Tonight's New Jersey Martial Arts Hall of Fame Awards Dinner and induction ceremony includes many familiar MMA names. For readers of this site, most of whom are MMA fans, the list reads like an MMA legends Who's Who. But there are also legendary names from the sport of Muay Thai on that list as well. Vladimir Borodine and Coban "The Crusher" Lookchaomaesaitong are just two of the big name Muay Thai legends being inducted into the Hall of Fame tonight. And although MMA is more popular than Muay Thai at the moment, the "art of eight limbs" is definitely making inroads into the consciousness of the sports fan in the United States.
Muay Thai is a striking art that includes punching, kicking, elbow strikes and knee strikes. It is one of the most ferocious martial arts out there, and most if not all mixed martial artists incorporate Muay Thai techniques into their overall MMA game.
As a ring announcer, I started out as strictly doing MMA events, but now I have the pleasure of calling Muay Thai events as well. Every Muay Thai shown I've done has been sold out, and the fans love the non-stop action in the ring. Thanks to the efforts of Nick Lembo and company, pro-rules Muay Thai is now fully sanctioned in the state of New Jersey, and the WBC has already held sanctioned title fights. The sky seems to be the limit for this exciting "new" sport, which is beginning to get recognition in the U.S., but is already huge in the country of its origin, Thailand. .
Muay Thai originated in Thailand well over a thousand years ago. In the 1920s, Thai ruler King Rama VII put together the official modern rules of the sport, and since then Muay Thai popularity has exploded in Thailand and around the world.
I'm glad that the sport is beginning to see popularity in New Jersey. It's always a thrill to ring announce a Muay Thai event, and watch world class athletes do their thing in the ring.
But as far as training in the sport, I will leave that to all the talented pros and ammy Nak Muay guys out there. That sport is too rough for me. Bingo is actually more my speed--and I'm pretty damn good at it. Go to Party Bingo if you want to test your own skills.
Tonight's Hall of Fame ceremony is yet another sign that Muay Thai has arrived in the states, and it's going to be a huge honor for me to be inducted alongside some of Muay Thai's biggest names. If you are attending tonight's Hall of Fame dinner, I look forward to seeing you there. If you can't make it live, you can check out the ceremony on GoFightLive.com.