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Temps de lecture : 8 minutes

Interview of FABRICE PAYEN by Serge TREFEU (2012)


Serge TREFEU: Hello Fabrice and thank you for grant me this interview. Let us begin with the beginning of your long career of nakmuay. In what year you began the thai boxing?

FABRICE PAYEN: It was in 1984…

You grew in which city?

I grew to city of Évreux in region of Normandy

In what gym you began the thai boxing?

To the “EVREUX Thai Boxing”

In the time, Muay Thai was underestimated enough in France, which made you discover this sport?

Asia, and a gym where there were boxers who knocked in paos, it is an energy which seduced me…

What were the champions in your time and what is what there is who inspired you for the continuation of your career?

Yes, Dutch, Rob Kaman, Andre Brilleman, Fred Royers, the Thais, Payap, Attapong, and in France Philippe Cantamessi!



You remember your very first fight, how it it is crossed?

Yes it was in Paris, it was one class C, unprotected, without anything, I won but I wanted to vomit, I smoked, a hell…

Are you quickly spent in class A?

In France, in three years, but in Thailand I already fought for a ranking in Radja…



When you began to fight often, it was rather difficult to work and to fight in parallel, how did you manage to manage it?

I privileged the boxing, I worked in temporary work..

He adorned that in the time you were a relentless of the physical condition and that to prepare you before your fights you made exercises of the style rise and come down by running staircases of a tower, is this truth?

Oh yes! It is a detail, I went up the staircases of a 14-storeyed tower, 7 times completely, recovery by coming down, I made seminar of night commando squads and assault courses, in changing rooms after the fight, the sessions of paos!

In France you beat great champions as Dida Diafat, Jo Prestia, Lucien Deroy among others, you remember your fights in front of them?

It was big moments to have beaten all these names of Muay Thai, especially that they were all very dangerous!



What are the European champions whom you met?

I faced, Unbergen, Gravenberg, Ballantine, Prestia, Dida, Laic, from English also…

What titles you gained?

I gained four championships of Europe, a championship of the World and Champion of France

The title of which you are most proud?

To have been classified N° 3 in the stadium of Radja!



Your best memory of fight?

It was for the ranking of number 3 in the stadium of Radja. When a stadium as Radja, crammed, shout your name, all together, it is a very strong emotion!

And the worst?

It was for the ranking of number two in Radja, I took a poke in full mouth, without protect tooth, protect them teeth were not compulsory for this time. So I had just lost my father and I taught him to the hotel, I wanted to come back in France but the fight was announced, three days later, then I respected the commitment, there were magazines, a big pressure, we gave me a lot of money. But I had the death of my father in the spirit then I was not in the fight, I stopped in 4th rounds after a beautiful poke of my opponent…

Your most hard fight?

All the thais, in Thailand and in France!

Were you during a fight dominated then finally to returned the sometimes to your advantage?

Yes often, tactics obliges, I released nothing in clinch and in 4th rounds generally, they broke..

How much you have make of fight during all your career?

200 fights, 175 in thai boxing and 25 in Boxing!



Have you a lot of victory by KO?

Yes, many…

You had the favorite techniques which you liked crossing in fight?

The pokes, the fists and the CLINCH

Do you keep up the news of Muay Thai today, do you know the champions from now and what think of you of the new generation?

She is very different, very good also, in France we have a very good level but the world progressed and the level is very different, I regret a lot the events to the Élysée Montmartre and to Japy, Dutch, Thai in France, Somsong, Youssop, Lamkong, Souddareth…

Of what do you think of the state of Muay Thai in France today?

There is a good energy in the structures and the professors put a lot many, the boxers have took the discipline with heart, it is brilliant!

You were one of the French first ones to leave for Thailand. For what year you left over there, which were your first experiences in the kingdom of the Siam?

It was in 1984, and I was burned in second degrees by the sun, my Thai trainer kept me over there, he sent to me every morning to the hospital to make me mangle the back, a hell. Then, I come back, I fought in Radja and I lost in live on the TV, I was afraid, I was impressed. Then I fought again, I won by KO and then I took the number 4, I put him KO in 4th rounds, on a left, but the referee counted him slowly and I lost my means, I took High kick, I believed that I had the front hoarse arm…



Your first camp was I believe Sor Vorapin, how in the time Thai welcomed you, what is that it was easy to integrate you into this camp?

It was brilliant, I lived as them and I carried the name of the camp, moreover over there, it is Fabrice S.Vorapin, in the camp there were champions and future champions who began…



You lived in the camp with the boxers?

Yes and it was not easy, Thai are big children…

What champions there was in the camp?

There was Tanongsak (Jitti), Rajasak (3 x Radja Champion), KreingKai (Lumpinee Champion, Radja Champion, World Champion) and Ratanapol who in Boxing was a World Champion IBF in flyweight and light flyweight (20 victorious defenses of his title)!



Your first fights in Thailand you remember it?

Yes, in live on the TV on Chanel 5, 7000 Thai and me, and me, and me…

How much you made of fight in Thailand?

41 fights



What are the Thai champions whom you met?

Kumpong, Daroeng, Sanklanoi, Daris, Den Muangsurin, Lamkong, Youssop Sor Thanikul, Vanop, Sinphayboune, Kitty Sor Thanikul, Lom Isarn Sor Thanikul, Dananai and many others…

Which one was the most difficult to face?

Daroeng which was N° 3 of Radja!

You were the European first one and I would even more tell the first Westerner (after the famous Japanese Champion Fujiwara) to be classified in the stadium of Radja, in 1989. What fighter you beat to provide to be classified N° 3 in Radja?

I beat Daroeng Yutokit, it was a monster, he was counted, he fell, it is raised, he was very big, he never fell!

You missed no more than one or two fights to have the honor to compete for a belt of Radja, who ended this beautiful adventure?

The death of my father…

How much you have make of fight for Radja?

I have make 40 fights for Radja and one for stadium of Lumpinee!

In the time you fought for which promoter in Thailand?

It was Say Litawaichai

Have you already fought in the King’sBirthday?

No, it was not of current events in this time

What is your best memory of boxing in Thailand?

We offered me “Nai Khanom Tom” on behalf of Radja, with regard to my place of number three in this stadium. And, the aura which you loosen with the people, it is the real gratitude, I also have make gain a lot of money to the punters…

Have you a particular anecdote have to tell us who arrived at you during a fight or during a training?

I had an accident, I am make overturn by a bus, two hours before an important match…

Your Ram Muay and your Whai Khru which you made were very beautiful, what were their meanings?

It is Hanumane (God-monkey, boss of the fighters) who takes the look of an elephant to challenge his opponent respectfully…

You seem very attached to the Thai culture it is because you stayed for a long time in the country where you like him so much?

I like Asia, Thailand, discovery of myself, my capacities to be, to exist in a discipline appropriate for them. I continue now but in another part, the Buddhism, I have make retreats in Thailand, in Cambodia, in Burma, it is an experience more hard than Muay Thai, an evolution to understand things such which are…

Can you speak to us about ” Sak Yant ” ( tattoo) which you have on the body, he represents what for you?

The first one in 1985, it is Hanumane, then always with same master, believer, they are the stigmas of my life in the world of Muay Thai, an indestructible imprint which remains rich in memories…



You became Buddhist practising, what is that you made your “Bouat Nouak” (ceremony of ordination) as make him every Thai during their life?

Yes, I am a monk, when I go in Thailand I lived only in temples to meditate, I receive the teachings of Dharma, Buddha, I learn the meditation Vipassana and to know the cause about effect of our actions but especially the present moment!



At the end of the 90s you receive the education of Muay Boran by Ajhan (Master), who brought you to discover this ancestral art?

The envy to know what it is crossed before the Thai boxing, it has been 12 years since I control this art underestimated in France and hidten by the authorities, it is the equivalent of the arrival of the Karate and the evolution to the Full-contact, us we made the opposite, the Thai boxing is Muay Thai Boran’s dust!

Muay Boran is the ancestor of the Muay Thai, when you began your initiation into this new shape of fight as having a practice of Muay Thai had you difficulties assimilating him quickly or not?

It’s an indispensable complementary element but what the world of Muay Thai recognizes in no way and does not develop, reluctantly for the discipline because the boxers are very good but they would be even stronger with these complements…



How is perceived Muay Boran in Thailand, what is that is known as well as Muay Thai, national sport?

It’s an institution, educated at the school and during ceremonies, Thai learn the history of the Thailand and inside Muay Thai Boran saved the country repeatedly, he allowed the Thai to keep their lands, such the history of “Nai Khanom Tom” (Thai famous Warrior for his exploits counter the Burmese armies)

“Ajhan” which passed on you their knowledge, has he not had a little of reluctance at the beginning to reveal their secret to a “farang” (foreign) ?

In 1999 it was very hard because it was just of the business and a pack of shows to techniques without foundations and without roots. Then it was annoying and two masters gave everything to me by passion and respect…

Who are the great masters of the Muay Boran in Thailand?

Khru Deng (Trainer of Pud Pad Noi) and Khru Lek!



Today which level you acquired?

That of Master, we are two, Taha Hassouna, one of my pupils, Master formed in Thailand This Martial art is not a combat sport but rather an art dedicated to the defense or to the attack, he brings what with regard to the thai boxing in his practice?

Nobody and indispensable, the teaching is very different…

You teach now this art in France, you can say to us about it more, where teach him you?

To city of Martigues (Near Marseille). And nobody hold and lets us develop him in France while there is a very big demand, and so are things, while we could affect a public of martial arts…

You have moreover make a magnificent demonstration for the festival of the martial arts of Bercy in Paris, what memory you have of this big evening?

Great, it was a big unique moment but since nothing more…

Movie ” Ong Bak ” with Tony Jaa and “to Boxer” of Kongkiat Khomsiri became known in the European Muay Boran, today there is also films him “Ayudoya Samourai” who has just taken out in Thailand with real Thai champions as actor (Seanchai, Buakaw, Yodseanklai, Anuwat, Jareonthong) what think you of these movies and of their effects about the vision of Muay Boran for general public?

Yes on the effect of the show but the public Thai wants to be in the action, the fundamental and the learning do not attract them, as Bruce Lee you see his strikings and their effects but hide all which is Kata etc. While these fundamental are ends of this art which exactly gives every structures of the grips…

Do you organize seminars of Muay Boran?

Yes everywhere!



Can you speak to us about your gym, what is what you teach Muay Thai also?

It’s a school of life, the art to understand the discipline with ” HIS CONSCIOUSNESS ”



What are your projects future?

Develop Muay Thai Boran one day…

Do you want to add anything?

I thank my wife who was there, always in side by me for 20 years, everywhere, in the gym, at the side of the boxing ring, in the training, for her patience and its encouragements as well in the difficult moments as of happiness. I thank all the persons who have me allowed to evolve in my domain, all my masters in my practice of the Buddhism and what I learn in everyday life, and I hope that one day I could pass on in a official way Muay Thai Boran within a federation. The federation FFMDA had begun to develop him and everything it is stopped, it is very it’s a pity, today I send of the benevolence to all the human beings so that they manage in all, to manage to become a professor, to become a champion, to be happy and in peace…

Thank you for this interview and CHOOKDEE for your projects!

Thank you for having me to let answer the questions and the good continuation for all your projects



Fabrice Payen is a legend of French Muay Thai. This exceptional boxer is a pure nak muay, a warrior who lived in Thailand a long time. In the country of Muay, him it is absorb with the culture of the Siam to its flesh being tattooed “Sak Yant” (traditional thai Tattoo). Fabrice was even farther by becoming monk, he shaved the skull and his eyebrows, and to be the rules of the Buddhism to the everyday life…



In the 80s, these fights fired regularly the mythical stadium of Bangkok, Radjadamnoern Stadium. It was the first French in 1989 to be classified N ° 3 in Radja and one of the rare foreigners to have had its photo in portrait in Radja!



This immense champion is a precursor of the Muay Thai in France. With 200 fights, in the 80s, he beat great Thai as Lom Isarn Sor Thanikul (Radja Champion, Lumpinee Champion), victory by KO, Sinphayboune (Thailand Champion), win in points, Vanop, victory by stopped, Daroeng (N°3 Radja), win in points, Kumpong (N°5 Radja, Lumpinee Champion), victory by KO, Sanklanoi (N° 10 Radja), victory by KO, Dananai (N° 8 Lumpinee), win in points, Daris Sor Thanikul, win in points and do of the dantesque matches in front of Den Muangsurin (Lumpinee Champion, World champion), lose in points, Youssop Sor Thanikul (N°1 Lumpinee), lose in points, Kitty Sor Thanikul (N° 1 Lumpinee), lose in points, Lamkong, draw!

In Europe he beat French champions such as Dida Diafat, Jo Prestia,  Lucien Deroy, Dutch, Gilbert Ballantine, Gravenberg…

In 2001, Payen as well as Delacourt and Sormet left for Thailand to perfect in “Muay Boran” (former boxing, martial art at the origin of the muay thai). They returned all three with a formation and an official diploma, delivered by the institute of “Muay Boran”.



Today, Payen is the only one in France and in Europe to exceed instructor’s level, and to have become “Master” in Muay Boran. He organizes henceforth, in France, almost everywhere seminars of Muay Boran so that this ancestral art is known of all. Now Muay Boran sets of the imposing presence on the national level. French discovers more and more this unique Art thanks to Fabrice Payen, this enthusiast for a long time…


 Weight: 63 Kg – 70 Kg
Number of fight : 200
Title :
WorldChampion Thai Boxing (1998). Europe Champion Thai Boxing (1990, 1991, 1993, 1994). France Champion Thai Boxing. Ranking in N°3 in Radja stadium (1989)
: MartiguesGym

Diploma: Professor of Muay Boran awarded a diploma at the university of Tamassat in Thailand