On a wet and windy Monday evening Platform Sports were on the hunt for a new NTU sports club.
We sought refuge in the SU and headed to the sports hall. When we got there all we could see was a green curtain, but from behind it we heard noises, a lot of grunting, heavy breathing, and one loud voice shouting.
We peeked around and found what we had been looking for: NTU Thai Boxing.
The loud voice was NTU Thai Boxing Coach Lee Chesters, and the grunts came from his pupils, a wide range of students, from beginners to advanced fighters.
We caught up with the club’s president and third year student, Alex Davison to find out more about the sport.
Alex said: “Muay Thai – which Westerners call Thai Boxing because for them that is easier to say – is a form of kick boxing that uses knees and elbows, originating from Thailand.
“We use kicks, elbows, knees and we do clinch grab and hold work as well.
“Muay Thai is also called the art of eight limbs as it uses eight different points of the body to fight with.”
While observing the session and some of the pad work, it became clear to us that this wasn’t as easy as the movies or Conor McGregor makes it out to be.
The club train really hard and have the option to train almost every day of the week, with the main sessions being Tuesdays and Thursdays and sparing on Fridays and Saturdays.
With a number of martial arts and fight-based sports clubs at NTU we wondered what made Thai Boxing different from the rest.
Alex said: “It’s one of the most practical martial arts when it comes to self-defence, unlike taekwondo or karate which are more based on form.”
He also added that the club does Wednesday Ocean socials as well as some sober socials so to accommodate all of their members..
Now, one of the biggest events of the university year is fast approaching, Varsity, one of the biggest in the country.
Last year was the first fight night, and NTU won, beating University of Nottingham 3-2.
This year there is an expected 14 fights on show, and with the help of Thai Boxing Coach Lee – who is a former world champion – Thai Boxing President Alex is feeling confident.
Alex said: “We did well last year, winning three of the five fights, we have more fights this year, and we’re hoping to improve as well.”
You can support NTU Thai Boxing’s fighters on the 10th of May 12pm – 6pm at the City Sports hall, we’ll see you there.
By Ola Fisayo