A whole new project series Kevin and I are starting through the help of patrons! (watch above - be sure to turn on English Subtitles in the CC area)
Watch Namkabuan watch his fight with Dekker, and wait to the end to hear who he thinks was the best ever.
you can turn on the English subtitles by clicking the Gear Icon (settings) and then selecting English under Subtitles
The Importance of a Personal History
I remember standing with Dieselnoi in a ring at the Cultural Center in Bangkok, just after our first session together for the Muay Thai Library a few years ago. It was when we first got to know each other, and Dieselnoi, this tower of a man and giant of a legend, folded his long legs underneath him and pulled up video after video of himself on Youtube for me to watch. He reminded me of my dad, not letting an entire video play before getting too excited and seeking out another one. This makes it sound like there's lots of Dieselnoi on Youtube and, sadly, there isn't. But a man of his age, there was nothing prior to these video sharing platforms - even my own trainer, Kru Nu, who was a young fighter during Dieselnoi's prime, had never seen actual film of Dieselnoi before Youtube came out. If you didn't catch him live or get a broadcast on TV, there were only photos in magazines.
Because of YouTube the Legends of the Golden Age of Muay Thai have more access to footage of their fights now than they did closer to their primes. That's wonderful and it allows those of us who are too late to have ever seen them on TV to witness their incredible fighting styles and personas. But being able to actually watch those fights with the fighter is something else entirely. There's nothing like it, anywhere. This project is one that I'm incredibly excited about. It's very special and it's very rare, both of which make it incredibly valuable. In this flagship entry, I sat down with Namkabuan Nongkeepahuyut to watch his fight against Ramon Dekker. What he remembers while watching almost comes out as though it's playing in his mind as a secondary reel to what is playing out on the screen in front of us. That's an incredible thing to witness - he's viscerally recalling the fight. In the interview beforehand, he does not hide his pain at having to vacate his Lumpinee Title due to a lack of opponents, an incredible accomplishment by itself, yet he retained the title in a highly competitive weight class for 6 years before being forced to give it up.
These videos, watching fights with the Legends who fought them, are as important a documentary project as I can think of. The Muay Thai Library project seeks to archive and preserve the techniques of Muay Thai, both from times before and now, as Muay Thai is very quickly changing. Because we use long-form training video for documentation, rather than an edited "highlight" methods, we are also archiving the personalities and character of the men who carry these techniques and styles. As of this writing, there are more than 80 hours of long-form training videos with the Legends, fighters, ex-fighters, and krus of Thailand. It is the largest video resource of Muay Thai technique in the world. The Muay Thai Library is supported through this Patreon, and through the generosity of my patrons I'm also able to create new and interesting content like this series of watching Golden Age fights with the Legends who fought them, as well as interviews with them about their lives and careers. All this content is time-consuming, which is why it's a full-time job for me and Kevin, but it's also expensive to pay for translation (my Thai is good enough to conduct the interviews and conversations, but I want professional-level translations because this is real history being preserved) - if you are translator and would like to be a part of this project please do contact me. Those efforts and expenses are supported through my patrons, and this project is planned on being published free for everyone. My patrons enjoy patron-only content (the Muay Thai Library, my podcasts, articles, and Technique Vlogs), but it is through their support that more free content is also available for all.
If you'd like to support this kind of work - if you don't already do so! - you can become a patron here, which also gives you access to the Muay Thai Library.
You can check out all the sessions so far documented in the Muay Thai Library here:
over 80 hours here, table of contents
As a patron you get access to the audio Muay Thai Bones podcast:
But, as patrons you have access to the Apple or Android audio version of Muay Thai Bones podcast. You can find out how to access those episodes here:
browse all the Muay Thai Bones podcast posts on Patreon here:
Many of these are completely epic podcasts, sometimes more than 3 hours long, and patrons have absolutely been loving them. I hope you enjoy them too!