Special report by Serge TREFEU (2013)





The Sitjaphan camp is a small camp of the South of the region from Krabi, it is in Baan Nok Khoong's village in 30 km of the city of Krabi City. Situated along a main road, this typical camp exists since 15 years. 


The owner of the Sitjaphan, Mister Japhan, policeman to Krabi City, is a former boxer. Khru Japhan who adds up hundred of fights in Muay Thai was 20 years ago a South champion of the Thailand, he fought in Bangkok in the stadiums of Lumpinee, Radja and TV7. 

But his biggest pride it is to have become Master in the art of Penchak Silat, an Indonesian thousand-year-old martial art. Japhan fought in Vietnam, in the Philippines and of course in Indonesia where he obtained diplomas recognized by Indonesian masters. 
He continuous taught Penchak Silat and when he train in Muay Thai his boxers in his camp, Khru Japhan has to wear the traditional black dress of the Penchak Silat.



This Muslim, very pious, possess a small restaurant which is just next to his house. The restaurant is kept by his wife who serves as the food halal there because the majority of Baan Nok Khoong's inhabitants of the village are Muslim. The boxers of the camp Sitjaphan are also all of Muslim religion. 



Khru Japhan is extremely proud to receive for the first time a reporter "Farang" (foreigner) in his modest camp. Being the first foreigner has to visit his camp, the master of places absolutely wants to show me, at his home, the numerous cups gained by his fighters as well as his diplomas giving evidence of his high degree of Master in Penchak Silat!



His first champion, 10 years ago, is Silapachat Chor Janmanee who gained champion's belt of the South and fought for the belt TV7, belt which he did not gain by losing his match in points...



Then is his own son, Aseet Sitjaphan, several times champion of the South of the Thailand in 122 lbs, who represented the camp. Aseet swiped titles in all the stadiums of the South of the country. He also fought in the big stadiums of Bangkok in Lumpinee, in Radja and in TV7 stadium. At 20 years old, Aseet put his career in "stand by" because he has took back his studies. But the trophies of the young person Aseet are always explained proudly to the entrance of the home of the family Japhan...




Today, the camp counts a dozen fighters who are for the most part of the children of Baan Nok Khoong's village. There is all the same, for a so small camp, some very good champions such as Petsirung, Sitisak and Monkao who fight all for the promoter of the TV7 and the Lumpinee, Chun Kietpetch!



Petsirung " The diamond rainbow " Sitjaphan is only one girl of the camp. Petsirung is at present one of the strongest fighters of the South of the Thailand. She is unconquered in 52 kg in the stadiums of the South of the country and always has her champion's belt of the South. She has only about ten defeats in Bangkok, in the stadium Asawindam, on more than 50 fights!



The young Sitisak Chor Janmanee is him N° 8 in the stadium of Omnoi in 102 lb, Sitisak also fights in the stadium TV7 of Bangkok, in 2012, he faced Serlek Kiatjaroenchai for the belt TV7 in 102 lbs, Sitisak lost in points...



But in the camp, the pearl of moment, it is the 17-year-old young person, Monkao "The white magician" Chor Janmanee who was Champion of the South in 115 lbs. He fights now in 126 lbs and 130 lbs, he fights very often in the stadium TV7 of Bangkok where are at present classified N° 6 in 126 lbs. Monkao beat good fighters such as Starboy Siangsimeawgym, Grandprixnoi Pithakpabhadiang, Komkiat Kiatprapat and Rungtawan Wor Sontonnont, he met also champions as Rataket Tedeed 99, Kangkenlek Sor Tawanrung and Songkom Srisuriyanyothin!



In this camp "Muay Khao" (Strong in knee) it is Khru Japhan who gives the lesson assisted by a second trainer. The morning training is less pushed because the majority of the boxers go then to the school. Then, the fighters make generally only a 6 km jogging before going to school. 

At 5 pm, the serious things begin with again a 10 km jogging. Then, the boxers make three rounds of paos of 5 minutes each, three rounds of punch bag of 5 minutes also, one hour of clinch and the training finishes by endless muscle development exercises. Typical exercises for strengthened the natural muscle structure of the fighters, like to climb a rope and climb down for 30 minutes. A testing exercise but excellent to possess muscles of steels which allow to be powerful in clinch!



No foreigner came to train in Sitjaphan, the owner confides me with the smile " if a farang wishes to train at my home, he is welcome, he will pay nothing, but he has to honor my camp by fighting for Sitjaphan Gym! ".



Sitjaphan thus opens his doors to all the enthusiasts of fight, Khru Japhan is a very welcoming man. Here, it is not the luxury, the infrastructure of the camp is simple and good that he is surrounded with exuberant vegetation, the place is rather clean...



I shall end this report with a small nice anecdote on this camp. Having realized the report on Sitjaphan Gym, the evening, the father of one of the young fighters suggests me coming with him assisted the fight of his son. 
The fight takes place in 20 km from here in the stadium of Ao Nang, it's well because it is exactly in this place that it found my hotel, to Ao Nang Beach the most famous sea resort of the region of Krabi. 

So we are drove, the father of the small boxer with three of his friends, a friend of the family who serves as driver and me, seven persons were crammed into the car. An old banger which lights the road with a single headlight and the floor of which is ready to collapse. At the end of half an hour of road, to approximately 10 km of Ao Nang, annoy them begin, a tire bursts, fortunately we did not run fast...

The driver stop on the low side to repair, we are in full countryside, it's dark, there is nobody on the road. The father of the boxer begins to take off the leaky wheel when suddenly the crank of the jack of the car, completely made rusty, breaks itself in two. Impossible to change the tire, then we leave on the road by driving with the flat tyre, we drive so-so to arrive in a village. 

In the village, no body has a jack or a crank to be lent. We still drive, on the wheel flange which makes an infernal noise, up to the next village. Thais is irritated but laugh about the situation with me. They are made, more irritated not to be able to arrive in time at the stadium for the fight of the young that of the disastrous state of the car. Because the match of the nakmuay begins within quarter of an hour and we are still far from the stadium. Finally, we find a villager who has a jack with a crank. The spare wheel is quickly put and we tear along in the stadium of Ao Nang. When we arrive at the stadium, the young boxer just has time to thread his pair of shorts and his gloves to rise on the boxing ring.  Without warm-up, without massage in the oil, he makes his match and gains his fight at points having almost not never arrived at the stadium. It is the Thailand, it is the folklore of the camps of Muay Thai in the countryside, surprising, unforeseeable, but so charming...


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Lumpinee Stadium