Patrons are in for loads of excitement next week Saturday when Battle in Paradise 6 is staged at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.
This International Muay Thai Championship is sanctioned by the National Kick-boxing League of Barbados and has attracted participation from the United States, Canada, England, Dominica, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago along with host country Barbados. It will feature both amateur and professional competition under the Muay Thai rules of kickboxing.
Muay Thai, the national sport of Thailand, is the most devastating form of kickboxing to date. It utilizes eight limbs for striking inclusive of fists, elbows, knees and feet, and is effective in both long distance fighting and in the clinch. So effective is the art of Muay Thai that it is a prerequisite of training for most mixed martial artists.
President of the local association, Wayne Quintyne, told Barbados TODAY that Barbados’ participants were drawn primarily from The Kore Muay Thai Club and Umaa Kai Muay.
“An invitation was sent out for all interested parties to attend national trials and with the exception of one independent athlete these were the only two groups to answer the call. The independent athlete stepping up to the challenge is local celebrity and spoken word poet Adrian Green. This will be Green’s third sojourn into the ring and his first time competing under Muay Thai rules.
“Muay Thai is a very demanding sport that calls for cardiovascular fitness, technical skill, mental and physical conditioning, ring smarts and an indomitable fighting spirit. It is not for the faint of heart or the weak in spirit. Not everyone is up to the challenge of the sport and we commend those athletes who have stepped up to the plate.” Quintyne stated.
The other local athletes participating in this event include Mike Jones, Percival Hinds, Cori King, Deruan-Duvall Hunte, Andros Welch.
Britain’s Phil Nurse will also be at Two Mile Hill. Nurse, born in northern England to Barbadian parents, is a European light welterweight champion, double British champion, and British all styles super light welterweight champion.
Quintyne said Muay Thai or Thai Boxing as it is otherwise known has been steadily increasing in popularity over the years. He explained that as early as the 1970s matches between Thailand and Japan were being aired on television networks and the Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation was no exception.
“Today, the sport is quickly eclipsing boxing as a major full contact spectator sport with such events as the Max Muay Thai World Championships, Lion Fights, K-1 World Grand Prix and Ultimate Fighting Championship giving today’s martial arts fan the opportunity to see practitioners of this discipline to full effect,” he said.
Quintyne noted that this sixth installment of Battle in Paradise was especially significant to the development of the sport of Muay Thai in Barbados as it would be held under the patronage of Grandmaster Surachai Sirisute, founder and president of the Thai Boxing Association of the USA.
“This is the oldest and largest Muay Thai association in the United States with affiliates in fifteen other countries. Grandmaster Sirisute, or Ajarn Chai as he is most commonly referred, has taught Muay Thai all around the world for the past forty years, having introduced it to the American public in 1967. He has been visiting Barbados for the last five years to assist in the development of the sport through the auspices of the Thai Boxing Association of Barbados and the National Kickboxing League of Barbados. His endorsement of this event speaks volumes to the progress that the sport has made thus far on the island,” Quintyne said.
He added that several sponsors had come on board to assist the National Kickboxing League in developing the viable sports tourism product and included The Barbados Tourism Authority, Pirates Inn Apartment Hotel, Infinity on the Beach, Unified Martial Art Academy, Fighting Measure Martial Arts and Wings ’n Tings Restaurant. (WG/PR)