Walking into Muay Thai School, U.S.A. run by Mr. Dej Sriampai (fighting name “Nokweed”), the owner and head instructor, you will see and hear the sound of Muay Thai fighters moving their entire bodies, rotating the hips with each kick (te), punch (chok), elbow (ti-sok) and knee (ti-khao). Consul General Damrong Kraikruan and I myself had a very productive talk with Kru Nokweed (his students call him “Kru”, which means “teacher” in Thai) about the inside story of the Muay Thai industry in the US, in late March.
Through his passion for Muay Thai and respect for his Muay Thai “Kru” back in Thailand, Muay Thai School, U.S.A. was built to be a place to teach Muay Thai forms, principles, culture and respect, which is an important element of this martial art.
As a Thai native and a government official of the Department of Export Promotion, Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce, my perception towards Muay Thai goes beyond sport, it is an art ( Martial Art ), a way of life and a precious national heritage of our ancestors. I feel very proud when I talk about or present Muay Thai to others.
The Muay Thai community in the US has grown enormously, and likewise in other parts of the world. Nowadays, Muay Thai functions as a method of physical fitness, self-defense, as well as professional and amateur fighting. Many of the US Military, Police officers, and Security professionals also opt to train Muay Thai to expand their self defense skills and combat techniques. Moreover, Muay Thai is incredibly effective for mental alertness, managing stress, and even building self esteem as well.
To have a better understanding of why Muay Thai gains in popularity, I usually speak with the students whom I have met and have trained in Muay Thai. I am always impressed by their answers. Most students do not just love Muay Thai fighting techniques, but they also express their deep feelings for the history, culture, respect for each other, and the family-like atmosphere. The benefits for women also lure more and more female students. They say the benefits besides self defense include weight loss, and increased muscle strength. We do lose our muscles as we age unless we put them to work, and Muay Thai does just that.
With a great effort from the Muay Thai community and their strong passion for Muay Thai, recently a Facebook group “Muay Thai Community USA” is born! We welcome you to join us, share and spread a strong and healthy Muay Thai family with us !! Also, please feel free to “like” us “Thai Trade Center, USA” on Facebook. We always bring you the latest news, activities, events and/or new products and services from Thailand.
Address: 11116 Weddington Blvd, N. Hollywood, CA 91601
Chantira J. Vivatrat
Executive Director of Thai Trade Center Los Angeles