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By Coach Sean Madden
Thai Boxing Association (TBA)
The Thai Boxing Association (TBA) tournament is a National Muay Thai tournament held every year in the great city of Des Moines, Iowa. Participants from all over the United States and Canada come together for a weekend to test their skills and attempt to be crowned a National Champion! The tournament was founded by Pete and Pam Peterson, both who are students under Ajarn Chai Sirisute, one of the first Thais to help bring Muay Thai to America 50 years ago.
This year, the TBAs hosted 800 athletes, an unprecedented record and an amazing feat for the Muay Thai community! They had four rings running simultaneously throughout the weekend, and non-stop action from 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM daily.
Easton Fighters Head to Iowa
Easton brought four athletes to the TBAs. From the Denver location, we had Pedro Meyer (Men’s A Class, 172-179lbs) and Mari Nashida (Ladies’ B Class, 102-107lbs). From the Boulder location, we had Kaya Sikora (Ladies’ B Class 135-141lbs). We also had one of our Canadian friends, Meaghan Cameron (Ladies’ A Class 122-127lbs) join us to finish her training for TBAs and compete with us!
Overall, the team had some tough fights over the weekend and none of our athletes made it to the finals on Sunday. The nature of tournaments is that you don’t pick who you compete against, it’s a random draw, so you only have a short time to develop a game plan for your opponent. For some of our competitors, like Pedro and Mari, it was their first time experiencing the magnitude of a national tournament. They both embraced the experience and fought very well under those circumstances! The goal for these tournaments is simply to get our athletes more experience. The more rounds against tough opponents the better!
Although we didn’t return home with any championship belts, we did bring back some excellent experience and ring time for our Easton athletes, as well as the priceless memories of spending time together on the road and bonding through preparation for competition. We are already looking forward to the next tournament for Easton!