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Tree09

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Does any kid who lives a hardcore sports life get to choose? Not to mention in Thailand that's likely been done by the family for generations. I knew a guy that missed the Olympics by a thousandth of a second, he was an amazing swimmer but that's what he did his entire life from the age of like 3 or something. That's what it honestly takes to compete at a very very high level.
 

CurSedVoyce

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It's a different mind set in some countries B and often times a matter of honor that eclipses personal wants.
I guess you would have to ask each parent and child. You being forced to do this? Is this what you want?
Some might answer, this will give my son better opportunities and keep him from starving to death.
 

Burnham

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I would posit that at the very least, we should substitute "will give my son better opportunities" with "might give my son better opportunities".

I rather doubt that in that roomful of kids, even a few ever find success that really elevates their life prospects.

But again, I know I do not know.
 

Tree09

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Around here it was used as a way to pay for college. It was work that kids did to try to pay their way, not to mention sports builds all sorts of character as a kid, and helps mold the kids into men. My family was pretty big into baseball, and i had a pass ball (i was a catcher) that cost the game. I think i was 9, and my dad set me up the next day with a pitching machine blocking hardballs all day long. As harsh as that seems, when my dad was catching in college, he was knocked unconscious at a stand up play at the plate (my family is almost all catchers lol). My grandpa wouldn't go get him from the hospital until he heard whether or not he held onto the ball, and he did so he came. As a catcher it's called the gut play, do you have the balls to not even look at the guy coming down the line and put all your focus on the ball. You can't really teach that stuff to kids without sports, and they just play a different sport than we do here.

The actual sport is almost irrelevant, it's showing them that it's not only just ok, but a good and proud thing to get up there and take a swing at life. To go head to head against someone in a physical contest, to lose and get hurt and keep on going. Their sports seem violent to us, but honestly football, boxing, horse jumping, rodeo, and a whole bunch more of ours are just as bad. To a much lesser extent apprenticeships and some college degrees often teach the same lesson, to learn a skill and then have the guts to go apply it, knowing that failure is an option. You might drive across the country to take a weld test, fail, then have to drive back home broke with your head in your hands lol.
 

biggun

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Those kids.

They will be from rural families, large families who don’t have a pot to piss in. If the kids shows an aptitude they will go to a boxing camp and if they are any good they will stay their and fight for the camp.

The camp usually pays accommodation and food, school materials and uniforms. Basically all the costs the kid has growing up. In return they fight for the name of the gym. They will run twice a day, before and after school. Train for 3-4 hours a day, 6 days a week and fight whenever possible. They get paid to fight and if they are any good the gamblers will bet on them and if they win, will give a contribution to the child. On top of this the kids help to cook, clean and maintain the gyms. Again anything that needs doing to maintain the upkeep, equipment, accommodation etc.

After the fights, the gym will take their cut of the prize money and give some to the kids. Most of the money gets sent back to the families to help their parents pay for their brothers and sisters. They usually keep a tiny amount, a dollar or so for kiddy spend like a soda or sweet etc.

So the kids you see there have been given an opportunity to step up the social ladder, remove a mouth from the parents tables and provide some money back to that table for their brothers and sisters. If they go on to bigger fights the purse increases but the situation stays the same.

They are extremely humble kids and it may look barbaric to westerners but it is a way of life for them. I don’t believe the situation can be compared to those in the western world.

BTW did I ever mention I love Muay Thai LOL 😂😂😂
 

biggun

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Another thing to note is there are not many successful fighters who come from a priveledged back ground…. There are of course exceptions, sons of older, successful fighters who might have had a better start in life due the their fathers success. But a lot of them are from extreme poverty and a large number are from the Isaan region in NE Thailand. Isaan is a very poor farming area known as the green triangle. Hungry people are hungry for success.

I was in Isaan for 3 months at a camp in 2002. I dug out an old picture, you can see the kids in the front row. IIRC only two of them were from outside the camp. The rest lived in the room next to me. Those kids were some of the happiest kids I have met. Always a smile, so polite and respectful. We would be doing 8k -12k runs in the morning in our Adidas, Nike, Puma’s and such. They would be in old school gym shoes or flip flops and they would be kicking a coconut down the street as they ran. Back home prepare breakfast, tidy, off to school then back for 3pm. Another 8 k run warm up, 30 mins skipping, 3x5 mins rounds shadow boxing. 6x5 min rounds in the heavy bags then at some point into the ring to go with a pad man for another 5x5min rounds. Then usually 45 minutes sparring, 30 minutes clinch work then circuits. 200 sit-ups, 100 press-up, 300 knees on heavy bag and maybe anything else you need to work on.

This was 6 days a week. We would go to the temple on a Sunday for a sauna and massage. I have never felt so broken in all my life but at the same time have never been fitter.

It was an awesome experience and one I will always cherish the memories.

B8AD586F-0ACD-4205-B53D-06C713FC69CB.jpeg 4BC7AAE9-3859-4EE5-A744-3290F1735558.jpeg
 

pantheraba

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Excellent description and write up of the situation. Awesome that you got to experience that at such a level. As far as I know the Thai people are part of the Mon culture, just like the Burmese people. I've been able to spend time around Burmese folks and for the most part they've been wonderful, gracious and fine human beings. Their culture is overall a peaceful one until they get abused or riled up.. then it's a different story. They're one of the few cultures that actually stopped the Mongols.
 

biggun

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Wow, holy shitballs Batman! Just WOW!

Did anyone manage to watch the above fights?
6 fights and 5 knockouts. The fight that went to the judges was a great fight as well.

Giorgio Petrosyan has 102 wins and 2 losses. Not been beaten in 7 years. Bit of a grudge match with Superbon after a war of words on Social media.

Giorgio “The doctor” Petrosyan, as he is called because he clinically dismantles all opponents. He is regarded as the GOAT kick-boxer.

Well the Dr. needed a Doctor today!

 

pantheraba

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I just watched the Superbon fight...good one. It looked like an innocuous kick...just the end of the foot to the neck/base of skull/jaw. He was decorticate in a microsecond...dropped like a pole-axed steer.

Superbon KO.JPG
 

cory

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Giorgio Petrosyan has 102 wins and 2 losses. Not been beaten in 7 years.

Giorgio “The doctor” Petrosyan, as he is called because he clinically dismantles all opponents. He is regarded as the GOAT kick-boxer.

Well the Dr. needed a Doctor today!
That's a sweet write up, Rich, and holy cow those were crazy highlights- 2 highly skilled, tough as hails animals beating the chit outta each other. And then the double KO- one foot to face and the other being his head bouncing hard off the canvas. F'g tough sport!

Do those ankle wraps protect that area much? They're kicking each other like they have work boots on yet they act as if the feet are bulletproof .

Rich, we know you love MT, just wondering which you like best overall, MT or MMA. I would guess MT but if memory serves, you also train bjj so the ground game also would seem to be important to you
 

biggun

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That's a sweet write up, Rich, and holy cow those were crazy highlights- 2 highly skilled, tough as hails animals beating the chit outta each other. And then the double KO- one foot to face and the other being his head bouncing hard off the canvas. F'g tough sport!

Do those ankle wraps protect that area much? They're kicking each other like they have work boots on yet they act as if the feet are bulletproof .

Rich, we know you love MT, just wondering which you like best overall, MT or MMA. I would guess MT but if memory serves, you also train bjj so the ground game also would seem to be important to you
Cory, thanks. BUT I can admit to a bit of plagiarism. Plenty of comments on social media about the Dr needing a Doctor Lol.

The ankle wraps help a bit I guess. Probably more psychological than anything. I used to wear them but then I lost them. Now I don't wear any, haven't done for years now.

I love MT and BJJ, I love watching MMA as well and have done from the early days of UFC and Pride. I have UFC II on an old VHS somewhere. I think I am a bit of traditionalist at heart. I don't think I would ever do an MMA class. Something about it, can't quite put my finger on.

BUT at the same time there is now a generation of MMArtists who have trained in everything from the start. The are much more rounded in their whole game rather than a wrestler who learned to punch, or a kickboxer who learnt a bit on the ground.

I have been listening the Breath by Rickson Gracie (Audiobook) it is a great book by the way. All about growing up a Gracie, family life, training, the growth of BJJ and the first UFC events, which were actually a showcase to demonstrate the might of Gracie JJ. It is worth a read.

Rickson also comments on BJJ for BJJ and BJJ for MMA. The guys who learn the latter don't have the same base, position and execution of the techniques compared to a BJJ for BJJ fighter. Does that make sense. He describes it as sloppy.

I am far from an expert at BJJ, but have only ever trained in a Gi. I have zero interest in NoGi. Yet I love watching it.

This is a great contest and has been voted one of the best grappling matches of all time, Ever.

Kron Gracie (Rickson's son) vs Gary Tonnon. Unbelievable skills on show.


The vid keeps starting in the middle, if it does the best fights are at the beginning.

 
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cory

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Good stuff!

I recently finished Rickson's audio book, listened to it twice, enjoyed it!

Rickson is a bit egocentric but when you are arguably the bjj GOAT, I guess it's understandable.

That vid is definitely a classic, not only re bjj at the highest levels but also the unique way Joe Rogan at his best can describe things. Eddie Bravo at his best too. Very entertaining.
 

cory

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Totally
 

biggun

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@cory Yeah the book is great, Haakon is listening to it now so I am on the second run.

On a slightly different note, did you see Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder III last weekend? Fury is an unbelievabley good boxer. Such IQ and ring craft.

He knows what to do in nearly every situation.
 

cory

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I didn't see it live nor in full but there were lots of highlights everywhere so I feel like I got the idea of the fight. Hella classic war it seemed to be.

One take away for me was the finish. Wilder was basically out on his feet, practically being held up by taking vicious uppercuts. I think in a UFC bout, a sequence like that would have been very wisely stopped much sooner. It reminded me of why MMA has a much better safety record than boxing.
 

cory

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And who knew Fury can sing like a bird!
 
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