In just a few days, one of the biggest rematches in the history of New York City Muay Thai will go down. Brett “The Threat” Hlavacek, representing Anderson’s Martial Arts, is taking on Elijah “The Mayor” Clarke, of Renzo Gracie Muay Thai, at Lion Fight 40, held this Saturday February 3rd, at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. The two are considered among The Big Apple’s most exciting fighters, and they are battling for the inaugural Lion Fight North American Light Heavyweight Title. It’s an exciting prospect for both men, as they had originally fought on New York’s local and well-established Friday Night Fights promotions, and are meeting once again on Lion Fight.
As talented as he is as a student, his skills as a coach are what make him stand out. Patient and reassuring, Elijah is a bringer of light and calm when he teaches. His close relationship with the other coaches and fighters is apparent when he comes to train...
A documentary about world champion female boxers in India is being screened today at the Asian American International Film Festival. “It’s called “With This Ring” not just because of the boxing ring, but because of the idea these women are at the age of where they were supposed to be getting married. Instead they’re out there fighting and creating a life for themselves,” says filmmaker Ameesha Joshi.
Sylvie is an American Muay Thai journalist who at this time of publishing, recently won her 171st fight in Thailand. She originally moved to the country with the intent of training for a year and accumulating about 50 bouts. Several years later, she is still training, writing, and focusing on obtaining 200 fights.
Melissa Ray has by no means lived a conventional life. A Muay Thai fighter that has traveled the world, fought on televised bouts, and now currently resides in Thailand, it's safe to assume that she follows her gut and knows what's best for herself.
An activist. A motivator. A coach. An athlete. A friend. A humanitarian. A mentor. A fighter. Anne Lieberman wears many hats. A Muay Thai fighter and coach at Renzo Gracie Academy, she spends her evenings training to fight other women. A program officer on the Sexual Health and Rights team for the American Jewish World Service, she spends her days trying to help them.
While female Muay Thai practitioners are not unusual, they are growing rapidly in population. With journalists and fighters prominently increasing awareness and education about the sport, it has become easier for interested parties to access information about it.
A car accident in 2008 left Samantha Twining a Complete T-9 Paraplegic. Faced with the possibility that she may never walk again, Samantha had two options: either accept that she was in a wheelchair and would be limited in what she could achieve, or give a big middle finger to that notion and do whatever the hell she wanted. She chose the latter.
As a business owner, instructor, wife, and mother, Leeann Morris had originally begun her martial arts journey more than twenty years ago. A 4th degree black belt in the Korean martial art Tang Soo Do, she originally didn't want to be involved in Brazilian JiuJitsu. She had been content with doing Tang Soo Do and didn't want to interfere with that training. It was only within the last six years, at the urging of her husband, that she began practicing and quickly fell in love with the sport.
Kristin Doeblin is one such artist you will come across in Brooklyn. Charismatic, friendly, and easy-going, she also trains Brazilian JiuJitsu at Renzo Gracie Academy in both Brooklyn and Manhattan. During the week, she is commissioned to paint for various individuals and businesses, and on the weekends shows her canvassed work at pop up galleries. Her life is pretty busy between training and painting, but that's okay—it's just how she likes it.
Dana Minuta never has the same day twice. Zooming around New York, she works as a chef and cooks for some of the elite on the east coast. If she's not grilling in the Hamptons or whipping up gazpacho in Long Island, you can catch her in the basement of Manhattan's Renzo Gracie Academy. The blue belt has been training for the last several years and knows her way around an omoplata as well as an organic farm.
The voice of Erin Fairbanks can be heard all over New York City. The Michigan-born Executive Director of Heritage Radio Network hosts and moderates numerous shows on the channel. When she's not working on Brooklyn's famous food radio, she can be found making delicious meals herself. In between talking and cooking, Erin trains Muay Thai at Renzo Gracie Academy in both Midtown, Manhattan and Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Tamuira would show up with a swollen ankle, a wrapped wrist, on 4 hours of sleep, and her son Ollie in tow--who would run and do calisthenics off the mat with us during our warm-ups. To me and many others, Tamuira illustrated what it means to be a strong woman, a hard-working athlete, and an amazing mother.