Sunday, May 02, 2010

Getting murdered in the forums

I just stumbled upon an old post on the popular blog MyMuayThai, which is almost entirely focused on covering the world of sport muay thai. And the guy does a good job at keeping up with fighters, tournaments, etc. I highly suggest subscribing to it if you're into ringstyle muay thai. I myself am a subscriber.

I don't view MyMuayThai as a competitor, actually, I think his content compliments what we're trying to do here at Beyond the Ring. One of his articles piqued my interest as it covered the opening of a UFC branded gym in the San Francisco Bay Area. I put in my two cents, quoted below:

"I teach & train in Santa Clara at Muay Thai Academy International – word on the street is that UFC doled out a ton of money into that facility. They supposedly brought over a Lumpinee champion to head up the muay thai training program there (there’s no bearing on if the training quality will be any good since MMA waters down everything it touches).

Additionally, I also heard that the pricing is going to be cheap, like 24Hour Fitness cheap. I drove past it, it’s huge, set up for high volume. My guess is that they’re gunning for the 24Hour fitness crowd while undercutting the local MT schools like Fairtex and Team USA in the city. Take a bite out of Fairtex (imho, the first wave of McMuay Thai schools) = good, but overall for the integrity of the style = bad. It’s gonna end up franchised & diluted like krav maga."

From there it was open season on Donnie. I appreciate that a lot of people will watch my videos and say that it's not muay thai, its a joke. Our opinions are formed by what we see day after day. The muay thai I've trained is not made for the ring, nor the cage. It is a blend of lerdrit, muay chao cherk, bando, and muay boran - and its designed to end a fight as quickly as possible - whether you're fighting a noob or a seasoned fighter. I'm not restricted by rules, or traditional names for each technique. My instructor trained under masters in Thailand, the Royal Thai Military, and various counter-terrorist tactical teams throughout the world. A major influence on my view of why one would fight.

So, I guess I don't fit the mold as a purest because I don't see the practical value of a ram muay. Sport techniques belong in the ring. I understand that that most of those poor opinions of me are based upon someone viewing my technique being used in the context of a competition.

Oh well, I don't drive a big truck, I refuse to wear TapOut clothing, I like my hair where it is (on my head), my baseball caps are well broken in, and my instructor certification came by way of years of hard work, not weeks at a seminar.

My apologies for the rant. I really appreciate the niche we've carved out. What we're doing here is outside of the status quo in the sports combat world, and I'm sure to step on some toes on the way. Oh well! Here's the link to the original thread. Flame on!


  1. Hey D.B. don't worry about it, you know that if your in the business of teachning others how to protect themselves, it's always "open season;" especially if all those so called experts do not know what the H' your doing.

    Dam straight skippy there mode of thinking is that if they don't recognize it- it does not exist.

    By the by your analogy to UFC being a "24 hrs fitness," is dead up correct.

    In fact, the original CEO and owner of 24 hr before they sold out a few years back is the major share holder in the UFC franchise scheme.

    Yep, Mark Mastrov (don't know if I spelled his last name correct)so i can promise you their goal is to have one on every corner.

    More than likely, right next to the BIG MAC store.

    Suck it up-Grow thicker skin-and- Keep smilin.

  2. Thanks Johnny. My feeling aren't hurt, it's all part of putting yourself out there in the blogosphere. What I find disappointing is the sheer number of people who've been indoctrinated into the meathead MMA culture, and those who still cannot see beyond their own school.

    Guys like us don't fight to prove ourselves, or for the adrenaline rush of people chanting our names. We fight if, and when we have to, in order to protect ourselves or those we love. And for guys like us, the fight doesn't end with a ten count, it ends when all of our assailants are incapacitated, by any means possible, through overwhelming force.

    Oh, and one piece of advice: don't say anything bad about Fairtex in the forums. People get very emotional. Remember, spent half a pay check on those Fairtex bag gloves.

  3. Hey Donny,

    Just started following your stuff. Wouldn't worry about the flamers on the forum, you keep doing your thing. Really like your stuff so keep it up!.


  4. Thanks Greg! Nothing's gonna slow us down! And thanks for following the blog!

  5. You rock, Donnie. :)
    I wish people (like those flamers) would get their facts straight before they start typing!

    I wish you'd make a DVD instructional video one day.
    I'd so get that!! :)

  6. hey donnie,
    i've watched your videos on youtube and became a fan on facebook. i've been training in muay thai for over a year and I find your teaching style and approach really refreshing. I cannot agree more on your take of MMA "meatheads."

    One thing I don't understand however is your assessment of Fairtex. Your thread comment referred to Fairtex as both a local and "mcdojo." and you seem to dislike Fairtex equipment. Can you explain to me your position?

    Also if I'm ever in the Bay area, I'm definitely hitting up your school.


  7. Jason S, Alberta, CanadaMay 15, 2010 at 6:21 AM

    Hi Donnie,

    I have no avenue for studying Muay Thai in the small Northern Community I live in. Given that I have no physical access to it, I feel privileged to learn more about this interesting and unique art form through your blog. I don't know what the people who are trashing your video clips are talking about. While I haven't studied Muay Thai, I have studied several other styles, and in comparison to other instructional videos that I've seen, I can honestly say that your approach to teaching is excellent.

    I do have one question though. While I respect your right to have a completely different opinion from mine, I don't understand your reasoning for saying that MMA "waters down everything that it touches." I agree that each art must be practiced differently in the cage (i.e. traditional boxing stance must change to facilitate sprawling and checking leg kicks) and that it does not really approximate the street (i.e. I've yet to see an MMA fighter use their guard to pull someone in and chomp down on their jugular, a la JKD's Paul Vunak). But I don't think, it's accurate to say the various arts are somehow diminished because they must be practiced differently within the context of MMA. Can you explain your comment further, please?

    Love the blog, man. Cheers.

  8. Don,
    Good to text with you!
    The site looks good.
    I am off to bed.
    It has been a long day!
    Stay sharp and watch your 6!

  9. Whatever happens, don't get discouraged. Keep doin' what your doin'. I read a great phrase concerning mma forums. "Out of a million experts only a hundred actually fight"

    I appreciate the sport of mma for what it is, but it's not actual martial arts. It's a sport. That is it. Bottom line. Perhaps I can help answer the mma watering stuff down question.

    MMA at it's start was a good concept, then as time progressed Brazilian jujitsu and muay thai dominated the sport. So people started trying to figure out the best way to learn those styles as quickly as possible. MMA gyms sprang up and offered such classes that would get you proficient in either style relatively quickly or at least proficient enough for competition. This continued on to today where MMA gyms teach maneuvers that they call muay thai, jujitsu, boxing, kickboxing, etc etc, when in reality it's just the schools blend of techniques for use in a sport cage fighting arena. Thus moves are "watered down" via sport mma. The true techniques and powerful hits and such have either been made illegal or the instructors just don't know them well enough to teach them.
    Take Donnie's driving kick for example, it could be modified slightly to hit above the knee or below and be completely legal in the cage and to devastating effect. No one uses kicks like this though, not because they don't work but because no one knows them.

    The MMA meat heads shoot down anything not BJJ or Muay Thai, and when you screw with their world of BJJ and Muay Thai they get mad because they have never been taught it by their instructor who had a 2 week stint in thailand and is now a certified THai boxing coach. The MMA fanboys just piss me off in general and I could go off for hours on examples of the stupidity I've come across. But I won't I will save that rant for another forum another time.

  10. Jason S, Alberta, CanadaMay 23, 2010 at 4:33 PM


    While I agree completely with your "million experts" comment, I'm not sure I can agree with your assessment of MMA. In fact, to play devil's advocate, I'm sure many MMA athletes would argue that BJJ and Muay Thai techniques must be altered to be effective in the cage because their traditional (sporting) forms won't work well against someone who can fight in all ranges. They would say that THEIR way of doing these techniques is more pragmatic. Who's right? I'm not sure it matters.

    I think Muay Thai is a beautiful sport and art, but so is MMA. No need to trash either. Diversity is a good thing, man! Cheers.

  11. Jason I hope you didn't misunderstand me. I'm not against the MMA sport or the athletes who train in it, in fact I have a great deal of respect for those who do compete and what the actual fighters do. While I do agree in that certain aspects of Muay Thai and BJJ had to be cut because of their ineffectiveness in the cage or ring due to the rounded skills of the fighters. I do however believe that most MMA gyms out there are in it for the money it generates not to create good fighters. The best fighters out there have extensive training in their chosen style.

    Liddell has Kempo, Machida has Shotokan, Silva has Muay Thai, Gracie has BJJ, and the list goes on. But MMA gyms on the whole don't have very extensive training programs in a particular style. Particularly where I'm from most of them gyms actually get their instructors by people applying for the position and they then endure about a 4 to 6 week training course and are then instructors in the area they intend to teach whether it's striking or ground game(This is not an exaggeration I really have looked into it). Which in my opinion is no where near the amount of time they actually need to pick up the real good details and tips and pointers they need to be giving the people who want to be fighters.

    Especially lately I watch the fights and very rarely do I see fighters who look little more than just brawlers who know about three submissions. So many don't have proper techniques when it comes to punching, movement while fighting, how and when to throw knees and elbows and what their targets are. Most of the new fighters have foot work that is sloppy at best and they actually try to throw hay-makers lately, on a regular basis with the middle weights and up. Barely any of them check kicks. Or even know how to respond to the kicks they have managed to block.

    How many fights have you seen lately from the new wave of fighters that hasn't ended up being against the cage in the first 30 seconds and then hasn't stayed against the cage for the majority of the fight.

    I'm not against MMA or the fighters, just the McGyms that are pumping out fighters without all the proper training they need. Also, I'm not trying to say who's right and who's wrong in this matter. I'm just saying MMA is turning very money driven and in doing so it's lost a lot of what made it great in the first place. I just hope it makes a change and can be great again.

  12. hey, donnie

    i've read those comments and watched all of your uploads. i used to box(nice with the hands if i say so myself) for health and confidence building. now i'm starting my base again with judo for just those reasons '&' street self-defense.

    i don't know what in the hell those guys are comparing you to, but if it's to 'sport' muay thai by way of effectiveness...they are fanboy nerds or work for said mcmuay gym. best video example to me is the old style knee(t.blauer would agree) and...ha, everything. keep up the hard and 'honest' work, donnie. i see legit skills and very practical techniques, as do other people without programmed bias.