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Fighting Thai Style



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Kun Duang Phimai Anan is a Muay Thai instructor at the K1 Club gym in Heping Stadium 鍜屽钩浣撹偛棣. He is 33 years old, has fought over 160 Lumpini fights in his career and has been practicising Muay Thai for most of his life. Before he came to Tianjin he taught in Zhuhai鐝犳捣, Guangzhou for three years. The K1 Club is primarily a martial arts academy, with classes on Brazilian Ju-jutsu, and mixed martial arts. Today, Kun Duang chats to us about the brutal Thai martial art Muay Thai, what attracted him to it, and what the prospects are for the future of Muay Thai.


Could you tell us a little about yourself and what got you interested in Muay Thai?


Muay Thai has four points of attack; the fists, the elbows, the knees and the legs. I originally became interested in Muay Thai because my mother and father liked it a lot, so naturally I became interested in it. When I was seven or eight they started teaching me, they became my coaches.


What regulations does Muay Thai implement to ensure people’s safety?


During training we wear ankle protection, shin pads, sparing gloves, a hip protector, helmets (which are optional) and a mouth guard. However, if you participate in a competition, then fighters just wear a mouth guard. Also, when we train we don’t allow elbow strikes. Finally, there is also a referee or instructor who watches over each fight, to make sure there aren’t any injuries and that nobody cheats.   


Muay Thai seems quite male dominated, is there any chance for women to participate?


It’s still quite male dominated, because in the past women weren’t allowed to learn or compete. But now times are a lot different, there are many more women studying Muay Thai. Women can also take part in competitions, although they must compete in same sex fights.


Is Muay Thai taught as a method of self-defence at your gym, or is it more of a work out?


It can be for both really. Besides, training yourself, getting fit, and protecting your body are all forms of self defence. Losing weight, and having a great body will help you to protect yourself. When we train and spar we do practice a lot of defensive moves. In Muay Thai, there are two types of defensive moves; soft defence and hard defence. A hard defence makes use of your arms and your shins to block an attack directly. Soft defence involves parrying and dodging punches, but we don’t do any training against weapons


Are there many different styles of Muay Thai, or is there just one kind?


There is some variation between Northern and Southern styles, but on the whole the differences aren’t that big. There are also a lot of instructors who teach different styles, but to be honest they are almost identical.

What can a beginner expect to learn the first few times they attend class?


We focus on building up fitness, by doing exercises like running etc. but we also practice basic fighting stances. Most important is not to learn too much. Everyone learns at their own rate, and if you are strong in one area, we will focus on an area that needs more work. We take it slowly with a beginner, but we will definitely make you sweat!


Address: 3rd floor, Heping Gymnasium, No. 10 Baoding Dao, Heping Disitrict


Tel:+86 22 2832 9777




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