Profiles in Muay Thai

Profiles in Muay Thai: Global Edition – Vol. 2 – Damien Alamos

I began writing this article the morning I received the news that Damien Alamos had successfully defended his Lumpinee Title in an incredible fight with Thai contender Arunchai Pranyeesiphok. However, this profile on the young French Muay Thai sensation has been in production for what seems like months now. Gathering research on a particular fighter in order to coherently and fairly tell their story is hard enough but when most of the information you receive comes from a fighters humble but incredibly proud father, you definitely take your time to make sure everything turns out perfect.

From Left to Right: Steve Zaidi, Pentai, Pen-Ake, Num Noi, Damien Alamos

From Left to Right: Steve Zaidi, Pentai, Pen-Ake, Num Noi, Damien Alamos

I have been hearing about Damien Alamos for over a year now. His exploits may be unknown to those who don’t follow the Muay Thai circuit in Thailand closely but for those who do, the young French star definitely looked like he was going to amount to something special. Most die hard Muay Thai fans now know of Damien Alamos due to his historic Lumpinee Title win over Kongfah Auddormueng. Before Damien, only one other “falang” (foreigner in Thai), Frenchman Mourad Sari, had managed such a feat. And at only 21 years of age, many knew that Damien Alamos’ story had only just begun.

However, long before Damien won his title in Lumpinee and at the time of this writing, defended it, Damien was already proving to be a formidable Muay Thai talent in Thailand’s extremely competitive and demanding Muay Thai circuit. But how did a 21 year old French kid from Bordeaux become Thailand’s current falang sensation? Read More

Profiles in Muay Thai: Global Edition – Vol. 1 – Gabriel Varga

– by Eric Rivera –

There is a pretty common saying in sporting circles that states that “champions are not born, they are made.” While this is certainly the case the majority of the time, sometimes you come across athletes that seem to have both talent and a unique trait of being able to motivate themselves to work harder than anyone, training to exhaustion without anyone pushing them. Another saying tells us that, “when no one is watching, live as if someone is.” True champions and world class athletes follow a modified version of that quote which instead reads, “when no one is watching, TRAIN as if someone is.” Very few athletes can push themselves passed their limits without a coach, trainer, friend, or fans egging them on. Fighting is an individual sport. While all fighters need someone to hold pads or mitts for them, fighting is very much a sport where the fighter is required to push himself. Outside of the training sessions on pads, the fighter has to spend countless hours doing road work, running for miles on end, or sprinting up hills and inclines to build his or her conditioning.

There may also be days where a fighters coach or teammates may not be able to hold pads for them. On those days, a fighter has to will himself, no matter how exhausted, to jump rope, shadow box, and hit heavy bags or do their own strength and conditioning to the point of failure. And when they reach failure, they have to pick themselves up, on their own, and do just one more round. The difference between champions and the rest is that most champions will work incredibly hard even when they are not under the watchful eye of their trainers.

Gabriel Varga is exactly that type of champion. Read More