What sucks is the total lack of funding or recognition for Muay Thai within the UK.

During my trip to the physio today, I made an off-the-cuff remark about how I wished I could afford to see a physio every week, to sort out the many new injuries I pick up on an almost daily basis.

“Well, you know, if you were sponsored by the Institute, you could!”, she said, cheerfully.

I nodded wisely, pretending to know what “The Institute” was. (I’ve added the capital ‘T’ for ‘The Institute’ for dramatic effect. It just reads better that way.) I assumed it was probably something to do with Government testing, or aliens, or cults, but when I checked it out on Google, it proved to be the ESIS – East of Scotland Institute of Sports. How disappointing.

However, the essence of what they do, at least until the aliens make contact, is to provide support to Scotland’s promising young athletes. Nutritional programmes, physiotherapy, on-site training, all lottery-funded to help Scotland win success around the globe.

So, what’s on the list of sports which ‘deserve’ the goodies?

Athletics – check. Rowing – check. Cycling – check.

Well, obviously. What else? Any martial arts?

Sure! Taekwando? Yup. Karate? Yup. Boxing? Of course.

Muay Thai?


Oh. So, can I not get support then? I could maybe be quite good if I really tried and had some of that help you’re dishing out there?


How not? (I whine inside my head, like a beligerent child)

Well, because it’s not a Commonwealth or Olympian sport.

Piss. That doesn’t seem like something I can do anything about. And yet, I’m still grumpy, because…


Boxing?! Seriously?! They’ll give support to boxers, even though they have no trouble getting sponsorship, and Amateur fighters wearing padding will get paid more for their fights than the UKs top professional Muay Thai fighters.

What do you think about this? I hear alot of people voicing negative opinions about Muay Thai as a sport, due to its “brutality”, and yet deaths and brain injuries in Muay Thai are significantly rarer than in Western Boxing.

I hesitate to so openly invite comment when comments are so few and far between, but I would be very curious to know what people involved in other areas of sport as well as Muay Thai think about the lack of recognition for the sport.

Deserved or undeserved?