...September 25th, 1995....

First World Muay Thai Council Annual General Meeting

The first World Muay Thai Council meeting was held in Bangkok ‘City of Angels’ on the 25th of September, 1995 and is considered a landmark meeting for Muay Thai throughout the world. It was a great success and delegates and representatives from 60 countries appeared in full support of the newly formed objectives of the WMTC.

The delegates were treated in typical Thai fashion which is world renown. It first started by the arriving representatives being met at the Nuresuan International airport in Bangkok, by WMTC representatives who were generously offered flower garlands to each visitor. Everyone was whisked through the throng of people to waiting vehicles which skillfully maneuvered through the streets of Bangkok to the prestigious Emerald Hotel which is considered the "Jewel in the crown of Bangkok".

On the morning of the 25th, the delegates were ushered to waiting air conditioned coaches and with a police escort, cruised through the streets once more to the United nations building for the initial meeting. The first session began with the WMTC officers introducing each of the countries and nations present as well as the ones represented by proxy. After the extensive introductions, a Muay Thai video from the past to the present which included rules and regulations of the sport was watched with enthusiasm by all. Discussions of the film regarding suggested amendments to the articles and regulations of the WMTC followed. The WMTC officers were very open to new ideas regarding the need for international rules of present Muay Thai and of Muay Thai to come. After lengthy discussions, an extravagant military entourage marched into the auditorium displaying the new WMTC flag which was surrounded by the national flags of all the countries and nations present. The morning concluded with group photograph sessions followed with the display of the WMTC Championship belts.

The ala carte Thai luncheon was excellent and after everyone was content, the meetings continued. The main topic which occupied most of the afternoon was the exchange of views and discussions of Muay Thai’s image throughout the world. It’s problems and its successes. 

First general Meeting of the World Muay Thai Council

Arjarn Tony Moore of the BTBC (right) with Thom Harnik of Holland

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USMTA Special Envoy /Military Liasion  Officer Eric Sanchez (also member of the Huron nation, stands with General Chetha Thanjaro, Assistant Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army,  and Vice President of the WMTC, at this historic meeting

Khun Buneun, Vice President of the AMTAT, stands with USMTA rrepresentative Vladimir Borodine of New York

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With the afternoon completed the general feeling seemed to be that the day’s discussions brought many people together toward common goals in relation to Muay Thai. The delegates were graciously taken back to the Emerald Hotel for a clean-up and a quick change of clothes for preparation of the evening’s informal gathering in the hotel’s ballroom. 

Thought the evenings gathering was considered informal, many of the WMTC officers were in attendance. Among them were: General Wimol Wongwanich (President), General Chetha Thanjaro (Vice-President), Major-General Vat Kerdsawang (Vice-president), Major General Vorayudh Meesommon (secretary General & WMTC Spokesman) Major General Sombat Prasobnetr (WMTC Registrar), Khun Montri Mongkolsawat (Vice-President of the International Muay Thai Association and currently WMTC Vice-President) and Khun Kajorn Prowsree, (also of the International Muay Thai Association IMTA   now public relations officer for the WMTC)

Also present were high ranking Thai officials such as Police major General Weeravar Hirunyalekha, renown author of Muay Thai Panya Kratius and  Khun Bunyeun Vice President of the AMTAT, were just a few who mingled among the international guests In the international realm, the highly respected President of the European Muay Thai Union, Arjarn Tony Moore of Great Britain was seen mingling with many of the American delegates, namely Khun Clint Heyliger Executive Vice President of the United States Muay Thai Association USMTA, Mr. Erik Sanchez (USMTA Military Liaison Officer), and Kru Vladimir Borodine (USMTA International Representative).

Kru Suuan Phon Martdee and Khun Sally Martdee of Australia’s Muay Thai Boxing Promotions, Dubai’s Director Mr. Connell Kerr of the United Arab Emirates Muay Thai Association, Khun Karen Moore General Secretary of the British Thai Boxing Council were overheard discussing International competitions and how they can set an example for up coming countries.

Discussions on Muay Thai continued among the representatives such as, Khun Marco de Cesaris of the European Muay Thai Union, the Iranian delegation, members of  France, Denmark, Holland, which included Thom Harnick, Detlef Turnau of Germany, members from New Zealand, Russian representatives Mr. Erik Kai and Mr. Vitali Rykov, Mr. Alex Tsui from Hong Kong, delegates from Laos and the list could go on. 

As the evening concluded, a spectacular display of Thai dance and Thai martial arts concluded a successful yet exhausting first day of events. Many of the delegates continued to discuss the following day's agenda which included the discussions of ideas and points  which were to be ironed out among all the new members of the WMTC. The next day's meeting was final for many, but discussions continued throughout the next  several days between the Americans, British, Australians, Italians, and the United Arab Emirates. There seemed to be a great exchange  of paperwork between many countries and new bonds of friendship seemed to come out of the many hours of meetings.

For the International representatives who were able to stay in Bangkok, the World Muay Thai Council treated them to tours and trips to Bangkok's famous Thai Boxing stadiums, Lumpini and Radjadernm. The VIP seating left the delegates enjoy the first Championship title fights held under the WMTC banner. The fights were held at both stadiums which showed a great unity forming in the Muay Thai community, even in Bangkok.

The Thai media found these events as exciting news and were eager to interview many of the visiting International representatives and get their views on the World Muay Thai Council, and many of them feel as if they were movie stars. Continuous photograph sessions which included several top International representatives from the United States, Great Britain, Holland and World Muay Thai Council Champion fighters were arranged at the stadiums. 

 Although it was suggested that another gathering may be called for to put the finishing touches to the paperwork and a conclusion on the exact status of many WMTC Committees. I was lucky enough to be invited to one meeting held at the Channel 7 TV studio boardroom, where high level discussions were on line between several European groups,  the U.A.E. and U.S. delegates. 

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To most of the delegates the meeting was over and many prepared to take leave of Bangkok, though sources say that for the next several days several international representatives were still in the city rushing around with bundles of papers completing unfinished business. After talking to several  members, it was the general   consensus that everything was a great success.  

On another note Khun Bunyeun had invited all the remaining guests, which included at least 30 to 40 persons to have dinner at one of the Thai restaurants .Khun Bunyeun is widely known in the United States, British and Russian circles because of his involvement in Amateur Thai Boxing. On the 30th of September, the remaining delegates traveled to Pattaya City to continue discussions and cement agreements for the continued efforts to support the WMTC and each other in the up coming years. The United Arab Emirates and the Iranian delegates had come closer together and have vowed to work together to further promote the sport in the middle east regions.

 The Russian delegates agreed to join the EMTU  thereby strengthening the union on its eastern flank and many of the representatives  from the western European countries agreed to link-up though previously uncertain about the union. This will be a great move for Europe and everyone should expect to see great competitions among the Europeans .In conclusion the World Muay Thai Council produced more than just a "gathering" of its members, it helped to produce new friendships and the needed  exchange of ideas. This will give a better outlook on Muay Thai than it had before and all of the participants have agreed to the new "Golden Era" for Muay Thai throughout the world.

High respect was given to the WMTC in bringing together the delegates who participated the meetings. It was understood that the difficulties they had encountered due to the variety of languages may have hampered the events, but somehow they made everything flow together.

 

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