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US Muay Thai Olympic Qualifiers March 2022

Editor’s note: Marc Beerline, a Muay Thai and Kickboxing coach at Easton Denver, along with Alea Benson-Littlejohn, Mario Gonzalez and Colin Hoffman, recently had the opportunity to take part in the Muay Thai US World Games Qualifiers that took place in Denver this March. He participated in the Judges/Referees clinic, being there from 9am to 6pm every day of the tournament. Below is an account of his experience.

The Colorado Muay Thai Community saw a historic first this year on March 10th-13th, when The United States Muay Thai Federation hosted the World Games Qualifiers at the Foothills Fieldhouse in Denver.

The four-day event featured premier athletes from across the country who competed for the opportunity to represent the United States in the World Games this July 15th-17th in Birmingham, Alabama. This event marks a significant milestone for both the state of Colorado and Muay Thai as a martial art!

For context – after 30 difficult years of trying to clinch their position (pun intended) within the Olympic community, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had just finally certified Muay Thai as an Olympic sport and granted the International Federation of Muaythai Association permanent membership of the committee on July 20, 2021, at the 138th IOC session in Tokyo, Japan.

For the World Game Qualifiers, Gunter Plank of Austria, one of the world’s leading Muay Thai judges and referees, came to judge the competition as its head judge and official.

The event also offered a certification seminar which Gunter hosted for aspiring judges, referees, and Muay Thai aficionados. This clinic focused on best practices in how to score Muay Thai bouts, referee, and ensure safety for athletes as well as support and promote Muay Thai as a practice and martial art, and in the afternoons its participants got to practice judging the events.

Four of Easton’s coaches and athletes participated in the seminar to learn how to be better Nak Muays. They look forward to sharing their knowledge, skills, and experience with all Easton locations in the near future. 

Many exciting things happening for the  Muay Thai community within the United States and globally. Stay tuned for more updates and announcements!

Sawasdee Khrup.

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