Monday, May 21, 2018

Women's muaythai is growing up - gender parity at the amateur muaythai worlds!

Martine Micheletto Italy and Anaelle Angerville France 57kg
I mostly blog here about combat sports because muaythai is the sporting love of my life. There was a time when a woman doing muaythai was akin to being the circus freak but that's all changing, and this month I saw that in action at the muaythai worlds in Mexico.

Regular readers will know that I often go the world and European muaythai events, and  - disclaimer - I work with IFMA now on media. Knowing there are so many great women doing muaythai, it was hugely exciting to watch the numbers creep up every year.

And this year they announced that the numbers in the weight divisions which exist for both men and women hit parity.  Yes, here to take over, not just to take part as another Irish martial artist (slightly more famous than me) once said.

Read about it here on the IFMA website. 

What does this mean? Well in terms of amateur muaythai it's huge. At the moment the men's division is split into Elite and Competitive (Under 23) but the women are all in together due to numbers. In one way, this is good because you can see a young newcomer like Leigh Newton (Team GB) come in and battle her way to bronze on her first try.

In another way to look at it, maybe younger women would like the chance to progress towards Elite   - they already compete in large numbers at Youth level but that tops out at 18 years of age. It certainly will be an interesting few years ahead for women's muaythai  - girls coming through the Youth would already have far more experience than a teenager competing ten years ago so the standard continues to rise.

All of the women's muaythai from Cancun, Mexico  are on the IFMA Youtube channel. 

And don't miss the inspiring Highlights of the world muaythai championships video! 

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