KGB Validation Stamp 




In the early seventies in the former Soviet Union, many martial artists were treated no better than criminals of the State.

The history of Muay Thai in the Soviet Union is very fascinating, full of adventure and suspense. From its conception,  in the Ukraine, the sports followers were faced with immense difficulties due to restrictions of the Communist regime. In the mid- seventies when the Soviet Union was still behind the "Iron Curtain", bits of information about such forms of martial arts as Karate and Kung-Fu began to trickle into the country. This flow of information happened despite the restrictions of the totalitarian regime, often coming from Russian seamen who were able to have a glance at Karate movies while sailing into foreign ports.

Vadim, is the man who can ultimately be credited with the development of the sport of Muay Thai in the Soviet Union.  Mr. Vadim Fyordorov together with Mr. Vladimir Borodin began to practice using the martial arts books as a guidance. As with the books, the secrecy had to be maintained at all times. Since no other sport existing in the Soviet Union at the time had similar techniques, practicing Muay Thai in public or in such places that could be viewed by people would lead to certain arrest. Thus the training had to take place late in the evenings, in dimly lit garages and often in squalid conditions.

In 1989 Vladimir Borodin and Fyodorov Vadim traveled to Amsterdam, Vadim was stopped at the border due to an alleged mistake in his travel documents, but  Borodin was allowed to continue on.  

During this time Vadim faced many problems, he was frequently summoned by the KGB for questioning and his telephone was constantly tapped. The reason behind this was that the Muay Thai organization the UMTL (Ukraine Muay Thai League) was growing stronger and strong experienced fighters were able to resist the authorities during the potential coup attempt. Things were getting more and more difficult for Vadim and during his trip to Holland for a practice meeting, he requested and received political asylum. When Vadim did not return to  Russia from Holland, his mother disappeared without a trace. The struggle to advance Muay Thai continued without Vadim and he was replaced with a talented athletic coach Mr. Vitaly Rytchko, with whom they were finally able to unite the Muay Thai clubs of the Ukraine, Moldovia and Moscow into the USSRMTF (Union of Soviet Socialist Republic Muay Thai Federation) also known a s the Russian Muay Thai Federation.

At that time there was  already an official Muay Thai organization in Russia - (Latvian Muay Thai Association) which was formed in 1989 by Mr. Ivar Sidorvich in Riga. Some consider this the first official Muay Thai organization in Russia. In 1991 the USSRMTF became a member of the EMTA (European Muay Thai Association), and in July that year held its first professional event. . 

While Vadim was in Holland he continued to study  Muay Thai at the Chakuriki Camp under Thom Harnik He was finally allowed to travel to the United States under political asylum. He never saw his mother again, and till this day no information on her whereabouts have been disclosed. The many years of hounding by the Soviet authorities had eventually forced Vladimir Borodine   to leave Russia,  where he now resides in the United States. The years of difficulties and the loss of Vadims mother  eventually had an effect on Vadim. He resides in the United States and has opened a Muay Thai camp where he continues to train students in Muay Thai and martial arts.


Copyright 1998 USMTA Inc.  All rights reserved. Revised: October 16, 2004.