking with friends, and posting on Facebook, Twitter, etc…I tended to repeat one phrase constantly; That phrase was “Muay Thai is Life”. For me, my business partners, and all of those I have met in this sport, Muay Thai is far more than a combat sport, it is a way of life. Therefore the name of our site once again changed from FSMT to Muay Thai is Life.
Since our humble beginnings in 2005, we have traveled to many places, met a lot of great people, been inspired by hundreds of incredible fighters, and become even more obsessed with the sports of Muay Thai, Kickboxing, and Sanshou. Our goal now is to take Muay Thai is Life in a new direction. I have always wanted to help promote Muay Thai and Kickboxing in the U.S. With the explosion of MMA, Muay Thai and Kickboxing have enjoyed a revitalized popularity. However, most people see Muay Thai and Kickboxing as simply an art that comprises the sport we now refer to as MMA or Mixed Martial Arts, failing to realize that Muay Thai and Kickboxing are in themselves incredibly exciting sports that with the right promotion can stand on their own and entertain many a combat sport enthusiast.
I decided that my goal was to make a site and podcast that would follow as much of the global Muay Thai and Kickboxing scene as possible, while still largely focusing and promoting the great North American fighters that are leading the way and putting U.S. and Canadian Muay Thai & Kickboxing on the map. A site where all kickboxing news would be posted in as timely a manner as possible to keep Muay Thai, Kickboxing, and MMA fans up to date. Besides news, I wanted to create a site that contained interviews with important people in the Muay Thai & Kickboxing community, as well as articles that would interest all Muay Thai & Kickboxing fans and connect them with what I feel is the “culture and lifestyle” of combat sports.
This isn’t a journey I plan on taking alone. I plan on having good friends, as passionate about the sport as myself, writing articles and posting news stories about all Muay Thai and Kickboxing events from around the world. And with them I want to create a place fighters and their fan can call home, a place they can trust, a place where they can find news, videos, media, and all things related to the fighting culture. Your niche in in the fighting world, a corner. THE STRIKING CORNER!
Welcome to The Striking Corner, formerly known as Muay Thai is Life.
You can follow me on my personal Instagram account as well as our @strikingcorner account.
My name is Vinny Scotto. I am the owner and head coach of Staten Island Muay Thai in Staten Island, New York. I began training Sanshou in 2005 when I moved to Florida from New York and was looking for something to help me stay in shape. At first, I simply began training as a form of exercise and really wasn’t interested in the fighting aspect of the sport. But as I began training with the fighters in our gym and started accompanying them to events, they became like a second family and I found myself getting more and more interested in the fighting aspect of martial arts. However, it wasn’t just the competition I enjoyed, I simply liked training with the fighters, helping them improve, while I also improved. I liked being part of the team. All of us helping each other grow.
I met Eric Rivera while training Sanshou in Florida, and we both felt that the sport needed more exposure in the state of Florida. So we started Florida Sanshou, a website dedicated to promoting the sport and our gym’s Sanshou team in Florida. During a national competition we got a chance to watch a few fights in the Muay Thai division and were immediately impressed. We both began training Muay Thai along with Sanshou and decided to promote both sports on our website calling it Florida Sanshou & Muay Thai (FSMT). As the Sanshou scene seemed to come to a stand still in Florida and Muay Thai began to take off, we began to train more and more Muay Thai and felt that we were limiting ourselves by only looking at the Muay Thai scene in Florida. So we evolved into Muay Thai is Life, a website focused on promoting Muay Thai news, culture, and lifestlye all over the U.S. and the world.
Now we have reached what we feel is our final stage of evolution. This long journey that started in 2005, somewhere inside a gym in Florida has now evolved into what we hope will be a one stop shop for all things Muay Thai and Kickboxing. As the sport has evolved and continues to evolve, so have we. And our goal is to help Muay Thai and Kickboxing make waves in America. Whether you are looking for news, videos, or articles about training and diet, we will be your little corner in the vast landscape that is the internet. If you are as passionate about Muay Thai and Kickboxing as we are, this is your corner. This is OUR corner. This is The Striking Corner.
My name is Victor Alvarez. I am an Ecuadorian born, Los Angeles raised amateur Muay Thai fighter and photographer. Currently I attend Brown University and reside in Rhode Island, although my home will always be Southern California.
I’ve been involved in the sport of Muay Thai since 2010, training at Boxing Works in Torrance, California under Bryan Popejoy. My Muay Thai journey began rather accidentally. After a full recovery from a car accident which left me crippled for a year, I decided to find a sport that would not only allow me utilize my entire body but develop my strength and determination to a whole new level. I found Muay Thai and never looked back. I’ve since had the privilege to visit Thailand twice, training under Golden Era legend Sangtiennoi Sor Runroj, and continue to develop my skills as a practitioner and a fighter.
My photography journey began recently, over the summer of 2014, and has developed into a second passion of mine. I began taking photos for a school project, which quickly turned into photos of my friends and colleagues training and, soon after, fighting. After spending 5 months traveling across Europe and Asia, I developed some travel photography skills, only to continue with fight photography upon returning home. Thanks to the positive feedback I’ve received from both fans and veterans in the fight photography game, I’ve felt confident in shooting events such as Lion Fight and strive to continue making a name for myself in the fight photography world.
I’m excited to be working with The Striking Corner as I continue to develop and improve my craft. I feel lucky to be asked to contribute to the project, and look forward to showcasing my work and to give back to the Muay Thai community in this very unique.
Having initially trained in sport kickboxing as a child, K1Anoop returned to kickboxing in his adulthood and made the transition from sport kickboxing to K1 rules and Thai boxing.
Being a kickboxing martial artist, intrigued with improving himself and studying more about the technical aspects of the ‘striking arts’, K1Anoop started his own blog in 2015 which, swiftly lead to opportunities to write professionally about combat sports for various digital platforms.
My name is John Wolcott. I first discovered Muaythai after a herniated disc and pinched sciatic nerve required strengthening of my core muscles. At first, it was a means to regaining a healthy physical state, but after some time I noticed the changes that Muaythai was having on me in other areas of my life. I became more disciplined with my life and diet, and I saw things in a more positive way, which opened up many doors where none had existed before.
In 2007, two years after I stepped into the gym, I found myself planning my first trip to Thailand. I spent three weeks training at Kaewsamrit Gym. I came back home and had one amateur fight, and learned the value of the age old expression: Those who can, do; Those who can’t, teach. Shortly thereafter I took on the role of assistant coach but I kept going back to Thailand, and in the following two years I spent six weeks at Eminent Air Gym (now known as Sagami Gym). In the last three years I spent a total of nineteen weeks at Sangmorakot Gym. During this time I learned as much as I could about the sport and culture of Muaythai, applying what I learned in Thailand to being a coach, writer, documentarian, and passion-driven follower of the sport.
Over the years I have had many roles in Muaythai, but most recently my aspirations have been in writing and documentary work. In 2012 I filmed and edited the Muaythai Journal series which focused on some of Thailand’s best fighters including Sam-A Gaiyanghaadao and Pornsanae Sitmonchai, to name a few.
I am currently finishing up my BA in English and in 2014 I am relocating to Thailand where I will be closer to the art and culture of Muaythai and be better able to provide content for Muaythai Journal and The Striking Corner.
My name is Joe Miller. I’m from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, where I started training in Muay Thai around 10 years ago. I met Eric Rivera and Mark Trillas when I walked into my first Muay Thai gym and immediately started shaking in my boots. I fell in love with Muay Thai immediately upon seeing it and the moment I stepped onto the mats I knew I would never be able to let it go.
I recently graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Editing, Writing, and Media and currently in the midst of setting up a move to Thailand where I plan on teaching English as a foreign language and training and fighting as much as I possibly can!
When I moved to Tallahassee my only option to continue my training was an MMA gym known then as Tallahassee Fight Club. What astounded me was that even though I was still relatively new to the sport, I was basically the best kick boxer in the gym. We never had any legendary trainers or high-level fighters to learn from so we had to learn from each other. If one guy had better boxing, you probably had better kicks, so you traded knowledge and both got better. This also means we learned every lesson the hard way, sometimes taking fights against opponents outside our weight classes or vastly more experienced. It made us humble and pragmatic; we traveled as far within ours means as possible in search of knowledge and didn’t (and still don’t) care if you had 2 weeks or 10 years of experience, we looked at everyone as a learning opportunity. In that time I traveled and trained at almost every gym in Florida with a Muay Thai program, I got the chance to train with Attachai Fairtex at Tampa Muay Thai. I was invited to train for free at the famous American Top Team HQ in Coconut Creek, FL, for four weeks before one of my fights after impressing the coaches in sparring against guys like Jorge Masvidal and Mike Brown. While always returning to south Florida when I could to train with Mark and Eric at Mark’s gym Dynasty Martial Arts and Fitness in Plantation. I learned that learning itself is a skill that can be developed and took on an ideology that I have tattooed across my chest. Always learning.
I even had a few MMA fights and even developed some pretty notable skills and a serious love for it. However, I’ve retired my MMA fighting career to focus on what has always been my passion, Muay Thai.
My name is Stephen Strotmeyer. I currently train and coach at Khaay Muay Sit-Kangmongkorn in Pittsburgh, PA. I have invested over 10 years of my life to all aspects of Muay Thai, from training and fighting, to teaching and officiating. I have a deep appreciation for the sport and am privileged to have had excellent connections back to Thailand during this time to continue to develop in all phases of the sport. I have had the luxury of training intimately with Matee Jedeepitak and was one of the first Americans to train privately with Saenchai Sor Kingstar.
My odyssey in the sport began first with watching live fights, then stumbling upon the US Muay Thai Academy, years later to get fit. This quickly became an obsession for me, and if you ask my family, the “phase” has continued for more than a decade. Fighting evoked a toughness in me mentally and physically I had not previous realized. In 2005, after 2 years of misery, I was diagnosed with severe ulcerative colitis.
For the next 2 years, when no treatment mediated any symptom, I believe Muay Thai gave me the physiologic reserve to persevere and endure the suffering and pain. Muay Thai gave me the hope and will to battle and live despite the debilitating disease. Muay Thai to me is more than life, it is a sacred gift. Welcome to The Striking Corner!
I fell helplessly in love with Muay Thai about thirteen years ago when I thought that trying something other than Rugby would be interesting. I had the pleasure and privilege of training with most of the Kru’s in Toronto at that time before I met Ajahn Suchart Yodkerepauprai of Siam No.1. I can confidently say that the day I met Ajahn was the day my life completely changed course. I remember the day when an intimidating hard faced Thai man bearing the warmest most genuine smile approached me with a polite wai and then asked me how much I weighed.
That began the next twelve years of my training with Ajahn Suchart at Siam No.1 and the development towards becoming a Champion, a Kru, and finally opening my own school. I have had the incredible experience of living and fighting in Thailand as well as following my amateur journey into a professional one. Now my focus is on developing myself as true martial artist, improving my skills so that I may improve my own students and passing on all the knowledge I have learned from Ajahn about Traditional Muay Thai.
Coincidentally, while I was in Thailand training I used my off hours to read and write as much as I could. Not only did I want to document all the amazing daily interactions and experiences but I also used writing as a way to stay connected to myself. Shortly after returning to Canada I began taking my creative writing more seriously. I studied creative writing at the University of Toronto as well as writing columns for a female fighter blog.
Although writing is currently more of a hobby while Muay Thai is my full time job, I look forward to developing my skills as a writer and fusing these two passions together. I look forward to keeping you all informed on the happenings of the North American Muay Thai community while keeping you all entertained in the process.
Khap khun kha!
I didn’t find Muay Thai until I was 29, ironically after returning from Asia to the United States. I spent the close to seven years before that living and working in Tokyo in journalism and marketing until I burned out from an alcohol and drug addiction, which forced me to return home and restart my life. My discovery of Muay Thai and Coban’s filled a gap in me which substances had before—the intensity, completeness, passion and people of Muay Thai have been integral in my continued sobriety.
Every time I train, teach, or fight is a new moment of thanks for me. Practicing any art is a privilege, and being given one as beautiful and demanding as Muay Thai after so much self-destruction is a blessing I cherish.
Nutrition has been another key piece of my sobriety and return to health, as well as my ability to train, recover and make weight. In addition to my “day job” as a freelance writer and translator, I run FastPaleo.com, a recipe sharing site for the paleo diet, which emphasizes whole, unprocessed foods for optimal health. Paleo has been something which has helped my overall health and training tremendously, and the site began from a personal desire to help others find similar happiness through a useful, free resource.
I hope that contributing lifestyle and nutrition articles to The Striking Corner will be a way for me to give back to an art which has given me so much.