Wednesday, November 23, 2011
My Muay Thai Journey
Working out in boxing gyms over the years, I was able to meet all kinds of martial artist coming in to sharpen up their hands. I was able to meet boxers, kickboxers and Muay Thai Fighters. Muay Thai is known as "The Art of Eight Limbs" and is one of the toughest ring sports. I met Pedro Villalobos at a martial arts gym in Atlanta. He moved to the States from Madrid. We began training together and sharing our knowledge. Back in the late 90s I worked a job where I traveled back and forth to Boston for about 8 months. When I was up there I would work out at gym run by a talented instructor named Jerry (now Boston Muay Thai). He and a fighter named Steve ran the place. He trained in Thailand at the famous Fairtex gym. I was exposed to true Muay Thai. Pedro would later go to Thailand. He stayed for a period of time training and fighting. When he returned we delved deeper into the art and trained like we were in Thailand 6 days a week for 3 years. We started Thailand Arts Institute and trained a group of several fighters for several years. Pedro became the ISKA U.S. Middleweight Muay Thai Champion by defeating Russian fighter, Gregory Flintsanov in Atlanta in 1998. He later fought in the first MMA event in Atlanta (the Submission Challenge later to be called the Gauntlet). Pedro left the states in 2002 to make Thailand his home. He established a gym and continued his study of Thai Martial Arts and now teaches Muay Sangha. His website is www.muaysangha.com. He is an author of two books (one on Muay Thai and another on Krabri Krabrong). He travels internationally giving seminars too. He along with Champion Kelly Leo were my main training partners for years. Pedro helped us to develop our Muay Thai foundation and he was instrumental in helping the art develop in the Southeast.