From Fashion to Fighting?

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by T. Moore 1998

Miss Anouk from the Jim Carter photography studio in Manchester, England is a top fashion model in the United Kingdom. Miss Anouk is also a Thai Boxer who likes all kinds of fitness training - running, aerobics and training with weights. She says she enjoys doing Thai Boxing because it is very good for fitness but is also a great method of self-defense. Miss Anouk trains at the Tony Moore's Sitsiam Camp in Manchester. Although the Camp is famous for teaching some of Europe's top boxers, readers will be surprised to learn that the number of ladies training at the club makes up a quarter of the total membership.

Ladies in Thai Martial Arts

Although  in European circles, women stepping into a professional boxing ring to fight for sport or money is not considered very ladylike, (it used to be  totally taboo in the stadiums in Thailand), However, ladies on the battlefield or in the annals of Thai history are not unusual. Take for instance TaoThep Satri and her sister Tao Sri Sunthorn who defended the island of Phuket when it was invaded by the Burmese. (see Thai Hero's & Heroines)

Or Queen Suriyothai who accompanied her husband into battle at the Three Pagoda Pass dressed in full warrior garb and seated on an armoured war elephant. This valiant Queen threw herself and her elephant between her husband and the enemy when the King was left dangerously exposed during single combat with the Prince of Prome. She was cut down and died but saved her husbands life by her brave and unselfish act. She is today remembered as a great heroine in Thailand.

Frederick Fitzgerald,  AMTJRA  referee from the USA, referees a bout of Muay Thai boxing between two Thai girl fighters in Thailand 1998.

In another instance, at the famous battle of Bagrajan, where the whole village including women and children fought to hold back the Burmese until the Siamese army could arrive. Every single villager was wiped out but held the village long enough that the Burmese were too exhausted to continue fighting and were stopped from invading Thailand any further. Women have played an important role in the martial arts of Thailand and as we go forward to the year 2000, Ladies are now pushing for an equal opportunity to compete in the Muay Thai ring.

 See Muay Thai Ladies of the ring..

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