Sylvie and I are constantly chatting and keeping each other updated on what’s going on in female Muay Thai as far as we know. As two women who are living and fighting in Thailand, although both having very different experiences – Sylvie trains in Pattaya and fights all the time, while I train in a more Westernised environment in Bangkok and work full time as an English teacher while training every day and fighting as much as my work will allow. We’ve decided to start a podcast as a way of sharing those conversations and recorded our first episode earlier this week. The podcast is called ‘Two Ladies in the Kingdom – Women and Muay Thai‘ and from here, we’ll be releasing monthly episodes. It’s available on iunes for free here.
If you want more than just audio, you can view the podcast in the following Youtube video:
Our first one was a little all over the place (this is new territory for us!) but the theme we wanted to focus on was ‘gym hopping’. This topic was the subject of a very controversial blog post that I wrote a couple of years ago and has recently become a point of discussion again. Sean Fagan recently did a podcast on this subject, titled ‘Gym Hopping – The Pros and cons of Training at Other Gyms‘ and some have asked if my thoughts on the subject have changed since I’ve recently begun talking about being unhappy at my current gym and the prospect of changing my training environment.
We also talked about Por Muangpet gym, which I visited recently. It’s the home of Namtaan, who is one of the most famous female fighters in Thailand and a WPMF world champion. She also trained with Master Toddy when she was much younger. Two other girls there, named Gaewdtaa and Rungnapa, are similar to my weight and have both fought Sylvie several times. I talked about my experience at their gym and their recent trip to Sisaket, where they fought on a big show which had lots of other female fighters on the card and then Ubon Ratchatani, where they fought again. The Por Muangpet girls are pictures below just before their fights there.
There was a televised women’s tournament last weekend, which had a bit of a strange format. It was entitled R-1 Knockout and each fight in the tournament was only one round.
I knew of this event through Peach Purahong, who is a Thai female fighter turned referee who used to train with me at Master Toddy’s. She was one of the referees for the fights, which you can see pictured below. We talked more about who fought in the tournament and how it went.
There were lots of names mentioned, and it was only after we’d finished recording that we realised that we’d done a poor job of introducing them, forgetting that not everyone follows female Muay Thai closely and certainly people who aren’t member of our Muay Thai Roundtable Forum won’t recognise names of people we mentioned from there, so we’ve tried to rectify that in our blog posts (read Sylvie’s here). We promise to get better at that in future episodes!
At one point, we talked about Max Muay Thai, a very modernised promotion with its own dedicated stadium in Pattaya, which hosts foreigner vs. Thai fights at three rounds each. They use a more Westernised scoring system in order to make their fights ‘more exciting’ and appeal to their target market. This includes scoring aggression highly and offering bonuses for fighters who use entertaining moves like spinning back elbows and flying knees, regardless of whether or not they land. I promised to upload to rules, so here they are (I took this from Tu after he received it when he was fighting there). Sylvie commented that it would be interesting to know whether or not Thai fighters received the same information.
One name that came up early in the episode was Sophia ‘Cocopuff’ Torkos, who fights out of Santai gym in Chiang Mai and just started her own blog, which can be read here. We talked about that as well as her recent WMPF world title fight again Thanonchanok, who is one of the best female fighters in her weight class (49-51kg).
Another name you may have heard was Kate. Kate Sholy has come out to Bangkok with a group of people led by Sean Fagan and has fought twice while she’s been here, winning both times. The second fight was at MBK and she fought an opponent named Beck from Australia. Sylvie and I discussed this fight and spoke of how the promoter is eager to have them rematch, although Kate is going home in a few days. You can see the video for that fight below.
We also talked a little bit about our plans and progress on writing a book together, which is currently titled ‘Female Guide to Training and Fighting in Thailand‘, as well as Marc Piocos’ documentary on Sylvie’s journey to 100 fights in Thailand, ‘Neung Roy’. It was created from Sylvie’s vlog posts and is currently being submitted to film festivals.
Finally, we answered a few questions from followers, which we hope to receive more of as the podcast grows. If you have any feedback or suggestions, do let us know. For now, we hope you’ll enjoy our first episode.