Yod Thong: His history and his camp
Yod Thong Sivaralak was born in Amphur Bang Pong in Ratburi Province, Thailand on the 28th August 1937; the Chinese Year of the Ox.
He started to enjoy Muay Thai when he was 4 years old.
If anyone tried to stop him doing anything he would get very angry and fight until either he or his opponent won.
These were the starting points for his future life.
Because he liked Muay Thai so much he couldn’t devote time to his formal school education after finishing grade Phratom 4 at age 10.
He wanted to become a professional fighter but at that time – some 50 years ago – he couldn’t fight as no one was arranging child fights because the government had made them illegal.
He watched Muay Thai at every opportunity, which in those days meant at a temple fair, until he was 14 years old. At that time his mother sent him to live with his aunt in Pattaya City and he started to study Muay Thai seriously with a local trainer Mr. Sithidet Samarnachant.
His first fight was at the Bang Phra Temple fair in Sri Racha City, Chonburi Province when he was 15 years old and his fighting weight was 49 kilos. His prize money was only 50 Baht as he drew with his opponent (at that time 50 Baht was quite a lot of money).
After this first fight he fought the same opponent again in Chonburi City at the annual Peace Fair (currently known as The Chonburi Red Cross Fair) this time he also drew. In all he fought in Chonburi Province 4 times before having to return home to register as a potential conscript in the Thai Military.
His friends at home knew he was a boxer so they invited him to fight in Ratburi Province and also to teach boxing to them. Later, Mr. Suwan Senanant – his boxing teacher – invited him to live at his boxing camp and gave him the propitious fighting name of Yodthong Senanant.
In all he fought 49 professional fights all over the country from Tak Province in the north to Chumpon in the south, Rayong in the east and also Bangkok; at not only Ratchadamnern and Lumpinee stadiums but also Tha Chang Radio Station Stadium (which closed 40 years ago).
He became a fairly well known fighter but had to quit early as his mother in law begged him to stop when he was only 22 years old; he had married when he was 18 years old and had a child at the age of 20. In 1958 he came back to Pattaya City and started to fight again; having his first and only fight at Sathahip temple fair - this was an important fight and the prize was 500 Baht; he drew.
He opened his own boxing camp at Mapthaput in Rayong Province in 1958.
He continued to train boxers for provincial fairs and annual temple fairs until his boxing camp became famous all over the east of the country.
He sent boxers to fight in Bangkok at Lumpinee stadium as representatives of other camps as his camp was too successful and no one wanted to fight his boxers.
However, Mr. Chanat Sapkaew a famous trainer and fight arranger at Lumpinee stadium told him to use his own camp’s name – Sit Yod Thong. In 1971 Mr. Daawtong Sityodthong (Daawtong of Sityodthong camp) was the champion at Lumpinee stadium in the light flyweight class.
Mr. Yod Thong Sivaralak moved to Pattaya City from Maptaphut when Mr. Chanat Sapkaew quit as a fight promoter; his successor was Mr. Songchai Rattanasuban, who promoted under the title of Sukwansomchai (translation:’ this is the fight day of Songchai’).
This ambitious fight promoter advanced the name of Muay Thai not only in Thailand but internationally too.
Two of his most famous fighters the Kongtoranee and Samart Payakarun brothers came from the Sityodthong camp and they bestowed prestige on the camp as they became undefeatable.
Mr. Yod Thong Sivaralak then promoted these two overseas and Samart eventually became world champion.
Lumpinee stadium Muay Thai champions from Sityodthong camp are as follows:
Kongtoranee Payakarum, 5 times champion
Samart Payakarun, 4 times champion
Sornsilp Sitnurn Payorm, 2 times champion
Super Noi Sitchortchai
Chatchai Paiseetong, 2 times champion
For these achievements in Muay Thai Mr. Yod Thong Sivaralak, in 1999, was recognized as the best boxing trainer in Thailand, and was presented with The Princess Sirindorn Shield for The Best Muay Thai Teacher 2000, awarded by The Ministry of Cultural Affairs; presented at the Chidtralada Royal Palace on the 11th April, 2000.
This is the highest boxing honor in Thailand awarded for making Muay Thai well known throughout the world.
He has to thank many teachers for his success, namely:
Sithidet Samannachant, Pattaya, Banglamung, Chonburi
Samran Sorndeng, Sriracha, Chonburi
Thongbai Yongtrakit, Bangkok
Chalermnoi Sakunsuk, Bangkok
Sunan Saenanant, Bang Pong, Ratburi
Kasem Lampinyo, Bangkok
Nowadays, the international world champion boxing stars are Yortdamrung Singwancha (Sityodthong) and Yortsanan 3K (Sityodthong) both super feather weights in the 130 Pounds class of the WBA.
Our objective is to set up a boxing camp to continue the legacy of Muay Thai and to let the world know the benefits of studying this martial art.
The main benefits are:
1. it is an important martial art
2. for exercise
3. for sel defense
4. for professionalism
In addition to these, Muay Thai is applicable for both men and women. So, please consider to come and train at the Sityodthong Camp, Pattaya.
At the present time Yod Thong Senanan is training students from the age of 8 years old.
Students train at boxing and also follow a normal education. There is a boarding school facility.
Those people who wish to become trainers can also study here. In addition anyone who would like to do a regular job can be considered for employment.
As a result the camp is open to all, it is a kind of public welfare center.
Yod Thong Senanan personally takes responsibility for those he interacts with, not only Thais but any nationality; whatever their problem.
As a result the government has appointed him to be Senior Security Advisor to Banglamung District Government.
Muay Thai is unique in the world and therefore a significant part of the Thai cultural heritage; it is also the reason why Thailand has remained un-colonised.
Fighting with hands, knees, feet and the elbows is the main weapon in our history, in times past there were no guns or other mechanical weapons.
Yod Thong Senanan’s oath is “I admire the martial art which is Muay Thai with my soul and my heart with loyalty and gratitude for my nation”.