In this episode of The Striking Corner, Eric and Vinny speak with UK Muay Thai Legend, World Champion, and 4-time European Champion, Damien Trainor. Damien gives a lot of insight into the mental game of being a fighter, when it’s best to hang up the gloves, life after fighting, haters, social media, and more! Damien is a legend and has continued to give back to the Muay Thai & Kickboxing community through his work at his own gym, doing seminars around the world, and writing for his blog at DamienTrainor.com.
I am a huge fan of film, photography, and pretty much all sorts of digital media. Whether it’s graphic design, motion graphics, or web design, I am always looking at things from a design perspective. When I am not posting things for The Striking Corner or in the studio getting ready to record another episode of our podcast, I am at my day job working as a Digital Content Manager for a major broadcasting company here in the U.S. Everyday, I see talented videographers, producers, photographers, designers, DJ’s, radio personalities, hone their craft and share it with the world. It is for this reason that I have a soft spot for all of the creative artists that are involved in the sport of Muay Thai and Kickboxing and use their talents to showcase how beautiful the martial arts are. A fight is a masterpiece in motion. To the untrained eye it simply looks like a “fight”. But to the trained eye it is a chess match, a warlike game full of strategy, misdirection, defensive tactics, timing, counter attacks, and full on all out assault when necessary.
The creative minds that are in our sport, and I take this moment to drop names of awesome photographers in the sport like: Jeff Dojillo, Galen Okazaki, Ahren Nuang, Marty Rockatansky, Scott Hirano, Stever Ferdman a.k.a. Bauzen, Arnold “Marz” Marzan, and of course our very own Victor Alvarez; can take what seems like a brutal sport and turn it into a visual symphony.
With that said, I was recently contacted through Twitter by a freelance film director from France named Stephane Benini, who simply sent me a link of his work and told me to check it out. Needless to say I was blown away by it. Just the intro of his film “De l’Or dans les mains” or “Hands of Gold” (roughly translated) captivated me. The entire film is a look behind the scenes into the world of Muay Thai and Kickboxing. Filmed in Luxembourg and Thailand, Stephane captures the life and emotions of the fighters, fans, coaches, promoters, photographers, etc. in the moments leading up to the fight, during the fight, and after the fight. The video beautifully captures all of these emotions without the need for dialogue. It’s a musical documentary and experimental film of sorts in the same line as Ron Fricke’s Koyaanisqatsi, Chronos, and Samsara.
The funny thing is I have never met Stephane Benini or even spoken to him at length. But I just loved watching how he beautifully captured a sport that is so important to me. And I think that if you are truly passionate about Muay Thai and Kickboxing, you will be as inspired by his film as I was.