Author

About the Author
CEO & Editor-in-Chief at Muay Thai is Life, my goal is to continue helping the sports of Muay Thai and Kickboxing grow in the United States and around the world. I love this sport and consider it to be something far more unique than just fighting. I dislike the politics of the sport, so I always do my best to stay away from the nasty bits of it, unless completely necessary. Host of The Striking Corner. Hit me up at eric@strikingcorner.com and you can also follow me on my personal Instagram @erickaewsamrit

Welcome to The Striking Corner

The Striking Corner is the new name of what was formerly “Muay Thai is Life”, a web page my good friend and training partner Vinny Scotto and I began in 2005.  It started out as Florida Sanshou then changed to Florida Sanshou & Muay Thai, then to Muay Thai is Life and now, finally, The Striking Corner.

I like to call this our final stage of evolution.  It is really what I feel is the last stage in a journey of discovery to find out who we are and what we want to be as a business, a blog, a website, or whatever you wish to call us.  I started “Muay Thai is Life” with the desire for it to be a blog about my journey through Muay Thai.  I wanted to be the only website interviewing fighters, writing about my experiences in Muay Thai, shooting video, pictures, etc.  I wanted to do it all! And for the most part I felt things went pretty well. However, what usually happens, happened.  Life just has a way of throwing a monkey wrench into all your plans.

Nothing bad happened,  I simply got a good job that I actually liked, married a great woman, and decided to start a family.  I put my competition days behind me for a bit and decided to focus on teaching Muay Thai alongside my longtime coach.  But with so much stuff going on, the website fell by the way side and my passion for Muay Thai took a back seat.

Vinny and I started this site when we were young.  Vinny had his own business, I had my own thing going and I was running the site on my own most of the time.  I had the help of some great people but I think I was too inconsistent and some of them just ventured off into other things.  Vinny always offered to help but I felt like I was the only one who could run this thing the way I wanted.  So naturally the site didn’t stay as current as I would have liked and content wasn’t updated as regularly as I would have liked.  The sport began to grow exponentially and other very talented Muay Thai bloggers, fighters, and Muay Thai enthusiasts started to pop up and find success telling their stories too.  I felt like the sport was passing me by!

So, long story short, I decided to call up Vinny, who is now a Muay Thai coach and gym owner himself in Staten Island, New York and pick his brain about what I should do with Muay Thai is Life and how we could revive this thing again.

Muay Thai is Life was my baby, many of you loved the name and what I was doing but I also feel I made a lot of mistakes.  I feel I burned a few bridges, wrote a few things that made people I look up to see me in a negative light even though that was not what I intended, and I simply half-assed it.  So Vinny advised a fresh start.

We got together and decided to revive my podcast, The Striking Corner.  It was another way I could talk about my love for Muay Thai and we felt it already had a great name so why change it.  Then we decided that we didn’t just want to limit ourselves to talking about Muay Thai, we also wanted to talk about Kickboxing and the Dutch Kickboxing scene which is a sport we have always loved and respected. So in an effort to distance ourselves from being perceived as a site that just talks about Muay Thai, we decided to look for a name that was catchy but could really encompass both sports.  The answer was right under our noses.  “Let’s just make everything The Striking Corner!”

Calling the website The Striking Corner just felt right.  It inspired a lot of new business ideas and a brand new direction and once again, for me, it just felt right.  It felt like this was what I had been looking for all along.  And to be candid, I just felt like I was at the right point in my life to take this a lot more seriously and once again reignite my long time love affair with Muay Thai and Kickboxing and just never let it go.  I have even decided to step back in the ring and will be documenting that journey as well!

So this website that you are looking at right now is all that.  It is over 10 years of Muay Thai and Kickboxing passion and that is what it will represent for the remainder. It is a new beginning of an old story. We have left some of our favorite articles and picture collections from over the years so you can check all of that out and will of course be adding new content regularly.  Also one of the main focuses will of course be our podcast which I hope you will all enjoy and follow.  Also “Muay Thai is Life” has not gone away and will continue on as our own proprietary brand of t-shirts and apparel.

There is still a lot more to come!  Welcome to The Striking Corner!

 

Profiles in Muay Thai: Global Edition – Vol. 2 – Damien Alamos

I began writing this article the morning I received the news that Damien Alamos had successfully defended his Lumpinee Title in an incredible fight with Thai contender Arunchai Pranyeesiphok. However, this profile on the young French Muay Thai sensation has been in production for what seems like months now. Gathering research on a particular fighter in order to coherently and fairly tell their story is hard enough but when most of the information you receive comes from a fighters humble but incredibly proud father, you definitely take your time to make sure everything turns out perfect.

From Left to Right: Steve Zaidi, Pentai, Pen-Ake, Num Noi, Damien Alamos

From Left to Right: Steve Zaidi, Pentai, Pen-Ake, Num Noi, Damien Alamos

I have been hearing about Damien Alamos for over a year now. His exploits may be unknown to those who don’t follow the Muay Thai circuit in Thailand closely but for those who do, the young French star definitely looked like he was going to amount to something special. Most die hard Muay Thai fans now know of Damien Alamos due to his historic Lumpinee Title win over Kongfah Auddormueng. Before Damien, only one other “falang” (foreigner in Thai), Frenchman Mourad Sari, had managed such a feat. And at only 21 years of age, many knew that Damien Alamos’ story had only just begun.

However, long before Damien won his title in Lumpinee and at the time of this writing, defended it, Damien was already proving to be a formidable Muay Thai talent in Thailand’s extremely competitive and demanding Muay Thai circuit. But how did a 21 year old French kid from Bordeaux become Thailand’s current falang sensation? Read More

Profiles in Muay Thai: Global Edition – Vol. 1 – Gabriel Varga

– by Eric Rivera –

There is a pretty common saying in sporting circles that states that “champions are not born, they are made.” While this is certainly the case the majority of the time, sometimes you come across athletes that seem to have both talent and a unique trait of being able to motivate themselves to work harder than anyone, training to exhaustion without anyone pushing them. Another saying tells us that, “when no one is watching, live as if someone is.” True champions and world class athletes follow a modified version of that quote which instead reads, “when no one is watching, TRAIN as if someone is.” Very few athletes can push themselves passed their limits without a coach, trainer, friend, or fans egging them on. Fighting is an individual sport. While all fighters need someone to hold pads or mitts for them, fighting is very much a sport where the fighter is required to push himself. Outside of the training sessions on pads, the fighter has to spend countless hours doing road work, running for miles on end, or sprinting up hills and inclines to build his or her conditioning.

There may also be days where a fighters coach or teammates may not be able to hold pads for them. On those days, a fighter has to will himself, no matter how exhausted, to jump rope, shadow box, and hit heavy bags or do their own strength and conditioning to the point of failure. And when they reach failure, they have to pick themselves up, on their own, and do just one more round. The difference between champions and the rest is that most champions will work incredibly hard even when they are not under the watchful eye of their trainers.

Gabriel Varga is exactly that type of champion. Read More

TSC presents “Profiles in American Muay Thai” Vol. 10 presents Eddie Walker

We are all looking for our calling. We are all looking for that one profession, talent, or activity where as if by some form of divine intervention, we can simply excel and perform better than others and are happy doing it. Some spend their entire lives looking for their “calling” and fail to find it. Often times we settle for what society tells us is right for us and give up searching for what really makes us feel alive. Many times we find our calling by chance.

Atlanta-based Muay Thai fighter Eddie Walker found his calling because after years of exercise and weightlifting he found himself still unable to get the results he was seeking. Five years ago, while trying to stay in shape he walked into Knuckle Up Fitness in Atlanta, Georgia and began taking Muay Thai classes. After a few months of training at Knuckle Up Fitness, Eddie caught the eye of professional Muay Thai fighter, Anthony Nieves. Impressed by his power and natural talent, Nieves asked Eddie if he had ever given fighting a thought.

This chance encounter would be the beginning of a new journey for Eddie. A journey that has taken him from fighting at local promotions such as Bangkok Fight Night in Atlanta, traveling all the way to Macedonia and representing the US on the Enfusion kickboxing reality show, and finally a shot at facing one of America’s current kickboxing superstars, Joe “Stich’Em Up” Schilling at Lion Fight Promotions’ “Lion Fight 7: Schilling vs. Walker”

When I asked Eddie about his upcoming bout with Schilling Read More

Muay Thai is Life speaks with Ky Hollenbeck about his win over Jordan Watson, The MPL, and the critics!

Ky Hollenbeck seems to have taken on the role of the “all around nice guy” of American Muay Thai. While some fighters aren’t known to pull any punches when it comes to talking about things that may bother them, Ky seems to be the more soft spoken and affable of America’s current Muay Thai elite. Consistently praising his opponents, while also taking every fight as a learning experience that will further fuel his growth as a Muay Thai fighter, Ky rarely, if ever, speaks ill of opponents or has a negative opinion on anything for that matter. Maybe it’s because Ky doesn’t come from the somewhat chaotic hustle and bustle of Los Angeles, the concrete jungle of New York, or the sandy adult playgrounds of Las Vegas. Maybe it because Ky lives and trains in San Francisco; the birth place of an American Renaissance that culminated with the 1960’s Summer of Love but still remaining synonymous with the bohemian free loving, free thinking, and laid back philosophies of modern American counterculture.

Ky Hollenbeck is far from ever being labeled a “hippie” but his unique and unorthodox fighting style, which currently has him enjoying an undefeated Muay Thai record of 25-0, is definitely in tune with the uniqueness of his hometown.

I had never spoken to Ky before conducting this interview you are going to listen to below, and while Ky has pretty much always been a nice guy, the criticism he sometimes gets is anything but nice. Because of his unique fighting style, more traditional Muay Thai practitioners tend to scoff and downplay his accomplishments. However, in the end, as different as his fighting style may be, he is consistently defeating seasoned Muay Thai fighters and only looks to continue doing so. Being a traditional Muay Thai practitioner myself, I have to admit that I sometimes don’t think Ky’s style is the prettiest demonstration of technique I have ever seen but regardless this is a sport where what you do in the ring, and not what people say outside it, is what really matters. And in that case Ky has truly earned every accolade he has attained in his career.

I found Ky to be a very down-to-earth guy that loves to fight, loves to represent his country, but overall looks to continue to learn from every fight and every opponent. He is definitely a genuine character and I definitely became a bigger fan after speaking with him. He is a great ambassador for the sport and has without any doubt earned his place as one of America’s top nakmuays. Check out the interview below!

Kevin Ross is our “Featured Fighter of The Month” – Check out our recent phone interview with Kevin here!

Kevin Ross is without a doubt (in our minds at least) the best Muay Thai fighter in the U.S. at the moment. When foreign fighters are asked about the state of Muay Thai in the U.S., they consistently bring up one name and that is Kevin “The Soul Assassin” Ross. Kevin’s exciting, aggressive, yet technical style is a big reason why the U.S. Muay Thai scene is gaining respect worldwide. Never one to back down from a fight, Kevin has consistently stepped in the ring against tough opposition and has consistently put on impressive performances. Kevin currently trains out of the Throwdown Training Center in Las Vegas, Nevada and is the current WBC International Muay Thai champion at 140 lbs and also owns a USMF national title. Kevin Ross is Muay Thai is Life’s Featured Fighter for the month of October.

We recently caught up with Kevin (and by caught up I mean we called him) and talked about his recent battle with one of the best fighters in the world, Saenchai Sinbimuaythai and his upcoming bout with the last man to defeat Saenchai, Sakkedao Petchpayathai on October 21st at M-One Grand’s “USA vs. Thailand” event in Los Angeles, California. Kevin also speaks about some other interesting issues and his position as one of America’s best nakmuays.

It is a great and interesting interview with Kevin and we are honored to have him as our featured fighter this month.

Make sure to check out our Official Facebook Page as Kevin is featured on the landing page of the site. And while you are there, like our page. Sometimes we have videos and other interesting stuff being posted by our fans as well as our fellow nakmuays and Muay yings worldwide.

And if you are on Twitter, do not forget to follow us @muaythaiislife