15037314_1794040640855435_3245615149677408941_nThe Philippines hold their national championships on December 15th and the countdown is on now for athletes around the country.

Organised by the Muaythai Association of the Philippines, names are flooding in said the head of MAP Pearl Manguelod. MAP is one of the oldest IFMA federations, and always sends a compeditive team of men and women to international tournaments. And it’s these National Championships which produce those teams, including the team which won three bronze medals in the Asian Beach Games in September.

Pearl explained the bouts are sub-divided based on experience to encourage new people to try out for competition. So to that end there are “novice “ rounds for athlethes with up to two fights each, then the “advanced” section is people with three or more bouts each. And then everyone else is on an equal footing taking their chances in the ring.

Pearl said: “We want to foster unity and solidarity among muaythai practitioners in the country, and to encourage participation from all divisions hence the novice and advanced divisions. We want to highlight how muaythai is a safe sport to be practiced by the youth.

And from among the more experienced athletes we want to identify potential athletes for the national team.”

The Philippines has also done a lot to encourage female athletes to take up muaythai, even taking junior level female fighters to the World Championships earlier this year.

“At MAP we want to push women’s participation in muaythai, we want to create a safe space for them to showcase their skills and athleticism. We’re planning all of this to develop a deeper appreciation and respect for muaythai among everyone.”

MAP at the Asian Beach Games!
MAP at the Asian Beach Games!

Age restrictions also apply with juniors being 11 to 18 years only, and Seniors from 18 to 40 years only.

Opening Ceremony takes place on December 15th, with bouts running then until the final on December 18th.

They finish off with a huge party called the “Solidarity and Friendship Night”.

And just to keep themselves busy, MAP are also running a Khan licensing course on December 14th, the first time instructors course has been run in The Philippines. Further details on MAP Facebook.