My name is Ben, and I have a problem. I’m addicted you see, addicted to fitness, addicted to Muay Thai, and addicted to Boxing. It’s a problem that I can’t stop talking about, a problem that I’ll be sharing quite a lot with you, if you stick around this site. If you are reading this then I guess it means you want to know who I am and more importantly, what I’ve done. On the internet where anyone can say anything about everything, it’s good to have some basic credentials so you know what I’m saying has a bit more weight than hot air. This is especially important if someone is offering advice on fitness, nutrition, and combat sports!
So here it is, a bit about who I am and what I’ve done.
I’ve lived in many countries on at two different continents and consider myself quite well traveled, but I was born in Vancouver, Canada. We can ignore the boring childhood stuff (though I will say I lived a rather exotic childhood life, growing up in the jungles of Belize for 10 years after moving from Canada at the age of 5). My current home is Phuket, Thailand where I’ve been living (and training) the past 3 years.
Marital Arts have been a part of my life ever since I was a kid. I’ve been training and have fought competitively (arguably professionally in some of them) in a number of the martial arts: Shotogun Karate, Brazilian Jujitsu, MMA, Traditional Muay Thai, and Western Boxing. I guess you could say I’m the modern definition of a Mixed Martial Artist, having cross trained in at least 5 of them (6 if we count that quick summer fling I had with Akido that went absolutely nowhere).
Currently, I’ve been living and training in Thailand for about three years at a Muay Thai camp, having fought 7 pro matches down here at the local Muay Thai stadium and one western boxing match so far.
It’s a crazy world down here in Thailand, and while there are plenty of fights to be had if you live here, it’s not all as it seems. There’s a lot of corruption and a lot of shady matches to get set up. I’ll talk a bit about living and fighting in Thailand and what you can expect if you participate in it.
My real passion now is western boxing, of which the irony is not lost on me, since I’m living in a place where Muay Thai is the mecca and western boxing is only a passing footnote. But as Woody Allen says, ”the heart wants what the heart wants!”
Fitness and Nutrition
I’m also really into fitness and nutrition. You’ll see a number of fitness and nutritional articles on this site — these come out of my own hand’s on experience with the topics, the latest scientific studies done by researchers (I try to give as many references to the actual studies as possible so you know what I’m saying has some basis), and from a few trusted websites/experts in the fitness/nutrition world I follow.
I don’t claim to have any sort of school pedigree in the fitness or nutrition world (no sports science degree, no kinesiology degree, no PT certification); I’m pretty much self-taught when it comes to these topics, but I like to think I know my shit when it comes to fitness advice, strength training, fight endurance training, and nutrition. I’ve been strength training with weights for years as a supplement to Muay Thai and MMA, I voraciously read the latest fitness and nutrition research studies, and I’ve had years of practicing nutritional and fitness experiments on myself.
I’ve also coached a number of people who have seen good results with weight loss and body recomposition based on my advice. The work, of course is all their own; I just helped with the informational aspect on how to get started and optimize their weight-loss/strength training strategies to see results.
Here are a couple transformational pictures of my own body. In the left picture, I was about 77 kilos (170lbs) at about 20% bodyfat in 2010 and on the right I’m about 61-62 kilos (136lbs) at around 6% bodyfat 2013.
Here are some older picture from a couple years ago showing body changes between 2010 and 2011,
Martial Arts and Me
Karate for 4-5 years as a teenager. YAWN. I’ve been involved in Martial Arts since I was 10, when my dad forced me to go to a Shotogun Karate class. I stuck with karate for a few years and was about a hair away from getting a black belt at 15 when I quite.
MMA/Jujitsu for 3 years (2005-2008/2010) I took a long break from Martial Arts but got involved in MMA around 2007. It was a real eye opener into the world of full contact martial arts and I was immediately hooked. I trained for about two years and competed in a number of Western Canadian Pankration/MMA/Jujtisu tournaments. I was pretty involved in jujitsu at this time, training at Zuma, Victoria BC (home gym to the female UFC fighter, Sarah Kaufman who actually was my sparring partner sometimes for jujitsu and boxing) for several years while going to university. I stopped for about a year then picked it back up for about 6 months at Gracie Barra in Vancouver.
Traditional Muay Thai for 3 years in Thailand (2010-present): I left Canada in 2010 to move to Thailand and train traditional Muay Thai. This move to Thailand for Muay Thai was in part inspired by watching a friend compete in a live Muay Thai tournament for the Canadian title, this friend who was a Mexican home-stay student at my mom’s house and trained Muay Thai in his spare time, between going to English classes. His dedication to the sport was impressive and I had my first experience of un-watered down Muay Thai when I watched him enter a 4 man no-rules Muay Thai tournament and was astounded at how vicious, brutal, yet beautiful traditional Muay Thai was. I had watched MMA fights before on TV, but MMA paled compared to what full contact Muay Thai matches were in terms of blood and brutality. I was in love with the sport!
Well, a decade later, I’ve now been living and training in Phuket, ever since (about 3 years now), pretty much full time. I’ve experienced quite a bit of the real Muay Thai lifestyle. The ups of winning and the downs of defeat.The pain of training while you are tired and in pain, and the joys competing.
I’ve never, ever trained as much an as hard as I have the past three years, training every single day as well as doing road work most days. I’ve had 7 Muay Thai fights and 1 western boxing fight down here in Thailand. I won my first 6 Muay Thai fights, lost the 7th.
Western Boxing: It took me a couple years in Thailand to realize that my real passion is actually western boxing, NOT Muay Thai. Naturally, there is a certain amount of irony in this because Thailand is not really the best place to train western boxing and to fight western boxing matches, being the mecca of muay thai. I’ve had 1 western boxing match so far.
My Goals and MuayThaiPros.com
I’ve started this site with my brother and we hope to bring you plenty of good articles about Muay Thai. The goal here is to write real articles from real people; a sort of everyman’s guide to Muay Thai. I don’t claim to be the greatest fighter out there, but I’ve had plenty of real fights in the ring with a variety of martial arts (Muay Thai, MMA, BJJ, Boxing), so I can bring real perspective to the articles I write. In addition the fights I’ve had, I’ve sparred probably thousands of different guys, both boxing and Muay Thai. The turn over when you train at a gym in Thailand is pretty damn high so you end up working and sparring with many many different people as the years go by. I bring the perspective of a smaller guy, as it’s usually bigger guys I fight/spar. The last 5 fights I’ve had for example, there has been anywhere from a 10 kilo to 30 kilo weight difference between me and my opponents.
I’m currently working on my western boxing. I’ve been in Thailand for 3 years pursuing Muay Thai, but my heart is set on western boxing, so I’ll be seeing if I can continue training as a boxer here and fighting pure boxing matches. I might occasionally switch back to Muay Thai and test out my hands! So expect articles covering these topics and my own progress with both Muay Thai and Western boxing.
You’ll be seeing a lot of great fitness, nutritional, and surviving-in-thailand guides from me on this site!
Karate (ok, yes it doesn’t count for fighting, but I’ve gained an understanding on how NOT to fight from this)
- Karate point contact tournaments as a kid (many)
Submission Wrestling (NoGi BJJ)
- Tigerbalm 2006
- Tigerbalm 2007 — First Place (Gold) in the 140lb division (watch here)
A no-gi jujitsu tournament I entered for Western Canada back in 2007:
- Tigerbalm 2006 Pankration/MMA: Second Place (Silver)
- Western Canada 2007 Tigerbalm Pankration/MMA: First Place (Gold) (watch fights here).
7 Muay Thai fights, Bangla Stadium, Phuket Thailand (7-1 record)
You can watch my first ever (messy!) Muay Thai fight in Thailand here. Straight from MMA to Muay Thai; it’s hard to loose the messy MMA habits when switching over to pure Muay Thai:
Here’s my fourth fight:
And my 7th fight that I lost to a guy about 10 kilos bigger.
1 Western Boxing fight (Thailand). Lost this fight by decision, but I don’t know if we can count it as an official match though as the guy was 90 kilos while I was 60 kilos.
You can watch my first western boxing fighter here where I go up against a much bigger guy in a local atmospheric thai stadium: