Archive | October, 2008

Fairtex Fighters Shine at CSC Female Fury

28 Oct

by FTX (2008-10-28)

This past Saturday evening, CSC held it’s fourth San Francisco event at the historic Kezar auditorium.Two Fairtex fighters, Jenna Castillo who trained under Phicheat Arunleung (aka Ganyao “Dr. Knee” Fairtex) and Lindsey Marino under Armondet Ranjanthuek (aka Ahn Fairtex), competed on the card.Lindsey was the 9th bout on the card, while Jenna was the night’s Main Event.Both fought extremely well, with Jenna taking home the CSC women’s title, and Lindsey dropping a very close and controversial decision loss.
Lindsey’s bout was a big step forward in her young fighting career.She faced a fighter with considerably more experience.However, Lindsey made it her fight.She pushed the pace throughout, and won over the crowd.The fight was close, but when the decision was awarded to the other fighter, the crowd voiced their displeasure, and cheered when Lindsey’s corner raised her hand.Fairtex is ery proud of Lindsey Marino.We know she will learn from the experience, and we look forward to some great fights ahead in her future.
In the night’s Main Event, Fairtex’s Jenna Castillo defeated Arizona’s Beth Cook by TKO in the 3rd round.Jenna brought in a reputation as the Bay Area’s best female fighter, and as a result one who has had trouble finding fights over the last two years.In Cook, Jenna found a game opponent, but one who would be overwhelmed by Jenna Castillo’s aggressive and technical style.Jenna pushed the pace throughout the entire fight, literally bullying her opponent around the ring.Beth Cook showed a tremendous amount of heart, and managed to dish out some good shots of her own.However, Jenna’s constant pressure would be too much.After sustaining two and a half rounds of punishment from Castillo, Cook could no longer fight.The referee stepped in and awarded the victory, and the women’s title to Jenna Castillo.From everyone at Fairtex, congratulations Jenna!

Jimmy Jarquin Wins At PFC

27 Oct

by FTX (2008-10-27)

On Thursday night in Lemoore, California, Fairtex’s Jimmy Jarquin made his victorious PFC debut.Jimmy defeated Anthony Acosta by rear naked choke midway through the 2nd round.Acosta showed a lot of heart, and he came after Jarquin very aggressively throughout.However Jimmy was able to use his superior Jiu Jitsu to control the action, and when he took mount in the second round it was only a matter of time.The crowd enjoyed the fast paced action, and we expect to see Jimmy fighting again in January.From everyone at Fairtex, congratulations Jimmy!

Women Taking Their Place In Kickboxing Ring

19 Oct

by Kelly Mills, Special to The Chronicle (2008-10-19)

In stories about Muay Thai – Thai kickboxing – people often mention that in Thailand, women were considered bad luck in the ring and were banned from many venues.

At the Best of the Bay kickboxing event Aug. 16 in San Francisco, there were three women in the ring for one bout, and no one batted an eye. One of the women was the “ring girl,” scantily dressed and wearing heels, who walked along the ropes with a sign signaling the round number. The two other women were fighters, dressed in traditional satin Muay Thai shorts, tank tops and boxing gloves. As the bell went off, the ring girl teetered off the canvas, and the two fighters emerged from their corners, trading ferocious punches and kicks. The crowd cheered as one fighter landed a hard right cross, while the other threw a whip like kick aimed at her rival’s head. When the bell rang again, the two women returned to opposite sides of the ring, sweaty and slightly bloodied, awaiting coaching from their corners, as the ring girl picked up her sign.

If the ring girl is a small reminder that, superstitions aside, kickboxing has long been dominated by male fighters and male audiences, then the appearance of female fighters is evidence that times are changing. It is becoming more common for women to compete in major fight events in front of mostly appreciative crowds.

A look around the auditorium at the San Francisco event revealed many women in attendance, too. Next to the ring sat a young woman with long dark hair, watching each fight intently. Halfway through the event she was introduced to the crowd as Jenna Castillo, one of the headliners in a forthcoming World Combat Sports Challenge event, an all-female fight card. The name of the competition? Female Fury.

While all-female fight events are still relatively rare, there’s no doubt the sport – and many other full-contact combat sports – are increasingly popular with women. Today many gyms offer boxing and kickboxing workouts that vary in their parroting of techniques used in the ring, from aerobics-style kickboxing where punches and legs are thrown at the air, to practicing hitting and kicks on heavy bags and pads, to full-contact sparring. Some women may be drawn to the sport to get fit and lose weight, as an hour of kickboxing can burn 800 to 1,000 calories. Kickboxing is also more mentally challenging than slogging away on the Stairmaster. Plus, it can be used in self-defense, and increases physical confidence.

The growth of boxing and kickboxing for women has caught the attention of the fitness industry. While boxing gyms of the past were often dimly lit, focused on competitive fighters, and predominantly male, today’s boxing gyms resemble any other gym, with bright lights, loud music and a sizable number of female members. LA Boxing, a franchise specializing in boxing and kickboxing for fitness, was listed in July 2008 as one of 25 fastest-growing fitness companies by the International Health, Racquet and Sports Club Association, and the company reports that in 2006 and 2007 it expanded its number of locations by 80 percent.

It makes sense that a few women who try kickboxing and boxing in a class would fall in love with the sport and decide to fight at an amateur or professional level. Lately they have plenty of role models to choose from. The recent “Fight Girls” reality show followed a group of women competing in Thailand, and the release of films such as “Million Dollar Baby,” and a documentary featuring Lucia Rijker, one of the most renowned female kickboxers, means more women are achieving public visibility.

Laila Ali and Gina Carano (a.k.a. “Crush”) are known for their fighting as well as their regular roles on “American Gladiators.” And the rise of mixed martial arts competitions, in which most fighters have trained in some form of kickboxing, has spawned a new audience – some female – for combat sports, as well as several competition leagues and a host of reality shows.

But while the public has a new appreciation for kickboxing and the athletes who compete in the sport, the notion of women punching each other still makes many uncomfortable. Muay Thai is often called the most brutal form of self-defense, in part because fighters use elbows and knees to wreak maximum damage on opponents. The idea of women emerging from a fight cut and bloody might give pause to some.

Castillo prepares to fight

Jenna Castillo knows about the social perils of being a female fighter. She discovered shotokan karate at age 7, and has competed in tournaments all over the world. But when, at age 17, she told her mom at a shotokan tournament in Barbados that she wanted to try full-contact fighting, some members of her family refused to speak to her again, because “girls don’t do that.”

“They disowned us,” she says of herself and the single mother who raised her. However, Castillo’s mother was supportive of her daughter’s ambitions, and had trained as a bodybuilder when that sport was largely dominated by men. She understood firsthand the challenges of pursuing a sport just opening up to women.

The energetic fighter smiles broadly when she talks about her coaches and her training. Castillo missed her homecoming to attend a tournament when she heard Cung Le, a sanshou fighter and now one of the stars of the mixed martial arts world, would be appearing in a fight. His bout was canceled, but Castillo met Le anyway and began training with him. Her interest in fighting eclipsed her interest in studying, and she almost didn’t complete high school. She credits Le with pushing her to finish school and graduate. She went on to take several titles in sanshou and kickboxing.

Now 26, Castillo is returning to the ring after a hiatus. She took a leave from competition when her mother went on a drug regimen to combat hepatitis C, and worked to support her mother. When her mother recovered, Castillo emerged newly inspired, and began training at Fairtex in San Francisco, where coaches Jongsanan Fairtex and Ganyao Fairtex helped her improve her skills. Her boxing coach, Mark Tabuso, says, “Jenna is fierce and fearless, and she takes a no-holds-barred approach to fighting. I practically have to force her to take a day off.”

Castillo trains with both men and women, and while she acknowledges that stereotypical attitudes exist, she isn’t fazed by the occasional reaction of a male training partner.

“I don’t take it personally,” she says. “If I was CEO of a company, a male manager below me might be uncomfortable working with me. These attitudes still exist in some areas.” She believes the majority of guys simply accept her as a woman in the sport.

“It’s funny, sometimes I train in the ring with someone, and we are going hard, and then we leave the gym and they hold the door for me and ask me if I’m OK walking to my car alone,” she says with a wicked grin.

Female Fury

The World Combat Sports Challenge (World CSC) is sponsoring the Female Fury event on Saturday in Daly City as part four of a series of “striker” events in the Bay Area. In the competition, the headline fight features Castillo squaring off against Beth Cook, a 23-year-old fighter from Sitan Gym in Arizona with a record of an undefeated 10 wins – five by knockout. There will also be a number of fights featuring many of the best female fighters in the Bay Area.

“We’re making history in holding the first all-female fight card in the state of California,” says World CSC President Mike Espinoza. “And I believe this is going to be a steppingstone to bigger and better things, and open up opportunities for women fighters. I’m looking forward to seeing these passionate fighters get the credit they deserve.”

Castillo trains year-round, but she’s ramped up in her preparation for Female Fury. In addition to her kickboxing training, she does weight training and running several hours a week. Her fight strategy, she says, is to “rely on her corner” for advice mid-bout on how to best beat her opponent. As for her mental preparation for the fight, she says she can’t wait.

“There’s no feeling like it,” she says about fighting. “When your body starts breaking down, you have to dig deep.”

Female Fury: The World CSC Strikers Four event will be at 5 p.m. Saturday at Serramonte Del Rey, 699 Serramonte Blvd., Daly City.

Kelly Mills is a personal trainer and freelance writer in Berkeley. She has her own fitness blog,, and writes for the parenting blog the Poop. E-mail her at style@sfchronicle .com.

This article appeared on page F – 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Getting in shape at Thai kickboxing camp

14 Oct

by ELIZA MARGARITA BATES, For The Associated Press (2008-10-14);_ylt=AupRgIfGf2NQ.V.K_Bo97gWs0NUE

BANGPLEE, Thailand – As my 30th birthday approached, my fear of becoming a middle-aged woman plagued with mystery ailments, huffing and puffing up flights of stairs, finally started to outweigh my exercise phobia.
So I decided to get in shape while learning Thailand’s notorious national sport, Muay Thai, known in English as kickboxing. This was no small commitment: I attended a Muay Thai camp near Bangkok for 10 days, training for five hours a day.
Muay Thai is performed with boxing gloves in Western-style boxing rings, but uses knees, elbows and legs, in addition to fists, as weapons. It is considered the most violent of all martial arts because of the damage an elbow can inflict on an opponent.
I chose my training camp by scouring the Internet and reading online reviews. The two gyms that got the highest ratings from kickboxers around the world were Fairtex, located in the Bangkok suburb of Bangplee, and another gym on the dazzling Thai island Phuket. Both offer one-on-one Muay Thai training.
The Phuket gym looked fun and hip, and, according to some online reviewers, caters to women, but the Web site’s advice for students interested in picking up “Thai bargirls” turned me off. So I chose Fairtex.
Fairtex opened its doors to Westerners five years ago and now boasts two gyms in California, one in San Francisco and one in Silicon Valley, in addition to other locations in Thailand and Japan. Foreign students who come to Fairtex temporarily adopt the lifestyle of professional Thai fighters, who live, eat, sleep and train at camp.
A cacophony of grunts, whacks and thumps greeted me when I arrived. Students glistening with sweat duked it out with trainers in four outdoor boxing rings. Turned out I was in for a lot of sweating myself.
My training began at 6:30 a.m. the next morning when I dragged myself out of bed for a half-hour of cardiovascular exercise in the air-conditioned gym.
Before leaving my room, I donned my shiny red kickboxing shorts and flexed my muscles in front of the mirror. But my fantasies of becoming a female Rocky faded fast when I got to the gym and couldn’t figure out how to use the treadmill. I frantically poked at the mystery buttons and knobs, trying to will the machine into action. Finally another student came over and turned it on for me.
As I jogged, I imagined everyone staring at my jiggling thighs and listening to my haggard breathing, thinking, “What is she doing here?”
When I finished, I couldn’t figure out how to slow the treadmill down. I finally had to throw myself off with a clumsy jump.
I headed out to the boxing rings and sat awkwardly waiting for someone to explain what I was supposed to do next. Finally, a barely pubescent-looking Thai kid came over and started wrapping my hands in the flashy pink hand-wraps I had picked out at the onsite shop the previous day.
That kid was my trainer for the next 10 days, Sarun Inta.
Each morning after cardio, I met Inta in the ring where he showed me Muay Thai moves, mostly by pantomiming, as his English was limited. Then he held up pads and told me to kick, punch, and jab with knees and elbows until my arms felt like rubber and my kicks came out sloppy and in slow motion.
After training in the ring for five rounds of four minutes each, Inta sent me staggering over to the punching bags to practice my technique. I finished each session with 100 sit-ups.
And then I repeated the whole process in the afternoon.
My entire body, from head to toe, hurt for the first few days. My knees and shins were covered in blue and green bruises.
In between training sessions, I could do little more than sleep and eat. I was too exhausted to even string together complete sentences. This was my journal entry on day two:
“Everything bruised. Hurts. Red curry for dinner. Pain. Must sleep now.”
Fairtex is not the kind of place where a trainer will sit you down with a steaming mug of herbal tea and talk to you about your fitness goals. But if you smile nicely, you might get someone to punch you in the stomach while you do sit-ups, which a trainer did for me on my fourth day. Apparently, the punching helps abdominal muscles toughen up to prevent injury from the impact of punches and kicks.
Women were once barred from entering Thai boxing rings, as they were seen to bring bad luck to the competitors. But that tradition has changed. Four out of the 25 foreigners training at Fairtex were women.
Claire Louise Douglas, 25, traveled from Scotland to train at Fairtex. She said she started taking Thai boxing classes in Glasgow four years ago to build her self-esteem after ending a bad relationship.
“I remember always standing at the back of the class because I was slightly overweight and had no confidence, but after about four months I ended up at the front of the class,” said Douglas.
Douglas, now a university student, manages to squeeze three two-hour training sessions a week into her schedule at home.
When Douglas first started taking Muay Thai classes, there were only a handful of women frequenting her gym.
“Now there are women’s clubs and women’s classes. It’s almost like the suffrage of Muay Thai,” said Douglas.
According to Fairtex’s general manager, Tien Ho Ngo, Fairtex was the first Muay Thai gym in Thailand to accept women as students.
It’s common for fighters to take the name of their gym as a surname, and Ngo said that a 12-year-old girl named Cherry Fairtex was the best of the young Thai students training there — male or female.
On my second day at Fairtex, after I threw a particularly clumsy kick, my trainer pointed to Cherry as she hurled swift and graceful kicks in the next ring over, and said: “Try to do it like that.”
My trainer loved to tease me. Sometimes he would tell me to punch, but then pull the pads back so that I would stumble off balance. Then he’d kick me softly on my side and laugh.
But on my third day, I knocked him down. By then, he’d taught me how to block, so when he pulled his pads away this time, I rebalanced and threw up my knee to block his kick. He lost his balance and fell to the ground, then rolled around clutching his foot and laughing.
After that, I felt tougher. I kicked and punched harder than before.
I wasn’t the only one at Fairtex hoping to get fit.
“I’m here because I looked down at my feet and couldn’t see them and realized that I needed to get in shape,” said 27-year-old Neil Kelsall, from England. After two weeks of training, he said his stamina had increased dramatically, but he still couldn’t see his feet.
Fellow student Gary O’Brien, 28, a Muay Thai instructor and amateur fighter in Scotland (and Douglas’ boyfriend), explained: “A stint like this won’t work to lose weight and keep it off. You need a permanent lifestyle change.”
He recommended using visual signs such as measurements and how clothes fit as the best indicators for improvements in fitness, rather than weight.
On my first day home in New York, instead of falling into my usual pattern of laziness, I woke up at 6 a.m. and went running in Central Park. I still panted after the first 10 minutes of my run, but I pushed myself past the burning sensation in my calves and the tightness in my lungs, and, for the first time I could remember, enjoyed exercising.
Perhaps Muay Thai camp was the first step in my permanent lifestyle change.
FAIRTEX MUAY THAI CAMP: Two kickboxing camps in Thailand, three in Japan, two sites in California (San Francisco and Mountain View). Rates at Bangplee:$32 for shared accommodation, $76 for private air-conditioned room. Prices include training and two meals a day. Rates at San Francisco gym: $120 an hour; $1,500 a week for intensive training; drop-in rate of $45 a day or $25 group class. (Lodging separate; hotels nearby.)

2008 Muay Thai World Championships

7 Oct

by USMF – Kirian Fitzgibbons (2008-10-07)

After the Opening Ceremonies, the IFMA World Championship Committee had to hold the official “Championship Draw” to match each country’s fighters in each weight class and division (men’s, women’s and juniors) in a random lottery style draw. With over 40 divisions, 62 Countries and 800 of the best Muay Thai fighters competing from around the world this process was very time consuming, but IFMA was able to complete the process in a very orderly fashion.

Once the draw was complete, and after making weight again, The US National Muay Thai Team was eager to begin its quest for Gold.


On day one of the competition the first up to fight for the US Team was Chris Kwiatkowski out of Church Street Boxing Gym in New York, NY in the Men’s 71K Division (156 Pounds).

Chris’s division was stacked with World Class fighters from Europe and the Eastern Block, but Chris was up for the challenge. In the draw Chris was matched up with the current European Champion in his weight class representing Croatia.

At the beginning of the match, Chris and his opponent immediately went at it, exchanging technique for technique each scoring in and out of the clinch. This was a very evenly matched bout, but as the fight moved into the 3rd and 4th Rounds, Chris’s opponent, a much taller fighter, was able to use his height to his advantage and started to out score him in the clinch. After a tough match Chris’s opponent was awarded the decision and moved on to the next round and eventually he won the Gold Medal.

Although he lost the fight, Chris showed why he was selected to the US National Team as he was the only fighter to take this year’s Champion to a decision as the fighter from Croatia steam rolled through the division winning every other fight by TKO. Good job Chris, and the team thanks you for the self less team spirit you displayed during the remainder of the competition.

The next fighter up for the US Team was Michael Corley out of Saeksons/Woods Fight Club in Houston, TX in the Men’s 81K Division (178 pounds).

Michael was matched up with an extremely tough opponent out of New Zealand who came ready to fight in phenomenal shape.

This fight was fun to watch and was full of non-stop action with both fighters throwing powerful punch and kick combinations. During the fight Michael was able to rock and knock down his opponent on multiple occasions.

At the end of this match, with Michael’s excellent performance the US Team was sure that Michael had advanced, but much to the team’s dismay and most of the people in the audience, the fighter from New Zealand was awarded the decision.

Michael showed great sportsmanship and The US Team is extremely proud of Michael for the way he handled the decision gracefully, he was a shining example of what the team was about this year. The fighter from New Zealand eventually went on to win The Bronze Medal in the division.

The last US Athlete to compete on day one of the competition was, 16 year old prodigy, Gaston Bolanos fighting out of Fairtex in Mountain View, CA under the coaching of USMF National Team Head Coach, Amorndet Ranjanthuek, aka Anh Fairtex, in the Juniors 60K Division (132 pounds).

Gaston had the toughest draw of anyone on the US Team as his 1st fight was against the reigning 2X World Champion in his weight division out of Muay Thai powerhouse Uzbekistan. Gaston’s opponent was older, bigger and far more experienced than Gaston, but this was nothing new for Gaston and meant very little once the bell opening bell rang.

Without question, this was one of the most exciting and technically proficient Muay Thai matches of the entire competition, with both fighters scoring with each of Muay Thai’s “eight limbs”, including throws, spinning elbows, flying knees and non stop punches and kicks. Gaston showed why he is named “The Young Warrior” and put on a phenomenal performance. At the start of the 2nd round while in the clinch, Gaston landed 3 rapid fire Spiking elbows to the top of his opponent’s head that rocked last year’s Champion and Gaston went in for the kill with an amazing flying elbow that landed and wowed the crowed. To his credit, the current Champion weathered the storm and recovered well. At the end of this back and forth battle; Gaston’s opponent was awarded a very close decision victory. The fighter from Uzbekistan eventually went on to win the Silver Medal in the division.

Gaston continued the US Teams message of unity and sportsmanship, when after his match he sought out his opponent from Uzbekistan later in the Stadium and gave him a US National Team Jersey. The fighter from Uzbekistan was deeply touched by Gaston’s gesture of good will towards him and his country.

The US Team could not be any prouder of its “Young Warrior” for his amazing performance, courage and fighting spirit. If this years World Championships is any indication, Gaston is a future champion in the making and The US National Team is excited about helping him get there.

After a tough day one of the competition for the US Team, Head Coach Kirian Fitzgibbons held a team meeting where the 1st day’s activities were debriefed and the fights were reviewed. Adjustments, game plans, and strategies for Day 2 of the competition were established for the remaining US fighters.


On day two of the competition the US athletes completed their weigh ins/medicals and headed to the stadium excited for the opportunity to prove itself on this year’s Global stage.

The first up to fight for the US Team was Eric Faria fighting out of the ASD-Art of War Fight Team in Santa Clara, CA in the Men’s 75K Division (165 pounds).

Eric was matched with the National Champion from South Africa and was prepared for a 4 round war. During this fight Eric pushed the pace from start to finish with excellent punch and kick combos and constant forward pressure. While he was a game and tough opponent, Eric’s superior conditioning was just too much for the South African to overcome and Eric was able overwhelm his opponent in the clinch. At the end of the fight Eric was awarded a well deserved decision and advanced into the Medal Round.

The next fighter up for the US Team was Daniel Kim out of Elite MMA/Kru Pong in Houston, TX and Fairtex Mountain View/Amorndet Ranjanthuek in Mountain View, CA in the Men’s 86K Division (189 pounds).

While Daniel was matched up with a tough fighter out of Italy, he put on the most dominating performance of the day for the US Team. Daniel showed his excellent Muay Thai skills during this match as he brutalized his opponent with leg kicks and knees to the body. In between rounds, the Italian fighter unwisely chose to stand and clearly showed that he could not put any weight on his lead leg. Daniel pounced on this and opened up on his opponent during the 4th round, landing a series of punches, leg kicks, knees and elbows that rocked the Italian fighter. With his opponent dazed, Daniel threw a text book Thai kick that landed on the side of his opponent’s head/neck that knocked the Italian in to the corner. The Italian fighter did not want to take anymore damage and waved off the rest fight. With this TKO, Daniel advanced into the Medal Round.

The final US Fighter to advance to the medal round was team Heavyweight, Jesse Gillespie, also out of the ASD-Art of War Fight Team in Santa Clara, CA in the Men’s 91K Division (200 pounds).

With three talented and more importantly (in tournament style fighting) healthy fighters advancing into the medal round, Day Two of the competition was a tremendous statement and exciting rebound for the US Team.


The Medal Round of the 2008 Muay Thai World Championships saw some of the World Best Muay Thai Champions and Fighters battling it out against each other in an incredible display of Muay Thai mastery.

The powerhouse teams from Thailand, Europe and the Eastern Block nations clearly dominated the competition, but countries where Muay Thai is a developing sport (like Malaysia and host country Korea) were also able to win medals, including Gold. This shows that the popularity and quality of Muay Thai is growing at an astounding rate globally, which bodes well for the ultimate combined goal of the USMF and IFMA, which is for Muay Thai to be accepted by the IOC as an Official Olympic Sport. We are well on our way, but there is still much work to be done.

With regards to the US National Muay Thai Team’s medal count, with impressive performances from Daniel Kim, Eric Faria and Jesse Gillespie, the US National Muay Thai Team was able to secure 3 Bronze Medals at these World Championships. Congratulations to these very talented fighters and the team management/coaching staff (United States Muaythai Federation or USMF President and Team Manager Anthony Lin, Team Doctor Alireza Bagherian and Head Coach Kirian Fitzgibbons) for this impressive accomplishment and all their hardwork.

With 3 Bronze medals from this very “young” team, i.e., all of the athletes for the US Team were competing for the 1st time at the World Championships (when compared to our more established counterparts) and with strong showings from all of our up and coming fighters, this years performance is a tremendous building block for the US Team going into the 2009 World Championships and brings us one step closer to solidifying the United States’ place on the very competitive International Muay Thai Stage.

Contender Muaythai:

Riaz Mehta Executive Producer of The Contender dropped in to say Hi and announce Malaysia as the host of the 2009 Contender series.

Hervey Bay Fighters Succeed In Gold Coast Challenge

6 Oct

by Tony Green (2008-10-06)

A team of five young fighters from the Integrated Academy in Hervey Bay competed with great results in a Mixed Martial Arts Challenge event held at the Gold Coast PCYC on Sunday the 28th of September.

The Hervey Bay team consisted of Spencer Ahsam, Justin French, Jake Colvin, Dylan Kotevski and Josh Russell.
Academy founder and youth mentor Michael Green was very proud of all of the young fighters for their personal achievements and wishes to extend a heartfelt appreciation towards all of the team mates, instructors and family supporters of Hervey Bay’s Integrated Development Academy. This particular Martial Arts challenge was definitly a character building experience and has empowered all of the Academy participants to keep following their hearts with courage and determination on this shared journey of personal development.

The Academy is like a family now with so much team spirit being generated and shared. Our goal at this stage is to prepare five fighters for regular participation within these Martial Arts challenges that are held at the Gold Coast PCYC by Promoter Roy Luxton. Keep up the good work everyone and remember our team adage “Your Heart Is Free… Have The Courage To Follow It ! “


5 Oct

by Ricardo Santana (2008-10-05)

Brazil will stage the first event to be sanctioned by the WBC MUAYTHAI on Saturday, 11 October, in association with Confederacao Brasileira de Muaythai Tradicional (Brazil Confederation of Tradition Muaythai (CBMTT)) and Federacao Paulista de Lutas e Artes Marciais (State Federation of Martial Arts (FEPLAM)).

Promoter Mirko Gabriel de Blasiis from Annonima Universal Solutions said all three sanctioning bodies have united to support the growing demand for Muaythai in the Jiu-Jitsu country.

Annonima Universal Solutions is working closely with Ricardo Santana from Fairtex in Brazil. “Our goal is build and rank our professional athletes and hold national, International and World Championship Titles under WBC Muaythai ” said Gabriel.

Fair Fight Muaythai fight card includes 14 of the best national athletes from 15 gyms all over Brazil participating in this special event in the biggest city in Brazil.

The main event is a Grand Prix with 8 TOP “class A” fighters and 2 alternates match they will fight for the National Tile and for the chance to fight for the International Title on the next event. Plus an extra 3 super fights for rival gyms.

GRAND PRIX – Super Middleweight

– Diego Gasparetto from ThaiBrasil Gym –
( Fight Card – 16 fights / 03 losses / 13 knock out.)

– Emerson Naja from Naja Team –
( Fight Card – 52 fights / 16 losses )

– Luiz Sorriso from Chute Boxe –
( Fight Card – 14 fights / 02 losses )

– Diego Sebastiao from Thai Center –
( Fight Card – 26 fights / 08 losses )

– Tico Pedrodo from World Strong –
( Fight Card – 25 fights / 04 losses )

– Inaftali Gomes from Serginho Team –
( Fight Card – 70 fights / 06 losses )

– Thiago Michel from Ely Team –
( Fight Card – 07 fights / 01 loss )

– Thiago Teixeira from Still Team –
( Fight Card – 16 fights / NO Losses / 11 knockouts. )


Murilo Paolielo from M-Fire team
( Fight Card – 07 fights / 02 Losses)
————– VS ————-
Phillype Oriolli from GibiThai
( Fight Card – 15 fights / 06 Losses )

Alex Oller from Muaythai MMA Brasil
( Fight Card – 70 fights / 06 Losses )
————– VS ————-
Flavio Mr. SandMan from Pardinho Team
( Fight Card – 38 fights / 05 Losses )

Super Fights:


Munil Adriano from Macaco Chute Boxe Gym
( Fight Card – 31 fights / 06 Losses )
————– VS ————-
Ricardo Galheta from GibiThai
( Fight Card – 42 fights / 05 Losses )


Bruno Carvalho from BCT Team
( Fight Card – 19 fights / 00 Losses )
————– VS ————-
Alex Cobra from ThaiCenter
( Fight Card – 57 fights / 07 Losses )


Marcos Pezao from M-Fire
( Fight Card – 23 fights / 07 Losses )
————– VS ————-

Eduardo Maiorino from UDL
( Fight Card – 39 fights / 06 Losses )

Fairtex, Physical Gym, MMASHOP and ECKO Unltd are the official sponsors for the event.

Masato Wins K-1 World Max ’08 Championship

3 Oct

by Monty DiPietro, photos courtesy of FEG (2008-10-03)

TOKYO, October 1, 2008 — At age 29, Masato is already a veteran among K-1 World Max fighters. Tonight, the Japanese kickboxer countered any doubts about his speed and stamina by battling to victory in a pair of absolutely thrilling bouts to capture the K-1 World Max 2008 Final Championship at the Nippon Budokan.

With its 70kg/154lbs weight limit, K-1 World Max’s speed and technique have captivated fightsport fans in Japan and around the world. Tonight, this year’s top-four World Max fighters clashed in a couple of semifinal bouts, with the winners going head-to-head in the Main Event for the World Max 2008 Championship.

Masato’s semifinal opponent was Japanese kickboxer Yoshihiro Sato, the ’06 & ’07 World Max Japan Champion.

Sato is tall, and used his 11cm/4″ height advantage well, pushing in front kicks to control the distance and threatening with the knees when the action closed. Masato, meanwhile, drew on his speed, firing in low kicks and darting forward with punches, as both fighters scored soundly through an electrifying first round. The second saw even more action, Masato powering past his opponent’s defenses with numerous left straight punches; Sato showing a great chin and continuing to counter. Incredibly, the boys raised it another notch in the third — a round that showcased what World Max is all about. Sato benefited from a change in tactics, bearing in with punches, and Masato answered in kind as the pair stood toe-to-toe and traded ’em before Sato got through with a left-right combination to fell his opponent. Masato recovered well to score with straight punches, although most connected at the limit of his reach. Masato did better by closing to work the body blows and uppercuts.

One judge liked Sato but two scored it a draw, prompting a tiebreaker round. Here Masato was quick with his combinations, closing again to work the body; while Sato played it defensively, firing low kicks and pushing his opponent back with front kicks. Masato’s aggression made the difference as he passed with the jab and straight punches then drove home body blows from inside. A late Masato left straight cocked Sato’s head back, and by the time Sato resumed his punching attacks it was too late. Masato with the hard-fought unanimous decision and a trip to the final.

The smart money had it that Masato would meet two-time and Defending World Max Champion Andy Souwer in the final. But Souwer hit a roadblock on the road to glory, in the form of 21 year-old Ukrainian fighter Artur Kyshenko.

Kyshenko smartly snapped in the kicks to start, but Souwer’s blocking and evasions were excellent, and the Dutch fighter went on the offensive late in the first with a couple of smart one-two punch combinations. A bit more action in the second as the distance closed, both combatants throwing punches — Souwer looking good with tight combinations on the counter. But still, neither fighter showed a killer instinct. Souwer’s cautious style was now cause for concern. When would he break out?

The judge’s card had the pair even going into the third, and although Souwer’s blocking in the final frame was once again near-flawless and his combinations on the counter displayed admirable technical skill, his overall defensive strategy did not win him the round, and the bout went to a tiebreaker.

Kyshenko knew he had an excellent chance to win it. The Ukrainian’s stamina served him well as he launched a number of creative attacks, including a spinning back kick and flying knees. Souwer responded with low kicks and also varied his attacks some, but that might have been the Champ’s problem — he spent too much time responding. When the bell sounded, judges gave Kyshenko the nod and a date with Masato in the final.

In ten World Max bouts, Kyshenko’s only loss had come against Masato in last year’s final. In that bout, Kyshenko was ahead on the cards before falling to a Masato left hook. And so this had the making of a great, albeit unexpected final. Both fighters had gone four rounds in their semifinal contests, but Kyshenko — seven years Masato’s junior — had taken fewer blows en route to the final.

The fighters came out hard and fast, exhibiting no ill effects from their semifinal bouts. Kyshenko answered Masato’s first low kick with three of his own, and Masato worked the straight punches, but Kyshenko’s blocking was sound. Kyshenko landed a solid low kick and right hook, however more of Masato’s surgical strikes got through, the Japanese fighter improving both his power and accuracy as the first round wound down.

Significant among World Max rule changes introduced for this event was an “open-scoring” system, whereby judges’ scorecards are displayed on arena monitors at the conclusion of each round.

It might have lit a fire under Kyshenko when one judge scored the first round a draw and the other two gave it to Masato by a point. Kyshenko started the second with a hard right straight punch and continued striking with combinations until a left dropped Masato. The trip to the mat did not unnerve Masato, who coolly countered with low kicks and closed with uppercuts. Meanwhile, many of Kyshenko’s punches were exploding promisingly from the guard only to miss the mark, and a Kyshenko kick sailed high late in the round.

Still, the down had put Kyshenko up on one card going into the third. The Ukrainian had his chance, but could not put this one away. Stamina had entered the equation, and if there was a fatigued fighter in the ring it was certainly not the ever-advancing Masato. Plenty of hard stuff thrown here, Kyshenko floating some and missing more; Masato solidly planted on his feet to take the edge in power and accuracy. Kyshenko however remained dangerous, landing a knee late in the round.

After three rounds, one card had it for Masato while the others added up even, and so a tiebreaker was prescribed.

Crunch time, and they came out swinging — but again Masato set himself better, picking his spots and hitting the target while doing an excellent job of reading and evading Kyshenko’s big hooks. Masato had the initiative, and he had the right attack at the right time. Although Kyshenko connected with a hard upper, his flagging guard left him vulnerable and he received more than he gave, and Masato finished the round in control.

A very good performance by the young Kyshenko, but a better one from the experienced Masato, whose stamina, smarts and versatility erased the second-round down and earned him a unanimous decision and the World Max Belt. It was the second time Masato has won the World Max Final, he also took it in 2003.

“These were the toughest fights I’ve ever had,” said Masato in his post-event interview. “My face and my legs hurt. I didn’t expect to be downed twice, I gave 100%, and I have nothing left — now I just want to relax and have a cup of coffee! Of course, I am very happy to win the belt. It is definitely different from what I felt before, now I think I can realize the true value of this belt. I’m completely exhausted, right now I feel like I don’t want to ever fight again — so I’ll think about the future later.”

“Now I understand why Masato is the champion,” said Kyshenko afterward. “He has good punches and kicks, and I think the reason I lost was because I don’t have as much experience as he does. But now I’ve fought him two years in a row, it was a great learning experience. Also it gave me a lot of confidence to beat Andy Souwer, who was the Max champion twice. Last year I finished in third place and this year I was second-place, so I’m improving one step at a time — next year I’ll be the champion!”

In the first tournament reserve, Japanese kickboxer Yasuhiro Kido fought the first-ever World Max Champion, boxer Albert Kraus of Holland.

Good positioning and movement by Kraus in the early going, the Dutchman getting through with the fists and scoring with low kicks. Kido connected with a couple of strikes but otherwise struggled to find his distance, and a Kraus knee at the bell sent the Japanese fighter to the interval with a nasty gash over his eye. Kido came alive in the second, making good with combinations, but time was twice stopped for the ringside doctor to check his worsening cut. Kido did not pass the second evaluation, so Kraus had the TKO win.

“Kido was good and strong and technical,” said Kraus post-bout. “I’m happy with my performance this year, the only thing I missed out on was the championship belt.”

The second tournament reserve pitted two-time World Max Champion Buakaw Por Pramuk of Thailand against Indian muay thai fighter Black Mamba.

There is a reason Buakaw has won the World Max twice, and the Thai fighter showed it tonight. Mamba made a go of it, but was simply out of his league as Buakaw commanded the distance, pace and style of this one from the first bell. At just 2:18 of the first Buakaw had the win courtesy a couple of downs — the first after a leg-grab and left straight punch to the chops, the second courtesy a couple of side-launched right hooks.

The evening’s 13-bout card also included a World Max Superfight, the ISKA World Lightweight Title Match and another lightweight contest, plus the quarterfinals in K-1’s new Koshien King of U-18 series.

In the World Max Superfight, Japanese kickboxer Taishin Kohiruimaki met Dutch kickboxer Joeri Mes. Kohiruimaki started with an ambitious knee, but Mes quickly seized control, making good with the left straight punches to score an early down. Mes continued to close on his opponent, and although Kohi came back with knees and low kicks midway through the second, Mes was the dominating fighter, and started the third with a three-point lead on all cards. Kohiruimaki desperately needed to make some noise here, and as time wound down he opened up — but it was the indefatigable Mes who got through with the decisive blow — a left hook on a counter — to lay the Japanese fighter out flat. An impressive display of power, speed and spirit by Mes.

“I feel good,” said Mes, “I fought aggressively, like Melvin [Manhoef] and Badr [Hari]. “I knew Kohi is a good fighter, but he kept clinching. After my win today, I’d like to fight more in K-1. I already fought Andy Souwer once and I lost, I’d like to fight him again and win! I’d also like to fight Japanese fighters like Masato and Sato.”

In the ISKA World Lightweight (60kg/132lbs) Title Match, it was Japanese fighters Susumu Daiguji, a 30 year-old karate stylist; and Daisuke Uematsu, a kickboxer two days shy of his 24th birthday.

A quick start and a quicker finish to this one. Daiguji shot in with the fists, Uematsu weathering the attack before countering with a middle kick then pumping up a knee to score a down. As Daiguji slumped against the ropes then onto the mat, the referee stepped in to call it. Uematsu the winner by KO at just 0:29.

Another lightweight contest featured Japanese fighters Haruaki Otsuki and Ryuji Kajiwara.

The shorter fighter, Otsuki hung his guard loose and low and chased Kajiwara with kicks, but ate a few fists — including a hard right hook in the second. It was anyone’s fight going into the final frame. Good action here, Kajiwara punching into his opponent’s guard, Otsuki answering with a punishing high kick. Kajiwara scored with a right hook, but Otsuki was more creative inside, and took a unanimous decision.

In the evening’s opening fight, a World Max contest, Nieky “The Natural” Holzken of Holland’s prestigious Golden Glory Gym rammed the fists past South African boxer Virgil Kalakoda’s guard to score two quick first-round downs and pick up the KO win.

Also on the card were the quarterfinal contests in the new K-1 Koshien King of U-18 Series. Paralleling Japan’s hugely popular Koshien high school baseball tournament — which enjoys television viewer ratings exceeding those of Japanese major league baseball — K-1 Koshien is open to high school students aged 16-18, with a weight range limitation of 57kg/126lbs to 62kg/137lbs. Bouts are conducted under modified K-1 rules, with 5-counts and fighters wearing ten-ounce gloves.

Koshien promoter’s selection Hiroya snapped in straight punches to rattle Taishi Hiratsuka, a Top-3 Chubu Region Fighter, prompting the referee to call it for Hiroya. Shota Shimada, also a promoter’s selection, took a unanimous decision over Ryo Murakoshi, a Top-3 Kanto fighter; Chubu Champion Ryuya Kusakabe’s high kick KO’d Kanto Finalist Daizo Sasaki late in the first round; and Kanto Champion Koya Urabe scored a second-round TKO over Yusuke Tsuboi, a Chubu Finalist.

During tonight’s intermission, a draw was held to determine the semifinal matchups for the Koshien Final, which will be held at K-1’s New Year’s Eve Dynamite event. It will be Hiroya vs Shota Shimada; and Ryuya Kusakabe vs Koya Urabe.

The K-1 World Max 2008 Final attracted a sellout crowd of 15,321 to the Nippon Budokan. All bouts were conducted under K-1 Rules — three rounds of three minutes each, with a possible tiebreaker round in all but the K-1 Koshien Series, and two possible tiebreakers in the ISKA Title bout and the World Max Final’s championship bout.

The event was broadcast live in Japan on the TBS network. For television scheduling information in other regions contact local providers. Visit the K-1 Official Website ( for official results and comprehensive coverage of this and all K-1 events.

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