Travel Titbits

Travel Titbits

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has launched online campaign Discover the Other You, giving away seven-day packages to winners.

The ‘Discover the Other You’ campaign encourages visitors to learn more about Thailand.

The aim is to promote Thailand among visitors via traditional Thai arts including muay Thai, Thai cuisine and traditional Thai message. The winners will receive hands-on experiences plus tours and seven-day hotel packages in Thailand.

The contest is open to anyone to register through www.discovertheotheryou.com. Choose one of the three classes and wait for the results of the lucky draw.

The last date for registration is May 31 and the winners for the three classes will be announced on the website on June 5.

According to the TAT, the value of the prize for each winner is about US$10,000 (310,000 baht), covering a seven-day package for two, six-night accommodation, workshop fees, sightseeing tours, meals, transportation, return air tickets for two and US$2,000 (62,000 baht) in cash.

The winners must claim their prize before the end of October.

In addition, the TAT has also joined hands with several parties to offer special discounts for accommodation and packages for six classes of Thai kick boxing, Thai cooking, Thai massage, rice farming, craft and weaving, and Thai performing arts.

The TAT expects the campaign will lure more tourists to Thailand and attract them to learn more about locals and their culture.

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Down and Dirty Day

Down and Dirty Day

Most people know them as wrestlers on the Prescott High School team. Twins Saxon and Talon Vaughan, 15, both qualified for State this year. But Saturday, theyll be participating in a different kind of match Muay Thai.

The highlight of the IKF Muay Thai tournment is the Super Middle Weight World Title bout between Cecil Tudor and Sergio Ortiz (Costa Rica) which will take place this Saturday in Camp Verde at the Steve Coury Automotive Family dealership.

What is Muay Thai? Tudor explains it to be, All punches, kicks, elbows and knees to the body and head. Tudor currently holds the US title in his weight class (165-172) but hes going for the World Title against Sergio Ortiz who is flying in from Costa Rica.

But, before you get to the World Title bouts, you have to work your way up. Saxon, in the 115 weight class, explains that he likes the competition in the ring, Its a fun sport to just mix it up.

Any injuries? Nothing serious, nothing broken Saxon says with a shrug.

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Training for the fight

Training for the fight

took this fight on shorter notice than I would have liked but its part of the fight game. Im always in the gym training and the Super Fight League and opponent was too big an opportunity to turn down. A lot of my team mates were in fight camps for a show the week before so it was easy to get in the sessions I needed and ill go into this fight in good shape and ready for it.

Your opponent is a very experienced MMA fighter at 8-1 but is coming off a loss that shell be keen to avenge, what do you know about her?

She looks very accomplished striking wise and she obviously is very dangerous with the arm bar. I expect her coming in off a loss to be more dangerous than ever and Im looking forward to that challenge.

Best of luck with your fight, being from Glasgow myself, me and the Fullmount team will be incredibly biased on this one! If youd like to mention any of your sponsors or anyone else go right ahead.

Thanks for the interview FullMount team. Thanks to my partner James Doolan and my Griphouse gym brothers. Thanks to my sponsors for getting me ready for this fight The Griphouse gym, STARK partnership and Devils Own clothing for designing my walkout hoodie and tee.

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How A Diplomat Gets His Kicks

How A Diplomat Gets His Kicks

This Australian bureaucrat may turn up at meetings with a black eye, but hes no bar-room brawler. He loves muay Thai. Im a bit embarrassed actually, says Glen Connell, a seemingly ordinary man in a suit sitting in a cafe drinking espresso. Hes not shy about his day job, which takes place just next door at the Australian embassy, but about the extra-curricular activity that has earned him a spot in Brunch.

As Australias First Secretary for Trade and Economics to Thailand, Mr Connells love of muay Thai, or Thai boxing, has largely been a well-kept secret. But he sees the quirky intrigue it might hold for others.

The idea of a diplomat with a black eye is, I know, a strange juxtaposition, he concedes.

Now in his second year of a three-year posting at the embassy in Bangkok, his affiliation with muay Thai began out of a natural attraction long before coming to the country revered as its heartland.

Originally from Mackay in Queensland, Mr Connell first discovered the sport as a youngster, training and participating heavily from when he was 14 until he was 16. Still harbouring a fascination which sprouted through active engagement in Australia, the now 33-year-old is philosophical about how it seemed appropriate that he seek out muay Thai again in Thailand.

Watching TV one day in his apartment he saw his former trainer in Australia on a commercial, at first barely recognising the man who had taught him everything. The German muay Thai guru Stephen Fox had since become one of the most famous practitioners of the sport. A former world title holder and champion, both in Thailand and abroad, he is now serving as the vice-president and international coordinator for the World Muay Thai Council, helping to further establish and promote the sport around the world.

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Muay Boran-Old Style

Muay Boran-Old Style

Muay Boran literally means ancient boxing or boxing old-style. It is a traditional form of Muay Thai still taught in Thailand.

As Muay Thai boxing became standardized and internationalized, absorbing many elements of Western boxing some looked back fondly to the days of fewer rules and Muay Kaad Chuek (bound-fist fighting). And so, Muay Boran is essentially an effort to preserve the boxing techniques from Muay Thais history before the introduction of formalised rules and gloves in the 1930s. Muay Boran is the predecessor to modern day Muay Thai boxing.

Muay Kaad Chuek – No gloves boxing

During the Ayuthaya era came the introduction of Muay Kaad Chuek. That is the use of unrefined hemp wrappings to protect the fingers and wrists. A length of around 20 metres was enough to bind one hand. The use of Muay Kaad Chuek quickly spread, as a bound fist is tougher, stronger and better protected against injury than an unbound one. It is said that before a contest fighters immersed their fists in water. This would cause the binding to harden when it dried, making it capable of producing serious injury. Some people go further and claim that fighters dipped their hands in glue and ground glass.

Such a contest would certainly have made a gory sight! To this day an annual Muay Kaad Chuek contest with Laos is held in Nong Khai near the NE border with Laos, on the Thai side of the Mekong River. A Muay Kaad Chuek contest with Burma is staged in the Mae Sot, western Thailand, during the Sonkran (Thai New Year) festivities (April 12-14). Boxers fight until knockout. If both competitors remain standing at the end of the bout a match is declared a draw.

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The Battlefield

The Battlefield

Historically, the purpose of Muay Thai was to help a warrior survive a battle. Its style is efficient in that it maximizes the damage the bodys natural weapons can impact on an opponent. Muay Boran emphasizes combinations of powerful elbow and knee techniques thrown at full force and speed, the idea being to completely overcome ones adversary as quickly as possible.

Learning Muay Boran
Muay Boran is highly ritualised and the training is a long and involved process. Muay Boran students practice and perfect techniques before being allowed to progress to the next level.

At the heart of Muay Boran is the Yang Sam Khun (three strides walk) which is the basis of all footwork.
Pairings are done in the traditional style, not by weight, and all parts of the body, including the groin, are potential targets. Some Muay Boran techniques are not effective in the modern arena, as Muay Thai practitioners have found new ways to protect themselves.

Many other ancient techniques are now forbidden in Muay Thai for safety reasons.
Even in Thailand it is difficult to find schools that teach Muay Boran. Most camps and gyms prefer to focus on modern Muay Thai, which is more easily exploitable as a form of income. Some schools outside of Thailand who claim to offer Muay Boran instruction simply teach Muay Thai and sell it under the name of Muay Boran.

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