The Websternet

Matthew J. Webster – Writer

Archive for the ‘Muay Thai’ Category

Journalism is pain.

leave a comment »

kickedweb


A cordial kick to the head is nothing compared to what many journalists go through. Still, it is a reminder that my vocation is and always has been one of the worst jobs, especially when done well.

The “bitch dot” below the hairline (pictured above) was kicked into me by trainer and leg sparring partner Ryan White, a pro MMA brutalist with all the tools needed to batter myself and much stronger men into the hospital. If we hadn’t been wearing shin pads, he would have certainly opened me up for a blood offering to the spirit of the ring, which dictates the destiny of all Muay Thai warriors.

Ryan White (L) at Cage Fighting Xtreme 24 in Boston

Ryan White (L) at Cage Fighting Xtreme 24 in Boston


For the ding in question, Ryan used a technique he calls the Western High Question Mark Kick. He stepped 45 degrees to his right and threw a low lead kick that I blocked with my raised right shin, then he pulled back as if he was returning to stance. Then Ryan abruptly wrenched his left hip back toward me, and my forehead sang “SPLAT!” as he drilled it with the top of his foot.

The next time Ryan tries this I will employ the proper defense for a high kick and lean back. If I succeed, maybe I’ll attempt to subsequently pummel him with a right-hand counter. Or maybe not. My strategies are secret.

My Muay Thai activities are what journalism schools call “field work.” If you’re not feeling the pain, you’re probably not training hard enough to empathize with a competitive Muay Thai warrior.

But my focus is on unarmed combat. The best foreign correspondents have to report the more political, less honorable kind. My mentor Anthony Shadid died of an allergic attack while on assignment in Syria two years ago, and he’d also been shot through the shoulder covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He was fearless. My sacrifices are a joke compared with his.

Anthony Shadid 1968-2012

Anthony Shadid 1968-2012

Written by webster71

April 25, 2014 at 15:24

Muay Thai, muy doloroso!

leave a comment »

IMG_3632

Phanuwat “Coke” Chunhawat (L) vs. Rami Ibrahim.

Muay Thai fighting is no sport for old men. I know. I’m 42 and I’ve been training for
“the art of eight limbs” at least five days a week for the last 10 months. Competition is a nearly impossible standard for somebody my age, with my late start, to reach.

Today I am rehabbing a knee injury that occurred three days ago while I was doing chin-ups and whacked said member into a steel exercise machine. The next day was my day off training, then yesterday I did four miles of cross country running with little pain or difficulty. Today it is 15 degrees colder outside, 26 degrees Fahrenheit here in Boston, and I tried to run again but aborted the mission and decided to give the left knee another day of rest.

I feel deeply guilty about missing this one day of training. Which is stupid because I work hard and push myself to get better generally, even though I have nothing specific to train for. Oh, to be spry and 35 again, like my Kru Coke Chunhawat, pictured above in the red gloves!

Written by webster71

March 3, 2014 at 18:22

Name this fighter!

leave a comment »

I’ve been sick and unable to train this week, so in my free time I’ve put together a semi-scientific opinion poll (below) that will allow you, my dear readers and friends, to determine what my fighter’s nickname will be as I proceed in the great sport of Muay Thai kickboxing.

Opinion research is one of many industries I’ve toiled for in the past, long before the sad events that brought about my status as a desperately unsuccessful author. Corporate copywriting is another. Copywriters are frequently tasked with naming products and services. So I know what I’m doing. As Matthew Polly describes in his lovely book Tapped Out, there is a superstition in fight sports against giving yourself a nickname, so I’m offering this multiple choice poll as a compromise.

To give you some ideas about my character before choosing a moniker, I’m 5 feet, 5 inches tall and weigh a natural 155 pounds. I speak French well and German conversationally, started training for martial arts only nine months ago, and neither I nor anyone else will have a clue if I’m any good at it until the time comes to step over the ropes and compete, presuming that ever happens.

I need your vote to make this work! The more the merrier. Please share with friends if you feel like it.

Written by webster71

January 23, 2014 at 18:11

Nerve damage, no problem.

leave a comment »

Sciatica: the early days.

Sciatica: the early days.


Sciatica, from WebMD.com: “burning or tingling down the leg…numbness…constant pain on one side of the rear…”

Yep, got it. #Acupuncture, here I come!

I got the hematoma pictured from incorrectly holding a “suitcase” kick pad for a Muay Thai partner. All you young kids in school, don’t turn out like me! Unless you don’t mind a little nerve damage. Must be so much easier to be a lover than a fighter.

Written by webster71

January 8, 2014 at 16:03

%d bloggers like this: