Looking back at “HERStory”… IFMA’s Journey on Female Muaythai
“After three years of researching my thesis around female muaythai I feel I am in a position to paint a solid picture of the real journey of women in muaythai, starting from the IFMA’s early beginnings in the 90’s through to today. My research included hours of sifting through archives, articles, interviews, videos, research papers, and documenting my own journey that begun in 1991.”
– Sue Glassey
Amy Birch, One of the True Female Pioneers of Muaythai
“Muaythai is and has been my life. Coming from a small country town it is definitely something I would never have anticipated to be my childhood dream. However, from the moment I started to engage in muaythai, the physical and cultural aspects, it has shaped many years of my life.”
– Amy Birch
Female Muaythai Salutes Rangsit Stadium
In 1980, Mr. Amuay Kesbumrung, who is a member of the Executives of the Amateur Associations of Thailand and board member of the World Muaythai Council and Committee Member of IFMA, started to build his own standard stadium. In 1995, Rangsit became the official WMC Stadium and also hosted the first IFMA Prince Cup.
Valentina Shevchenko, Martial Art Superstar
In the world of muaythai and UFC, Valentina Shevchenko is a superstar, a legend and one of the highest ranked and paid UFC superstars. Valentina comes from a family of fighting traditions. Her mother, Elena, is a multiple muaythai champion and the 2020 IFMA Muaythai Virtual World Champion.
“Yut, Chock, Yut, Yaek, Ying!” IFMA’s HERStory about Female Referees
Women’s participation in muaythai 40 years ago was very much unthinkable especially in the motherland of Thailand. In the early 90’s, IFMA and the WMC stood up for gender equality, breaking the history marked by division and discrimination and started a journey with major accomplishments for all stakeholders in the muaythai family and important steps towards the empowerment of women, girls and gender equality.
Muay Ying took Thailand by Storm
To understand why an all-female fight card or a TV programme featuring female muaythai athletes is significant you must first understand this: In Thailand, where Muaythai originated, there was and in places still is a patriarchal hierarchical order that developed over centuries out of the deep seated beliefs that women are inferior to men.
Caley Reece: Muaythai in Her Blood
Caley holds multiple World titles featuring the coveted WMC (World Muaythai Council) logo. She qualified to compete at the World Combat Games winning a silver medal on the SportAccord stage. Caley won multiple national titles in a variety of weight classes and is the pride of Australian Muaythai and a role model to female athletes everywhere. Caley is the perfect example that age is no barrier to attaining greatness.
Muay Ying Movimiento
After many years of being involved in the practice of Muaythai we started to realise how hard it was for girls and women to become part of this world, not only in the competition field but in many other aspects surrounding the sport. This realisation is why we began promoting female events (small at first) in which the girls participated in initiation workshops, self defence courses, female only Muaythai events, and other similar initiatives across Spain.
Angela Mamic on Believing in Yourself
I was 21 when I tried muaythai for the first time and in the beginning it was just a way to stay in shape. I really enjoyed it, so I kept coming to more and more training sessions and one day the trainer asked me if I wanted to compete. At this point in time I had been doing muaythai for two years. I was nervous but thought that it couldn’t hurt to give it a try. I won that fight and I wanted to fight again!
HERStory: Muaythai Gender Equality in the Islamic Republic of Iran
Iran was the first national federation to challenge the IFMA uniform rules for women over a decade ago. This challenge was followed quickly by a call to meet to discuss how to drive gender equality for female athletes in Iran. The Iranian Muaythai Federation took action and invited the IFMA Female Commission to Tehran to discuss the development of female muaythai in Islamic countries.