YOUR Interview with Coban
This was your interview with Coban, these questions were emailed in by the readers of Muaythai Online.
Thanks to all of you that sent in your questions. Our next "your chance to interview" interview will be coming very soon.
After a sensational career spanning 23 years and over 270 professional fights, Muay Thai kickboxing superstar Coban Lookchaomaesaitong of Thailand has officially retired and successfully made the transition from fighter to trainer in Manhattan, New York.
"I am happy training my students. I love them very much," says Coban who holds his Muay Thai camp at Chau's Martial Arts Center in midtown Manhattan. A seven time world champion, Coban states that his primary goals are to teach authentic Muay Thai techniques and have a positive impact on the personal lives on his students. Students begin each training session by jumping rope. Push-ups, sit-ups, leg raises, back extensions, stretching, and exercises involving running and plyometrics follow. The transition is then made into shadowboxing, pad work, and sparring.
After beginning his training at the young age of 11, Coban soared through the professional fighter rankings. He won his first world title at the age of 19 in 1985 at Lumpinee Stadium. In 1991, the Thai fighter captured three world titles at the age of 24; his second at Lumpinee Stadium; his third in The Netherlands; and is fourth in France. After moving to California in 1994, he attained three more world titles.
Coban's final bout came recently in September 2000. After taking a three year layoff from competition, Coban headlined the inaugural Warriors Cup of America card at the UCI Bren Events Center in Irvine, California where he faced former student and reigning I.S.K.A. World Super Lightweight and I.K.F. World Junior Welterweight Muay Thai champion Danny Steele of Los Angeles, California. Landing multiple punch combinations and bone crushing shin kicks to the body of his opponent, the veteran Thai warrior defeated Steele by split decision and became the Warriors Cup champion.
Recently, Coban hosted his first intraschool tournament at Chau's. After an exhibition match in which Coban faced fellow retired fighter Edge Brown, students squared off against one another in the school's ring for three, three-minute rounds while their trainer served as referee for each bout. The tournament allowed for students to gain experience in the competitive ring while it also served as positive exposure for the sport as many members of the audience took in Muay Thai kickboxing competition for the first time. Coban plans to host similar tournaments in the future, with the next one scheduled for May 26th.
For more information about Coban's Muay Thai camp, call Chau's Martial Arts Center at (212) 633-8865 or visit their web site at www.chausmartialarts.com.
You are a legend and a hero of mine. Who in your opinion was
that you fought,
and who is the best fighter pound for pound in Muay
Thai,that you have ever seen outside of Thailand?
Sean Toomey ( Lumpini Thai )
Coban:'Thank you. The best Europeans I have fought are Ramon Dekker from Holland and Danny Bille from France, Pound for pound I would say Danny Bille.
Mr. Coban do you speak Lao or Thai more?
Where are you from in Thailand?
I speak Lao more. I am from Buriram, in northeastern
Thailand close to Laos."
Do you like America?
Life in America was very difficult at first.
America is very different to Thailand. I was a fighter all my life. So living
in America by myself was hard. But I had many great friends, who were like brothers,
who helped me: Kru Sirapuk, Pongsan, Ant, Bunkerd and many others. Now,
life is good. America has many opportunities and many good people too.
I am so very lucky (smiling).
I have seen you fight many times on video especially the classic
encounters against Ramon Dekker is he your hardest opponent?
Kieran Keddle, London
was my hardest opponent. He is so tall and he is my friend so he knew my
strategies! (Laugh) We fought four times, and I never beat him! (Laugh)
My name is Cody Gayne , where i live i cannot train
in muay thai. But I am
going to start training at San Francisco at Fairtex muay thai gym
. I have
always wanted to train in muay thai though It is like
the best to me. One of my questions is how long have you trained in muay
thai and how good has it been for you?
Cody Gayne, San Francisco, USA
is a great camp. They have many great trainers and champions. I trained since a young boy with
my father. Officially, i started training at 11 years old. Muay thai gave me work, food, housing and some money for my family. I was lucky to fight
at Lumpinee and Rajadamnern and all over the world. It gave me opportunity to fight great fighters. Now i can pass muay thai to my students. But life
of a fighter is hard, not easy at all.
Another is When did you start training? What were you
thinking when you became muay thai champ?
Cody Gayne, San Francisco, USA
Since 11 years old. I was happy because I could send
to my family. But I was sad too because at that time my grandfather
in one of your fights with Ramon, you got KOd. A friend of mine told me
that was fake -- is it true ?
With wishes for good luck in your trainer's carrier and success and
in your personal life.
(I run a boxing and muay thai club in Dallas, Texas, and have trained with
many trainers including Mr. Janjira) !"
Coban: Thank you.No. He really did KO me. He landed good
combinations. I couldn't get my balance so the referee stopped the fight. It's hot in Texas
and many cowboys! Coban means cowboy! (Smile).
Hello mister Coban,
I'm a great muay thai fan, I'm following the sport in Thailand also.
I saw your fight against Ramon Dekker, how many times did you
fight him? And who was the winner?
I admire your style, it's hard and efficient.
Greetings from Athai
I fought him three times. The first
one I knocked him out. The second, he knocked me out. The third, I
him out. There was a fourth fight, but that was not a real fight for me
because the promoters set me up. I wasn't supposed to fight Ramon Dekker,
I was supposed to fight someone else. When i got to the ring, I saw
Dekker. I was mad, so I didn't care about the fight, I "gave" him the
I am due to be in Thailand at the end of May, and I would like to know
where I would need to go to train with you. "
I am in New York now at 159 w 25th
street. I'm sorry i cannot meet you in Thailand. I plan to go there next
year. Have fun in Thailand!
My name is Rob Youl
I have been teaching Muay Thai in Tasmania, Australia for the past ten
after training in England and Thailand.
Just a question to you Coban What do you think were your most effective
techniques that enabled you too win most of your fights. ie .timing,
southpaw stance, counterfighting etc?
Hello, rob, sawadee khup! Don't know...I think it's be
relaxed and not to worry about anything. For example, when I fight outside
Thailand, I never cared about trouble with different food, time or being
tired. I never care-I just fight. Techniques? I don't know, I just use
everything, but I never liked clinching because i get tired. But many
people think I have good punches.
I'm just e-mailing a question to help me progress in
boxing. About 2 weeks ago I was supposed to be having my first fight in
Chester. When I arrived and found out who my opponent was i started to
more nervous than I've ever been. I am 15 years old and about 64kg, my
opponent was nearly 17 and 71kg, also he was built better than me. I was
backing out at first and I don't now whether Neil Woods (my trainer) was
happy either, anyway he still wanted me to fight but I wasn't up to it.
question is how do you over come the extreme nervousness? I know it is
to be nervous but is there anything you can do to help the feeling?
From Michael Carr, Chester, England
I see this with my students too. I always tell them, "don't worry, relax
and just fight." Take this fighting spirit into your real life too so when
you are in the ring, it's nothing special, no big deal. And the more you
fight, the better and less scared you get. Don't worry. When you are in
ring, you're all by yourself. No one can help you. So, all you can do is
fight. So fight! Don't back down. Like in life, no one is going to live
your life. So, no one is going to fight your fight for you. Muaythai is
not winning or being better than the other guy. It is learning to lose
before winning and to give from your heart before receiving. In muaythai,
you always win and lose. So, don't worry. (Smile)
Many thanks for the interview Dan.