Muay Thai is a big part of Krabi, it is an amazing Sport and people from all over the world come to Thailand to experience it. Muay Thai is a very exciting, exotic, complex, beautiful and a powerful part of South Thailand. “Muay” means to “Fight” or to “Box” and “Thai” is Thailand so many call “Muay Thai” = “Thai Boxing” or Thailand Style of Kickboxing. Muay Thai is the first full contact Martial Art done in a Boxing Ring and it is know as the “King of the Ring”. There are five parts to Muay Thai fighting. Using hands, a unique style of Boxing, using Elbow strikes, they are called Knives and are the #1 cause of blood in this Sport. There are knee strikes which have been proven by science to be the hardest human combat strike in the world. Then there are all kinds of Kicks. Muay Thai fighters are known for their Baseball BAT kicks because their shins are like a hard wood. Last but not least is Clinching, stand up wrestling and it is the main set up technique for knee and elbow strikes. Many people from all over the world have, and are coming to Thailand to challenge this ancient fighting style and the result is KO – Knock Out!!
Muay Thai has been in Thailand from the very beginning of its existence, many Military, Police, Government and Royal people still practice Muay Thai and many are Champions in the Sport. There is Muay Thai Champions is all 76 Provinces of Thailand, there are fight events almost every day- 365 days a year and in some towns there are 2 to 3 fight events going on in one night!!
My name is Daniel C. Docto aka “DOC”, I am a local resident in Ao Nang Krabi, I learned Muay Thai from a Thai Champion that lived in America USA and now I practice and teach the Sport here in South Thailand. My trainer in Krabi asked if I would compete in an all Thai Sport event … I would be the only farang (foreigner) to Daniel C. Docto aka “DOC” fight in this promotion. I was honored to be asked to do such an event and many of my Thai friends would be able to see me perform their National Sport.
I spent 4 weeks training for the Fight, I am almost 47 years old and to say the least it really challenged this Old Man contender. I could not do what the Thai fighters do in their training but I tried to keep up with them. Actually, I am in better shape than most people I know in their twenties but again the Thai fighters condition is beyond most athletes. A professional Thai fighter tries to fight once a month, they prepare about 3 weeks for their fights so they train two times a day, about 4 to 6 hours a day and SIX days a week … trying to take Sundays off to rest. Muay Thai fighters are the endurance fitness champs of the world and their workouts burn 1,000 calories at a time. That is one reason many people world wide get involved in Muay Thai … Weight Loss plus Extreme Fitness and a Powerful Self-Defense. I lost an easy 7 Kilos in 4 weeks and that is pretty good and healthy for someone my age. The week before the fight was the hardest training, my trainers really pushed me to the end and my body was at its limits. Many times I was asking myself, “Why am I doing this, plus I could really get hurt and I am going through a mid-life crisis??”
My trainer told me that I was going to fight a Thai fighter that is around my age and that he was going to be FAT so I could punch him if I got in trouble fighting him in the ring. The day of my fight finally came, I got to relax in my training two days before my fight and honestly I felt great. I was in the best shape, did not have any injuries from training so hard and I felt like I was in my twenties. They set up the fight area in an open empty field, it was amazing how in one day a full on fight area was ready for the Big Show and I actually felt great about the up coming experience. Many local Thais came to the event, actually more than I expected and only about (5) farangs came to watch … (2) were my close friends. The local Thais made the event like a big festival, they were selling many things there and YES the Thai food was in full force. I was so honored to be apart of this Thai event and in Krabi Thailand it is truly AMAZING.
Well, before you fight you get a Muay Thai massage, they put Thai oil on your body and I felt like a greasy pig that we use to chase for fun at Festivals in the USA … am I going to get chased or cooked?? It was time to get into the ring, they now told me they got a different opponent for me and I watched him get into the ring. My new Thai opponent was actually a little taller than me, he was forty years old, I weighed a little more than him BUT he was 100% muscle. That is when I got really nervous, all kinds of thoughts of getting KNOCKED Out by an old Thai Champ was running through my brain and my words in training were quickly running through my head, “What are you doing??” My trainer told me my opponent was really scared about fighting me and that I should just take my time the first round and then try to knock him out in the second round. I was thinking … okay … whatever you say Coach … yea right … it is that easy right??
One thing I love about real Muay Thai Fights in Thailand is they all do a pre-fight ceremony. This consists of about TEN prayers, a lot of bowing, showing honor to Thailand and presenting one’s self to the crowd by doing an Ancient Muay Thai dance. The great thing about this is you do not have to do it right … what I mean is whatever you do and you try to do it good then it is all Good to the Thai people … again AMAZING. So I did my pre-fight ceremony dance, the Thai people loved it, some Thai girls loved it too and my wife thought she might have to get into the ring to do some fighting too. The big plus for me was I was able to work through some of my nervousness because if you can do a funny dance in front of a bunch of people and make them cheer and laugh then it is okay if you get knocked out right?? I actually won a Trophy for the best dance of the night and that was just a super bonus for me. Again, Thailand is amazing because if I did this dance in America most in the crowd would say something like, “What are you doing?? Stop the dancing and get on with the Fighting!!”
Okay let’s BOX!! Round One.
I was so nervous, so excited, I was in a dream state of unbelief, I am in the ring, the referee said, “BOX!!” and you can not just jump out of the ring right?? I relaxed, moved around, did some punches and kicks and thank GOD my opponent relaxed too and just let me do what I wanted. In the first round I tried a fancy kick, I did a front kick to the body, he stepped back so I would miss and then I kept spinning to do a head kick with my other leg. I heard the crowd yell, I know most did not know this Old Man could do that and again it added more fun to the amazing experience. Then the bell rang ending round number one … yea!!
My trainer in my corner quickly took care of me, gave me water, massaged my body and checking to see if I was okay. Honestly, I felt great, it was unbelievable and so much so my trainer did not believe me when he asked me at least three times how I was doing. In fact, I thought to myself, “Did I look real bad and why was he so concerned?” Time was up, my coach said, “Okay, use your hands, box him and knock him out this round.” I had a funny feeling he put a BET on me, gambling in Thailand is illegal but in Muay Thai it is fully accepted as a part of the National Sport.
Knock Out … Round Two.
My trainer taught me a front hook punch which is a special punch from the Krabi South Thailand fighters and I did it slowly on my opponent … he did not block it. Then I moved around, did some more kicks and I was trying to set up that knock out punch. I took my time and did it, it connected, he was rocked a little and he in turn tried to elbow me in the face and thank GOD I had my eyes opened because I moved just enough so he missed. I connected with some more punches and the referee gave him an eight count to see if he was okay. I knew then it was my chance to try to knock him out before he got me with an elbow and I got a good right upper cut in on him. He was not expecting that punch and went down for the TEN count … then it was over. FOUR tough weeks of training that ended in FIVE minutes of fighting … was it worth it … that night for me it was!! It was a Divine experience that very few people on earth will ever be apart of.
Weeks have passed since my fight, I have made many new Thai friends because of that event and some kids call out my name to say HI because they saw my Muay Thai Fight in Krabi … again AMAZING and one of the very unique events that can only happen in Thailand. If you want to know more about the area of Krabi, about Muay Thai events and/ or Fitness training in Ao Nang … please feel free to contact me and I would love to share some great things to experience in Amazing Krabi Thailand.
Daniel C. Docto aka “DOC” is the writer of monthly Muay Thai articles, he trains at all the Muay Thai gyms in the Ao Nang Krabi area, he does personal Fitness & Fight training himself and he did some English announcing at Ao Nang Krabi Muay Thai Stadium on Friday nights. Feel free to contact him about Muay Thai and/ or Holiday events/ attractions in the Ao Nang Krabi area. He can be contacted at Cell: 087-810-2177 and/ or by e-mail at: DocThailand@gmail.com..