Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ambassadors of Muay Thai...by VictoriaNJMT

People who do any sport are, in a way, the face of that sport. Look at this year's ambassadors to pro-baseball, track and American football. Baseball has been plagued with accusations and admissions of steroid abuse. Marion Jones had her Olympic medals stripped from her, and Michael Vic brought new respect for pro-football players by operating his own dog-fighting ring. High profile incidents affect public opinion of a sport, but I think that every-day occurrences at the most amateur level can affect perception of the culture of sport.

Lost yet? Well, it makes me think of Muay Thai and other fighting arts. Over the years, I have come into contact mostly with athletes from boxing, Tae Kwon Do, and MMA backgrounds. Because I don't have much experience outside of my encounters at the gym, I have formed certain perceptions about the cultures of these sports. Many boxers don't like to kick. The ones I have spoken to outside the gym have no respect for kicking. I believe foot fairy is a commonly used term amongst those boxing aficionados I have met. Tae Kwon Do and other martial arts are by far the most open minded people I have met at the gym. They are respectful, easy to train, and well-mannered. Sorry to everyone else, including Muay Thai, but the ambassadors to the martial arts had the most esteem in my book, until yesterday.

One bad ambassador from Wing-Chun was so obnoxious to me yesterday that I can't help but wonder if the philosophy of the sport is like that. This guy was so condescending and rude that I was left thinking that the school of Wing-Chun is pretty stuck-up. Is it right for me to think like that? No. But do I? Yes. It's human nature, and so I began to worry about my Muay Thai ambassadors out there. I know what our major short coming is: VANITY. We like to look good. We (generally) have nice physiques, and we worry about coordinating our gear. (LOL YOU KNOW IT S TRUE ) The heart of a muay Thai fighter though, is supposed to be humble. Point being, we all need to make sure that we represent correctly.

There are a lot of us who practice Muay Thai but, then again, we are a small community. We have to put our best foot forward. Especially here in USA, there is a negative perception about out sport. People think its dirty fighting. They think it's dangerous, savage and un-marketable. We couldn't even get a network to pick up The Contender Asia. We have to make sure that wherever we are, we educate people about the beauty and athleticism of Muay Thai.

I just hope that no one ever posts a blog talking about some jerk-Muay Thai person who was rude and condescending .

The community is watching, and we handle our own.

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