Not motivated by money, motivated by Glory!

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We’ve built what we have without a promoter building us. We travel on our own dollar, sweated, bled, tasted defeat and the glory of victory in the face of over whelming odds. And while we’re grateful of everything that we’ve been able to do and accomplish, we still have much more to do. We train, travel and fight. Obviously we have limited funds, families, bills, homes, jobs and responsibilities, so we try to do the best with what we have.
2014 has been an exciting year for the Muay thai team at Revolution Dojo Houston. As I look back over 2014 and reminisce about the accomplishment we’ve made, it astounds me as to how far we’ve made it. We’ve come a long way, and we couldn’t have done it without being a team, without all the amazing support from everyone.

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Everything from training in Thailand at Sitmonchai to representing our country at the IFMA World Championships astounds me. We’ve had so many great people around us that we’ve help make this happen, and I personally feel honored and grateful for the love people have shown us. We’ve made so many great friends, and done so much.
In 2015 we look forward to continuing the upwards trend.
We coach a lot of fighters, and obviously it’s a team effort. All the coaches, Sam, Uriel, Jenn and I all train full time and work full time, and when you lead from the front… you earn the love and respect of your fighters/students. When you’re out there sweating, running in rain or 109deg weather and giving 110 percent of what you ask of your students people are inspired, inspired to be more than they were yesterday.

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In 2014 we scooped up 7 titles, and I hope to keep this going into 2015. Jenn came back with the 2015 Women’s Class-A WKA champion, defeating her opponent from Russia and the other from Florida with an almost undefeated record of 7w-1l Martin in classic Martin fashion won by TKO in the pre-finals, and a decision in the championships, against a more experienced opponents bring home the nation novice division title and advances his record to 4w-0l. Woody put on a great performance against a more experienced opponent and loss a really close fight against the multiple time nation champion. With the hot and cold flash weather we’ve been having, Sammy ended up getting sick on the plane ride to Virginia. Good thing is that at least he got to play coach.
At the US Muay Thai Open in Tempe AZ which hosted the IFMA qualifiers this year, Sammy and Jenn picked up the 2015 USMTO open class national titles and was awarded a slot to once again represent our country at the highest level.

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Sam won a hard close fight at LK1, at which we hope will continue to be a success for promoting Kickboxing and Muay thai. Something that all the talent in the armature brackets has been toiling away in obscurity and it look as if all our hard work might be finally rewarded. Media exposure, and finally a real chance to go professional after all these years. I’m optimistic that whatever happens, LK has great potential to open doors for kickboxing. And who knows, maybe one day a LK vs Lion fights series would be amazing! Have a great week!

TheKrastaGroupMuayThaiAddict

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Week out from LK1

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*wrote this before the LK1 event on Jan16th

 

In a couple of days my brother Samuel Mongonia will be stepping into the ring against an opponent with twice his experience for Legacy FC’s LK1 event Jan 16th. In the weeks leading up to this fight, we’ve had one hurdle after another. It’s been one big battle from day one, but looking back I’m glad we’re at where we’re at. When you get in the ring, the allusion is that it’s just the fighter, but to quote my brother “it’s me in there, but it’s all of us”. What makes a great fighter isn’t solely his/her talent and hard work; it’s the village that builds the fighter. You can’t be a great fighter and a narcissist. I take personal responsibility for each and every person that I put in the ring. It’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly, and it often weighs heavy on my heart because each and every single one of my fighters is my friend and my family. In all honesty, it’s a big scary world out there. You’ve got a lot of promoters that are looking only to use your guys as tomato cans; my family is too precious to me to be someone’s kicking can. One reason I like tournaments, is because it allows you to get fights against high level guys and get attention, while fighting guys on neutral ground. When I book fights for my guys, I try to book good fights. Not easy fights, but fights that they’re prepared for. I pour my whole heart into my family, and those that are worth my time and being called family do likewise… We couldn’t do this without the all the people, from fellow fighter Jennifer Guerrero and coach Uriel Figueroa to the friendships and everyone whom walked with Sam every step of the day, and that includes the hobbyist’s like Brad and the morning crew that get up in the awful time of the morning to run and train in the freezing wet cold that is a Houston winter.

I whole heartedly believe that the key to our success isn’t one person, but all of us… all of Revolution. We must always remember a fast rise, leads to a fast fall. It’s about earning fights… it’s about building a legacy, and there is no substitute for experience. It’s been a long road for us, but all the hard work is worth it. Legacy FC is starting a kick boxing league called LK1 and Muay Thai Kingdom, has continued to be successful hosting good shows. So the future for Houston Kickboxing and Muay Thai looks bright.

 

TheKrastaGroupMuayThaiAddict

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The warriors heart

-The warrior’s heart

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As usual, I love to ponder. This past week has given me some extra time to slow down and think; Time to think about family, sport, spirit and put pen to paper. This year we’ve been very active this year for our team. We just love to fight, doesn’t matter where.

I must admit that we are a society that is very driven and obsessed with victory, and our contempt for losing is unparalleled. Everything is about winning. If you don’t think so, go to a book store and take a quick look at the top sellers. Turn on the TV and watch some reality TV, everything we do is about winning, and I wonder how much of it has more to do with us compensating for our mental and spiritual inadequateness.

Seriously, I often find it interesting and perplexing how a fighter can loses a couple of matches and all the sudden the fans turn on them. “He’s a bum” or “he’s finished, he needs to retire”… I don’t get why we let couch-potatoes judge our careers. As if these guys know the sacrifice that fighters make. After all, how can you hold a scoring system that is judged like a beauty contest seriously against someone?

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Michael Jordan

And that’s where the lore of boxing comes in, were they have a long history of failures and underdog coming back to win or overcome life obstacles.

Speaking with a friend who just popped in from NYC, after training, we were just chatting a bit and he made the comment that “there’s a lot of heart in this sport”. This really resonated with me, because in Muay Thai… it’s not about the KO; winning is nice (don’t get me wrong, I like to win) but it’s about the fight. It’s about the exchange between two strong wills. It’s about who can dig deeper. It’s about two gods locked in immortal combat. It’s when we get to see the human spirit at its finest, and our resolve at its highest determination. Anyone can apply eight pounds of pressure to someone else’s chin, but it takes a champion to push forward and pressure an unrelenting opponent they just can’t seem to vanquish. Everyone gets knocked down from time to time, but champions get up. And that is the difference between success and failure; rather you have the heart and will to get up.

I was caught in the first round for a fight a couple of matches ago… and my buddy was telling me that when I got up he jump out of his seat, as if I had risen. Rising from defeat and refusing to fail is just as much as an accomplishment, and there is no loser in that kind of fight.

Greatness isn’t how many trophies’s, belts and titles you hold, it’s defined only by the size of your determination and perseverance.

TheKrastaGroupMuayThaiAddict

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Constructive criticism of the Houston Muay Thai scene.

Constructive criticism of the Houston Muay Thai scene.

First off I’d like to take a moment to thank Michael Corley for his hard work and efforts to kick start Muay Thai in Houston again.

Secondly, I’m the type of person that likes to trouble shoot and fix problems. I’m not the complaining type, because time spent complaining is time that could have been spent identifying, analyzing and implementing a corrective action. anything I am writing here is solely from a constructive business stand point as a Quality auditor, to help my team grow and do better. Perhaps these are some good tools to help us all of us in the Houston Muay Thai community build and grow the sport of Muay Thai.

Often my fighters/teammates and myself fight out of town. this puts us as the antagonist in the story of the night. promoters often bring us in to fight their local town/state hero’s, and this is how they sell tickets. we’re the bad guys, and our opponent is the good guy. So it’s easy to forgot and get spoiled by not having to sell tickets. so I wrote the following, as a corrective action document that I am implementing with my team; anyone else is welcome and free to use it to communicate clear guidelines and expectations to0 their boxers.

I believe the two biggest things that MMA has gifted to the sport of Muay Thai, one is the addition of science methods such as strength and conditioning. second, how to brand and market yourself. So as Muay Thai fighters we need to take a page from the MMA community’s play book and learn how to grow our audiences and fan bases.

The following is a living document, that we all need to continue to improve.

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Goal: The continuing success of Muay Thai and kickboxing.

Objective: To help Muay Thai Kingdom continue to be a success by facilitating revenue and fiscal growth through building team work and fighter-promoter communication.

This is a set of clear guideline as to what is expected of every participant in Muay Thai Kingdom or any combat sport. As you may or may not know, hosting combat sporting events are financially a high risk and very costly for promoters. Our goal is to continue to provide fighters with an opportunity to compete Muay Thai and Kickboxing in our own home town of Houston Texas by meeting the promoter half way, and producing a return on their investment. In order to continue to make this happen, Muay Thai Kingdom must continue to be a financial success by insuring audience pre-fight commitment, and we need your help and commitment to make that happen.

Outlined are some key hurdles, and strategy to addressing them.

Hurdles:

  1. Fighter turn over

1.2   Medicals not in on time

1.3   Social media Fighters (Booking fights because it’s cool with no intent of following through)

  1. Ticket sales and audience turn out.

2.2   Low audience pre-fight commitment

2.3    Participant’s not understanding the need to push that commitment

Our goal is to understand these problems and overcome them through working with you as a team.

Expectations (per each participant):

  1. You must secure audience pre-fight commitment by selling a minimum of 30+ tickets.

1.2   If there are two members of your gym participating, then your team’s obligation is 60+ tickets; three members participating, then 90+ and so on.

  1. Medicals submitted in a quick and timely fashion.
  2. Show up to weigh-ins at weight.
  3. Keep your promise and follow through with the fight.

Guidelines:

  1. Proof of 30+ tickets sold must be shown prior to 15 days before the event.
  2. Medicals must be submitted to the state or promoter before participants are placed on the card line up.
  3. Pulling out from the fight must be done prior to 30 days before event.
  4. Before you make any decisions, please consult your trainer first.

Tool sets:

  1. MTK has provided you with Tickets to help secure audience pre-fight commitment.
  2. Your gym and family are full of people that would love to come see you compete.
  3. Your work place and neighborhood is full of combat sports fans
  4. Put up flyers at local stores and shops.
  5. Utilize social media and hashtags #MuayThaiKingdom to spread the word and market the event
  6. Easy script: Would you like to go see some fights?

6.2   Yes. Tickets are $35.00, how many would you like?

6.3    No. No problem; let me know if you change your mind.

  1. Family script: Would you support me by coming to MTK?

7.2   Yes. Tickets are $35.00, how many would you like?

7.3   No. No problem; let me know if you change your mind.

Rewards:

  1. Participant’s that insure audience pre-fight commitment via tickets are rewarded with insured placement and higher rankings in most combat sports organizations system. This means that the more you can sale, the more likely you are to have a shot at a Championship Title.
  2. Teams/Gyms that insure large audience pre-fight commitment get preference in booking status.

Failures:

  1. Participant’s that refuse to or fail to meet basic expectations risk losing Title and rank, or worse… black-listing from future events.

It sound rather silly, and is considered a given for most fighters that have been in the scene for a long time. however, there is no marketing training manual for starting fighters. any and all ideas to help make this a success are welcome.

-Nete

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Class-A Thai-boxer in a Pro MMA world

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Class-A Thai-boxer in a Pro MMA world.

I actually was writing this before Sean Fagan with “Muay Thai Guy” did his interview with Eric Haycraft. Which Mr. Haycraft touched on a lot of the same subjects, and he would know way better than I do regarding all this stuff, so I think it adds credence to my blog posting. Anyways, I hope you enjoy.

The word “amateur” in the combat sports world has several meanings. In international boxing, it’s common for people to have 100 “amateur” bouts, and even become Olympic athletes and compete for gold. Conversely, in the MMA world, it’s completely normal and very common for a fighter to have a bit of success and then turn “pro” after 5-10 fights. Recently I’ve started to see even more people turn pro after 2 fights, or even straight out of the gate as their first fight. And of course, in Thailand there is only pro. I remember the confused look on Kru Pong’s face when I told him I wasn’t getting paid (Haha), the idea of amateur athletes was very foreign to him.

Personally, I think the pro option is wonderful, as it allows many of the athletes the ability to make a small return on the time, work and money invested into preparing for a combat sports event. As we all know, fighting takes years of formal training, the same amount of time and effort it takes a professor to get a masters degree. And as we all know, athletes have to pay for gym dues, trainer dues, travel, hotel, food, blood work and medicals (Or at least I do). I understand the medicals, after all, who wants to get HepC or HIV from coming in contact with a bloody opponent.

The problem was, that I viewed the world through the experiences of my very thin slice of the world. So when I started fighting Muay Thai abroad, my goal at the time was to become a pro… Because being an “amateur” fighter, was viewed as being a newbie or getting your feet wet. We’re fortunate in Texas to have a strong and large MMA talent pool for athletes to compete against each other, and also to have enough of a crowd for promoters to make a small return on their shows. this allows many athletes to compete on a local pro circuit. however, do to the lack of Muay Thai fights Houston and around Texas, I began to travel and fight around the country. the more I got around, the more I heard the same thing from all the top Kickboxing and Muay Thai trainers and promoters “get as many amateur fights as you can”. Come to find out, there really isn’t a large market for pro Muay Thai fighters in the states, other than Glory WS (Kickboxing), Lion Fights and TakeOn (MuayThai). Obviously this is my end goal, but once you go pro there’s no turning back, and I soon realized that my opportunities (which are already limited as they are in Texas) would be even less, effectively grinding my career to a halt. While asking around, several promoters I spoke with told me that they usually only turn fighters pro after 25 fights. This is understandable and makes sense considering they would want to produce a quality product. I realized how the word “Amateur” in the US Muay Thai scene means a whole different thing; this is why we have “class” divisions at the national tournaments. Giving it some reflection, I would never think of an Olympic wrestler, judoko or boxer as a “beginner”… why should I think the same thing about a Muay Thai boxer?

So I figured out that I need to be careful going pro to fast, or else grind my career to a halt. I was very ignorant at the time, thinking I could do 5-10 Muay Thai fights then go pro. so taking those people’s advice to heart, I’ve spent a good bunch of years trying to get as much Muay Thai fight experience as I can. I’m so blessed to represent the titles and organizations that I do, and I am thankful for every opportunity that I’ve gotten win/lose/draw. However, Muay Thai has very little monetary rewards and even less prestige. It takes a lot of hard work and a passion for the sport that outweighs the cost, while everyone is trying to discredit all your hard work. After spending large amounts of cash on travel, hotels and competing, judges will make bad calls, they’re only human. travel is expensive, as you are paying for plane tickets, gas, food, hotels, then add to all the blood sweat and tears, time away from your family and so forth. People don’t realize how much goes into building a career in Muay Thai. We make all these sacrifices for Muay Thai, spend countless amounts of money, time, sweet, blood and tears… the only rewards being a national title from the TBA-SA, USMTA, WKA, IKF and other large sanctioning bodies.

This year I’m hoping to step into the pro arena, provided that the opportunity presents itself. I’m always testing the deep end, and while I hope that I get that opportunity… I’m hoping I don’t shoot myself in the foot by killing my opportunities to fight here either. Being a Class-A fighter already kills my opportunities to compete here in Texas.

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I’m at this place in my life, where I am trying to help build a lot of Houston MT boxers up. Trying to share my experiences, because iron sharpens iron and obviously once we’re able to support a bigger Muay Thai scene here, I want to be a part of it. I want to be a pro one day, and hold those WBC and WMC titles. I want to fight those top names, but I have to be able to get to those names first. Even though I feel like I’ve come along way, I’m honest with myself, I’m not delusional. I know I have a lot of hard work ahead of me before I can rise to the international level. We need a good Muay Thai scene here before we can really have any guys at that international level. So we have to build each other up, help each other grow, because no man is an island and can do it alone.

My advice (and I’m sure almost everyone in the MT scene would agree) to anyone who wants to have a career in Muay Thai, get as many “amateur” fights as you can. If you’re a coach, have actively competing Thai-boxers and test your product against other boxers across the country. Get out there and compete, be an actively competing Muay Thai school.

This year I’m am going to try and make that leap, Thailand then IFMA and then hopefully Lion Fights. maybe I’m stupid, but I’m very aware of my mortality and I don’t want to get to the end of my life and say I wish I would have done this or that. While I’m working to make this leap, I will say that I am dang proud of being a Class A fighter, it’s taking me a long time to get here. We just have to keep working and moving forward, always getting better and keep working towards that goal.

-Nete

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TheKrastaGroup

Muay Thai Kingdom 2

Sorry Guys, but I have bad news for March 22nd. due to last minute drops and low ticket sales, MTK2 has been postponed until a later date.

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Revolution Dojo: Muay Thai Kingdom II

Promo highlighting the muay thai fighters from Revolution Dojo, leading up to Muay Thai Kingdom II
Shot and Directed By: Cm Black Pixels
http://www.cmblackpixels.com
Highlighted Fighters:
Jennifer Guerrero
Uriel Figueroa
TJ Johnson
Ray Aninzo

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MTK2 line up!!!

Muay Thai Kingdom
Few more added to March 22 (pending TDLR) Adding just a couple more. texasmuaythai@gmail.com

1) Bebe Laced (4oz) Crystal Knepp (Furia)
2) Oliver Jimenez (Izzy Camp) Robert Bailey (TT – C)
3) Jesus Alvarado (4oz) Demetrius Hall (Shin to Bone)
4) Birdie Carrasco (Shin to Bone) Jacqueline Williams (4oz)
5) Chadrick Turner (Twin Wolves) Alvin Perez (SitSiam)
6) Colbey Northcutt (4oz) Brittany Robertson (AKATX)
7) Joel Verdin (Shin to Bone) Ryan Baker (Mousel)
8) Terrance Johnson (Revolution) Matt Witherspoon
9) Parker Reid (Vongphet) Uriel Figueroa (Revolution)
10) Gabriel Lemus (Vongphet) Jennifer Guerrero (Revolution)
11) Joel Haesecke Chris Jackson (SBA/IZZY Camp)
12) Joshua Cabiya (AKATX) Chris Perez (GBTW)
13) Roland Rodriguez (Pinnacle) Paul Garza (Team Tooke)
14) Samuel Whitman (Vongphet) Ali Salami (GB Westchase)

taken straight form their page.
Please follow https://www.facebook.com/muaythaikingdom for further info.