Janet Todd performs the traditional WaiKru before representing the USA at the 2017 IFMA World Championships (Belarus, Minsk) photo taken by Lord K2 for IFMA

This month’s podcast is packed with muay thai fight news, reviews of recent WCK Cali Muay Thai Series fights; and conversations with two fighters who have represented the USA at the IFMA world championships the last two years in a row. Muay Thai debuts at the World Games in Poland in July and the USMF is changing the game here at home in order to curate the best fighters from the USA to compete against international opponents and place American Muay Thai among the best in the world rankings.

Episode Duration: 1:18:20

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Episode Part One

Duration 40:44

In the first half of the episode I spoke with pro fighter, gym owner and youth muay thai trainer Asa Tenpow (Florida Kickboxing Academy – West Palm Beach, FL). Asa shared his martial arts life journey with me from studying taekwondoe and kung fu from as early as the age of 5; to first finding Muay Thai training with Kru Alan Bowonthamachakr.  Although Asa is a professional fighter he still makes it a priority to compete in international muay thai tournaments.  He’s represented the USA two years in a row at the IFMA World Championships and he makes teaching muay thai to young children one of highest priorities.  Okay, you’re still not sold?  He also trains and corners young aspiring amateur fighters on their own journey seeking the best within themselves through the sport of Muay Thai.  Take a gander at the series of images below to get a peek inside the world of a world class martial artist, a world class athlete and world class individual.

Asa Tenpow is a 27 year old, professional muay thai fighter living in West Palm Beach, FL.

I first became aware of Asa Tenpow after witnessing his unforgettable pro debut at Lion Fight 28 against Turan Hasinov.

The amazement just continued with his second Lion Fight appearance against Bryce Lawrence. Asa’s fight was technical, calm and controlled and I found myself quietly hoping that Bryce Lawrence would just take a knee before suffering any irreparable damage.  But Asa Tenpow is as much a gentleman as he is a warrior and I picked up on the notion that Tenpow was placing his shots to avoid seriously injuring Lawrence; whom come to find out, is also somewhat of a friend.  Speaking of friends, it’s not long when you’re doing what you love before you run into someone else that loves doing it about as much as you do.  That seems to be the vibe between our USMF Team USA Muay Thai athletes and especially with Emilio Pineda and Asa Tenpow; pictured below during their recent trip to the 2017 IFMA World Championships in Belarus, Minsk.  Thanks a ton to photographer Igdalia Medina for sharing her beautiful Lion Fight images for display here at TeepThis.com.

Episode Part Two

Begins at: 41:49

In the second half of the episode I sat down with amateur muay thai fighter Janet Todd from Hermosa Beach, CA. Janet trains out of Boxing Works gym in Torrence, CA under coach Bryan Popejoy.  I’ve experienced nothing but praise and respect when coach Popejoy’s name enters the conversation and after witnessing the connection that he and Janet share, seeing the level of devotion he has for the sport and his fighters, it’s no wonder Janet is winning everywhere she decides to lace up her gloves these days.

Janet will do anything to further the sport of muay thai and we got way into topics as we spoke.  We talked about her home life and what it’s like to be married to your partner as well as to your passion.  Janet’s husband is her biggest fan and she has no problem giving credit where it’s due.

Janet Todd is an amateur muay thai fighter from Hermosa Beach, CA.
photo by  Jeff Dojillo for USMF

Janet shared her experiences competing abroad over the past few years at the coveted IFMA muay thai championship tournaments and took us right into this year’s recent trip to Belarus for the 2017 installment from which Janet came home with a Bronze medal.  She expressed her pride for her accomplishment but like any A-type-perfectionist she’s not yet satisfied with a Bronze medal and intends to return to international competition immediately in pursuit of big chunk of Gold tied to a fancy red white and blue ribbon.

After a loss in her final fight in Belarus, Janet Todd needed to erase the sting and did so by winning the Defiant WBC Tournament immediately following the IFMA World Championships.

Janet Todd wins her division at the Defiant WBC Tournament in Tacoma, WA (May 2017)

Janet is off to the World Games in Poland this summer for that very reason — the pursuit of a Gold Medal and the right to tell her reflection: “Hey you, you’re a world champion muay thai fighter!”  The USMF along with her sponsors West Coast Muay Thai and In Fight Style are right behind her giving her all the support they can gather.  TEEP THIS is a fan as well and I’ll do all I can to help Janet realize her dreams as this sport continues to help me identify and realize my own.

Take a look at a few of the images she shared  from her journey to Belarus and back which resulted in a bronze medal and custom shiny green belt that her hubby will have to make room to display somewhere in their home.

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