Michael Chase Corley

Episode 53 – Jason Farrell

In this episode, Vinny and Eric speak with owner and head coach of Level Up Boxing, Jason Farrell. Jason is an accomplished striking coach who was recently tasked with being one of the coaches for the US National Muay Thai Team that competed at the IFMA World Muay Thai Championships in Minsk, Belarus. Jason discusses the large gap he witnessed between the financial support other country’s teams received as opposed to that of our very own Team USA. The guys brainstorm about how to grow awareness, support, and why more of the Muay Thai community should be aware of the importance and magnitude of the IFMA World Championships. They also air a few grievances as well!

As a side note, we wanted to apologize for the sound issues during the interview portion of this particular episode. We ran into some technical issues due to a misplaced mic and improper settings. Apologies!

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)
• 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!

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.

Nieky Holzken, Cyrus Washington, Marco Pique, and Michael Corley discuss their bouts at “Klaar Om Te Bossen 3” in Suriname – PLUS Weigh-In Pictures

Tomorrow (OR tonight depending on when you read this) is the “Klaar Om Te Bossen 3” event in Paramaribo, Suriname. One of our readers had asked me what exactly the title of the event meant and I was sad to tell him that I didn’t know because my Dutch is pretty much rusty, or in other words non-existent. After using Google translate and a few other online translation services, all indications pointed to it meaning “Ready to Forest”, which I’m sure you would all agree had to be incorrect. I then remembered that my good friend Krystal happens to be from Suriname and would surely point me in the right direction. Anyway, she informed me that the phrase was in Surinamese-Dutch and actually meant “Ready to Blow!”, which made a lot more sense. So for the reader out there that was asking, you now know what “Klaar Om Te Bossen” means. Also, I might add that Krystal recommended that people who are interested in Surinamese cuisine try saoto, whatever that is. I’m sure it’s delicious.

Cyrus Washington & Nieky Holzken

With that said, the “Klaar Om Te Bossen” event will feature a few big bouts such as those featuring kickboxing superstars Nieky Holzken and Marco Pique facing off against Americans Cyrus Washington and Michael Chase Corley. An important thing to highlight is that not only is the bout between Marco Pique and Michael Chase Corley a Full Muay Thai rules fight, it is the first Full Muay Thai rules bout in the history of Suriname! Also on the card, female Muay Thai sensation and WBC International Champion Jemyma Betrian will face off against Lorena “The Pitbull” Klijn. Another American to grace the card will be Ron Ritter facing off against Rodney Glunder. Check out our previous article for the full lineup.

Muay Thai is Life was lucky enough to have a few friends on the ground in Suriname who were able to sit down with all 4 of the main event fighters: Nieky, Marco, Cyrus, and Michael to ask them a few questions. Also we were able to get a few exclusive pics of the weigh ins for the event, which can be seen in the gallery that follows the interview.

MTiL: First of all, thank you guys for taking the time before your big fights to speak with us here at Muay Thai is Life. Michael and Cyrus, although you are both American fighters, the majority of your careers have been spent fighting overseas. What do you feel are the major differences between competing overseas and competing in the United States? And while Muay Thai is experiencing growth in the U.S. and some American fighters, such as yourselves, are making waves globally, there is still the thought that American Muay Thai is weak…why do you think that thought persists?

Michael Corley: Fighting overseas you get a chance to compete against all different kinds of styles with Dutch, Muay Thai and all kinds of European and Asian styles.

More shows are starting to bring in international talent for US guys to compete against and it’s turning heads. And then there are the guys that are going out and fighting internationally and having good showings.

Cyrus Washington: I feel that thought is still spoken of because of the past. Myself, Michael Corely, and maybe 5 or 6 other top American fighters, American Muay Thai is strong as in any other country. The major difference between fighting in the US and over seas is the fact that more money and effort are put forth from both promoters and fighters. There is less commission involvement and more sanctioning bodies overseeing regulations.

MTiL: What do you think needs to change or needs to continue in the U.S. for the sport to grow and eventually reach a level that is on par with the best Muay Thai nations in the world? Read More