THE CAMP SOR SITAWEE

Special report by Serge TREFEU (2011)

 

 

 

This camp was in the 90s one of the most renowned of the South of the Thailand, it is in Nakhon Si Thammarat's province, in the South of the country. It is in the city of Nakhon Si Thammarat, in the quiet district, at the end of a tiny soi (alley), the soi Buket, next to the market Ket.

 

 

Behind the walls of an old building hides a small camp half of the space of which, today, was transformed into cheap restaurant with a table and four chairs. The woman of the boss of the camp cooks good small dishes to the faithful customers who come every day here. During the trainings, the dishes which simmer in woks emanate spicy scents which mix in the strong smells of sweat and of nammuay (heating oil) of the boxers.

 

 

Punch bags are in a poor condition, they are so used that they are covered with plastic covers to protect them. The place is not very clean, dogs have a walk in the camp and make their release oneself almost everywhere. It does not disturb the boxers who clean excrements with a water jet, the water evacuates in a small channel, in front of the boxing ring. It is a rudimentary camp, in the thai…

 

 

Sor Sitawee exists since 30 years and was created by Plapan Siisongklam, a former boxer who grew to Nakhon Si Thammarat. Plapan began the boxing in a temple, an orphan, the monks of the temple brought up him and taught him the art of Muay Thai. This temple, which always exists to Nakhon Si Thammarat, was called the Wat Sitawee. Plapan after its boxer's career in opened a camp and gave him the name of "Sor Sitawee", this name is dedicated to the bonzes of the temple, thanks to whom it acquired all the secrets of Muay Thai…

 

Plapan Siisongklam

 

In this small camp which does not seem like much, great champions were formed, another ten years ago, the camp counted permanently around thirty boxers of high levels. The most known for the fighters which began the formation here is legendary Nokweed Devy. This great champion of the 90s who made more than 400 fights was several time Lumpinee Champion and twice World champion. It is one of the rare Thai middleweight to have fought in K1 in category heavyweight.

In Japan, he faced the star of the K1 of heavyweight, Jerome Le Banner and in Thailand he met twice the world champion heavyweight, Paul Slowinski. He also made big fights in front of sizes of time such as Prasert Kittikasem, Sakad Petchyindee, Santiengnoi Sitsurapong, Issara Sakeerin, Jomhod Kiatadisak, Stephane Nikiema and Danny Bill. His power of strikings with his middles and his low kicks were devastating. Moreover during a clandestine street fight, Nokweed regrettably killed one of his opponents, what led him several years behind bars…

 

 

Other champions formed in Sor Sitawee are also references of the 90s with the champion Wanphadet who was a Lumpinee champion in 126 lbs and Palaket, Radja Champion in 130 lbs. In the 2000s, there was Lipitichaï, Lumpinee Champion in 118 lbs and Litichak, Radja Champion in 118 lbs!

 

 

The master of places shows me with pride framed photos, hung on walls, of all his former champions. Plapan is very nostalgic of the time when his camp was filled with big fighters, with warriors who swiped all the belts of the stadium of the region, and of the most prestigious stadium of Bangkok. In this time legendary Kaosay Galaxy, the biggest champion of Boxing of all the Thai story, came to train for Sor Sitawee, when he had to make fights in the South of the country!

 

 

Plapan confides me that things changed well, " today, most of the young people who begin the boxing are going to make two or three fights, and are going to stop at once, they are too hard going to find it, they are going play football, now they all prefer the football, the Muay Thai it is finished …"

 

 

Indeed, today there are not than eight boxers anymore in the camp, the children, the youngest has 10 years (12 fights) and the oldest has that 14 years (40 fights). These nakmuays young people make a daily jogging of 15 km which they make in the morning before going to the school. As soon as they ended the school, they arrive at about 4:30 pm and begin them if training which finishes at 7:30 pm. No boxer sleep in the camp, they live all in the district, right by the camp.

 

 

The rounds in paos, here, are made over 5 minutes, the hard session of clinch is of 30 minutes and spends at one o'clock in preparation of fight. The boxers are supervised by two trainers native of Nakhon Si Thammarat who were fighters "fimeuu" (technician), their style of training is thus based a lot on the technique. With Plapan who formed big champions, these young fighters are in good hands…

 

 

Very few foreigners came to train for Sor Sitawee. In the nice time of the camp, the Japanese champion Natalute stayed 3 years here and fought for the camp. More recently, a Canadian girl fighter stayed one month and French a few days. They lived 100 meters away from the camp, in a building where rooms are to be rented. But rare are the foreigners who come in this small camp. Today, the training here is not extraordinary seen the current low level of the fighters. On the other hand Khru Plapan is an enthusiast with a big experience of Muay Thai, he will offer certainly good advice to the foreign fighters avid to know the style "Muay Chaya" (style of the South)…

 

 

SOR SITAWEE

Soi Buket

Nakhon Si Thammarat

 

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start stop bwd fwd

 

 

 

 

 

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Lumpinee Stadium