This month, we welcomed back Kru Yo (Lamnammoon Sor Sumalee) to the FaMA - Fitness and Martial Arts team as the new and permanent Muay Thai Director and Instructor.
A legendary fighter and 4x World Champion (Lumpini) as well as an excellent teacher with many fighter progenies, Kru Yo’s legacy is unmistakable, and he is also no stranger to the Muay Thai scene, even in Singapore. We were privileged to have him as a guest instructor at FaMA a few months ago and snagged an interview with him to learn about his fighting background, as well as a quick summary of his teaching legacy, post-retirement.
Now, watch this mini-documentary on 'Vampire Knees’, where he reveals his softer side. P.S: Keep your tissues close.
Spot the familiar face.
Be prepared for a range of emotions through this 30-minute documentary: chuckle as his interview is disrupted by his pet dogs, and be moved to tears as he talks about his former student and fighter Jordan Coe, who passed away in 2017.
Oh, and don’t blink; there’s also a small segment where Kru Yo reveals his teacher: 'Mr Miyagi’ Ajarn Dang, also one of FaMA’s regular and most popular Guest Instructors! Ajarn is widely regarded as THE trainer of champions, so we aren’t too surprised that he was Kru Yo’s mentor, too.
“He taught me from the time that I was a beginner, all the way till I became a 4-time Lumpini champion.”
What is more important: Technique or heart?
The seasoned instructor knows from the get-go that the most essential ingredient for a successful fighter and student is to have ‘heart’.
“If you big heart, I can help you,” said Kru Yo, “If no big heart, you kick good, knee good, very beautiful… but only 2-3 rounds, done. Cannot, cannot.”
Not one to be a people-pleaser, he did not mince his words when he described his frustrations about having foreigners come to his gym not to learn, but to prove themselves. “I don’t care (if you’re good)… you come to my gym, you follow me,” he said as an emphasis that when under the tutelage and instruction of a teacher, one must trust in his leading and discipleship.
It is teachability that Kru Yo seeks, not ability or past accolades.
“You big heart… (if) you kick not so good, I can teach you.”
With that being said, Kru Yo is aware of the cultural differences in other countries compared to Thailand, given his wealth of seminar experiences all around the world. In our previous interview with him, he emphasised the differences between training fighters and training students who learn Muay Thai for recreation:
“When you are a fighter, you are expected to train hard, up to twice a day. I push fighters hard… (with recreational students) I take the pace down a notch, make sure that the technique is refined, and that the students have fun.”
FaMA students attend our Muay Thai classes with the main goal of keeping fit, and having a good time doing so. Yet, we can’t help but be curious… will Kru Yo identify his next fighter progeny right here in our academy?
We'll just have to wait and see.
FaMA - Fitness and Martial Arts Established in 2016, FaMA is a world-class martial arts academy located in the heart of the Central Business District in Singapore. Walking distance from Clarke Quay and Fort Canning MRT stations, FaMA’s main goal is to help people improve their lives through martial arts regardless of age or athletic capability. Our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), Muay Thai Kickboxing, Kids Martial Arts and Fitness programs are led by experts in their respective fields. So, whether it is weight loss, a fun workout, camaraderie, competition training, or just to break a sweat, FaMA has something for the whole family.