In the second half of the episode I sat down with The Shack System head coach Phillip Jesse and a group of combat sports athletes and enthusiasts in the welcoming atmosphere of The Submission Factory gym in Los Angeles.
The Submission Factory played host to an Iron Eagle striking seminar that included one of my favorite American Nak Muays Nick “The Golden Boy” Chasteen. I was delighted when Chasteen and Marna from Iron Eagle invited me out to cover the seminar, but little did I know that the visit would ultimately give way to a round table discussion on none other than this month’s podcast topic “MMA versus Muay Thai in America”.
The Shack System students “Cricket”, Jesse “The Mantis” Velasquez and Albert Fuentes were eager to share their thoughts and opinions on the topic as well as their individual findings along their respective martial arts training paths. We were blessed to have a female voice join in the conversation when photographer, actor and muay thai student Erica Fortes joined the conversation to share her views and findings from a woman’s perspective. Erica echoed one of my own initial sentiments regarding the culture around MMA being more male-dominant and chauvinistic than what I had experienced in muay thai circles at that time. With that said, we all agree that women are a dominant force across all combat sports and the fact that they are “women” has no bearing on how exciting, technical and effective their fights are in either the MMA cage or the muay thai ring. The superstar female athletes shine just as brightly as any male counterpart. From Ronda Rousey and Tiffany Van Soest to Coner McGregor and Anderson Silva, combat cares not about race, sex, or any other aspect not relevant to the act of combat. Can you fight and are you exciting inside and outside of the ring or cage? If so, then combat sports will love you and so will the millions of fans who love combat sports.