Week out from LK1

10430397_10204614964992049_5343721159353387826_n

*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

Taggcode 220140219-171255.jpgblack_revolution

Sitmonchai III: A bitter sweet ending

 

 

10009773_10152028712465143_7581703919190329777_n

So today is thursday, the last training day of the week. This is just going to be a quick one, as I plan on making it up to you all while I am on the plane.

I worked with thong muck a lot this week, young guy with a lot of tricks up his sleeve. he likes to work the boxing combos a lot too. we worked with parries and counters. not really my thing, but if we don’t move outside our comfort zone, then we can’t grow. definitely enjoyed my time here at Sitmonchai, and they did everything they could to make us feel welcomed and like a part of the family. I also got to clinch with Pornsaneh and Kong Fa, that was a lot of fun.

we went to the sauna at the Wat down the street, and scooped up Pornsaneh on the ride over. the guy is like a kid, haha, once he figured out that he could get a rise out of Roni, he kept antagonizing her and messing with her ears. probably the funnest thing this whole trip.

Honestly, I had a plan to blog a lot more during my time here. but between training, taking notes, Songkran and spending time with all these great people, I felt that spending what little time we had with friends that we made here, was far more important.

Tonight I spread a bit of my fathers ashes at the first and second bridge of the morning run. So for every time that I come and visit Sitmonchai, it’ll also be a homage to a country, culture and people that my father loved very deeply. Thank you Garry and Roni for being a part of something like that with me.

I can’t thank Abigail, Pee-A, Jun, P-nae, Kong Fa, Thong Muck, Juab, Ley, Jimme and the rest of the Sitmonchai team enough for treating me like family. I’m sure that they’re used to having guests come and go all the time. But at no time did I ever feel like another face. I learned a lot, and worked directly along side with the fighters.

At the end of it all, this is bitter sweet. I’ll be back home, with pizza and beer. but a small piece of me will always remain here.

 

TheKrastaGroupMuayThaiAddict

Taggcode 2 20140219-171255.jpg20140219-171239.jpg

Yodkhunpon Sitmonchai Glory 15

 


Yodkhunpon Sitmonchai, affectionately nicknamed “Moo” will be making his big debut on the world stage at Glory 15 in Istanbul Turkey. At 18 years old this young man made his way into the top ten of his respective weigh class at the Lumpinee stadium. Now at the age of 20 he’s stepping onto the world stage, and it will be a fight that you won’t want to miss.
Yodkhunpon, much like his gym mates, utilizes a heavy boxing and powerful leg kick style that doesn’t fit into the traditionalist model of Muay Thai.

maxresdefault

The hand and leg kick style is a staple of the Dutch tradition of kickboxing, which we’re used to seeing in Europe and in the United States. However, the Thai adaptation of this style, utilizes all the power of the traditional Thai style kick, knees, elbows and foot work, which makes for a very fast pace and exciting style. I would also like to reiterate that not only is Yodkhunpon known for his knockout power and speed, but his wit as well.

maxresdefault2
Watching him train and fight, one thing I noticed was his high level of ring IQ. Even as Yodkhunpon is fighting aggressively forward, he has the ability to make his opponent miss and capitalize on his opponent’s mistakes. This mixed with his Knockout power, makes him a very dangerous opponent and a name to watch at Glory 15 and future events. I know I’ll be watching, and so should you!

0_0_0_0_490_443_csupload_58983354_large-300x271

 

 

TheKrastaGroupMuayThaiAddict

Taggcode 2 20140219-171255.jpg20140219-171239.jpg

Five fights, three KO’s, one weekend…

 

1527023_374873302651710_1970196971_n

Picture courtesy of BAUZEN.com

Article by DJ Miller

 

DJ Miller, 2014 WKA and the journey of a Muay Thai champion.

This year’s WKA tournament I was on a mission. Winning a belt was just a bonus to me. The mission was simple: BEAT EVERYBODY! I didn’t care who they were, where they trained at, how many fights they had. It was simple, defeat and destroy. Last year at the WKAs I was humiliated. I was put away in the first round in both divisions. I was horrifically under trained and not ready. It was the reason why I started to doubt my skill afterwards. Now I have a new gym, new coach and finally an actual team of skilled fighters. They all inspire me to represent the colors dominantly. At the tournament I was immediately recognized and greeted as the great fighter everybody thought I was. I knew deep down I had a bad feeling about the tournament because of what happened last year but at the same time I knew I was a completely fighter this time. I am bigger, faster, stronger and smarter. My new gym rebuilt me into a prototype machine and I was eager to see what I was made of. Upon entering the tournament I knew I would see my arch rival Adam Edgerton for a 3rd time. Let me just clarify that me and AJ agreed on a pact before the tournament that we agreed that this meet would not count as our much anticipated ‘rubber match’. The tournament was bigger than ever. I entered in Glory rules and full rules Muay Thai. I was time for me to send a message and remind the Muay Thai community just who in the hell I was. My 1st matchup was in Glory rules division. I unleashed my fury on my first opponent and KOd him in the 2nd round. The next up was full rules. My opponent gets massacred by my aggression and falls in the 3rd round by KO via knee. I look back at the brackets and saw that it was time for AJ next. The previous opponents were irrelevant. It was all about me and AJ now. We get in the ring and greet each other with a playful smirk from across the ring. The bell sounds and we get it on. AJ starts letting his hands fly like he does. I’m not backing down and return some fire myself. I’m hitting much harder and punching much faster. I instantly can tell he notices this. We tussle in the clinch a bit until I surprise him with high kick that comes down across his neck and instantly KOs him. He falls to the floor after 36 seconds. I am stunned. I don’t even celebrate. I go to the neutral corner and just take a knee while the officials check on him. I hear the crowd going crazy but I just wait patiently until AJ is able to get back on his feet. He congratulates me after he’s able to stand but one thing made me laugh. Adam is kind of out of his mind from the KO still but he says to me, “Dude, I don’t even know what the fuck you hit me with” (Laughs). We are done. I am passed the toughest guy in both of my divisions put together. But my mission is still not over, there are still asses to get got. My final fight in Glory rules division I go up against a guy that ends up teeping me in the throat in the 1st round. My esophagus is partially collapsed and I get a standing 8 count because I turn away choking. The ref counts me out because I didn’t recover myself in time. It is what it is. That fighter can take his gold and run but pray we don’t meet each other again because evidently I am the grim reaper of rematches. The last fight is up, full rules Muay Thai. My opponent is strong and game. I am so mentally and physically drained from being at that tournament since sunrise to sunset but I refused to give in. We fight a war. I prove myself once again and regain what was once mine. The North American Championship, now in the 154 class (as I was previously in the 142lbs weight class in 2012) I picked up 4 wins, 3 by way of knockout, and 1 loss for a total of 5 fights in one weekend. It was one hell of a ride.

 

TheKrastaGroupMuayThaiAddict

Taggcode 2 20140219-171255.jpg

The Fighting Pride of the Irish, the Son of Texas Michael “Chase” Corley

45189_10100360280357154_8336837_66962386_7033855_n

I’d like to take today to highlight IFMA, Toyota tournaments and Lumpinee Stadium and Challenger Asia Superstar, The Fighting Pride of the Irish, The Son of Texas…

Michael “Chase” Corley.

The talented young man that put his work in overseas and abroad returned home to Houston in recent years to mentor many Coaches and Fighters in the Houston area, as well as UFC rising star Andrew “Highlight” Craig, who’s Muay Thai and boxing picked his opponent apart in his latest showing.

There is no doubt that there is one man, which we all want to see fighting in Lion Fights, that man, is the modern day James “Cinderella Man” Braddock, that man is Michael Corley.

Watch the Highlight and you’ll agree.

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.

1781863_10104552829016034_602705451_n

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

MuayThaiAddict  20140219-171255.jpg 20140219-171239.jpg TheKrastaGroup logo

Class-A Thai-boxer in a Pro MMA world

1150235_605247286164085_1790173941_n

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.

1019271_1392146727.0816

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

MuayThaiAddict20140219-171255.jpg 20140219-171239.jpg

TheKrastaGroup