Blessed with Venom
Many years ago, during the time in which the Kingdom of Siam was in the middle of a two hundred year struggle with Burma and Cambodia, the Siamese military developed the art of Muay Thai. When soldiers lost their weapons during the fight, they would use unarmed techniques. Muay Thai, is also known as the “Art of Eight Limbs,” for it’s use of the elbows, fists, knees, feet, and hands, as weapons. The skills known and used today are almost identical to those originally developed during battle hundreds of years ago but are now practiced inside a ring and has become the national sport of Thailand. It has become known as one of the most effective martial arts in the world.
John Wayne Parr started his fighting career at an early age, then went on to become a seven times World Muay Thai Champion. From a young age he was always interested in all forms of martial arts. He loved anything that had to do with training and fighting. As a teenager, Jean Claude Van Damme was his ultimate hero.
He started taking Tae Kwon Do lessons at the age of eleven and his whole ambition back then was to become a world champion in this discipline and move to Korea.
While he was in high school, kickboxing became popular. Parr started enjoying how much more exciting it was than Tae Kwon Do because of the head punches and being able to use the knees. His new goal became to travel to Thailand and become a Thai boxer.
Around the age of 16, he met his mentor who made sure to immerse him in Thai culture. John Wayne Parr remembers spending many hours sitting in this man’s kitchen learning all there is to know about Thai food and Thai idiosyncrasies. Soon he was offered the opportunity to travel to Thailand exclusively to learn Muay Thai. He was warned that he wasn’t going on holiday so he wasn’t going to be staying at a hotel or eating good food. He was there to learn.
Parr traveled to Pattaya, Thailand at the age of 19. Arrangements had been made for him to stay with a Thai family. Parr remembers that for the first few months he even shared a bed with a heavy set man who not only took up most of the bed space but also snored like a freight train.
In spite of all of this, young Parr was determined to become a star and so he pushed himself to get used to the discomfort, the heat, and the cultural differences. In the end he achieved his goal, although it was quite a journey. This sport is not for the faint of heart. It’s a sport of tradition that has been forged by years of rigorous training and combat. The sport demands strict discipline and commands deep respect.
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