WARNING: This segment includes harsh truths by Dorian Price, if you are easily offended please do not read this because it probably pertains to you, or you will be offended. Please go back and enjoy another section of this website.
Muay Thai in America has a level of pretending. A lot of times you have gym owners and guys that will Wai to everyone.
The funniest thing I see in Thailand is when these westerners go over to the Thai camps. At these real camps you don’t go around and Wai to everyone. I see it all the time, these foreigners come over in Thailand and they Wai to the hookers, the cab driver, and just get caught up in this level of false cutlure rather than substance.
There is an element of culture to Muay Thai, but the basic element of it is just fighting. The element of fighting is really just to fight, and Muay Thai is one sport where I firmly believe that if you don’t fight you can’t coach. It’s like teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and having never rolled. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is different you don’t have to compete in a tournament, because you can get the experience rolling with guys. It wasn’t designed as a sport it was designed for self defense.
A lot of these coaches in America talk about how they want Muay Thai to grow, but they don’t come from a Muay Thai background. I started doing Muay Thai in 1998 and I have branched out to other things, but my roots have always been in Muay Thai. America is the land of imitation, what we see in Thailand we try to emulate. We see Thai’s hold pads a certain way and the American coaches try to copy it, they even make the exact same sounds. You can’t hold pads the same way for everyone, every fighters is different. Some guys are power, some are athletic, and some have different strengths. You can’t treat them all the same.
In America so many times you see coaches that used to do Karate, Kickboxing or anything else, but Muay Thai starts to get a little popular and they are Muay Thai experts all of a sudden. You have guys that do karate for 20 years and then Muay Thai for 1 year, but you won’t see them say that. They will say they have done Muay Thai for 21 years. I see that and I think to myself , “You’re bull shitting, my man you’ve done Muay Thai for one year not twenty one.”
Teach what you know because there is beauty in all martial arts. We get caught up in too many fads when it comes to America. Back in the day before social media you fought because you wanted to fight, because you loved it. There were a number of reasons, everyone was searching for something. Now you have people more interested in taking selfies and pretending. Muay Thai had a good thing going in America, there were great grass roots shows. California has always been above the curve, New York started doing their thing, and it was growing. But like I said America gets caught up in fads, just like the Karate guys started to try and say they were about Muay Thai, you saw the Muay Thai guys all of a sudden become all about Kickboxing once Glory showed up.
Glory has become popular and now I don’t see anyone Wai, but I here everyone run around saying oss, oss! You want a good business to start in America, start a sign business. At the rate the gyms out there change their expertise you will make a killing. Gyms go from Karate, to Muay Thai, to Kickboxing, next time a Kung Fu guys does well I bet you will see that start popping up on gym signs all over the place.
I’ve always found it funny how America tries to just run with what is popular. I have traveled around the world and trained and America is the only place that cares about titles, and fronting, and bull shitting. People are looking to make money and it corrupts the martial arts, not just Muay Thai but all of them. There are people who do it because they love it, but many will take it and basterdize it. Guys that go to Thailand on a little tour package and they come back and try to imitate and they aren’t really teaching because they don’t have the experience.
In Thailand they come up fighting from kids. You need fighting to learn, you fight and get beat because someone was stronger than you in an aspect and you will go back and work on it. The cycle will repeat and you will learn and grow. It is about experience.
You see Dutch Kickboxing popping up now. I ask people where they went in Holland. Then you get them saying stuff like I trained under the guy that trained under the guy who trained under Ramon Dekkers cousin. My response to that is why are you teaching Dutch Kickboxing? I saw you Wai to everyone last year and now you are teaching a different sport because Glory is here.
I travel around to train with different people so I can learn, not to pretend. I have gone to train in Thailand and Holland. I damn near lost my eye training in Thailand, but that’s a story for another time. The point here is to stop pretending. Everyone wants to capitalize on the latest fad, but all it does it water down martial arts, whether it is Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Jiu Jitsu, Karate. Teach what you know!