Coaches

Episode 72 – Rudy Ott

In this episode of The Striking Corner, Eric and Vinny speak with former professional fighter, coach, and Smash Gym owner Rudi Ott. Rudi started out his career in Sanshou, also known as Chinese Kickboxing, which is the same fighting discipline that both Eric and Vinny started in before making the transition to Muay Thai. Rudi talks about the old Sanshou scene in his native Boston, how he made his way out west and began training with Cung Le, his career in Sanshou, making the transition to Muay Thai, and much more. We had a great chat with one of the OG’s in the Sanshou scene and now a highly respected coach in the U.S. Enjoy!

Episode 69 – Youth Muaythai Development with Patrick Rivera & Michael Corley

In this episode of the podcast, Eric & Vinny speak with USMF President Michael “Chase” Corley and Muaythai Youth Academy co-creator Patrick Rivera. Both of these gentlemen have played a major role in growing Muay Thai in the United States as well as pushing Muay Thai towards getting recognized by the USOC (United State Olympic Committee). Michael and Patrick both feel that the future of American Muaythai lies in establishing a template and/or path for our youth Muay Thai athletes to get prepared, from an early age, for both national and international competition. In this episode, we discuss the importance of the USMF’s Youth Development League, the upcoming Muaythai Youth Academy workshop at Patrick’s Valor Training Center in Stockton, California, and we also discuss the phenomena performance by 4 of America’s young female Muaythai athletes at a recent event in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Listen, learn, and believe, as the path to exponential growth of American Muay Thai is explained here on this podcast!

Episode 68 – Eddie Cuello

In this episode of The Striking Corner, Vinny and Eric speak with promoter, coach, gym owner, and entrepreneur, Eddie Cuello! Eddie has long been a friend of the podcast and The Striking Corner as Eric at one time fought on Eddie’s old Take On Productions promotion and also served as a commentator on various shows. In this podcast, the guys discuss Eddie’s growth from the days of Take On Productions to his new venture as a promoter of Triumph Kombat, as well as owning and coaching at his two locations of Rebel Thaiboxing in Long Island, New York in addition to other projects he works on. The guys talk East Coast Muay Thai, pro vs. amateur opportunities, Eddie’s PROMISE to fly Eric out to New York for the next Triumph Kombat Card, and Vinny teaches Eric to properly pronounce Madison Square Garden. Enjoy fight fans!

Episode 67 – Kirian Fitzgibbons

In the first episode of 2018, we decided we needed to start off the new year of The Striking Corner right! And who better to kick off 2018, then CSA Gym owner and head coach extraordinaire, Kirian Fitzgibbons! “Coach K”, as he is known to his many students and peers, is without a doubt one of the top striking coaches in North America, coaching the likes of Kevin Ross, Gaston Bolaños, Zoila Frausto, Zach Bunnell, Eddie Abasolo, Alexis Davis, Miriam Nakamoto, and the list goes on and on. Coach K has been a huge part of the growth of Muay Thai and Kickboxing in America for quite some time. He knows all the players and has seen it all. He is very passionate about combat sports, his students, and his brand. He pulls no punches when giving his opinions, takes no bullshit, and we love him for it. Yet for some, his take no prisoners attitude rubs them the wrong way however the success of his gym, his fighters, and his system cannot be denied. In this episode, we discuss everything from his background in combat sports and defensive tactics to the state of Muay Thai and Kickboxing in America. We also discuss why many fighters need to stop bitching, understand that in combat sports you have to learn to promote yourself and that there truly is no secret to success, it’s all about hard work, structure, and the occasional usage of the term “motherfucker!” Enjoy!

Episode 66 – Bryan Popejoy

In this episode of The Striking Corner, Eric and Vinny speak with the Head Coach of Boxings Works in Torrance, California and the USMF National Team, Bryan Popejoy. Bryan is considered one of the top Muay Thai coaches in the US and the guys we were definitely honored to have him as a guest on the podcast. In this episode, we discuss Bryan’s background in Muay Thai, the history of Boxing Works, the California Muay Thai scene in the 1990’s, the definition of “Traditional Muay Thai”, fighting with pads, and much more!

Episode 65 – Eric Haycraft

In this episode of The Striking Corner, Vinny and Eric speak with one of our good friends and one of THE BEST coaches for Kickboxing in the U.S.; Eric Haycraft, head coach and owner of Real Fighters Gym in Louisville, Kentucky. Eric Haycraft is truly one of the most knowledgeable striking coaches in the United States today, especially in the realm of Kickboxing, sometimes referred to as “Dutch Kickboxing”. Having trained extensively throughout his career with the likes of Rob Kaman and the late Ramon Dekkers, Eric has spent years trying to elevate the level and status of the sports of Muay Thai and Kickboxing in America. We discuss the “state of the union” for Kickboxing and Muay Thai in the U.S., why American fighters should stay amateur longer, the growth of the US Muaythai Federation and the big strides they have made in pushing Muay Thai forward, and so much more! This podcast is stacked with great conversation! And if you are a die-hard Muay Thai and Kickboxing fan, we know you will enjoy it.