Archive | July, 2007

Fighting To Be Fit

30 Jul

by Eliza Ridgeway for Town Crier (2007-07-30)

Many traditions, styles and techniques make up the martial arts, and just in the Los Altos area, grasshoppers can learn Shotokan and Kenpo Karate, Tai Chi, Qigong, Jiu Jitsu, Thai kickboxing, gym-bunny kickboxing and Tae Kwan Do.
Some of the practices emphasize internal change and philosophy, others brutal physical prowess. But all share a relationship, sometimes only partly understood, between athleticism and spiritual rewards. Visiting the various studios and fight rings around town, a common emphasis emerges: a community coming together to fight and play without judgment.
World-class fighters in our backyard.
There’s no sign outside Fairtex Muay Thai Fitness in Mountain View, but its reputation gives the center an air of lofty mystery rather than obscurity. The center, which opened last winter, is the local outpost of an internationally acclaimed martial arts brand. Fairtex trains and sponsors some of the world’s most elite fighters, who use Muay Thai, or Thai kickboxing, to compete in ultimate fighting competitions. Muay Thai, which uses elbows, knees, kicks and punches, is a foundation for the no-holds-barred fighting style made famous by the Ultimate Fighting Championship and video games such as Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat.
The gym may train elite fighters, but it also welcomes neighborhood civilians who just want a good workout. Walk past the lobby into the high-ceilinged main room, and you’ll see a full-sized boxing ring and sweat-dewed men and women of all races and sizes. Some hulking guys in muscle T-shirts will be jump-roping with Zenlike focus on one side of the ring while students gather nearby for a Jiu Jitsu class.
Fairtex trains its fighters in Jiu Jitsu as well as Muay Thai to give them an edge in “mixed martial arts,” the anything-goes category of some of the biggest fights.
The kickboxing classes look like controlled chaos, as partners take turns repetitively practicing kicks and punches, not choreographed, not synchronized, with sweat flying and the sound of contact ringing around the room. One has to watch for a while to identify the teacher, modestly dressed, who walks around the room watching the athletes. But when he yells out a command, the melee of fighters snap in unison into a final barrage of punches. Fairtex uses retired fighters, many of them hailing from Thailand, as its trainers.
A sport that’s more physical than philosophical.
Mountain View High School grad Charles Ceasar is one of the success stories at Fairtex – the 35-year-old has risen to the role of sponsored fighter, competing in amateur kickboxing competitions. His next fight is in October. Ceasar began martial arts at age 11, studying Kenpo Karate and 18 years of Tae Kwan Do before starting Muay Thai.
“I wanted more full-contact fighting, with knees and elbows and kicks. It’s just kind of a rush for me,” he said.
A veterinary technician by day, Ceasar acknowledges that his double-life is a little unusual – but it expresses a duality many fighters share.
“By day I’m this gentle-type guy dealing with animals,” he said. “By night I’m here training Muay Thai.”
The prominence of Fairtex’s champions in televised fights such as the Ultimate Fighting Championship brings patrons to the gym. But its reputation for the ultimate workout is just as strong a draw. Amid the young men aspiring to be fighters are women in sweatpants and middle-aged dot-commers. Most Muay Thai techniques use the entire body, rotating and intensely activating the core muscles so prized by health nuts.
Mimy Sisavat, Fairtex’s general manager, estimates that 90 percent of the gym members come for fitness, 5 percent come to really fight and 5 percent are women who come to learn self-protection.
“Cardio and big, bulging muscles are not a requirement,” she said. “It’s like a big chess game.”
Sisavat hits a punching bag, but she said she doesn’t fight.
“I don’t think I want to get injured for a living,” she explained with an impish smile.
“You get up the next morning with a headache and your whole body aching and sometimes you ask yourself why you’re doing it,” Ceasar said, describing the aftermath of a fight.
Fairtex emphasizes safety in its training space, and beginning fighters spar in a helmet as well as gloves. No one enters the ring to fight until they have reached a level of proficiency to control their strikes and not hurt themselves or their opponents.
Why they fight.
The fighters look both contented and at a loss for words when you ask them why they enter the ring.
“Nobody knows why we’re here, but we want to be here,” said Los Altos High School graduate Aaron Wyse. “You go past the fitness part when you get in the ring.”
Wyse, now a rugby player at UC Santa Barbara, wants to compete in Muay Thai and has been basing his summer schedule around training at the gym.
The accounting major said he likes the simplicity of fights in the ring – “Two people step in, one person wins.”
“Everybody checks their egos at the door,” he said. “I think it’s because our trainers are world champions (and nobody could match up to them).”
“It’s a very humble sport. We’re willing to teach anybody. Respect and honor come with martial arts naturally,” Sisavat said.
Fairtex has students as young as 5 years old, offers family programming and is adding yoga classes at its Mountain View location.
“The biggest appeal is just the atmosphere – when you set foot in here, it’s a lot of people mingling. People are willing to help each other learn,” she said.
Family participation.
Family dynamics are a priority in the airy second-story studio of Foothill Martial Arts in Los Altos, where parents can take classes with their children or watch their progress from a TV in a lounge down the hallway.
Jeff Dillard teaches Shotokan Karate, a style that originated in Okinawa. In Dillard’s class, he emphasizes awareness, focus and respect as much as kicking and punching, and he includes principles of self-defense and resistance to alcohol and tobacco.
“A little respect for parents is good, too,” he added. “Physical exercise is fun, then you get to the mental aspect and see … there is more to this than jumping and screaming.”
Parents can take the karate classes with their children, and students range in age from 4 to 50.
“Kids like to do something with parents rather than just be dropped off,” Dillard said. “We allow families in one class – you don’t need to separate by age or come at different times.”
Some students come to the classes with attention problems and physical disabilities, and they can achieve victories learning at their own speeds, said school co-founder Linda Sweeney.
“I like to think that one of our functions is as a resource for the community, for parents faced with the task of raising kids today,” she said.
As a single parent, Sweeney found that her sons Patrick and Kevin responded to the discipline of martial arts and that their practice helped their family life. Now teenagers, the boys help teach the classes.
Martial arts as life skills
Natalia Gabrea Tejada opened a youth-oriented martial arts center at Loyola Corners because she believes in the social and psychological benefits of an education in Eastern traditions. Hiruko is a holistic wellness center that takes Tae Kwan Do training and adds elements of Tai Chi and Qigong, two nonviolent physical traditions that emphasize health and balance.
“Everything we teach is really about enhancing your health and your vitality,” Tejada said. “Typically people don’t think of kids absorbing that very quickly, (and) that, because they’re kids, they’re invincible.”
Instead, she has found that an education in martial arts helps children, including those with special needs, to better understand their bodies and their emotions, and how to handle pressure and anxiety.
“We complement the really explosive, dynamic, fun stuff with giving kids tools in how to calm down and breath. At the end of the day, that’s what translates into real life,” Tejada said. “We’re trying to teach kids to be calm, not to worry about pressure, stay connected to other kids and be strong, compassionate people.”
In addition to its classes for young people, Hiruko offers monthly parent-child classes and some adult programs, including kickboxing and strength and stretching. Tejada has also partnered with the non-profit KidPower, which offers community safety classes at the Hiruko center.
“We got a lot of e-mails after the abduction attempt (outside Santa Rita Elementary in June) with questions from parents,” Tejada said. “KidPower is the way to go, to give information without being scary.”
Fairtex Muay Thai Fitness is located at 2044 Old Middlefield Way, Mountain View. For more information, call 938-8588 or visit http://www.fairtex.com.
Foothill Martial Arts is located at 2245 Grant Road, Suite 200, Los Altos. For more information, call 962-1889 or visit http://www.foothillmartialarts.com.
Hiruko is located at 987 Fremont Ave., Los Altos. For more information, call 949-1233 or visit http://www.hirukocenter.com.

Art Of War 7

26 Jul

by mmachina.com (2007-07-26)

THAILAND VS CHINA SUPER FIGHTS

LIVE INTERNET BROADCAST – SOHU.COM
Dear Art of War friends and fans,

We are proud to present our 7th installment of the Art of War Fighting Championship for our fans in Beijing. This next event will be held on July 28th, 2007 at the Xing Guang Film Studios. For this event, we have brought in 4 Muay Thai Boxing experts to compete against China’s best up and coming mixed martial arts fighters.
Making their Art of War debuts will be Muay Thai champions, Saisom Nitiol (66kg) and Somyos Kokaew (60kg). Also making his Art of War debut will be China National Sanda Champion, Ba Te Er (78kg). Making his long awaited return to the Art of War ring will be China’s Prince of MMA, He Peng (66kg). He Peng will be looking to bring his Art of War record to 5-0.
Art of War VII will feature an action-packed undercard, with fighters representing the disciplines of Judo, Sanda, and Boxing.Art of War can be seen on the following tv stations and media: Shenzhen, Wuhan, Xinjiang, Guangxi, Shaanxi, and Hebei tv stations; QQ.com sports, and Sohu.com sports.
What: Art of War Fighting Championship VII
When: Saturday, July 28, 2007 (doors at 2:00 pm, event starts at 3:00 pm)
Where: Xing Guang Film Studios, South 5th ring road, Beijing
Price: 120 RMB per ticket (includes free delivery)
Contact: Mr. Qiao Bo (1590-145-7931)
A big thank you to our Art of War FC sponsors:

1.) Dolphin Energy – Largest natural gas provider in the Middle East. (http://www.dolphinenergy.com)
2.) Hydra Properties – multi-billion dollar real estate developer based in Dubai, UAE. (http://www.hydraproperties.com)
3.) China Systems – World’s largest provider of trade finance solutions and software.(http://www.chinasystems.com)
4.) Fairtex Gear – Manufacturers of quality sports apparel and training equipment. (http://www.fairtex.com)

Professional Shooto Japan Comes To Orange County

24 Jul

by Manly Media, LLC (2007-07-24)

Togashi is coming off a first round submission victory over Darren Crisp in his U.S. debut in April, while Cobb recently submitted Shawn Bias and John Reedy in route to winning the Gladiators Challenge Lightweight Championship.
Explosive striking sensation Akiyo “Wicky” Nishiura moves up from 143 lbs. weight class where he was crowned Shooto Rookie Champion in 2006 to make his U.S. debut at 155 lbs. to face Joe Camacho. Camacho the much more experienced fighter with 11 victories under his belt 9 by way of knockout, is intent on exchanging strikes with the rookie champ and looks to test “wicky” at the new weight.
In the main event 2005 Shooto Rookie Champion and title contender Tenkei Fujimiya looks to run through Colin Oyama protégé and Shooto veteran Bao Quach. At the Shooto: “Back To Our Roots 4” event last week in Tokyo, Fujimiya announced that he would “knockout Quach and return to Japan to fight for the title”.Quach has gone the distance with Japanese stars Hatsu Hioki and Naoya Uematsu, is on a 3 fight win streak and has plans on disrupting Fujimiyas’ hopes of the holding the Shooto Featherweight title.
Shooto “The Arrival” will be the first true season of Shootos’ brand of Mixed Martial Arts in the U.S. and will deliver 6 shows at The No Limits Event Center over 2007-2008 season beginning August 18 with subsequent shows to follow Oct. 27, Dec, 31, Feb. 23, Apr. 26 and June 28.Shooto looks to establish North American title-holders in 6 weight classes over the course of the 2007-2008 season.
Shooto will introduce a whole new approach to MMA events with it’s production and “Shooto Season Tickets” structure which allows fans to purchase season tickets for 6 shows a year and pay for their tickets monthly. Fans who purchase a $60 reserved seat pay just $30 a month through Electronic Funds Transfer and own their seat for the entire Shooto 2007-2008 season! A very limited number of season tickets will be released and season ticket holders will have access to many perks including, valet parking, VIP lounge access and service, access to Shooto MMA and grappling seminars and tournaments, free and discounted merchandise, and a host of other VIP privileges
Season tickets for the Shooto 2007-2008 season go on sale Wednesday, July 25 at 10:00am PT, and are priced at $175 and $60 (plus applicable services or taxes).Fans can purchase tickets by phone by calling (949) 251-8822 or at The No Limits Event Center Box Office located at 1962 Barranca Parkway Irvine, CA 92606.For more event and ticket information join Shooto at http://www.myspace.com/thisisshooto or log onto http://www.nolimitsmma.com.
Shooto Season 1 “The Arrival” is presented by Manly Media, LLC. and No Limits Worldwide, INC.
About Professional Shooto Japan
Professional Shooto Japan originally formed in 1985 is the oldest and most exciting mixed martial arts organization in the world. Over the last decade Shooto has produced some of the greatest bouts and the biggest stars in the sports history. Legends like Rumina Sato, Hayato Sakurai, Caol Uno, “Kid” Yamamoto, Erik Paulson, Joachim Hansen, Shinya Aoki, Vitor “Shaolin” Ribeiro, Gilbert Melendez, Jake Shields, Andersen Silva, Takanori Gomi, Enson Inoue and Rickson Gracie have all made their names in the original mixed martial arts organization, Shooto Japan.
About The No Limits Event Center
The No Limits Event Center is an intimate 1,500-seat state-of-the-art venue dedicated to the promotion of Mixed Martial Arts Events.At 25,000 square feet the No Limits Mixed Martial Arts & Fitness Center is the largest and foremost MMA facility in the country.The No Limits Mixed Martial Arts Center is located at 1962 Barranca Parkway Irvine, CA 92606 in the heart of Orange County, neighboring the all new upscale retail and entertainment center “The District” featuring a14-screen AMC multiplex theater and a cluster of restaurants, bistros, cafes and specialty retail venues.For more information about The No Limits Mixed Martial Arts & Fitness Center call (949) 251-8822 or visit http://www.nolimtsmma.com

Fairtex Smoker July 28th!

24 Jul

by FTX (2007-07-24)

The next Fairtex smoker will be Saturday July 28th at our San Francisco location. Pre-Registration is required, as we always have a tremendous amout of athletes who want to compete. Please contact the gym at 1-888-FAIRTEX to register. You can also email Mimy at mimy@fairtex.com
If you haven’t made it out to one of our Smokers yet, you are missing out. The fights keep getting better, and the crowds keep getting larger. Weigh-Ins for this event will be at 11am on the day of the event. The first bout will be at 2pm. Our address is 140 Hawthorne Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

See you there!

Five Star Production Partners With Fairtex

24 Jul

by FTX (2007-07-24)

Five Star Production is delighted to announce that Fairtex is the official sponsor and designer of Chaiya merchandise in North America and Europe.Fairtex produced Chaiya merchandise includes t-shirts, boxing trunks, caps, sweatshirts, etc.The Fairtex USA team has created a unique design, blendingtraditional Thai prints with the “Chaiya” and Fairtex brands to create modern, stylish look.Chaiya merchandise will be available to Five Star Production’s media distributors and the Fairtex distribution network worldwide.
Ms. Apiradee Iampungphorn, President of Five Stars Production Co., Ltd., commented, “Five Star Production and Fairtex Group have had a great relationship for a long time now, especially between Mr. Bunjong Busarakamwongs, Chairman and Founder of Fairtex Group and Mr. Charoen Iampungphorn, Chairman and Founder of Five Star Production. The film “Chaiya” is about Muay Thai, which is of course extremely relevant to Fairtex.Fairtexhas a great reputation in the world of Muay Thai and is an international branded company producing modern equipment and apparel for the sport. We discussed and agreed that this alliance is a great opportunity for both parties to promote Thailand’s national sport of Muay Thai, through the film “Chaiya” in Thailand and worldwide.”
Mr. Anthony Lin, President & CEO of Fairtex Equipment Co., Ltd., said “It is an honor to be working with one of Thailand’s oldest and foremost movie production companies, Five Star Production.Five Star’s Chaiya and the Fairtex brand compliment each other well.For this project, we created “Limited Edition” apparel in support of the Muay Thai film “Chaiya”.The merchandise was designed at our North American Headquarters in San Francisco, by our Creative Director, Janel Monribot.This newly designed apparel will be launched in August for worldwide sales, and to promote the “Chaiya” film globally. For Thailand movie goers, we created a grand prize dubbed as the “Fairtex Dream Gym”, where two lucky winners will receive Fairtex equipment and apparel for home use.We hope this project will help promote both “Chaiya” and Fairtex.”
Additionally Ms. Apiradee Iampungphorn, commented, “At this moment the “Chaiya” film is sold to over thirty countries.Fairtex will continue to help market and promote the “Chaiya” film through their worldwide distribution network.”Chaiya” is a Muay Thai action movie that demonstrates the Muay Thai Chaiya art.It will also give the audiences a better understanding about Muay Thai, its history and the people involved in it.Fairtex has the licensing rights to use the “Chaiya” logo, trademark and images to help promote Chaiya in the sports wear market segment worldwide.”

Human Weapon : Muay Thai

24 Jul

by History Channel (2007-07-22)

About the Human Weapons:

The Ultimate search of a Human Weapon, Each episode of HUMAN WEAPON charts an expedition through foreign continents, famous cities, exotic villages, back alleys and lush landscapes with hosts Jason Chambers – mixed-martial-artist and professional fighter – and Bill Duff – former professional football player and wrestler, who will learn how each individual location gave birth to its distinct form of combat and will study their form of martial art.

Jason Chambers and Bill Duff will put their bodies through extreme exercises and challenges to prepare for a battle against a professional fighting master in the arts of MAUY THAI, KARATE, JUDO, ESKRIMA Stick-fighting, SAVATE Street-fighting, KUNG FU and much more.

About the Human Weapons – Muay Thai Series:

Hosts Jason Chambers and Bill Duff journey to Bangkok, Thailand, home to one of the world’s most distinctive and devastating martial arts, Muay Thai. After witnessing beatdowns and knockouts at legendary Lumpinee Stadium, they’ll travel across the country perfecting the moves of the fighting style known as The Science of Eight Limbs.Jason and Bill will kick start their training journey at the world famous Fairtex Muay Thai Fitness camps and work their way through ancient killing techniques in the jungles on the border of Burma to weapons training among the ruins of a Buddhist temple, in hopes to master all aspects of this centuries old discipline and where one of them will be selected to fight a Lumpinee Muay Thai champion at the famed Sidyodtong camp.

Human Weapons – Muay Thai Airs on the History Channel:
Sunday July 22 11:00 PM
Monday July 23 03:00 AM
Friday July 27 08:00 PM
Saturday July 28 12:00 AM
Sunday July 29 06:00 PM

About Muay Thai—or Thai Boxing:

Muay Thai was born on the battlefields of the 15th century, during the legendary clashes between Thai (or Siamese) armies and their bitter rivals, the Burmese. Trained in the weapons-based fighting method known as Krabi Krabong, these early Thai soldiers also became famous for their toughness in close-quarters weaponless combat, where legs, knees, elbows and hands took the place of swords and sticks. This type of weaponless fighting became Muay Thai, known as the “Science of Eight Limbs.”

Though the Thai army still uses its lethal techniques, Muay Thai has also been the country’s most popular spectator sport for hundreds of years. There are more than 65,000 professional Muay Thai fighters in Thailand today. Many of them are poor peasants who begin training when they are as young as six years old, studying with highly respected teachers and risking injury—or worse—for the chance to compete.

Up until the 1930s, Muay Thai fighters fought bare-knuckled or with their hands wrapped in hemp rope that left nasty cuts. Because of the high number of deaths in the ring, the Thai government introduced new rules, including weight classes (though the great majority of fighters remain in the lighter weight classes) and mandatory use of gloves, cups and mouth guards. As a result, modern Muay Thai boxers rely less on punches and more on their lethal kicks, elbow and knee strikes and grappling.

Speed, accuracy and power are the buzzwords in Muay Thai. Fighters use kicks as both offensive and defensive weapons, often aiming to strike their opponents in the thighs for maximum impact. The knee and elbow strikes used in Muay Thai are almost unique to the sport. Executed correctly, with all the force concentrated in one spot—often the opponent’s head—the hard bone of the elbow can act like the blade of a knife, devastating the opponent and sending him bleeding to the mat.

In the devoutly Buddhist Thai society, Muay Thai is governed by ritual and tradition, and many fighters practice meditation as an integral part of their training. Devoted Muay Thai fans and fighters all over the world see it as the toughest martial art, and dismiss all challengers to its dominance.

New Gear Shipment Just Arrived!

20 Jul

by FTX (2007-07-20)

We have just received a new shipment of gear, and just about everything should be in stock.Specific items of note that are back in stock are the BGV5 Pro Sparring Gloves, BGV1 Training Gloves in 16 oz Black, and the HB6 6-ft Muay Thai Banana Bag.All items are available through the online store, or by calling customer service at 415-777-0702.

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