THE SITYODTONG CAMP
The SITYODTONG Camp
Special report by Serge TREFEU (2009)
Sityodtong is one of the most renowned and most the oldest camps of the country. He is situated in some kilometres of the city center of sulphurous sea resort Pattaya.
He was based in the 60s by Mr. Yod Tong Sivaralak (fighter name Yod Tong Sesanant) which is today 73-year-old.
Master Yod Tong is a real ancient memorial of Muay Thai.
In the world of the boxing thai, it is known through all the country thanks to his numerous actions for the development of his sport.
The honorary titles which he received throughout his life do not count any more.
He received the title from “Better professor in Muay Thai” in 2000 which is the price “Princess Sirindorn Shield” awarded by the Ministry of the Cultural affairs.
And the price “Artist of the year” category sport and leisure activities in Muay Thai in 1989, to quote only the most important…
Today, he is national Councillor of sports at the Thai commission of sports, the member of council of the cultural affairs, and councillor in Pattaya for Muay Thai, sport and school!
Master Yod Tong in bathed any young in Muay Thai, from the age of 5 years he already trained.
But he made his first fight in a temple only at the age of 15.
Then training by his professor Suwan Senanant, under the name of Yodtong Senanant, he fights almost everywhere in the country and in the famous stadium of Bangkok the Ratchadamnern.
The stadium of Radja in the 50s was most quote of the country.
Kru Yodtong will make 49 professional fights before stopping its career in 1958 and to set up his own camp to Mapthaput in the province of Rayong.
Then some years later he moves to enlarge his camp and is going to settle down in the province of Banglamung which belongs to some kilometres of Pattaya City.
There he opens his new camp and baptizes the “Sityodtong” who wants to say the sons of Yodtong.
His first great fighter was Daotong who win the title of Lumpinee champion in category light flyweight in 1971.
The machine was thrown and the Sityodtong camp was not any more going to stop producing champions…
At the beginning of the 80s two great’s champions were going to appear from Sityodtong, they were going to mark the story of Muay Thai for ever. They are both brothers Payakaroon.
The one became a star of the Muay Thai, Kongtoranee or “Cantaloni” Payakaroon (5 times Lumpinee champion).
And other one an alive legend of the Thai Boxing, Samart Payakaroon (4 times Lumpinee Champion, World Champion Boxing WBC).
Samart Payakaroon is the reference of Sityodtong.
This known champion all over the world is considered as the biggest technician of everything time.
In Thailand he is also famous as the other legend of boxing rings Somrack Khamsing. As Somrack, Samart to set up his own camp then became actor and singer!
His brother Cantaloni, him is always stayed in the camp Sityodtong, he became to trainer.
At the same time he had also Wangkaew (Lumpinee champion), Sornsil Siturn Payorm (twice Lumpinee champion), Super Noi Sitchorchai (Lumpinee champion).
Then in the 90s, Chatchai Paiseethong (twice Lumpinee champion), Petdam Lookborai (Lumpinee champion), Nuengpichit (Lumpinee champion, World Champion), Detpitak (Lumpinee champion), Sanliam (Lumpinee champion), Yodseanchai (Lumpinee champion) and finally another pearl of Muay, Yoddecha (World Champion)…
In 2000 the champion who marked was Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai who gained the title of World Champion Boxing WBA in 2002 and the defended triumphantly until 2005, was nicknamed “Thai Tyson” because of his phenomenal power.
In all are near about twenty champion’s belts of the Lumpinee, several belts of World champion and the Radja stadium which went out of it prestigious camp!
Today the camp does not possess big star as in the time but a fishpond of champions’ young seed which are not going to delay hatching.
The most hardened at present is Mangkornyok (Pattaya champion), Yotalong (Fairtex Stadium champion) and Yodnumchai (Fairtex Stadium Champion).
Sityodtong with its international reputation also attracted the best foreign champions of the planet.
The Dutch star André Brilleman, Fred Royers, Rob Kaman, Ramon Dekkers, Miloud El Geubli, Mustafa Yamali, Moesid Akamrane, Remy Bonjasky, Albert Kraus, Ali Gunyar, Alvia Lima the English champion Ronnie Green and Keith Nathan, American champion John Moncayo and Walter Michalowsky, the Australian champion John Wayne Parr, the Austrian champion Fadi Merza, the Japanned Mushachi came to train here, and many others else…
As for the French fighters the list is long also, Philipe Cantamessi, Jaid Seddak, Guillaume Kerner, Jo Prestia, Stephan Nikiéma, Christophe Leveque, Danny Bill, Jean-Charles Skarbowsky, Totof, Nash Ular, Farid Villaume, Karim Saada, Djamel Yacouben, Abdoul Touré, Fabio Pinca, oldest in the new generations they are all come one day to train in Sityodtong.
And even “King” of the karate, the French champion Dominique Valéra it is training in this mythical camp!
Sityodtong it is exported now also because we find camps officialised by “Kru Yodtong” in several countries, the most known are in the United States and in Singapore…
The camp of Pattaya is enormous, a real small factory in nakmuay.
Two immense buildings shelter 4 boxing rings, 17 training bags and a store of equipment of boxing.
Shelves are filled with gloves used by the incalculable number of boxers who are crossed over the years in this camp.
A dozen of trainers are there everything in daytime to make sweat the boxers of any level, from beginner to the professional.
And trainers are as high as the situation because they have of crowned reference.
We can quote among them the own son of Master Yodtong, Toy Yodtong who formed many champions, Cantaloni the former star of boxing rings,
Nuengpichit the former Lumpinee champion, Yoddecha the former Lumpinee champion, Yodsanan former World champion Boxing WBA, Daorung former Thailand champion, Saknarong former Thailand champion, Yodrit more than 80 fights and Chatri specialist in MMA!
The training here begins in the dawn, in the quiet silence of the country.
Here we are far from the night-fauna of Pattaya.
After the ten kilometres of traditional jogging, the boxers begin the training until approximately 9 am.
For the children it is at 8 am when they stop the training and exchange their held of fight for that of pupil.
They will return only at 4 pm with still so much motivation.
The children occupy an important place in the camp, they are near around thirty to trains daily here.
They form a real ant-hill of young nakmuay which animates the camp.
Besides train and progressing, the children in every tour of role take charge of the maintenance of the camp by cleaning the gym or by providing the boxers with water.
None of them not pitied, for the greater part it is an honour to be within the camp of the respectful Kru Yod Tong…
At about 3 pm the training starts again under an oppressive heat, the boxers arrive little by little.
Some come quietly on foot from their rooms situated in the camp, the others arrive in motorcycle, especially “farangs” (foreign).
Many foreign boxers come to train in Sityodtong. Girl boxers’ is also welcome.
Almost all the nationalities to go trough in the camp.
A special formula is moreover offered for the boxers of passages.
They have to buy a coupon to the charming cashier of the camp.
And for the moderate sum of 250-baht, they can train freely in all the camp.
For the foreigners who live longer in the camp it is different,
they have a permanent follow-up with a trainer.
But to have a better learning, it is necessary to win the respect from trainers.
In Sityodtong, there is a “boxing of the tourists” and the “boxing of the warriors”.
Trainers will give you more if they feel that you want to surpass yourselves.
For that purpose, it is necessary to prove that your fighting spirit is for the same level as the thais…
As in every school in Thailand, Sityodtong has its trademark.
Here it is a fimeuu camp (technician) with as technique in particular the Front Kick and the High Kick.
But we also teach some “special secrets” for the most experienced.
As certain specialities of King of boxing rings Samart Payakaroon, ” the tatmala ” (gone back up poke) called also ” poke in Samart “, so he control marvellously this technique.
Or still special High Kick left leg in exit of clinch that Samart had secret for surprise and put KO his opponents…
The training of the afternoon is very hard because of the infernal heat which reigns over the camp.
After the endless sessions in paos, the sessions in the training bags bring down some more of litters of sweats.
To the everyday it is more than about fifty boxers who unwind in every corner of the camp.
The shouts of spites and sufferings, the acute sound of the shins which slam on the leather of paos with all this world it to create an incredible atmosphere!
Every three minutes a whistle indicates the end of the round.
But before stopping, the boxers have to draw in the depths of them even to find the energy to accelerate in the last 30 seconds.
Trainers motivates them by shouting all in chorus, ” Réouu, réouu, réouu ” (faster, faster, faster).
Sometimes on the boxing ring of the sessions of sparring enter nakmuay young person is transformed into real small fights.
Then trainers and students become one moment the furious spectators under the eye amused by the master of places Master’s Yod Tong …
To end the training the redoubtable session of clinch does not escape the rule.
During around thirty minutes, novices and champions empty their last cartridges before a well deserved rest.
For the body recover the fighters can if they wish it to pass between the expert hands of the professional masseur of camp.
Having tortured his body, no such thing for a boxer that a good session of massage…
In this camp in spite of his tourist popularity he reigns another atmosphere in the former, little as traditional camps of there formerly.
Sityodtong it is THE camp to be made at least once in its life of nakmuay…