Interview with Grandmaster Toddy Part 2: The Future of Muay Thai, MTV, and the Secret to Life
Yesterday you got to read part one of the interview, today I present part 2!
ST (Shameless Traveler)- I noticed now that your gym has a big focus now on training anyone, fighter or not? Can you tell me a little bit about why you offer to teach to anyone?
MT (Master Toddy)- Because I am not simply teaching only kick kick punch punch and fight. I will lay out a path step by step, I lay out a plan. I know what you need, so I give you confidence and make you know what to in every way step by step. S this is why I even enjoy the beginner, they may never fight, but they feel like they can get into the ring and fight and beat anybody. For me this is the unique because it means I can teach you from the beginning all the way to being a world-class fighter. I’m not even well known for this, people think I train champions only. I build peoples minds so everyone feels like a champion and then they can get into the ring and fight a champion and that’s how I teach people.
ST- You have a lot of other projects besides training fighters, you sell Ultimate Fight Gear, you have had some work in movies and on television; what should we look for from you in the future, what kind of projects are you currently working on?
MT- I am a complete set package, when you come to train with me, I set your mind, make you feel good to train, and make you feel good after training. I may handle you and beat you, but I make you feel great. I have special food, I make bodies strong, people lose weight but they also get fast and healthy. We even have a special smoothie drinks that we make for our fighters.
I myself used to train 15 world champs a day in England and I had to use the pad for them 7 -10 rounds for each person. They are strong, but I had to be stronger because I train them. So I had to have very great tools, great gloves, great belly to protect me, your arm would swell, you got headaches, you got suffered and ache from kicking the pad too hard. So in response I invented a pad like sandwich to absorb the vibration so it doesn’t go into me. I made a glove that protects your wrists so when you punch you have correct wrist form. I have different tools for different levels, different bags for different fighters, not everyone wants to use a hard bag. It’s not all enjoyment. Every single tool I use has to be professional for me to take punishment from my student and for student to be able to hit correctly. Sometimes people can’t punch right because their glove is wrong and they are using bad equipment. I use my products every day. I didn’t design them for myself at first, but when I did design them myself then people loved my pads when they came to train and asked to buy them so then I started to them sell privately. Travis (a figher at the camp) has had his gloves last for 4 years in great condition. I even designed gloves that have removable liner so they dry out and they don’t smell and then when you go back to afternoon training with a dry glove and it doesn’t feel or smell like a wet sock. If you have stinky wet gloves like that in a gym you aren’t going to have a lot of business, people don’t want to train when a glove smells like a sock.
I also love creating stories. I finished my first successful TV show an episode of “True Life” on MTV. Millions viewed it and it was a hit and is still being replayed. Then I helped make “Fight Girl” and that is still on in several countries. My shows are still on because all my stories are real stories. They’re not just about kick-kick, punch-punch, and swearing; my stories are about motivation and helping people’s minds. A good story needs to show how to make someone successful in anything. My stories show how people can become successful in such short time because they want it and they are motivated. You setup preparation well and you can do anything. You must remember we can always beat a good fighter or a champion because we prepare well. If a champion doesn’t have good preparation we will beat them because we do. We use our minds. If they don’t train hard they’ll try to go slow in the first round, but we’ll go full blast and beat the heck of them in the first round.
ST- What do you think is the future of Muay Thai?
MT- Muay Thai needs characters, in anything or in any sport you needs character. Thai people still think of and are proud of Muay Thai and they try to promote it, but even our own people who love Muay Thai still don’t watch it. You’ve got to promote a person, promote a character. Not just the art, but people. It’s like when people say, “Do you like football? So and so is playing tonight. Do you like the Cowboys?” It’s about the team. You go to see the team. In boxing if Pac-man fights you watch, if Tyson fights you watch, but if its just boxing no one watches. You need more focus on people and promoting a single person. That is what it needs to grow. It needs people like Dana White (President of the UFC). If we had a guy like Dana White Muay Thai would be the biggest sport in the world. If you look back in history boxing is a 100 years old, Muay Thai is a 1000 years old, and how old is the UFC, maybe 20 years? I am a technical advisor for the UFC, they ask me about rules and I give them advice. I was at their first 2 shows. They are very smart and brave and they’ve got guts, they have the heart of lion. They lost money and everyone tried to close them down, but from day one they had heart and now they are successful and they can sell everything, and I salute them, truly I salute them because they have made martial arts bigger than it has ever been in history.
ST- You are a grandmaster, you were an amazing fighter, and now you are one of the most sought after Muay Thai instructors in the world, do you have any secrets to life or a code you live your life by?
MT- Yeah, if you want to be a success in anything you have to put 1000, not a 100 percent into it, 24 hours a day. I sleep with it and I never get if off my mind that I want to do something. When I make a commitment to do something I make it happen sooner or later. If you tell someone something everyday, even if you’re a liar, people will believe it’s real. People will believe it and I do that to myself everyday. I tell myself I am something and then eventually I become it.
I want to make our industry of Muay Thai in martial arts grow. You run your camp and I’ll do mine and let’s work together. You compete with me in knowledge and build champions and I’ll do my best to show off to you that I’m the best. You show me the best and ill show you the best, but don’t turn face and fight each other. Masters fight a lot, but if we work together we will grow faster than anything. I grow faster than other people in success because I don’t look at other people. I don’t worry about other people. I focus on myself and do my thing; I focus on my success. I never focus on my competition, no matter what you do I’ll do it better than you anyway so why focus on them…that’s where my competition becomes my food. They give me energy, they give me energy everyday to get up and be more successful. I teach that to every student and kru. I hear people say this or that or we doing this wrong, I say how are you going to be a success if you tell people you’re jealous of other schools or worrying about what others are doing wrong? If someone can do it better than me then go do it with them. Think big, think of your own success, know no one can do anything better than you and that’s it. That’s the secret.