MTiL

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!

Episode 30 – Ashley Nichols

In this episode of The Striking Corner we speak with Ashley “AK-47” Nichols. Professional Canadian Muay Thai Fighter and pride of the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, Ashley will be facing off with Tiffany Van Soest at Lion Fight 27 on Friday, January 29th for the vacant Super Bantamweight Lion Fight title. We speak with Ashley about her journey in Muay Thai, her accomplishments in Muay Thai, K1, BJJ, and other disciplines, as well as what we can expect to see when she stands face to face with the always explosive Tiffany Van Soest.

In addition Ashley discusses her desire to represent not only Canadian and Women’s Muay Thai but to be an example for the First Nations people, the aboriginal people of Canada. Ashley is without a doubt a disciplined, skillful, and extremely driven women, and it was a pleasure talking to her and learning more about her story. We hope you enjoy her story as much as we did.

Also as on a side note, during the portion of the podcast where Ashley was thanking her coaches, teammates, and sponsors, she forgot to mention one of her biggest sponsors, Ring Royalty Supply Co. so she wanted us to make sure we mentioned how grateful she is for all of their support. Check out their site for top quality Muay Thai gear and apparel.

MTiL Presents “King of Siam No. 1” – Part One

So here it is, as promised, Part 1 of MTiL’s exclusive interview with Siam No. 1’s Ajahn Suchart Yodkerepauprai. Largely considered one of the most influential men in the Canadian Muay Thai scene, Ajahn Suchart is the head of the world renowned Siam No. 1 gym that is currently home to a multitude of champions including Simon Marcus and Matt Embree. Our very own Jenypher Lanthier (a student of Ajahn Suchart herself) speaks one on one with Ajahn Suchart regarding Muay Thai in Canada and worldwide, as well as the culture of the sport, tradition, and much more!

This interview is part of Jenypher’s Meet the Canadians series exclusively dedicated to covering the Muay Thai scene in Canada. Her interview with Ajahn was about an hour long and thus we have decided to bring it to you in 3 parts which can only be found here on Muay Thai is Life, on our official Facebook page, and of course on our official Youtube Channel. Check it out! Part 1 is below and make sure you stay tuned for part 2, coming soon!

Glory 12 – Full Fight Card Announced

GLORY, the world’s premier kickboxing league, today announced the full fight card for GLORY 12 NEW YORK, featuring a one-night, four-man Lightweight World Championship Tournament and a headline match-up between two rising American stars, broadcast LIVE on SPIKE TV from the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Saturday, November 23rd.

The world’s top-ranked Lightweights will square off in GLORY’s World Championship Tournament that pits #1 ranked Dutch powerhouse Robin van Roosmalen (30-5-0, 19 KOs) against karate stylist and world #3 Davit Kiria (21-8-0, 6 KOs). On the other side of the bracket, #2 ranked technical stylist Giorgio Petrosyan (78-1-1, 35 KOs), considered one of kickboxing’s top pound-for-pound fighters, will face exciting and unorthodox Andy Ristie (39-3-1, 19 KOs), who currently occupies the #4 spot in GLORY’s rankings. The winner of the one-night tournament will be crowned GLORY Lightweight World Champion and claim a cash prize of $150,000, while the runner-up will receive $30,000.

GLORY 12 NEW YORK is headlined by a bi-coastal clash between GLORY Middleweight World Champion Joe ‘Stitch ‘Em Up’ Schilling (16-4-0, 10 KOs) of California and New York’s own, knockout artist Wayne Barrett (3-0-0, 3 KOs).

The evening’s co-headline bout features Heavyweight finishers in action, as Morocco’s Jamal ‘The Goliath’ Ben Saddik (24-3-0, 20 KOs) faces Australian puncher Ben ‘The Guvner’ Edwards (35-9-3, 31 KOs).

Full card below:

GLORY 12 NEW YORK
Wayne Barrett vs. Joe Schilling
Ben Edwards vs. Jamal Ben Saddik
Shemsi Beqiri vs. Ky Hollenbeck
Giorgio Petrosyan vs. Andy Ristie
Robin van Roosmalen vs. Davit Kiria

GLORY SUPERFIGHT SERIES
Artem Vakhitov vs. Nenad Pagonis
Dustin Jacoby vs. Makoto Uehara
Brian Collette vs. Warren Thompson
Igor Jurkovic vs. Jhonata Diniz
Francois Ambang vs. Eddie Walker
Paul Marfort vs. Thiago Michel

UNDERCARD
Nick Pace vs. Niko Tsigaras
Mohamed Fanzy vs. Alexy Filyakov
Jeff Brown vs. Mike Fischetti
Anna Shearer vs. Andrea D’Angelo

GLORY 12 NEW YORK will air live on SPIKE TV from the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City on Saturday, November 23rd at 9:00 p.m. ET / 8:00 p.m. CT.

Tickets for GLORY 12 NEW YORK are available at the Madison Square Garden box office and ticketmaster.com, starting at $35.

Doors open at 5:00 p.m. ET, with the first match beginning at 5:15 p.m. ET.

For more information, visit gloryworldseries.com.

Muay Thai is a Mountain

—James Gregory is the author of Paleo for FightersHeart of 8: What Is Muay Thai?Primal Deliverance: How Paleo Saved My Life from Addiction, and Japan: Stories from the Inside

I didn’t fight my first Muay Thai fight until I was 31. I didn’t even wrap my hands, lace up a glove, or crack a Thai pad until I was 29. I’ll be 34 next month as I’m writing this, and I have a tiny fraction of the fights fighters in Thailand have when they retire—when they’re nine years younger than I am.

Conventional wisdom says eight fights at 33 doesn’t leave too many years for a pro career. Fighting Muay Thai is also not the only thing in my life. I could just as easily spend it on my writing, or my business, or traveling, or any number of other things. But how at all am I benefiting myself by limiting myself, by being realistic? As it’s tough to go wrong quoting Bruce Lee when writing about martial arts: “If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”

I’ve decided not to limit myself, and I’m planning on fighting again in a few months, and probably more after that. And, I know plenty of active fighters older than myself who have chosen similarly.

In life, and in Muay Thai, we have to craft our own meaning. I may not end up with 200 fights and know what it’s like to give my entire life to fighting. And that’s ok. I’m also not satisfied going to class a couple times a week and then ending up never having known the feeling of stepping into a ring—not that there’s a single thing wrong with that—it’s just not me.

What I get from Muay Thai first is my sobriety. It’s the finger that scratches the itch I almost scratched to death with cocaine and alcohol in the past . I’ve trained four to six days a week since I started four years ago with the exception of rest weeks every few months and a broken collarbone and dislocated shoulder, and I was still present at camp even when I was injured. I don’t say that to brag, because it’s not a chore. It’s what keeps me sane; what allows me to challenge things in my life outside of camp, to be a good person and to feel healthy and strong. As a writer and online business owner, it’s also what gets me out from in front of a computer screen and into “real life” every day. It’s what makes me happy.

Fighting is a lesson about myself. I battle with anxiety and the inability to step out of my head and into the present moment on a daily basis. If there is any place on this earth where you must overcome these things to be successful, it is in a fist fight.

It is also a lesson in perseverance and focus—you have to finish strong and with grace and skill in the very eight minutes after you have just completed an arduous training camp.

And, it’s a test of emotional control—for me, a test of whether I can turn on the tough-guy switch within me when it comes time. You can train hard, be fit, take care of your body and know technique, but when you step into the ring, as the saying goes, it’s a fight. You have to be ready to really want to hurt another human being—something that, for me at least, doesn’t come naturally.

There is the idea of the “path” in martial arts. I think you could liken one art to one mountain. I and most everyone reading this are on the Muay Thai mountain. Like an actual mountain, there are different paths to the top. My path is laden with anxiety, over-thinking and gentleness. Those mental obstacles are the streams, boulders and fallen trees I must cross, climb and hurdle on my way to the top of the mountain.

Maybe your goal is to get in shape and know how to handle yourself if you were faced with a fight. Then, fitness, courage and technique would be parts of your path. Maybe you found Muay Thai much later in life, and you want to have something new to learn. Your path involves maintaining an open mind. Maybe you came to Muay Thai young, are naturally tough and athletic, work hard, and are blessed with talent. Your path involves sticking with it until you find yourself fighting for a belt in a stadium on the television.

We can all meet at the top, but only if we understand and decide to walk our own path. You may be in competition with the person you are stepping into the ring with, and you and your camp mates may push each other to work harder and be better, but you are never in a race along the path, because each path is unique to the one walking it. Yet we all climb the same mountain.

Why am I doing this? How will it make me a better person? How does it make me happy? What do I want to look back on and take joy in? It’s perfectly fine not to know the answer to all of these—that search for answers, and even for the right questions, is part of the process. But, the one thing you must realize is that the path leads only inward.

Relive the Action from Glory 10 – Pictures by Chad Hill

MTiL’s new West Coast photographer Chad Hill was ringside at the Glory 10 event this past Saturday, September 28th at the Citizens Bank Arena in Los Angeles, California. Aside from getting the opportunity to photograph and rub elbows with some of the world’s greatest kickboxers, this was a particularly special night for Chad because when he isn’t busy with a fashion photoshoot or shooting for Muay Thai is Life, Chad trains at LA’s The Yard. The Lincoln Heights (Los Angeles) gym that now Glory Middleweight Champion Joe Schilling calls home. So in what was without a doubt a big night for American kickboxers, Chad was on hand to catch all the excitement when Schilling defeated Levin and took home 150,000 dollars and the Glory Middlewight tournament crown! Check out the pics below!