Malaysia sent a team of athletes to the IFMA World Championships in Busan, Korea.
From left to right, Ali, Hamdan, Hui Ying & Khoo Meng Yang
Attending the World Championship proved an eye opener. This was our first experience viewing amateur Muaythai. As IFMA is a member of GAISF and also the Asian Olympic Council, they have to conform to certain safety standards, i.e body protection, elbow guards, shin guards...etc. Needless to say one cannot fight in quite the same way as Pro Muaythai with the precautions needed to conform to standards set by these world governing bodies. But this is not necessarily a bad thing. It just means the fighting style is slightly different, lighter and faster. Though if you watch the 91+ kilo men fighting you would hardly say the fighting was light.
For example, a fighter who relies on KOing his opponents with his elbow strikes, just wouldn't be able to do so. Don't get me wrong, even with body protection, one can give and receive some heavy blows but these strikes will be slightly minimized with the protection. With so many top class athletes competing at an international event, there would surely be a bloodbath without these extra precautions.
Left,Mohd Ali Yaakub and right, Mohd Hamdan Mokhtar.
Mohd Ali fought well in his first introduction to Amatuer Muaythai. Unfortunately, he was pitted against the world champion, Yusubov Ruslan, in the first match. Even though Ali lost, we could see that with a little work, we too can produce a World Champion.Yusubov went on to win the Feather Weight Category. And to those who are curious, his amateur fight does not effect his professional fight record.
Hamdan also did well, only loosing in his second match to Malik Bah of Sweden. Malik Bah also went on to win the Light Welter Weight Category.
Team Malaysia, center, Captain Shah with Stephan Fox, IFMA Secretary General
Md Farek Md Urep, international referee
Our very own Md Farek or better known as Boy gets invaluable experience as an international judge and referee. If any of you have any questions on Muaythai rules, you can turn to Boy, as he has attended the referee seminars etc on the Muaythai rules and point system.