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K-1 Grand Prix K-1 is a combat sport that combines stand up techniques from Muay Thai, Karate, Savate, San shou, Kickboxing and traditional Boxing to determine the single best stand-up fighter in the world (the "1").

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Old 06-12-2008, 05:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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So you want a PhD in Muay Thai huh...

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Thai boxing, or Muay Thai as it is known locally, has been widely accepted around the world and is included in such sporting competitions as the SEA Games and Asian Games.

It has also recently been recognised by the International Olympic Committee, which brings the traditional martial art a step closer to being included in future Olympic Games.

However, amid the popularity of Muay Thai as a martial art and a fad among westerners, thanks to movies such as Ong Bak, there is still a lack of professional and academic standards.

In terms of professional standards, there are some international organisations holding tournaments worldwide, but fledgling efforts to standardise the professional quality are still going on. However, in terms of academic standards, an effort has already started at Chombung Rajabhat University.

Assoc Prof Chanchai Yomdit, the dean of the Muay Thai Study College at the university, has launched a doctorate in the philosophy of Muay Thai, the world's first academic institute to do so.

"Why not? It originated in our country. Why don't we try to establish a centre of wisdom and encourage research and development on our heritage for the next generation," said Mr Chanchai.

The doctoral degree comes five years after the centre offered a master's degree in Muay Thai studies.


Students and former boxers at Chombung Rajabhat University display Pra Ram, or `Trotting the Forest', a Muay Thai tactic. A student shows how to tie the hands and arms with strips of cloth before practising Muay Thai.

Chombung Rajabhat University, formerly a teachers college, has already produced several boxers who were studying there. They included Chalerm Singh Nua Mek, who was a star of Channel 7's boxing programme, and Mr Chanchai, who once boxed as both an amateur and professional when he was a student.

"My colleagues and I love the sport and we think this kind of athletic wisdom is a cultural asset for our country. We need to preserve and develop it. When they [the students] like Muay Thai, we should provide a stage for them to do it properly under our guidance. It's better than letting them get addicted to computer games," he said.

The master's degree was first offered in order to hone the skills and shape the physical and philosophical minds of physical education teachers, who taught Muay Thai.

Two outstanding master's theses, coincidentally under the same adviser, Amnat Poosrisuk, will be presented to Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn during her visit to the university on Thursday.

One was authored by Chao Wathayotha from the Ban Phai secondary school in Khon Kaen on Muay Thai Korat, and another was by Chattuchai Champahom from the Phan Thong secondary school in Chon Buri on Muay Chai Ya.

Mr Chao and Mr Chattuchai were part of the first batch of 27 students who graduated last year. Seven have yet to complete their theses. The 25-member second batch of master's degree students should be finished in the next few years.

The latest attempt to open up bachelor's degrees, said Mr Chanchai, is targeted at giving boxers, both former and present champions, an academic environment which also focuses on ethics, Thai heritage and basic English.

The university also provides a public service for prisons in Ratchaburi, Phetchaburi, Nakhon Pathom and Kanchanaburi.


Chanchai Yomdit, the founder of the Muay Thai Study College, talks about his dream of producing boxers, teachers and researchers for Thailand. — Photos by THITI WANNAMONTHA

"There are increasingly former famous boxers who end up in jail for such crimes as drug trafficking and murder. We need to help save them from falling into those vices. Their skills need to be used in a decent way," he said.

For doctorates, the first 15 students are hoping to form a network of research and accumulate the scattered wisdom and tactics of Muay Thai into a scientific methodology so that a winning strategy can be developed and expanded quantitatively and qualitatively, the college dean said.

Siraphop Ratanasuban, one of the students studying for the doctorate, said Muay Thai in Thailand has yet to gain the same recognition as in the West.

"It will take a long time correcting and building a new image for it as a martial art so middle-class people can send their children to learn this art for, say, self-defence. We therefore need people qualified professionally and academically on Muay Thai. That's why I am here," said Mr Siraphop, who studied finance and marketing in the United States and is also the only son of famous boxing promoter Songchai Ratanasuban.

Veera Gatchapakirin, manager of the Muay Thai Conservation Centre under the supervision of the Tourism and Sports Ministry, said there was always politics in the business, but little effort to fill the gap of Muay Thai wisdom.

"My job is to sponsor educational institutions that help preserve it in various forms with an annual budget of 5.5 million baht. Chombung Rajabhat University is the 17th centre we are supporting and I take the opportunity to get a doctorate there," said Mr Veera.

Sawang Vitayapitaks, an adviser to the programme, said Thailand needed to change the thinking and image of Muay Thai.

"We have to instill love and respect of Muay Thai. First they must know the benefit of studying it for their health, for their personality and for friendship. Muay Thai teaches us to be a decent and humble person with strength in mind.

"We do not have to be a boxer in order to learn Muay Thai," said Mr Sawang, who is also a referee at Ratchadamnoen boxing stadium.
http://www.bangkokpost.com/070608_Ne...008_news83.php


I think I would actually be interested in school for once. Muay Thai in the olympics would be great as well.
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Old 06-12-2008, 06:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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This strikes me as a little odd as a PhD program but right on. I guess if a program like that was available here in the states when I was younger I would have been interested in going to University!

I would be able to honestly say that "I have a PhD in whipping your a$$!" haha
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Old 06-12-2008, 06:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by BloodJunkie View Post
This strikes me as a little odd as a PhD program but right on. I guess if a program like that was available here in the states when I was younger I would have been interested in going to University!

I would be able to honestly say that "I have a PhD in whipping your a$$!" haha
That's the first thing I thought of when I read this.

I'm really interested in seeing Muay Thai being in the olympics too.
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Old 06-12-2008, 08:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That's the first thing I thought of when I read this.

I'm really interested in seeing Muay Thai being in the olympics too.
Yeah, me too. The pure one on one nature of the sport lends itself perfectly to the Olympic format. I could see Muay Thai easily becoming one of the most popular events.
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Old 06-12-2008, 08:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I wonder how they would set it up because I would like to see some guys that are pros now be able to compete but I doubt they would let them.
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Old 06-12-2008, 08:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thats an interesting question. I see them doing it much like the boxing tourney, so I don't think pros will be able to fight. I wonder why they let NBA players in the Olympics but not other pros?
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Old 06-12-2008, 08:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't know why it's like that. I have a feeling it would end up being mainly Thai fighters against Dutch fighters in the end anyways.
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't know why it's like that. I have a feeling it would end up being mainly Thai fighters against Dutch fighters in the end anyways.
For sure! Those 2 countries are the global hubs for Muay Thai/Kickboxing.
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Old 06-13-2008, 05:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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if they added MT to the olympics id be intrested to the rules they used, i could see it becoming severely gimped.
also i think they would have to allow pro's as otherwise i doubt they could get any decent competition from most of the countries
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Old 06-13-2008, 07:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Thats an interesting question. I see them doing it much like the boxing tourney, so I don't think pros will be able to fight. I wonder why they let NBA players in the Olympics but not other pros?
MAybe they will have it like some of the other sports, where you have to be under a certain age in the olympics for a specific sport to compete (for soccer it is 23). Also, i think this would be another step closer to MMA being in the olympics if maui thai was accepted as an olympic sport
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