There are many other living legends within the UK right now, from the north to the south we as a country are growing stronger and stronger every year. The UK has some of the best fighters currently available outside of Thailand, you should be proud of their achievements and you should try to get to know these stars a little better.
Here are some other names that you need to know:
Paulo Da Silva (Crawley MT), Jay Woodham (Mungkorn Dam), Dave Fensom (Shin Kick), David Paquite (KO Gym), Dellian White (Red Dragons), Olly Watson (Minatours), Frankie Hudders (Franks Gym), Dean James (Pra Chao Sua), Dale White (Deans Gym), Bernise Alldis (Keddles), Christi Campbell (Saints), Sheree Halliday (Sor Khamsing) and many more..
Trainers that have inspired me...
Ajarn Jitti Damriram
Ajarn Jitty continues to be a massive light of inspiration for me, I often think back to some of the teaching and guidance he gave me, not
only in Muay Thai, but in life! Kru Jitty has inspired me many times not to give in, not to be beaten, to give unlimited perseverance to
students, offer a guiding hand to anyone who may need help and belief that if you do for Muay Thai, Muay Thai will do for you! - I am
forever thankful and humbled at being able to call you Kru.
What I learnt from Phykadamn, was handed down to me through my previous instructor and mentor. Although things have changed between myself and Byron. I would like to thank him for truly showing me
something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. To Phykadamn,
I thankyou for being one of the first to take in a foreigner to your
school, so many years ago. Without that gesture I would never have
learnt Muay Thai - Thankyou.
Moe Kiat Jitty
As strange as it may seem, I trained with this man for nearly six months, two times a day, for nearly six hours a day, at the Jitty Gym in Bangkok. And I think it would be fair to say, other than his everlasting energy, and his unsurpassed knowledge of Muay Thai. I know nothing else about him. He has always been in my thoughts, and has left me striving to be better and better - Khap Khun Khrap Kru.
Rajasak and Ratanapon Sor Vorapin
Two great boxers that I had the opportunity to train under, at the infamous Sor Vorapin Gym in Bangkok. I trained under there guidance for four months, reaching heights of achievement in Muay Thai that I have yet to equal. Rajasak a three time Radjadamnurn Champion (Muay Thai), Ratanapon a two time world champion (Western Boxing). For your time and dedication, I thankyou greatly - I was honored to have trained with you both.
Kamon 'Den' Khaengraeng - 300 Fights
Although my time with Den was only a short period of only two months,
I learnt a great deal from this man. He was twenty seven years of age (one year
older then me) when I trained with him, at the world renowned Lanna
Muay Thai Camp in Chiang Mai. Den showed me what the true meaning of being 'a champion' is about. A big heart, and a classiness about him in the ring, that
left everyone else standing - Truly, thankyou.
Making his home in Manchester, Master Toddy opened the first Muay Thai
school in England. The school gained notoriety as the trainer began to
produce world champions. Students from as far as 200 miles away would
drive just to attend one of Master Toddy's Muay Thai classes. In England,
Master Toddy ultimately became known as the 'Father of Muay Thai'. His fighters were distinguished champions, and his promotions were always
very well-organized and professional. Even today, over a decade since
he relocated to Las Vegas, Master Toddy is still known as the number one
Muay Thai trainer and promoter in England, being the first to air a live
TV promotion from there back to Thailand.
Master Sken's arrival in th UK in 1977, represented the introduction of
Muay Thai to martial arts community. He believed that everybody should
be able to benefit from the sport training that Muay Thai has to offer.
It has increased in popularity and is now one of the truly major styles.
Most of the credit for this growth belongs to Master Sken, and without
his presence the style would have far fewer followers.
Ajarn Panya Kraitus
On Grand Master Kaet Sriyapai's
death-bed, he asked his student Ajarn Panya Kraitus to write a manual
on the art of Muay Thai. After many years of writing columns on the subject
of Muay Thai in Thai newspapers, collecting information and photographs
and with the knowledge that had been passed on to him by Grand Master
Kaet, Ajarn Panya Kraitus began to put together the manual, a text-book
of Pahuyuth Muay Thai. This took ten years to complete and all of Ajarn
Panya's financial resources. His aim was to help the people from around
the world understand the art of Muay Thai. The textbook was first written
in the Thai language and then translated into English. It is a manual
that no self-respecting Muay Thai instructor would be without and is known
in the West as the 'bible' of Muay Thai. We are all indebted to this man
for his commitment - Thankyou.
An excert from Ajarn Panya Kraitus book
am afraid that I am getting old so time is running short for me. I have
no prospect of writing a complete manual of Muay Thai which has always
been my ambition Panya. I will teach you all I know so that you could
pass it on to the others ..." - Supreme Master Kaet Sriyapai, 1978.
Fighters that have inspired me...
Denton ~ WAKO & ISKA World Champion
The first Muay Thai fight I ever
saw, was this guy, at the Tower Ballroom Birmingham. He was small and
didn't seem to have anything impressive. That is until the second round
when he took a serious kick to the neck, and then later a hard kick to
the head. Leaving him very dazed and confused, for what must have been
a life time for him. But he shook it off and came steaming right back
into the fight with some outstanding techniques and power. Winning the
fight on a T.K.O. in the fourth. Sheer guts and determination kept this
man going - Pure talent, pure inspiration.
Damion Trainer ~ IKF European Champion
If there is anyone in all of
this page that I inspire to be most like as a boxer, it would have to
be this guy. A very nice guy, down to earth, and happy. He should be,
I don't know what titles he holds at the moment. But I think it would
be fair to say, 'all of them'. Both Muay Thai & Kick boxing, British
& European titles, at and around his weight. He has worked hard to
get where he is, and deserves all that he has achieved.
At only 21years
of age - he is an inspiration to me.
Houghton ~ WAKO Pro & ISKA World Champion
I met Lisa in Thailand whilst
training at Jitty's, at first glance I thought nothing of her. Lisa was
this small, beautiful, blonde lady. Not the sort of thing I wanted to
spend to much time thinking about whilst trying to train. Over the next
couple of weeks I managed to bump into Lisa a few times at the camp, although
we never spoke, the impression she made has never gone away. With all odds against a women achieving anything in Muay Thai, Lisa's
overwhelming success has left me to understand - That if you believe,
you will achieve.
Ramba ~ 'Mr
Ramba a.k.a. Mr M-16 machine
gun, has to be one of my favourite Thai fighters. Comical, funny, compact
and very dangerous. Coming from Pattaya, this man fights and displays
the same flamboyance as is home town. Usualy coming out to western music 'Cocain can blow your mind, ecstacy is no joke!', he roars at
the packed crowds in all the major stadiums in Thailand. Finishing all
his fights with a dance and dive out of the ring - He is the Thai catch phrase, 'Same Same, but Different'!
Fighters that have become 'Legends'...
Ramon 'Diamond' Dekker ~ 200 Fights (175wins - 90kos)
Dutch Born Ramon Dekker is probably one of the best known
European Thai boxers of all time. He has fought against some of the top
Thai boxers of his time including Coban whom he fought twice, knocking
out Coban in round one, then in a following bout, being knocked out by
Coban in an almost copycat version. He has competed around the world and
won several championships throughout his career. Noted as a skilled fighter
with powerful punches and kicks, and a tendency to go head -to-head with
his opponents, which made him a favorite with the Thai's. Dekker is a
very good Muay Thai fighter and one who had beaten many Muay Thai champions
including Nangpon Nongeeb Pahuyuth for the World Muay Thai Championship
Coban 'Cruncher' Lookchaomaesaithong ~ 270 Fights
Coban has traveled the world representing Thailand in Muay
Thai contests. He is tough and noted for his hard roundhouse kick. he
may not be the most successful Muay Thai fighter of his time but he is
certainly one of the most popular. He has knocked out many opponents and
as he is prepared to take risks, has in turn been knocked out himself.
When Coban steps into the ring, the crowd roars their approval of a fighter
who has earned his world-wide reputation through relentless aggression
and strength of purpose. Today, he is an instructor in the United States,
and may still compete every now and then.
Bill ~ 64-00-07
Coming from France with
his very slow and methodical style of fighting during the first couple
of rounds, and then his bombardment of knees that he usually unleashes
in the final rounds. He has to be one of my all time favourite boxers,
mainly because of his mastery of the Knee Bombing techniques that he
usually devastates his opponents with.
Khao Sai 'Galaxy' Wanghompu ~ 50-00-01
Galaxy was a hard hitting southpaw, with unbending determination
who often came off the canvas to knockout his opponents. He made 19
defenses of his title, of which only three managed to last the distance.
Galaxy is a national hero in his native Thailand often made six figure
purses that were unmatched until recently. However, he did not fight
the top fighters of his day - his best wins were over shot fighters
Willie 'Birdlegs' Jensen and later, Rafael Orono. Khaosai's
twin brother, Khaokor, went on to win the WBA Bantamweight Title, making
the two the first twin brothers to ever win 'World Titles'.
'Rambo' Por Rumrudee
Rambo (pictured on the right - you can
tell by his distinctive shorts) was one of Thailand's most
famous Thai boxers, a fighter who gave his all from the opening
of the bell to the last. Rambo was responsible for making the Muay Thai
scene popular, even for non-Muay Thai enthusiasts. He was the one responsible
for the renovations at Lumpinni Stadium, because audiences were too big
for the stadium. Rambo created history when ever he fought at Lumpinni stadium, the promoters would take a staggering 3.2 million
Baht from the gate.
Sagat 'Streetfighter' Petchyindee ~ 317 Fights
Perhaps one of the very greatest fighters ever
to have been born in Thailand and who has a fighting history equalled
by no other man. During the course of his career Sagat has had three hundred
and seventeen fights winning many and losing very few. His story is a
great one. Sagat has as a fighter contributed enormously to his country
and to the history of Muay Thai.
An excert from - 'Muay
Thai: Champions of the Ring'
King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) honorary named teachers of Muay Kaad Chuerk (Muay Boran) and their styles.
Muen Muay Mee Chue - Knight of the Famous Muay - Muay Chaiya (Chaiya Style) Muen Mue Maen Mud - Knight of the Punch and Strike Hand - Muay Lopburi (Lopburi Style) Muen Cha-ngad Choeng Shok - Knight of the Clear Fighting Tactic - Muay Korat (Korat Style) Pra Chai Choke Shok Channa - Lord Lucky Fight and Win - Muay Pra Nakorn (Bangkok Style)
Praya Watjeesattayarak - Count and local Ruler of Chaiya - Teacher to Muen Muay Me Chue Muen Muay Mee Chue - Knight who brought Honour and Prestige to Muay Chaiya Bramajarn Kaet Sriyapai - Son of Praya Watjeesattayarak - Teacher to Ajarn Tong Yaleh Ajarn Tong Yaleh - The Great Era of Muay Chaiya died with Ajarn Tong - Teacher to Kru Lek & Kru Prang Kru Kridakorn 'Kru Lek' Sodprasert - Curently Teaching in Bangkok - Teacher to Kru Ryan Rudkin Kru Prang Pramual - Curently Teaching in Bangkok ( Muay Chaiya )
Although I am still maping the history of these three different Knights (Muen) and the one Lord (Pra Chai), I hope to one day complete my understanding of these warriors of old. There is alot of information about Muay Chaiya available, books, videos, documentories and even several training gyms in Bangkok open to foreigners. There is however very little information about the other three variations, hopefully one day a few of the riddles and twists will be resolved for me, but for now the journey is all part of the experience!