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Matthew J. Webster – Writer

Posts Tagged ‘MMA

Journalism is pain.

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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

Kickboxing: the faster fight sport?

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No kissing and hugging: Wayne Barrett (left) won the decision over 185 lb champ Joe Schilling at Glory 12.

No kissing and hugging: Wayne Barrett (left) won the decision over 185 lb champ Joe Schilling at Glory 12.

12/18/13 — BOSTON:

Kickboxing may be accompanied by punchier sound cues than any other fight sport.

On November 23 at GLORY 12, just seconds into Round 1, Brian Collette’s knockout kick to the head of Warren Thompson reported a brittle “SPLAT!” audible all the way back to the cheap seats of the Madison Square Garden Theater, such that fans groaned and some wondered, briefly, if part of Thompson had snapped.

In the US particularly, the savage art the French call “foot-and-fist” has been eclipsed over the last 20 years by the rise to mainstream popularity of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). MMA is a newer hybrid of fighting disciplines lead by Dana White’s Ultimate Fighting Challenge (UFC).

MMA allows the kicks, punches, elbows and knee strikes that comprise Muay Thai, Thailand’s ancient war dance, combined with mat-bound grappling techniques used in amateur wrestling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

Kickboxing allows “no kissing and hugging,” as light heavyweight prodigy Gökhan “The Rebel” Saki has put it, just tornadoes of punches, kicks and knee strikes in combinations. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by webster71

December 18, 2013 at 21:47

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