This year we see a change in the format of the Scholarship. Whilst we will still be accepting entries for one lucky winner to join us in Phuket next year, we have hand selected two nak muay who we feel would benefit greatly from our tuition. We are extremely pleased to introduce our Sumalee Scholarship in Muay Thai winners for 2013/14, Okbae Moon and Martin Avery!
From Seoul in South Korea, Okbae is no stranger to the ring, nor to Thailand. As a young fighter and Korean Champion he visited Phuket on two occasions hoping to gain international experience. Okbae met and trained with our Head Trainer, Oron, at his previous gym and competed locally multiple times with great success (ending many of his fights by KO). They became good friends and training partners.
Unfortunately, all did not end well. In 2011 during his second trip to Phuket, Okbae was involved in a motorbike accident which left him with significant injuries. Unable to compete in the sport he loved and with heavy medical fees to repay he was forced to take a break from his career to recuperate physically, financially and mentally. Okbae has since turned his life back in the right direction. After a long and arduous recovery he began
training and, with great determination, was able to compete again in late 2012. May 2013 saw Okbae compete in a South Korean competition where he took second place, losing narrowly to the current national representative. Due to his incredible determination and vast potential, Sumalee Boxing Gym are pleased to be offering Okbae Moon a Scholarship position at our camp in Phuket, Thailand. Okbae will be arriving with us on the 9th December 2013 for 2 months of intensive training with our team.Martin Avery
Our second Sumalee Scholarship in Muay Thai winner hails from Southampton, England. Brought to our attention by Lumpini Muay Thai Gym, also in Southampton, Martin Avery was recently crowned the ICO European Champion at Enfusion Live. With a host of regional titles and a high profile win at just 23 years old, Oron and our team thought Martin would be the perfect candidate for our Scholarship. Martin will be joining us in Phuket in 2014, dates TBC.
To find out how you could be our final winner enjoying 2 months free training and accommodation at our camp in Phuket, Thailand, head to our Scholarship page here
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Oron "Deachkalon" and Craig Dickson
saw the return of some of the Sumalee Fight Team to the beautiful island of Koh Samui. This is a relatively easy journey from Phuket involving a four hour drive to Donsak near Surathani where it is possible to catch the Seatrans ferry over to Samui. This particular ferry affords us the luxury of taking the car over too, enabling us to get around easily once we are there. The total cost of the ferry with car and four passengers is approximately 1200 thb.
Khun Am- Phetchabuncha Promoter
On this occasion, both Oron Deachkalon Sumalee and Craig Dickson were fighting at the Phetchabuncha Stadium in Chaweng on the 16th
November. This is a stadium which is steeped in tradition. We understand it was opened nine years ago by the family of the promoter, Khun Am. In size and feel it is much more similar to Patong Boxing Stadium than to Bangla Boxing Stadium, our home stadiums in Phuket. Nevertheless, in many respects, Phetchbuncha is very different from the Phuket stadiums. Most notably at Phetchbuncha Stadium, strict codes regarding behaviour and conduct within the stadium are adhered to. Fighters are expected to be clean shaven and respectable looking. If you fight from the red corner you wear red shorts, and similarly from the blue corner you wear blue. No other colours are allowed. No smoking or drinking is allowed in the fighters changing rooms (although alcohol can be purchased relatively cheaply at the stadium). Corner men must wear appropriate clothing, including long trousers, when attending to their fighters. There is a battalion of substitute corner men if the fighters home support is not deemed suitable. Women are not allowed in the corner area at any time. All staff are clearly identifiable by their well presented clean and tidy identifiable uniforms. Security staff wear highly polished black patent leather shoes which has a certain charm.
Decorum is the keyword and they run a very tight ship there. It all makes for a refreshing change for those of us more used to the more laissez faire attitude at the Phuket stadiums. It is more of an occasion somehow! There is a pride in what they are doing.
Cultural rituals pervade at Phetchabuncha. For example, prior to the show all of the fighters themselves are paraded around the locality for all to see. All fighters and both corners are blessed by a resident female monk (reputedly the promoter’s mother) prior to show beginning. Incense is burnt in the corners for that extra guarantee of good luck for all involved in the show. All of this ritual added to a sense of being part of something that was uniquely Thai and very special.
Craig Dickson and Oron Deachkalon Sumalee did not disappoint. Craig was on first, up against a well known local Thai – Sangpet Jun Muay Thai. It was one of his most exciting performances executed in classic “Craig style”. He kept the pressure on from the beginning wearing his opponent down by his persistent advance forward. He finished with his signature flurry of body punches in the third round which very quickly dropped his opponent to the ground.
Oron Deachkalon Sumalee fought the much younger and taller Koh Samui champion, Mongskrit Sit Sorred. For the first two rounds things didn’t look to be going Deachkalon’s way. Taller opponents are always a challenge for Deachkalon as their height makes it difficult for him to execute his favourite winning tactic, those strong Sor Sumalee knees known the world over. Coming out with more resolve in the fourth round though, Deachkalon managed to get a grip and floor his opponent with a succession of well places knees to the body despite the height difference.
All in all very strong performances by the two Sumalee fighters. An extremely enjoyable weekend hosted by the warm hearted and generous promoter Khun Am.
By Lynne MillerShare on Facebook