Introduction to Muay Thai

A couple weeks back a friend, Miguel, invited me to some muay thai fights. If your not familiar with muay thai, it's basically a kickboxing martial art from, you guessed it, Thailand. Miguel used to work out and work with some of the fighters at the Mike Miles Club here in Calgary, so he got us some complimentary tickets.

We got a couple burgers at Boogies Burgers then Miguel took us to the casino in his new Volvo C30 (such a sweet car, had to mention it!). We got there a bit early and scored some tremendous 2nd row seats.

Each fighter wore ceremonial muay thai headgear and then demonstrated their particular ritual around the ring and greeted the judges and opponent. Most of the athletes were from Mike Mile's gym, the others came from other clubs in Calgary, Florida, and Thailand. Miles organized the fights and his fighters won most of the bouts.

There were 8 fights. The early ones were mostly one sided as the fighters were just starting out and their level was still being established. Most of the later fights were tight. The big hits were elbows and knees so it was much more than punching. I was expecting much more jumping and kicking, but this method seems much more defensive, much more focused on power hits than flamboyant ones.

Miguel knew heaps of people, including one spectator on his bachelor party. We sat with his entourage ringside as they liquored him up (poor guy was barely coherent at the end). I met a couple of my former students behind them.

The final bout was between a celebrated Calgary fighter named Peter Arbeau. A couple of the previous fights saw one fighter far more defensive than the other; not as engaging. Thai fighter Sakonchai Wan Charoenrit was giving it as much as Arbeau was and so we were stoked to see these two go 5 rounds. Arbeau managed to land a devastating kick to the head and knocked Charoenrit cold in the second round. Great fight, too bad it didn't last longer. The crowd went nuts though.

It's great to have friends; friends with connections, passions, and time for their friends are a life giving force.

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