You Can Get With This Or You Can Get With That - Podcast Episode 5

Above image photographed by Erica Fortes at The Submission Factory (Los Angeles).

This month in juxtaposing MMA and Muay Thai in the states,  I speak with a fight promoter and a group of combat sports practitioners in my first ever group discussion.

Podcast total duration: 1:07:25

Episode Part One

In the first half of this episode I connected with the man behind Defiant Gym and Defiant Promotions, Daniel Gutierrez.

I’d been chasing Daniel Gutierrez around since I first shot a Defiant fight show last year at the Sportsman’s Lodge in Studio City, CA.  I hadn’t actually met Daniel in the flesh when we conducted the interview for this podcast but I was lucky enough to run into him at the WCK Cali 20 fight event here in LA on April 29, 2017.  Gutierrez is a total character and as a former promoter myself I can tell that he’s the real deal holyfield when it comes to what sort of person you must be to be a successful promoter.  No that’s not a loaded comment or some special code message, just my opinion and as such you can take it or leave it. 🙂

Daniel and I get into the differences between the two worlds, the specifics around organizing fights, dealing with CSAC, match-making, amateurs versus pro fighters and what the fight game looks like from his perspective.  Gutierrez also provides an in-depth look into his massive three-day WBC-sanctioned muay thai tournament to take place in Tacoma, Washington at the end of this month.  The WBC even crafted his tourny a custom green belt!  So check out the conversation and get on over to the Defiant website and sign up to compete in this very interesting tournament.

Daniel Gutierrez is a former Muay Thai fighter, gym owner and fight promoter who organizes MMA fights in the cage and muay thai fights in the ring.

Episode Part Two

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.

Phillip Jesse aka: “Rusty Shackelford” is the brain and the heart behind The Shack System training center in Azuza, California.

Submission Factory training area. photograph by Erica Fortes (@ericafortes007)
(L-R) Charles Little of Teep This and Coach Rusty of The Shack System. Photograph by Erica Fortes (@ericafortes007)

Catch up with Coach Rusty and his students at The Shack System out in Azuza CA.  After meeting and connecting with these open-hearted combat sports artisans I am confident that a day of training with them is bound to yield plenty of sweat, lots of strikes and takedowns and even more laughter!  Follow Erica Fortes and her creative offerings and if you’re looking to get down where she trains, it’s at none other than one of THE best gyms in all the land Muay Thai Gym America with the incomparable coach David Huey and Kru Santi Sakkomkai. Live well, laugh often, love much and train hard.  Sawadee krap.

Subscribe to the Teep This Podcast via: iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and Google Play (Android). Don’t forget to give the podcast a review and share share share! For questions, suggestions or requests send an email to: yo@teepthis.com

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No Excuses - Podcast Episode 4

Christian Hernandez defending an aggressive Lance Dixon at WCK Cali 19: Bring The Heat | Feb. 2017

My sincerest apologies fight fans for being late with this months installment of the podcast; hence this month’s title: NO EXCUSES!

Episode Part One

Duration 1:08:04

In the first half of the podcast I speak with amateur muay thai fighter Lance Dixon about his journey to an impressive 14-0 record and his ambitions of going pro.  I had my first opportunity to witness Lance in the ring this past February at WCK’s CALI 19: Bring The Heat; and I captured some incredible images from that fight that you are free to enjoy and share at will.  Lance Dixon is a muay thai fighter with an unblemished record of 14 wins and zero losses and currently holds three amateur titles in the welterweight division.  Lance lives in Venice, California and trains and fights out of Robot Fight & Fitness under coach David Huerta.

Between the time I interviewed Lance and released this podcast episode I was finally able to meet and spar with Lance.  I got my bell rung of course but enjoyed every minute of it.


Episode Part Two

In the second half of the podcast I go deep with muay thai trainer, fitness coach, gym owner and fight promoter Jamie Bradley of KruFit and Midwest Muay Thai.  I first saw Jamie Bradley cornering Yeison “Yayyoo” Berdugo at Lion Fight 24 last year.  I thought it unique to see a woman cornering a fighter at that level so I tracked her down to get her story; and she has an interesting story to say the least. Jamie Bradley is a muay thai instructor, gym owner and fight promoter located in Indianapolis, Indiana.  She manages multiple fight brands including  Midwest Muay Thai,  Midwest Striking Series, Sparta Triumph Muay Thai and trains both amateur and professional fighters.

Muay Thai news, recommendations and other notable mentions in this podcast episode include:

Muay Thai’s recent recognition as a provisional Olympic sport and our first olympic muay thai team.  Visit the USMF website, facebook page and follow the USMF on Instagram for more.  Also, here’s an informative article from the NY Times on the topic as well.  Natalie Morgan won her first fight in the Muay Thai Angels Tournament in Bangkok with a highlight reel reverse elbow.  Follow the tournament here and check out VICE’s write up on the tournament on their FIGHTLAND blog.  Lion Fight 36 airs live on AXS TV and I’m stoked to see Paul “The Reaper” Benasiak in a full fight…finally!!! Here are all the links for the April 29 fights mentioned in this podcast episode. WCK Full Rules Muay Thai presents: Cali 20: Beast Mode | CXF 7: Locked and Loaded | Farang Fight League & Midwest Muay Thai presents: Full Rules Muay Thai at the SportZone (Indianapolis, IN). Kru Phil Nurse and Saechnai at The Wat (NYC) | The Hurt Business (MMA Documentary) | Yakkao Boxing Tour | Sergio Wielzen | Lerdsila | Eddie Abasolo | PJ Sweda | Brett Hlavacek | Selina Flores | Ariana Gomez | Caleb Cisneros | Evan Boulton | Lorenzo Orozco Jr | April Vergara | Jeannie Nguyen | Terrion Ware | Jared Papazian | Chase Gibson | Mike Jasper | Robot Fight & Fitness | Team Victory Muay Thai | The Thai Boxing Institute | Muay Thai America Gym | Sparta Triumph Muay Thai

Subscribe to the Teep This Podcast via: iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and Google Play (Android). Don’t forget to give the podcast a review and share share share! For questions, suggestions or requests send an email to: yo@teepthis.com

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Put Me In Coach - Podcast Episode 3

Kru Ricardo Perez drilling kicks with his fighter Markell McMillan (@chocolatethundermt)

Since my introduction to combat sports in Feburary 2015, I have always been amazed by and grateful for the brilliant coaches and trainers I’ve been blessed to have access to.

From the amazing family at Krav Maga Worldwide and my first muay thai coach Akkim Lee (A4 Fitness) to the world class veterans like coach David Huey & Kru Santi Sakkomkai (Muay Thai America Gym) coach David Huerta (Robot Fight & Fitness) Coach Victor (Thai Boxing Institute) and Kru Rod Mckiver (Team Victory Muay Thai); I find it imperative to celebrate and investigate the persons whom we call “coach” and “kru”.

Episode Part One

Duration 1:07:20

Dino Spencer is a veteran martial arts and boxing coach who currently owns and operates The Legendary 5th Street Gym in South Beach, Miami.  He trains world class professional boxers, doctors, teachers, lawyers, entertainers, tourists and supermodels all equally and right alongside one another.  His knowledge and love of combat sports is hard to rival; and his Italian-American demeanor is as infectious as it is authentic.  Fuh-gedda-bah-dit!

In the first half of this episode I connected with my good friend and the absolute first person whom ever helped me don a pair of boxing gloves, coach Dino Spencer of The Legendary 5th Street Gym.  Dino shares his insights on boxing versus muay thai, the pros and cons of owning a gym and personal stories with boxing legends Angelo Dundee, Ferdie Pacheco and The Greatest of All Time, Muhammad Ali.

At first, I was taken a back when I learned that Dino had opened a gym in South Beach, Miami and called it the “5th Street Gym”.

I thought that was a strange kind of vague name for a gym.  But I wanted to get a peek of what he was doing so I searched the term online and ran into this book: Tales From T he 5th St. Gym.  As soon as I saw The Champ on the book’s cover I wanted to know more.  So, I purchased the audio book and began taking in the folklore and magical tales told by the book’s author Ferdie Pacheco.  Man, the book is a history lesson in the journey of american boxing and The 5th St. Gym is right at the heart of if.  I  use the stories within the book to look up classic boxing bouts online and watch them with the added context.  It’s not always a journey of roses and the book shines light on our entire society as you read on; but I can’t recommend the book highly enough.  I’m most looking forward to visiting the gym and banging pads and sparring in that environment.  It’s gotta be some kinda magic around that place no doubt!

Dino and I also get into ways to best continue the growth of our beloved combat sports and the brands who shape the way that thai boxing is being adopted into american society.  Enjoy the conversation, take notes and make it a point to get down to sunny South Beach and break a sweat with the legends at this legendary boxing gym!

Episode Part Two

Ricardo Perez is the owner Team Toro Janjira Muay Thai (Westmont, IL).  He is the head trainer at Team Toro, head coach of the USMFs “Team USA” and a partner in the emerging amateur muay thai competition bodies: The Farang Fight League and Midwest Muay Thai.

In the second half of the episode I caught up Kru Ricardo Perez of Team Toro Janjira Muay Thai. Kru Perez is undoubtedly one of the busiest muay thai trainers and gym owners in the country and likely the most important muay thai advocate in the midwest region of the United States.  Being an original Chicagoan I was excited to go home and explore the midwest fight scene by training in as many gyms as my time there would allow.  I was able to get around and get plenty of training in at facilities including Krav Maga Illinois (Highland Park, IL) headed up by Coach Jesse; as well as Reach Fieldhouse, Chicago Kickboxing Club and Hybrid Marital Arts.  Of all the locations that I visited my drive out from the city limits to Westmont proved to provide the most authentic thai boxing experience I was to find in the Chicagoland area.

Ricardo opened up and really shared with me the intimate details of what it really means to coach and mentor in a sport as demanding and potentially dangerous as thai boxing.  We talked about his own teacher Saekson Janjira where his gym Team Toro derives it’s name.  We talked about the state of Muay Thai in America, his aim to grow the sport’s visibility and popularity whilst maintaining it’s technique, culture and tradition.  We agreed that it’d be a great idea to try and connect our west coast and midwest scenes in a future cross-promotion.  I’ll be sure to carry this message to the west coast area fight promoters and look for ways to support that effort as well.

Ricardo also shared the rare story of what it looks like when one of your fighters suffers a severe injury while in the ring.  On Feb. 16, 2016 one of Ricardo’s most prized fighters, Markell McMillan aka Chocolate Thunder suffered a life-threatening head injury with only minutes left in his fight.  It’s an occurrence that has left a permanent mark on the coach as well as the gym and his entire team of fighters and students.  Some are still hesitant to get into the ring since Glory 27.

I am grateful to coach Ricardo Perez for welcoming me into Team-Toro to practice the sport of Muay Thai that we all love; and for sharing with me his story here on the Teep This Podcast.  Please enjoy the interview, images and videos; and follow Kru Perez and Team-Toro Muay Thai on Facebook and Instagram.

Featured Musical Guest

Mibbs, of Pac Div, has arrived.  What began as a collaborative effort between two talented brothers and their longtime friend has now evolved. Mibbs is branching out – new venture, new energy and new sound. Building off of his initial success with Pac Div and their countless tours and shows with the likes of Snoop Dogg, N.E.R.D, Kid Cudi, Q-Tip, Nas and more, Mibbs is finally grabbing the mic on his own. In an ever-changing industry, plagued by a formulaic approach, Mibbs is looking the other way and breaking fresh ground. With so much more to offer than just one “style”, Mibbs plays with varied musical influences and genres, pushing his audible vision past the current constraints in hip hop. This is what Mibbs has been waiting for. You’ve been warned. There are no rules. Anything goes. Mibbs over everything.

Listen to The Program and more music by Mibbs on Soundcloud.com

As always thank you for checking out the Teep This Podcast. Thank you for your interest in muay thai and please comment below and remember that sharing is caring!  Live well, love much, laugh often and train hard.  Sawadee krap.

Subscribe to the Teep This Podcast via: iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and Google Play (Android). Don’t forget to give the podcast a review and share share share! For questions, suggestions or requests send an email to: yo@teepthis.com

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The Magic Of Media - Podcast Episode 2

This installment of the Teep This Podcast is packed w muay thai history and personal stories about the legends of the sport and pioneers of introducing thai boxing to the United States.

The personal accounts of muay thai photographers Jeff Dojillo and Erica De León (Vivar Photography) are inspiring stories about how muay thai basically saved their lives and continues to enhance their life journeys every single day! We honor them in this month’s podcast for enriching our lives through the images that they shoot and share of the valiant spirits who practice, teach and live the ancient Art of 8 Limbs. Sawadee krap.

Contents

Duration 1:34:11

  • 00:39 Episode Introduction
  • 02:41 Local Muay Thai News
  • 03:52 Episode Introduction
  • 05:30 Meet Jeff Dojillo
  • 06:01 My Muay Thai Story
  • 11:26 West Coast Muay Thai
  • 18:23 Shooting Kevin Ross & David Huerta
  • 23:11 Going Deeper With David Huerta
  • 30:52 A Bikini-clad Tiffany Van Soest
  • 36:22 Natalie Killface and Muay Ying
  • 39:04 Hip Hop & Paying The Bills
  • 40:11 Dialogue – Jeff’s Next Big Thing
  • 45:04 Follow Jeff Dojillo Online
  • 46:24 Intermission

Jeff Dojillo is a commercial and fine art photographer; and the Creative Director for  West Coast Muay Thai.  Jeff has been shooting and documenting muay thai fighters since 2009.  Jeff lives in Los Angeles.

Since I first began moving through the Los Angeles muay thai community Jeff Dojillo has been a present force.  Our discussion here delves into the origins of muay thai’s presence here on the west coast, and features a detailed account of Jeff’s journey through muay thai gyms, trainers and experiences.  Including his time at The Boxing Club (San Diego) training with Melchor Menor, Caine Gayle and Artem Sheroshkin before turning pro.  The legendary Fairtex Gym in San Francisco (now closed) alongside Luis Bio and Ganyao Arunleung.  Other key elements in our discussion reach as far as Rajadamnern Stadium in Thailand and we get inside of Galen Okazaki’s West Coast Muay Thai brand and collaborating with photographers Marty Rockatansky and Ahren Nunag.  Jeff shares very personal and enriching stories about his journey through muay thai via taking us behind the scenes of portraits that he’s shot of our favorite muay thai fighters in North America including Kevin Ross, David Huerta and Tiffany Van Soest (pictured below).  I hope that you enjoy our conversation as much as I did and please share the articles and spread the word.  Muay Thai is here to stay!  Here are a few other links that we touched on in the interview which may be of interest to you. | Robot Fight & Fitness | Tetsuya YamatoUSA vs ThailandInside The FightMark BeecherEast Los Angeles Youth Center | Adam Rothweiler | Coach Jorge ZerateZarate Muay ThaiDialogue (video teaser) | And here’s another interview on Jeff Dojillo at a respected muay thai source My Muay Thai 

The best links to keep up with Jeff Dojillo are his website and facebook.com/westcoastmuaythai

Episode Part Two

Contents

  • 46:53 Meet Erica De Leon
  • 48:58 How I Got Into Muay Thai
  • 51:57 Muay Thai Saved My Life
  • 52:29 Photography, Pink Lady & Big Troy
  • 1:01:37 Learning The Ropes With Marty Rockatasnky
  • 1:06:34 Selina Flores’ Rise To Popularity
  • 1:10:11 On Being A Lady-Photographer
  • 1:11:45 No More Underdog
  • 1:15:11 The Flying Knee
  • 1:19:28 Shooting Selina Flores for WCK
  • 1:23;43 Finally Feeling Accepted
  • 1:25:32 What’s Next & Where To Find My Work
  • 1:28:29 Episode Wrap Up
  • 1:29:22 Next Month’s Episode
  • 1:30:26 Talkin’ Crap — by The Surge and Sam I Am The MC

Erica De León is a muay thai photographer with an emphasis on action photography.  She is a mother of 3 and practices muay thai regularly at least 3 days per week.

In this second half of the podcast I caught up with photographer and muay thai fanatic Erica De León of Vivar Photography.  She’s a super passionate individual a devoted mother,  committed photographer and she trains hard alongside champion muay thai fighters like Ariana ‘Pink Lady’ Gomez and Selina Flores.  In our conversation Erica takes us inside training at Muay Thai Academy of America in North Hollywood, CA.  She shares intimate stories of how she found muay thai, photography and became friends with the likes of Ariana Gomez and Troy Fisher (Big Troy of Cali Muay Thai Series).  Erica has shot some beautiful images and we discussed a few including one of my favorites in her repertoire entitled The Flying Knee fearturing 11 year old Isaiah “Izzy” Ramirez.  Erica is hilarious, honest and inspired.  She was truly a joy to speak with and I know there’s nothing but more to come as we’ve just scratched the surface of what lies ahead!  I’ll look forward to seeing her this month out at the fights ringside capturing the magic that is muay thai in action and ultimately training with her and breaking an honest sweat.  Please enjoy the interviews and the music and above all enjoy this and every moment.  Sawaddee krap.

“TALKIN’ CRAP” | The Surge feat. Sam I Am The MC
is available for free download right here right now!

This month’s podcast episode comes laced with a fun musical offering from Chicago true-school hip-hop artists The Surge and Sam I Am The MC. Sam I Am is an incredible artist, incredible human being and a die-hard-hip-hop-head!  He’s an authentic songwriter and producer who prides himself on practicing and preserving the art of freestyle rapping.  He and his friends like The Surge produce and host one-off and repeat hip-hop nights around Chicago advocating for and advancing hip-hop; the music and the accompanying culture that they love and respect so dearly.  Check out their Soundcloud pages and enjoy and share their music.  They’ll love you back for sure!

Subscribe to the Teep This Podcast via: iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and Google Play (Android). Don’t forget to give the podcast a review and share share share! For questions, suggestions or requests send an email to: yo@teepthis.com

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WCK Ultimate Conquest

Remember... No one does Muay Thai like WCKMuayThai

words and images by Charles Little II for TEEPTHIS.COM

Joe Gogo vs Travis Clay for the WBC Muay Thai Lightweight National Title

What a night of fights and what a way to start the year! The Four Points Sheraton Hotel in sunny San Diego played host to this year’s initial WCK throw-down.  The house was packed and the crowd was hungry for the evening’s main event, the WBC Muay Thai Lightweight National Title bout between favorite Joe Gogo and Travis Clay.  I first caught Joe Gogo at WCKs Cali 16 when he edged out Renato Mansilla in a split decision.  Joe Gogo aka “Go Go Guam” is a super exciting fighter!  He’s got a lion’s heart, he moves like a boxer and always comes with a posse of followers screaming behind him; just super electric.  I knew that he was coming for that green belt, but I also know that Travis Clay was not to be taken lightly. Here’s a great article on Clay’s rise to prominence on the wings of his Lion Fight performances.  Albeit I’m a fan of both Gogo and Clay, I gotta admit internally I favored Clay; so it was simply impossible to stay in my seat ringside when these two went at it.  What an exciting fight! Gogo’s right hand and Clay’s left roundhouse sent the other reeling on their heels multiple times throughout this contest.  Gogo really came to win!  He got rocked once in round 4 but kept going forward so hard that he literally ran at Clay.  Yeah, it was THAT kind of amazing!  Remember when I told you that Gogo always comes with a crowd?  Yeah, well, this night was no exception.  The building rumbled when Gogo landed, when Gogo got caught and when the decision came out in favor of Clay after five rounds.  It was a tough pill for Gogo and his supports to swallow and promoter Dennis Warner was considerate allowing Joe Gogo to address his many supporters and congratulate his opponent as a true warrior would; and both Travis Clay and Joe Gogo are true warriors.

Stand by for the rematch I can almost say “that’s a promise”!

IAMTF Lightweight Champion Travis Clay with his team from Sitan Gym (Arizona) at WCK Ultimate Conquest (San Diego, CA)

IAMTF Women's Featherweight and Atomweight Title bouts.

I can easily say that three of these four fighters are the reason that I didn’t hesitate to buy my ticket to this fight the moment that I saw the card.

I’ve been following Alyshia Madison since I first got a taste of her and her coach Steven Frye (Victory MMA, San Diego) last year at WCKs Cali 14.  That’s the same night that my fascination began with Ana “Anaconda” Flores after her bloody showdown with Colleen Duffy, what a cracker!  Selina Flores has been making a name for herself steadily through 2016 and after witnessing her performance against Akari Wang last summer at WCKs Cali 16 I was committed to seeing just how the smaller in stature Ana Flores was going to deal with Selina’s reach and forward pressure.  Of course, I wasn’t aware of Amanda Derosa until she stepped into the ring with Alyshia Code Red.  San Diego is Alyshia’s home turf so she had the room behind her and admittedly me too.  But Amanda Derosa was a clinic to watch.  I loved her turtled muay-thai stance, her advancing jab, left switch-kick and man she was tough in the clinch.  These two clinched up quite a bit.  Madison was ever-poised and calm but Derosa consistently laid that glove across Madison’s face and she’s a deceivingly strong woman.  It was an honor to witness these two go at it and make some noise for both of them as Amanda took home the W and the IAMTF Featherweight belt.  Congratulations ladies I look forward to seeing more of you both.

New IAMTF Women's Featherweight Champion Amanda Derosa
Amanda Derosa and Alyshia Madison going at it for the IAMTF Featherweight Belt
Alyshia 'Code Red' Madison just after the decision | Victory MMA (San Diego, CA)

WBC Muay Thai Super Welterweight title bout and superstar fighters from the San Diego Muay Thai scene

As soon as I snapped this shot of James Gregory walking out I instantly remembered catching him at WCKs Cali 14.  The coaches and students from San Diego’s Art of 8 Training had the place rocking for their fighters and it was great to see Mike Lemaire cornering Gregory once again!  I’m looking forward to catching Lemaire this month at Glory 37 here in Los Angeles.  If you haven’t gotten your tickets you’d better get to it!  James Gregory took home the W after three rounds; followed by Antonio Arango capturing an inspiring TKO over his opponent Jose Lopez which led to Antonio’s captivating victory pose!  The place went nuts and yeah so did I.  Check out Antonio’s instagram feed.  He’s a true nak muay and I look forward to seeing more of him in the future.

Last but not least in this post I’d be remiss if I didn’t hightlight David Pacheco and Super Landon Simmon‘s anticipated contests.  USKO gym (Riverside, CA) came out in strength to support both their fighters David Pacheco and Ana Flores.  I’ve only seen Pacheco and Joey Pagliuso fight on WCK Full Rules Muay Thai fights aired on Fox Sports Prime Ticket until now so it was great to watch Pacheco’s “get down” in the flesh.  Pacheco’s opponent Andrew Nguyen of Buhawe Muay Thai (Fresno, CA) was young, fresh, sporting these massive quads and had a nice crowd section pulling for him as well.  They both looked great, traded a lot and were very technical; but Pacheco’s experience, strength, and precision resulted in the win by TKO.  I also first learned of Super Landon Simmon by way of WCK Full Rules Muay Thai airings on Fox Sports Prime Ticket; and I’ve watched his fights repeatedly.  He’s a powerhouse and his style varies so he’s a clinic to witness.  Simmon successfully defended his WBC Muay Thai Super Welterweight belt against Francisco “El Travieso” Garcia (Valor Muay Thai, San Diego) with a spinning back kick to Garcia’s bread basket resulting in a win by K.O.  Both fighters had their share of highlight moments and the fight overall was another cracker to behold.  I’ll be certain not to miss the next opportunity to catch “El Travieso” in the ring! Here’s an interesting article on Garcia’s journey to take in.  You can add his name to your “Ones 2 Watch” list!

Enjoy these images here as well as more Muay Thai photography at my online photo gallery hosted by Pixieset here

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Switching It Up - Podcast Episode 1

Happy New Year everyone!  I’m excited to start the year with this initial podcast episode.

After getting TeepThis.com off the ground last summer I came across the image featured in this post of Sergio Wielzen and Arthur Meyer at Lion Fight 30.  I sought out the photographer and expressed my admiration of the work which led to a dialogue which then let to this podcast.

Contents

Duration 34:51

  • 00:08 Episode Introduction
  • 02:56 Meet My Guest Charlie Clark
  • 04:43 The Fighting Monkeys MMA Madness
  • 05:12 New England MMA
  • 06:18 Tengu Photography
  • 08:13 Shooting at Lion Fight Promotions
  • 10:15 Bellatore Limits Local Media Access
  • 13:54 Giving Back To The Fighters
  • 15:44 Yeison Berdugo, Jo Nattawut and Switching It Up
  • 21:20 Growing Muay Thai and Summer Bronco
  • 22:24 The Images and Capturing Them
  • 25:47 Kickboxing and Muay Thai in America
  • 27:20 Politics and Perseverance
  • 28:22 Distribution & PR
  • 29:26 Fighting For Autism
  • 31:32 Links To Follow
  • 32:45 Episode Wrap Up

Charlie Clark is a combat sports journalist, photographer and advocate.  He is the author of The Fighting Monkeys MMA Madness and shoots and interviews some of the most respected professional and amateur martial artists in the world.

In this podcast Charlie takes us behind the scenes of the New England MMA scene and introduces us to local legends Mike Gresh,  Juliano Coutinho; shooting for Lion Fight Promotions and Bellator MMA’s aversion to local media.  We also talk about our favorite muay thai fighters including Yeison Yayyoo Berdugo, Smokin Jo Nattawut, Jorina Baars and finding it within yourself to switch up your game plan in the face of unforeseen adversity.  We’ll also get into giving back to the fighters and the fight community, Charlie’s Fighting For Autism initiative, growing muay thai in the united states and rising pro and amateur muay thai righters that you may or may not have heard of but need to know about like 11 year old Nick Enzor, 12 year old Summer Bronco and 68 year old  Ann Perez de Tejada. Yup, that’s right I said sixty-eight!

It feels like 2017 is simply going to be a massive year for muay thai and combat sports in general.  The year is already jam packed with high-level amateur and professional muay thai, kickboxing and mma contests through a myriad of fight promotions, broadcast networks and online outlets as early as WCK Muay Thai’s “Ultimate Conquest” card in San Diego on January 7, 2017.  I’m very excited to finally get this whole podcasting thing figured out so that I can continue sharing the exciting, insightful and amazing journey that is the study of the Art of #8Limbs.  Sawadee krap

Subscribe to the Teep This Podcast via: iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and Google Play (Android). Don’t forget to give the podcast a review and share share share! For questions, suggestions or requests send an email to: yo@teepthis.com

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You don't have to fight to train like a fighter

What does one ask themselves when looking for a gym?  Is it close to me?  Is it expensive?  Are the classes and instructors “good”?  Does it have a nice shower and lots of bathrooms?  Sometimes you gotta ask yourself if it’s a gym that you’re looking for or a spa?  Fuck that.  I say: “I want a gym thats going to help me become more than I ever could be on my own.”

Today I dropped in to train at Team Victory Muay Thai in Inglewood, CA with Kru Rod McKiver.  Man, I’ve been harboring this notion for close to 6 months now since I started seeing Kru Rod out at the fights always prepping and cornering fighters; and my visit today wasn’t short on fun, challenge, learning and laughing!

The gym wasn’t overly crowded today and the community of #8Limbs enthusiasts that showed up for the Monday morning class included one of my favorite LA-based pro fighters Jermaine Soto.

I was fortunate enough to get in some combos, pad work and light sparring with Soto who is in full preparation for his upcoming appearance on the Glory 37 fight card to be held here in Los Angeles on Jan 20, 2017.  Yes, we will be there in full force making noise for Jermaine Soto, Mike Lemaire and Zoila Frausto!  It’s such a great fight season right now as we blast into the new year!

CXF had an incredible night of mixed martial arts fights this past weekend with #TeamVictory bad girl Madison McElhaney winning over Bryanna Fissori in an absolute grappling and striking clinic!  #WCKMuayThai has a packed card entitled Ultimate Conquest taking place in San Diego on Jan 7, 2017 featuring Super Landon Simmons, Joe GoGo, Travis Clay and multiple title bouts including Ana Flores and Selina Flores competing for the IAMTF Women’s Atomweight belt.  Which leads right into Glory 37 on Jan 20 in downtown LA.  Shit my holiday season is made already!  🙂

If you’re training muay thai seriously and you live anywhere in or around Los Angeles or Orange County then you’re likely already familiar with the Team Victory name and Kru Rod.  If you’re not familiar, it’s really worth it to familiarize yourself.  Look em up on facebook or follow them on Instagram and make arrangements to visit the gym and glove up.  Check your ego at the door and get ready to fall into the flow of authentic muay thai training.

If you love muay thai but don’t have any plans on fighting, that’s absolutely NO reason not to experience the sensation of training as though you’re fighting next month!  It’s not about training harder harder harder…it’s about training better better better!

The techniques that Kru Rod teaches are creative, effective and versatile; and he’s paying enough attention to each person in the room that he’ll tweak your execution in order to compliment your unique self.  It’s those little details that I got today not only from the coach but from the students alike that I really cherish.  But please, don’t let me forget to communicate how fun this place is.  If you’re not having fun training muay thai then please stop and recheck everything because that’s what this journey is reallly all about.  These fools are really having fun and really fucking good too.  it’s another reason that I love muay thai so much; never have I felt so relaxed and carefree in a room full of straight killers!  LOL!

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Visit 301 Muay Thai in Thailand

Why Choose 301 Muay Thai if You’re Going to Thailand ?

Muay Thai isn’t for the weak of mind – it is a hard sparring sport that demands total dedication and conditioning. It it for this reason that people who are serious about the sport, think very carefully about which gym or training venue to choose. Even seasoned martial artists think long and hard about where to train. They know that its not just the body which is going to take lots of hard knocks, they want a place that will harden them mentally too. Maybe it won’t even be the endless squat thrusts and push-ups that reduce you to a trembling wreck but the hard, unrelenting mental stamina of the other participants and trainers. , sit-ups, squat thrusts, and various other body weight exercises designed to leave you a trembling wreck.

Muay Thai is a combat sport which makes use of 8 contract points

Hands, feet, knees and elbows. It is quickly becoming an international sport and is popular with men and women. It offers so many mental and physical benefits – participants become strong mentally and physically, they become more confident because they lose weight, they look and feel good and they can defend themselves. Research will reveal to you that there a plenty of useful information on the Internet as to how to learn Muay Thai at home, but most people like to start at a gym or training centre. This way they get to learn the different techniques and styles the right way and how to go about doing a proper warm-up and stretch session before commencing.

Choose your Training Venue with Great Care

A decent school or instructor is always listed with reputable national associations – and 301 muay thai camp is one of Thailand’s first choice to learn the sport for so many excellent reasons. You are thoroughly prepared for a fight, you lose weight and become lean and mean and you simply become inspired by the superb setting and the excellent learning environment. The accommodation is attractive and minimalist with hot showers and healthy meals adapted for training. When you’re not training, there is free time – you can relax and watch a movie, go for a swim in the pool or simply cool off in the gardens. There is also 24 hour free Internet wifi.

You and your Trainers work Naturally Well Together

Training at 301 Muay Thai camp is an event that takes place twice a day and training classes are from Monday to Saturday. The success at 301 Muay Thai is that you are matched well to your trainer. Nothing can be achieved if you feel at odds with your trainers. When things work naturally well together, you’re inspired to achieve, to be focused and to get in shape. Together, you and your trainer form a duo that will work together towards spectacular results. You and your trainer become the best team to take your training day to new levels. There is a well equipped fitness area which allows for different workouts, ensuring that both the body and the mind can be trained.

A typical training day at 301 Muay Thai includes

• a run along the beach
• shadow boxing and bag work
• learning Muay Thai techniques
• lots of stretching and swimming
• running, rope jump and pad work
• strength training and work outs

Therapeutic Peace to Reflect

Why people choose 301 Muay is that there is more to just training for strength and defense. This magnificent training facility is also beautifully located in Sam Roi Yot “300 peaks”, which is a 3 hour drive from Bangkok. It is wonderfully quiet and this in itself is therapeutic, allowing for plenty of time for meditation and reflection. It is well place near the marine national park in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province, allowing for other activities such as boat trips, golf, fishing as well as other outdoor activities. The entire set-up at 301 makes many participants want to substitute bad habits with good ones. Instead of boozing and smoking, they find themselves wanting to dedicate themselves to the health and strength of the body and what they put into their body as well. With an excellent diet and an exercise program, men and women start to look better every day. They realize that the key to success with Muay Thai is to also to find peace and repair the mind. They get to the root of their fears and insecurities, and in a good routine, they find balance.

We Are Female-Friendly

Consistent, dependable and dedicated, the Muay Thai trainers at 301 Muay Thai have it in them to change things and make it possible for women to participate with ease in an amicable environment. They know too well that women have to be taken seriously now in the 21st century, and that no sport is  restricted to men only.

A Champion Recipe of Success

For a while now, 301 Muay Thai has been dispensing an irresistible blend of excellent services and atmosphere. Its the kind of place where people come to develop a sport even further but where they uncover a whole lot more. People come from far and wide to learn the sport in these pleasant surroundings, and whenever one of them feels a bit homesick, they look around at the warm family here at 301 Muay Thai and suddenly they simply feel at home again.

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WCK Cali 16: Heavy Hitters 2

Yo, I’m still reeling from this past weekends WCK muay thai fights at the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, CA. Get settled in cuz this will likely be an epic post!

I went into the night excited for the rematch between Ana Flores and Colleen Duffy as well as Natalie Morgan’s pro debut.  Little did I know that the night would far surpass my own humble expectations and include encounters with more than a few muay thai greats like Kevin Ross, Gaston Belaños, Ky Hollenbeck, Ariana ‘Pink Lady’ Gomez, April Vergara and Brian Del Rosario.   First, a head nod and thank you to Dustin Pagliughi, Dennis Warner and the entire team at #WCK for organizing such a well oiled event!  I wore the promoter hat myself for a number of years during my journey so I can appreciate proper event programming and execution.  With that said the best way to share the event with you here is to take you through it chronologically, just as I experienced it.

UPON ARRIVAL

the first indication that this was gonna be an epic night was the venue.  The Bicycle Casino was an easy drive from West LA and a pleasure to visit.  From the valet parking, to the gambling areas and staff everything was well managed and running smooth.  There was no underlying feeling of stress or madness that can comw with a disorganized or mismanaged organization.  After will call I enterrd the event center where I promptly ran into The Pink Lady herself Ariana Gomez who wasn’t shy about posing for a picture!  The ring was immaculate and well lit for the television cameras.  Great, my camera will love that light just as much!  I rolled out with just one camera body on this night but did have two lenses, including a recently acquired 40mm f/2.8  pancake lens which I was confident would be my go to option on this night; and it was!

I was surprised to see Natalie “Ladykillface” Morgan in the seating area as I thought she was fighting tonight in her pro debut. But in true champion form she confirmed that she was not fighting tonight and buttoned that announcement with a shrug and a smile.  She was chilling with Galen Okazaki founder of  West Coast Muay  This guy is obviously Cali area muay thai royalty and I see him everywhere I show my face.  I’m a proud owner of two of their tee shirt products and they’ve just released this Satra line.  Not sure yet what Satrawoot means, but I enjoy learning about the plethora of custom and culture around the centuries old Art of 8 Limbs.

PRE-FIGHT WARM-UPS

The fighters at #WCK #Cali16 were provided two prep areas denoted by Red or Blue, which was kinda cool.  I’m such a newbie to muay thai and to the world that almost everything blows my mind LOL!  Being as this was a followup to #Cali14 back in March, it was cool to see lots of faces that I was already familiar with.  Evan Boulton, Lorenzo Orozco Jr, Alyshia “Code Red” Madison, you know, I gotta say, it’s always something special to watch #CodeRedMadison and her trainer Steven Frye prep and work together.  I remember his voice bellowing out over the crowd at #Cali14 when Alyshia Madison fought Crystal Lagunes… “ai’ght Red… let’s go Red… time to go Red…”  It was a privilege and honor to witness them preparing for this fight tonight.  Kru Rob of Team Victory Muay Thai was constantly wrapping hands and every diligent in his care and support of his fighters.  He too is someone that seems to basically be in everyone’s corner at one point or another.  He’s a super devoted muay thai advocate.  I look forward to experiencing their energy and spirit at Team Victory as soon as I’m training again!

THE FIGHTS

Man, all of the fights were excellent!  I mean every bout was exciting, all of the fighters brought it and the outcomes were surprising and electrifying!  I was super stoked for both Lorenzo Orozco, Jr and Alyshia ‘Code Red’ Madison on their wins.  Madison fought Vanessa Gonzalez Leon who is simply a powerhouse!  I watched her prep and she’s like a tiger; just raging and focused.  But Alyshia Madison was patient and her technique was really on par.  It was a great fight and thank you to both of those warriors for their inspiring performances.  I was completely gitty at the sight of one of my very favorite muay thai fighters Kevin Ross in the prep area with Eddie Abasolo who was punching a tennis ball tied to his head.  As soon as I saw #Dasoulassassin in Abasolo’s corner I knew that Eddie Abasolo was going to be some kind of special.  He fought crowd favorite Josh Aragon (El Gato) for the WBC Middleweight Title so that was destined to be a good one for sure!  By the time the fight actually went down though, Eddie Abasolo’s corner was full to the brim with a posse of North America’s baddest muay thai fighters.  Ky Hollenbeck, Gaston Belaños, Kevin Ross and Artem Sharoshkin all in his corner at the same time.  Shit I was like a fucking teenager jumping around taking shots of them all and fist-bumping like I knew them or something.  Ha!  They were probably like, who the fuck is this dude?  But, that’s another reason I love Muay Thai so much; because even the baddest mother fuckers on the planet aren’t too cool to say what up?!?!.  That’s real!

Let’s see what else…I could go on about the fights on this night. I mean, there were ten bouts that night so if I were to write about them all it’d be a fucking novel.  But I can’t end this post without talking a little about the vendetta bout between Colleen Duffy and Ana Flores.  Ah buddy, these two!  When they get at it it’s always real!  I was there for their #Cali14 fight which left Colleen Duffy a bloody mess as Ana Flores took the W via Unanimous Decision. This fight was also high paced and vicious.  Colleen kept the cuts to a minimum but did take home some purple quads courtesy of Ana Flores’ low leg kicks.

Okay, I gotta wrap this thing up!  Don’t forget to jump over to the PHOTOGRAPHS SECTION OF THIS SITE to see some great images from the fights; and be sure to check out the Mansilla vs Gogo fight.  That was also epic in it’s action, energy and technique.  My time in the ring is eminent; but at present I’m nursing some injuries away and it sucks not training.  I’ll be sure to jump into that topic in one of the podcasts.  Yes that’s right I said Podcast!  I’ll be launching a monthly podcast series just as soon as I can figure out the whole hardware/software/technical side of it all; which I’m close to nailing down actually!

Enjoy the complete Cali 16: Heavy Hitters 2 photo sets HERE and please do comment and share.  Live well, laugh often, love much!  Sawadee!

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A Defiant Muay Thai Community

Congratulations to Defiant Muay Thai Promotions and all the fighters, trainers, supporters and fans who came out to the Sportsman’s Lodge this past Friday night. I’m still new to Muay Thai and new to this muay thai community, so I’m just getting acquainted with the people and places.  I made it a point to take note of the vibe and energy at the Defiant Muay Thai fights because I wanted to juxtapose those qualities against my previous visits to the Sportsman’s Lodge for MMA cagefighting events.  The vibe was different at a Muay Thai event than at an MMA event.  I mean, MMA draws a few more spectators than does Muay Thai, but the muay thai crowd felt family-like!  Respectful, smiling and there to cheer on the fighters!  It was cool as fuck to be there!

The night had a few celebs on hand as well so I heard.  One of the Guns-n-Roses band members and a Wayan Brother were said to have been in the house but I didn’t see.  I did however get to meet Natalie LadyKillface Morgan which was cool.  The great Kru Santi and Coach David Huey of Muay Thai America Gym where there cornering their fighter Roland Braud who snagged a W on the night.  Congrats Roland and MTAG! There was a bloody #Featherweight bout that was noteworthy and great technique and heart displayed by all of the fighters.

Salute to the sponsors and promoters as well for putting on the event. West Coast Muay Thai, Three Leapord Liniment (thanks for the sample!!!) and photographer Jeff Dojillo, thanks for your hospitality letting me share the space ringside with you!

I came to not only support the muay thai community and watch the fights; I was also there to support one of my A4fitness training partners Will “The Thrill” Barcena.  Willie’s fight was scheduled at number 16 of seventeen!  Yikes!  I mean, doors opened at 6pm.  That seems like a lot of fights for a single evening, but as I said, I’m new so I’m just watching and learning.  Unfortunately for Will tho, he never got to lace up his gloves as the event was cancelled prematurely due to a conflict with event paramedics.  No paramedics, no fights.  Willie, Coach Adam Lerner, Kieran Fitzz and myself had all been there since doors and it was midnight by the time the cancellation came down.  Shiiit…but you gotta roll with the punches.

I’m confident that my debut in the ring is eminent and ever approaching.  I’ll surely keep you posted.  Until then, enjoy the complete set of photos, train hard, live well, love much and laugh often.  Sawaddee.

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