Crazy 88’s Muay Thai Coach Aung La N Sang travelled to Virginia Beach VA to lead 3 of the schools promising Muay Thai competitors. The event held at The Hybrid Training Academy on VA Beach BLVD was put on by the owner and operator of the school Buck Grant. This was HTC’s first smoker event dubbed Rising Stars.
The idea behind the smokers is for those interested in possibly competing at a higher level to gain experience. And get more comfortable performing in front of a crowd and a little more out of their comfort zone. All bouts were called as draws to put the emphasis on experience. The day unfolded very professionally. Buck Grant provided a more than adequate environment for everyone, coaches and competitors alike.
The 3 representatives from Crazy 88 for the day were Nicole Blanchette, Jared Tipton, and Frank Dawson. Nicole Blanchette is a 22yo student at the University of MD, she also works part time at Crazy 88. While on summer break she is currently living at home on the Eastern Shore of MD, which is approximately an hour and 15 minutes from the gym. (without traffic!!!) Yet she is still at Crazy 88 5 days a week. Her determination and devotion has made her a stand out among the students. That same spirit carried her through on Saturday. As she entered the ring with a female 15 pounds heavier. Specific rules were discussed before the bout between Coach Jason of 88, and Coach Buck of HTC since this was both of their first time in a competitive situation. Nicole was allowed to wear 14oz gloves as opposed to the 16oz gloves her opponent would wear. Nicole went out and fought 3 hard rounds against the visibly bigger girl. Although the size difference was noticeable when strikes were landed from time to time, Nicole performed extremely well.
Next up was Jared Tipton. Jared is 88’s first youth Muay Thai competitor. He is 17 and weighs about 125 pounds, but spars twice a week with professional fighters, as well as high level amateur fighters. Known for his chin-down hands-up swing-for-the-fences style, he is very well liked and respected around the gym. Jared’s bout was contested under modified K1 rules, which is how the youth contests put on by the World Kick Boxing Association are run. Jared was paired against a taller, very savy for 17 years old Muay Thai fighter. This was both of their first time in a competition experience. Both young men performed well, landing great combinations, showing all their knowledge they have obtained.
Last for the day was Frank Dawson. Known around the school as Doc. The running joke is “its not just a nickname”. Frank Dawson is a Sports Medicine and Pediatric Doctor, and is very helpful around the school with injuries. This was Doc’s 2nd smoker fight. Being that both men had more experience, this bout was a bit higher intensity than some of the other contests of the day. Frank preformed beyond his coaches’ expectations, and will mostly likely continue to compete as an amateur Muay Thai competitor in the future. The event was a great success, ran beyond smooth, and most importantly gave the Muay Thai coaches at Crazy 88 an idea how they can continue to improve the program. Thanks again to Buck Grant for putting Rising Stars together.