Not just a gym, we're part of something larger; Muay Thai in Thailand is first and foremost a community. And, like all communities we must work together to survive. Gyms help each other out a lot here; whether with match making, last minute replacements, or allowing for inter-gym training, it's the norm. Those in community genuinely want to see fighters succeed and work together to secure them opportunities to advance their careers.
We've been open for three years now. Bpaet's recent success in the ring has solidified our position in the community. We work with a lot of gyms and are weary of other. But there is one gym in particular we have formed a special relationship with; that gym is Lookboonmee. It was through the roughened trails of Muay Thai traveling from match-ups to fights and bak again that we met their gym. Seeing their friendly faces over, and over again...and even fighting their fighters we formed somewhat of a friendship with them.
Recently we met up with them at some local temple fights. We put our mats together, and talked about Muay Thai. When Muey fought all their fighters came to cheer her on, and when Bpaet fought Lookboonmee helped with his side bet. For a gym of their standing, to literally be in our corner, is a big deal.
Bpaet's fight was for a 5000 Baht side bet (200 USD), and the ring announcer even commented to his opponent to not be overly confident seeing that we had Lookboonmee on our side.
Their gym has been open for 20+ years. They currently house and care for over fifteen active fighters. Nong Mai and Kaaopong, the original generation of fighters were there that night to cheer on and coach Bpaet to victory. Combined those two fighters alone have had well over 500 fights, and have cornered thousands more.
Not only do Boom and I look up to Lookboonmee, they've taken us under their wing. When Bpaet was offered a non-favourable match-up Mee, the owner and head trainer of the gym told us not to take it. They've followed Nungning's career through her fights with Cucumber and have even given her the nickname "Loma Lek." And, after watching Muey out class a boy her just her second fight, they spent the night relishing about her talent.
We're incredibly grateful to our monthly donors for everything they're doing for our gym. What is more, is that because of their support that we're able to also help Lookboonmee. We've arranged for King Pro Boxing to sponsor their gym, and we bring supplies for their fighters at least once a month. If we need to send some fighters over to clinch, their gym is always open to us. You can follow Lookboonmee via their Facebook page.