Nick Stone: Thai boxing has changed immensely
|Written by Nick Stone on 02 July 2012|
Trainer Nick Stone from Bulldog Gym, NSW, talks to IK about Thai boxing and how it's changed over the last 20 years.
This is actually my 22nd year of teaching Thai boxing in Australia and the game has changed immensely.
Just for a start, 20 years ago I opened my full time school in Brookvale, NSW. It was just a small 150sq/m room with a toilet.
In NSW in the early 1990s there could not have been more than two or three full time places to train Thai boxing only, now there has to be nearly 50 I’d say. And some massive and really good facilities too!
The fighters have come along in leaps and bounds with many guys now making a living out of being a pro fighter, when that was unheard of before.
The knowledge and understanding of the sport, nutrition, plyometrics, stretching, and supplements have all come forward a hell of a lot. All helped by the press, Fox Sports, and now the UFC, which has really taken MMA into the lounge room of millions. It’s a shame the same thing was never applied to Thai boxing; many tried but never to the same level as UFC.
All in all, the past 20 years have been good to the sport, with it now being fairly common to travel overseas to fight and get paid, and as a trainer to make a living out of teaching.
I think the sport has had some ups and downs. The women’s classes a few years ago was huge and had 30-plus in a class but now that fad has passed a bit and you don’t get the numbers, but on the other hand you get more MMA guys coming to learn striking and more kids coming to classes.
All in all it’s been a fairly constant rise and falling trend in the USA and Europe. I am sure it will continue a fairly good rise over the coming 20 years.