My name is Eric Rivera. In 2005, my training partners Mark Trillas and later, Vinny Scotto, created Florida Sanshou & Muay Thai (FSMT). Our goal at the beginning was simple; create a website to help promote our local Sanshou team that was competing throughout Florida. The company slowly grew from promoting Sanshou in Florida, to promoting both Sanshou and Muay Thai in Florida. And from promoting Sanshou and Muay Thai fighters from our own gym, to promoting and following the careers of our fighting friends nationwide. Since our humble beginnings in 2005, we have traveled to many places, met a lot of great people, been inspired by hundreds of incredible fighters, and become even more obsessed with the sports of Muay Thai and Sanshou.
Our goal now is to take FSMT in a new direction. I have always wanted to help promote Muay Thai and Kickboxing in the U.S. With the explosion of MMA, Muay Thai and Kickboxing have enjoyed a revitalized popularity. However, most people see Muay Thai and Kickboxing as simply an art that comprises the sport we now refer to as MMA or Mixed Martial Arts, failing to realize that Muay Thai and Kickboxing are in themselves incredibly exciting sports that with the right promotion can stand on their own and entertain many a combat sport enthusiast. I decided that my goal was to make a site that would follow as much of the global Muay Thai and Kickboxing scene as possible. A site where all kickboxing news would be posted in as timely a manner as possible to keep Muay Thai, Kickboxing, and MMA fans up to date. Besides news, I wanted to create a site that contained interviews with important people in the Muay Thai community, as well as articles that would interest all Muay Thai fans.
This isn’t a journey I plan on taking alone. I plan on having good friends, as passionate about the sport as myself, writing articles and posting news stories about all Muay Thai and Kickboxing events from around the world.
Ever since my first trip to Thailand, I knew Muay Thai would be an important part of my life forever. During training sessions, speaking with friends, and posting on Facebook, Twitter, etc…I tended to repeat one phrase constantly, that phrase was, “Muay Thai is Life”. For me, my business partners, and all of those I have met in this sport, Muay Thai is far more than a combat sport, it is a way of life. Welcome to Muay Thai is Life. Enjoy!
My name is John Wolcott.I currently train and coach at North Jersey Muay Thai in Lodi, NJ. I have dedicated the past 6 years of my life to studying Muay Thai and the Thai culture. For the past 4 years I have been traveling back and forth to Thailand with the hopes of one day gaining a full understanding of the philosophies behind this beautiful art.
I started my journey through Muay Thai after a back injury required immediate attention to my core muscles. After some research I decided Muay Thai was just what I needed. With one of its main focuses on core strength, I knew Muay Thai would get me back on track. However, what I did not realize was that the path I was about to embark on would change my life forever.
I spent the first 2 years bouncing around different gyms. Unsatisfied with the training I was receiving I decided to put my training on hold. It was not until after I saw a picture of a friend sitting alongside the legendary Kru Yodthong Senanan that I decided to seek out another place to train. That image will stay with me forever as it was the driving force behind my motivation. I knew at that moment my main goal was to get to Thailand.
8 months later I found myself at one of the best camps in Thailand, Keawsamrit Gym. I spent 3 weeks at the gym but it felt like an eternity. It was a defining moment in my life and the point where I knew I would be part of this forever. Since that time I have been back every year visiting various gyms. Most recently I spent close to three months at SangMorakot Gym, a place which I now consider my Muay Thai “home away from home.”
Muay Thai permeates every aspect of my life. It is more than just the physicality of the sport. It is more than the training and the coaching. It is more than just being a fan or a practitioner. Muay Thai is tradition, Muay Thai is community, but most importantly…Muay Thai is Life. Welcome to Muay Thai is Life!
My name is Stephen Strotmeyer. I currently train and coach at Khaay Muay Sit-Kangmongkorn in Pittsburgh, PA. I have invested over 10 years of my life to all aspects of Muay Thai, from training and fighting, to teaching and officiating. I have a deep appreciation for the sport and am privileged to have had excellent connections back to Thailand during this time to continue to develop in all phases of the sport. I have had the luxury of training intimately with Matee Jedeepitak and was one of the first Americans to train privately with Saenchai Sor Kingstar.
My odyssey in the sport began first with watching live fights, then stumbling upon the US Muay Thai Academy, years later to get fit. This quickly became an obsession for me, and if you ask my family, the “phase” has continued for more than a decade. Fighting evoked a toughness in me mentally and physically I had not previous realized. In 2005, after 2 years of misery, I was diagnosed with severe ulcerative colitis.
For the next 2 years, when no treatment mediated any symptom, I believe Muay Thai gave me the physiologic reserve to persevere and endure the suffering and pain. Muay Thai gave me the hope and will to battle and live despite the debilitating disease. Muay Thai to me is more than life, it is a sacred gift. Welcome to Muay Thai is Life!
My name is Jenypher Lanthier from Toronto, Canada. There are two things that I truly have a passion for in my life. One is the Art Muay Thai and the other is the art of creative writing.
I fell helplessly in love with Muay Thai about thirteen years ago when I thought that trying something other than Rugby would be interesting. I had the pleasure and privilege of training with most of the Kru’s in Toronto at that time before I met Ajahn Suchart Yodkerepauprai of Siam No.1. I can confidently say that the day I met Ajahn was the day my life completely changed course. I remember the day when an intimidating hard faced Thai man bearing the warmest most genuine smile approached me with a polite wai and then asked me how much I weighed.
That began the next twelve years of my training with Ajahn Suchart at Siam No.1 and the development towards becoming a Champion, a Kru, and finally opening my own school. I have had the incredible experience of living and fighting in Thailand as well as following my amateur journey into a professional one. Now my focus is on developing myself as true martial artist, improving my skills so that I may improve my own students and passing on all the knowledge I have learned from Ajahn about Traditional Muay Thai.
Coincidentally, while I was in Thailand training I used my off hours to read and write as much as I could. Not only did I want to document all the amazing daily interactions and experiences but I also used writing as a way to stay connected to myself. Shortly after returning to Canada I began taking my creative writing more seriously. I studied creative writing at the University of Toronto as well as writing columns for a female fighter blog.
Although writing is currently more of a hobby while Muay Thai is my full time job, I look forward to developing my skills as a writer and fusing these two passions together. I look forward to keeping you all informed on the happenings of the North American Muay Thai community while keeping you all entertained in the process.
Khap khun kha!
My name is James Gregory. I study, fight and instruct under Kru Rigel Balsamico at Cool Hearts Muay Thai in Philadelphia. My Muay Thai story is one of recovery.
I didn’t find Muay Thai until I was 29, ironically after returning from Asia to the United States. I spent the close to seven years before that living and working in Tokyo in journalism and marketing until I burned out from an alcohol and drug addiction, which forced me to return home and restart my life. My discovery of Muay Thai and Cool Hearts filled a gap in me which substances had before—the intensity, completeness, passion and people of Muay Thai have been integral in my continued sobriety.
Every time I train, teach, or fight is a new moment of thanks for me. Practicing any art is a privilege, and being given one as beautiful and demanding as Muay Thai after so much self-destruction is a blessing I cherish.
Nutrition has been another key piece of my sobriety and return to health, as well as my ability to train, recover and make weight. In addition to my “day job” as a freelance writer and translator, I run FastPaleo.com, a recipe sharing site for the paleo diet, which emphasizes whole, unprocessed foods for optimal health. Paleo has been something which has helped my overall health and training tremendously, and the site began from a personal desire to help others find similar happiness through a useful, free resource.
I hope that contributing lifestyle and nutrition articles to Muay Thai is Life will be a way for me to give back to an art which has given me so much.