Eric Rivera

United States Muaythai Federation (USMF) – 2nd OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE

As previously announced in our recent press release, the United States Muaythai Federation (USMF) will be partnering with the country’s major Muaythai tournaments as sanctioned by the World Kickboxing Association (WKA), the International Kickboxing Federation (IKF) and the Thai Boxing Association Sanctioning Authority (TBA-SA). As partners, we will delegate the strongest team for competition at the 2017 International Federation Muaythai Amateur (IFMA) tournament which will be held beginning on May 1, 2017 (Location to be announced).

WKA LogoIKF LogoTBA Logo
Working in conjunction with the major self-governing sanctioning bodies (note: the USMF is NOT a sanctioning body) to build a battle-tested team establishes an excellent precedent as has been the goal of any true federation. The respected groups have an excellent history in running their annual campaigns, all of them continuously crown high-caliber champions – capable of performing well for the US in the IFMA tournament.

• WKA-USA: US National Championships and Team Trials. May 19-22, (New York, NY)
http://www.wkausa.com/wkanationals2016.html
• TBA-SA: 10th annual Muay Thai Classic. June 17-19th (Des Moines Iowa)
http://www.tbasanctioning.org/2016MTC/2016MTCInfo.htm
• IKF: World Classic Muay Thai Championships. July 22-24 (Orlando, FL)
http://www.ikfkickboxing.com/WC16.htm

By hosting the unifying tournament, the USMF would extend exclusive invitations to the tournament champions for the opportunity to compete for a spot on the IFMA roster. This yields a process to give everyone, regardless of region within the US, an equal opportunity to earn a prestigious spot on the team by participating and winning in any of those tournaments.

For all athletes reading this, the USMF in partnership with the IKF, TBA and WKA will be the platform that enables your career to advance internationally!

United States Muaythai Federation (USMF) – OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE

For years, we have all asked the same question: Can the USA be a global Muaythai powerhouse?

For all of us at the United States Muaythai Federation (USMF), the answer is of course a resounding “YES”! Coming off the recent successes at the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur (IFMA) 2015 Royal World Cup in Bangkok the USA had 1 gold medalist (Troy Jones) and 2 bronze (Joseph Espinoza, Jonathan Cosio). We had a strong team that was recognized among the 120 different competing countries. Due to this success, the USMF has one simple challenge ahead and that is simply to produce more medalists and showcase that US Muaythai has indeed become an opponent that can no longer be overlooked. As the sole IFMA representative, the USMF has the responsibility to promote Muaythai in order for it to achieve the highest recognition in the United States.11035735_916553165085012_6032190722544394624_n

A recently restructured Board of Directors with voting privileges has been appointed by USMF President, Cheryl Garcia. Ms. Garcia has selected seasoned and trusted Muaythai leaders from across the USA with the depth of knowledge, experience, passion, and ambition to develop and grow the sport of Muaythai in the USA.

The Board of Directors is comprised of:

Ricardo Perez – Head Coach of Team Toro Janjira Muay Thai in Chicago, IL

Stephen Strotmeyer Head Coach at Kaay Muay Sit Kangmangkorn in Pittsburgh, PA.

Marcy Maxwell – Event Management for Arise Fighting Championships – Manager of Woodenman Fight Team

Derek Yuen – Coach at American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, CA.

Anucha Chaiyasen (aka Jongsanan) – One of Thailand’s Muay Thai legends.  A veteran of over 126 fights.

Eric Rivera – President and Host of The Striking Corner Website & Podcast. 12+ years of Muay Thai experience.

Michael Corley – Owner & Head Coach of Houston Muay Thai.  Over 25+ Professional Muay Thai Fights

Kirian Fitzgibbons – Owner & Head Coach at CSA Gym in Dublin, CA. One of the premier gyms in the U.S.

Dmitriy Shirganov – Vice President of Muay Thai Addict & Head Instructor at Legend Muay Thai in Florida

Cheryl Garcia – USMF President.

One of the board’s most recent accomplishments was to officially file with the Secretary of the State of Texas and receive a Certificate of Formation for the USMF as a Domestic Nonprofit Corporation. Texas approved that the USMF conforms to the applicable provisions of law, and ACCORDINGLY issued certificate evidence filings effective February 2016 (File Number: 802388432). Also, as of today (March 24th, 2016) the IRS has officially approved the USMF as a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit.

USMF-1The 2016 USMF Team USA athletes have been selected to compete at the IFMA World Championship this coming May in Sweden, and selections are currently underway for the junior team that will compete this September in Thailand. Stay tuned for more information and fundraising efforts to support USMF’s Team USA 2016. For all athletes reading this, we will be the platform that enables your career to advance internationally. We want you to realize your potential and will help you break from what was once described as:

“The United States’ comparative isolation from international competition.” – Muay Thaimes

We have proposed a new way to select the team that represents our country in battle which will give everyone, regardless of region within the U.S., an equal opportunity to earn a spot on the team. By proposing a unified Muaythai champion in the US under one banner, we believe our best fight team for the IFMAs is yet to come. We believe that a unified initiative will see the USA emerge as a true threat to international completion at the amateur level.

The Striking Corner on the Muay Thai Guy Podcast

I had the chance to speak with Sean Fagan on the Muay Thai Guy podcast recently about MY journey through Muay Thai and how The Striking Corner evolved into what it is today. Sean is a great guy who has always been very supportive of what we do here at The Striking Corner so it was an honor to be on his podcast and just talk about our love for Muay Thai, the current state of the sports of Muay Thai and Kickboxing in the US and so much more. I was the person being interviewed for a change…and I have to say that it isn’t that easy to be the one answering the questions. Listen, enjoy, comment, share!

Check out the episode here by clicking  below!

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Last Night in Bangkok

Author’s Note: I wrote this piece after one of my trips to Bangkok.  It was written just a few hours before heading to the airport to come back to the states. This particular experience was unique because unlike my other trips to Bangkok, I would not be staying in a Muay Thai camp and their usually very minimal and for lack of a better word, spartan accommodations.  During this trip I actually had the privilege to stay at the very luxurious and legendary Oriental Hotel in Bangkok. The company I was doing some work  for at the time put me up at this breathtaking hotel with all expenses paid so the experience was needless to say very different than my previous trips to Thailand.  

It’s about 8 pm, I’m sitting at my hotel room desk contemplating what I am going to do tonight, this being my final night in Bangkok.

Once again, I took the 3 leg, almost 30 hour journey from Miami to Dallas, Dallas to Tokyo, and Tokyo to Bangkok. Once again I arrived to the sweltering heat of this Kingdom that feels like home, and once again I was bewitched, enchanted, and awestruck by this mysteriously intoxicating city.

The Oriental Hotel - Bangkok

The Oriental Hotel – Bangkok

As I write these words I’m sitting at a finely crafted wooden desk in my very chic and expensive room at one of Southeast Asia’s most celebrated colonial era hotels, The Oriental – Bangkok. Room service seems to be active 24/7. With absolutely dedicated customer service that borders on overkill, it seems as if every time I leave my room, even if only to have a quick breakfast or lunch, room service sneaks into my room to tidy up. I have a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut Champagne -given to me upon my arrival, and for which I haven’t found the time nor occasion to drink- put on ice daily and again neatly placed into its sterling silver bucket. Pants, shorts, and shirts that had been strewn throughout my room just moments ago, are once again neatly folded or hung in the closet.

I am currently snacking on two fruit cocktail shooters made from Thailand’s freshest local fruit, evidently the five star hotels’ idea of the appropriate turn down service treat, which I have to say is much better than those silver and green wrapped chocolate mints given in most hotels stateside. Yes, I’m definitely not going to complain, this luxury is pretty much undeserved. However,…I will take it.

However, even with all this luxury, my mind is just consumed by the sadness that in just a few hours I am leaving once again. The 30 hour trip halfway around the world to get here seems like it was just yesterday and once again here I am getting ready to go “home”. The view of Bangkok from my 14th story hotel window only serves as further torture at this moment. The lights of the city below and the moonlight reflecting off the Chao Praya are beckoning me, begging me to stay. Or is it me begging? Yes, it’s probably me.

 

Bangkok at Night

Bangkok at Night

This is Thailand. It is home.

It feels more like home to me now than my real home. Every time I am back home, I am longing to go “home”. Bangkok consumes my thoughts, its klongs and sois the subject of every dream. I re-walk the streets of the city, taking in the smell of the various food stalls that line each thoroughfare. I long for Yaowarat’s neon lights, the hustle and bustle of its many oversized seafood restaurants with each locale having waiters wearing the restaurants designated color.

I sit here writing this, because even though I am here, I already miss it. I know that the saddening hour when I must board the plane that takes me away from here, is rapidly approaching. I fear that if I go out and enjoy myself now, the enjoyment will cause for the hours to pass rapidly and that moment to come sooner. If I stay here, looking at this clock, while staring at the lights of the city I love, time will slow down…hopefully stop.

Bangkok is truly intoxicating and habit forming. It’s no less addictive than the Yaa Baa that currently plagues Bangkok’s poorer sectors. I have been here many times before and still can’t seem to get my fix, or feed my hunger. This lovely obsession with Muay Thai brought me here, and now the city and country itself want to keep me here. When I go home, it’s constantly going to call for me. And like a junky looking to score his next high, I’m going to come crawling back, foaming at the mouth. However, right now, the time for talk is over.

The lights beckon, the girls call out into the night, and the streets scream for my presence. There is one last dish of Grapow Moo waiting for me, one last bottle of Singha or Beer Chang to quench this thirst, and one…last night in Bangkok to exprience. Not even this room at one of the most luxurious of Southeast Asian colonial era remnants, a tribute to years long since past, is going to keep me from this last night and these last few hours. Tonight I get lost in the sweet chaos of Bangkok once again. Don’t wait up.

See you when I see you.