Muay Thai Special: Part 1 of 3: History of the Art

Muay Thai fighter in training.

Muay Thai fighter in training. (Sesame/Joup)

Pai, Thailand – Being one of the most utilized money earning martial arts in the world leads to respected acclaim and ultimate popularity, all of which seemingly go hand in hand. However, for those that live the life of Muay Thai – the life of training, regimen, fighting and yet more training – there lies so much more. I have traveled a long road through Thailand to the small town of Pai (80km NW of Chiang Mai) to find the origin and heart of Muay Thai beyond the glitz and glamor of the UFC and Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok. Of course both Lumpinee and the UFC are huge in modern fighting (and betting and prize purses), but the roots of the successful UFC fighter stem from, in part, training in Muay Thai. In this three part story Joup hopes to gain insight into Muay Thai through reviewing it’s history and development, observing a Pai Training Gym named Charn Chai with head trainer Bee and finally by following English fighter Liam Kirkham (1-0) who trains at Charn Chai and will fight his second fight in Pai.

The Comic Column #14: Goodbye Hellblazer, Hello Constantine

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I consider myself a huge fan of Alan Moore’s bad luck street mage John Constantine, and yet I’ve not read a current issue of the now twenty-four year old book in approximately six years. Admittedly that makes me the worst kind of fan – the kind that is always glad something’s there, but then derelict on supporting it. In light of recent news I carry this guilt heavy, and yet there was a time when I couldn’t have ever seen myself not continuing to obsessively read the adventures of John Constantine. Be that as it may I had a strange parting of ways with the book – really no fault of its own – and though I’ve always retained a wikipedia-curiosity about its continued continuity, I really feel as though I absorbed Hellblazer and then put it down.

Record Review: Deftones Koi No Yokan

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I’ve had a week to get to know the new Deftones record Koi No Yokan and in that time it has done what almost all other Deftones albums have done – it has opened up to me, blossomed into yet another ethereal beauty that quakes with 2 AM fuzz, aquatic shifts in tempo and a tone that is both haunting and beautiful. Lead singer Chino Moreno’s voice is a major part of that haunted quality, and it’s with that in mind that I’d like to open this discussion, because I would argue that Moreno’s voice is quite unlike anyone else’s in the annals of “heavy” music.

Thee Comic Column #13: The Boys wraps up with issue #72

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Garth Ennis’ long-running series The Boys ended this week with the release of issue #72 and it was fine reading indeed. Similar to Preacher (the GREATEST comic series EVER in this guy’s humble opinion) the final issue of The Boys was an almost lilting outro compared to the absolute mayhem that has defined the series, especially in the last year and a half as the story really began to ramp up toward its conclusion. Now that it’s over I’m looking forward to going back and re-reading the series from the beginning to really smooth out some of the perceived kinks I experienced following it monthly – all most likely my own fault.

Thee Comic Column #12: What’s in a year? 1991

UGh! 90’s comic art is the equivalent of tight-rolled jeans! Image courtesy of Marvel

Good lord, does that picture say it all or what? This is the state of the mainstream comic book world in 1992, when Rob Liefeld’s X-Force was all the rage and Mr. Liefeld and his contemporaries were on the cusp of breaking off from the Big 2 and forming their own company, the now-twenty year old Image Comics. Looking back on the 90’s I largely remember it as the WORST time in mainstream comics and the BEST time in left of center, indie books. I’ve talked about the indie stuff at length and recently, but the mainstream stuff…

The Hunt is On : Give Book Ideas to Lisa for her Students

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Searching for multicultural literature in this global society ought to be easy. There are millions of books on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, not to mention 142 million books in the Library of Congress. Also, with the growing number of authors who write for children, finding multicultural literature for adolescents ought to be easy as well. Then why do I feel like salmon swimming upstream?

Why is it important to read books from different countries and cultures?

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Thee Comic Column #11: Terry Moore’s Rachel Rising

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