As Muaythai is gaining world popularity and is aiming for IOC recognition, the World Muaythai Council and the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur has a very strategic Youth program in Place, which is implemented in over 100 countries.
Participation in sports is indisputably beneficial in fostering responsible social behaviours, greater academic success and an appreciation of personal health and fitness. It is the aim of the WMC and IFMA to give the children an important sense of belonging. This is very important especially in our Muaythai against Drugs campaign which aims to steer kids away from gang life.
We as the world organisation are charged with this responsibility as we play a major role in determining whether or not youth will have a positive experience in our sports program.
All the aspects of Muaythai can give our children a solid framework: confidence, self-esteem, discipline, motivation, and friends.
We must keep teaching our children important values — how to set goals, endure, take criticism and risks, respect for their friends in their gym as much as their opponent, cultural values and understanding, staying healthy and dealing with stress—all these values can be taught to children through Muaythai as we prepare them for life.
Children with low self-esteem can find confidence; learn how to handle stressful scenarios and find ways to clear the mind. Unlike many other forms of physical activity, muaythai also has a mental and often spiritual element which not only improves the mind’s focus but also helps with self-control.
Muaythai emphasises respect and honour and so muaythai kids are generally much more level-headed regardless of what social or economic background they come from. We are opposed to sports being exclusive, where the only children who have a chance to succeed are those who already are skilled. We also firmly believe that in many ways, muaythai competition is secondary; there are so many different aspects.
This again is very important for children. The emphasis is on fun and being part of the art and sport is the most important part. We praise for effort as much as for winning. A “win at all cost” atmosphere can be very harmful especially for the developing youth. No doubt, many people like Thai food and we all know that spice is an important part of every Thai dish, but too much spice can spoil the meal!
The same philosophy goes for youngsters and competition. We must keep atop to ensure that we integrate the Olympic Youth values – Excellence and friendship, fair play & sportsmanship .If we look around the world and look at all the children performing beautiful wai khru, showing respect to one another by engaging a “wai” to one another and adopting all the important values of Muaythai, than we can proudly say that the future of Muaythai looks safe. Today’s Kids will be tomorrow’s Olympic champions if we keep on fostering Muaythai worldwide.
Special thanks must be extended to H.E General Pichitr Kullavanijaya for his wonderful youth campaign, which has been adopted by all of us around the world… Thank you, your Excellency!!