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!
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-USA: US National Championships and Team Trials. May 19-22, (New York, NY)
• TBA-SA: 10th annual Muay Thai Classic. June 17-19th (Des Moines Iowa)
• IKF: World Classic Muay Thai Championships. July 22-24 (Orlando, FL)
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!
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.
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.
The 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.