Cock Fighting: Beyond the Blood

  Let’s start with the facts.   Cock fighting is a sporting tradition shared by many Asian countries. In Thailand, cock fighting has its roots deep in history. Many Thais often refer all the way back to the sixteenth century, to King Naresuan, a much loved monarch famous for defeating the king of Burma. Historically, […]

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The Perils Of Dating Your Trainer: Is He Cheating?

    PART 7   Author’s note: Certain names, events, and identifying details have been altered.   FEBRUARY 2014 Phuket, Thailand   I don’t hear from Gong until the next morning. He calls right after morning training.   “Called you last night,” I say. “Why didn’t you answer?”   “I was already asleep. You train […]


Age Over Gender At A Muay Thai Gym

    Training in Thailand is not only intense, it is very intimate also. Many gyms provide accommodation for their fighters. The accommodation usually consists of a large single room with a few beds, thus fighters end up sharing everything: bathrooms, equipment, clothing, and sometimes even toothbrushes. Unless a family member is closely attending to […]


Bali, Indonesia – A Photo Series

  MBSB contributor Charles Brandon Stauft’s recent piece on the Indonesian martial art Silat inspired me to look into my archives and pull out some photos I shot while in Indonesia.  I believe I spent approximately three weeks in Indonesia; the following photographs were taken while in Bali.    In 2009 I received a message […]


The Perils Of Dating Your Trainer: Everyone Lies And Everyone Cheats

    PART 6   Author’s note: Certain names, events, and identifying details have been altered.   FEBRUARY 2014 Phuket, Thailand   Hollie parks her motorbike outside the restaurant and I jump off the back, relieved I’m still alive. Even with my responsible friend driving, and even being allowed to wear her helmet, I still […]


The Switzerland of Northeast Thailand: Wang Nam Kaew

    We ended up in Wang Nam Kaew on a whim. Initially we were planning a trip to Khao Yai, Thailand’s largest national park, and while I was looking for affordable, high-quality accommodation I came across Nicslongstay. It appeared to be exactly what we were looking for.   Wang Nam Kaew is a district […]


An Introduction To Pencak Silat

    What is Pencak Silat? This is a difficult question to answer as there are hundreds of different styles that claim the name throughout Nusantara; the region of southeast Asia that runs from Thailand out almost to Papua New Guinea that was once dominated by the Majapahit empire. The name Pencak Silat is new, […]


The Mutation Of Muay Thai In Isaan

    “Sham is fighting the main event at Buriram iMobile Stadium,” Mr. Dit, owner and head trainer of Giatbundit Gym, announces with a laugh.   “Just like that, main event. Only one fight, main event…”   He continues rambling on, mostly to himself.   Giatbundit Gym began accepting foreigners just this past February and […]


Sean Fagan On Fighting, Training In Thailand And His Site, Muay Thai Guy

    Sean Fagan is no stranger to the world of Muay Thai. Having taken several trips to Thailand to train and fight along with hosting the popular website Muay Thai Guy Sean has immersed himself in the sport. Hailing out of upstate New York he has had over 20 amateur fights and is making […]


Gentleman’s House Barber Shop and Cocktail Bar – Proponents of Change in Russia

    The following is a guest post by Nick Harbison. Nick was previously featured on MBSB discussing his transcontinental motorcycle trip.   The Gentleman’s House Barber Shop, Irkutsk, in the Republic of Buryatia, Russia, opened earlier this year. I ducked in for a shave and a drink and ended up chatting with owner Nikita […]


An Interview With American Muay Thai Veteran Bryan Popejoy

    I’m becoming like Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino, a crumedgony old man. I don’t have time for people that don’t put in the effort themselves. -Bryan Popejoy   Spread out in the vastness of Torrance, California (population 147,000) are seemingly endless strip malls and chain stores. Driving through the suburban desolation is to […]