Lanna MMA Represents Strongly At The Muay Thai Ontario Provincial Championships
By Ryan McKinnon

The Lanna MMA Team at the Muay Thai Ontario Provincial Amateur Muay Thai Tournament
The Lanna MMA Team at the Muay Thai Ontario Provincial Amateur Muay Thai Tournament

100 athletes participated in 60 fights inside 2 rings in 1 day at the MuaythaiOntario                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Provincial Championships at the Woodbine Racetrack & OLG Slots on Saturday
June 10, 2017. Out of all the gyms in attendance, Lanna MMA came to the tournament style
event with something to prove. Lanna hasnʼt been this active at kickboxing and
muay thai events in a long time. We had made significant waves in the community
leading up to the provincials, but on Saturday, our athletes crashed inside the Woodbine
stables like a tidal wave.

Andre on the podium after placing 1st in the Muay Thai Ontario Provincial Tournament
Andre on the podium after placing 1st in the Muay Thai Ontario Provincial Tournament

Andrea, our 65 lbs ball of ferocity and smiles did an amazing job to win his fight
and the gold medal in his category. Andrea faced a serious opponent in Marshall Steele
from Kru Joe Tippingʼs gym, Fifth Round. Just like his previous fight at the York Muay
Thai demo night, Andrea listened to his coaches, and used really good clinch to keep
his opponent off balance. He received more praise from spectators, and earned a new
fan in Ajahn Suchart who said that he enjoyed watching Andrea fight. The fight was so
good that Kru Joe Tipping has requested a rematch between these two nak muay on
the Fifth Round Fight Promotion show in Stratford on August 26. Way to go Andrea!!

Leon on the podium after winning 2 fights to claim the Muay Thai Ontario Provincial Tournament B Class 125 Lb Championship
Leon on the podium after winning 2 fights to claim the Muay Thai Ontario Provincial Tournament B Class 125 Lb Championship

Leon also won gold on Saturday by defeating two opponents in his category. First
was Sudesh from Diamond Muay Thai, a promotion run by Tony Manoharan and
Thomas Jensen. Sudesh was making his way back to the ring after nearly two years off
due to a knee surgery. It was bad timing for Sudesh, as Leon is coming off a huge win in
Ottawa, and showing significant improvement in his Muay Thai game. Leonʼs second
fight was against a tough opponent who gave him a serious challenge, especially in the
first round when he dropped Leon, scoring an 8-count and therefore a 10-8 round. Leon
battled from behind for two more rounds, scoring his own 8-counts, and ultimately
winning the fight, and the gold.

Kevon loses a close decision in his fight at the Muay Thai Ontario Provincial Tournament
Kevon loses a close decision in his fight at the Muay Thai Ontario Provincial Tournament

Kevon ʻBadmonʼ Singh was Lannaʼs lone ʻAʼ class fighter on Saturday when he
took on a tough competitor from World Championship Martial Arts (WCMA). Kevon had
lost 2 previous times to his opponent, and was hoping to make the third time a charm
with his new skill set. Unfortunately Saturday was just not Kevonʼs day. His opponent
won the first round by staying busy and outside of Kevonʼs kicks. Kevon won the second
round by pushing the pace and scoring a mix of combinations and techniques in the
clinch. The third and decisive round went to his opponent. It was a close round that saw
Kevon on the losing end. He showed an improvement in certain areas of his game, but
lacked that extra push that weʼve seen from him in his previous fights like his
performance against Zack Connolly at Destiny 3. Luckily Kevon came out of that fight
injury free and ready to take on North Americaʼs best at the TBAs.

Tyya wins in dominating fashion to claim the Muay Thai Ontario 119 lb Provincial Tournament Championship
Tyya wins in dominating fashion to claim the Muay Thai Ontario 119 lb Provincial Tournament Championship

Perhaps Lanna MMAʼs biggest performance of the night goes to Tyya Emberley
who absolutely dominated in her gold medal fight against a very game opponent from
Kawartha Combat. Tyya looked extremely focused yet relaxed leading up to the fight.
Once the bell rang, she was a whirlwind inside the ring. She had an answer for every
technique that came her way. Her clinch was superb, as she swept her opponent
somewhere close to 10 times within 3 rounds. She threw a hook that was so clean and
fast, that the referee didnʼt realize it was even a knockdown. Thereʼs wasnʼt a single
moment in the fight where Tyya looked tired or in danger. She took complete control of
the entire 9 minutes. It was like she was seeing things in slow motion. You could literally
see her ʻlevel upʼ as she was fighting. Job well done Tyya!

Lanna MMA went 4 out of 5 on Saturday, an impressive day that was missing
Brenda, Malik and Omid in the tournament. Had they been able to participate we would
have brought home the Best Team Trophy, but weʼll have to wait another year. We have
the TBAs coming up on June 22 in Des Moines, Iowa to think about, as well as the
Muaythai Canada National Championships in November. Lanna is on a serious roll right
now thanks to the commitment from both our fighters and coaching staff. 2017 is
shaping up to be the year that Lanna MMA makes a triumphant return to amateur
kickboxing and muaythai in the province. Congrats to all of our fighters for representing
the school like true professionals this weekend!

Check out for more results.

York Muay Thai Demos on Saturday May 27th, 2017: Andrea and Omid
By Ryan McKinnon

Lanna MMA Muay Thai Fights
11 year old Andrea of Lanna MMA After His 4th Muay Thai Demo Fight

Last Saturday Lanna MMA headed east on Steeles Avenue to attend York Muay
Thaiʼs Night of Demonstration Fights. As always, Kru Jen and her hardworking team
welcomed us into their home warmly, and hosted another outstanding event. 16 fights
were held on the card, along with a panel of talented Muay Thai female singers to
entertain the crowd during intermission. Vendors from the GTA sold merchandise and
food, and Kru Jenʼs famous cookies were being passed around during the evening. The
only thing sweeter than her cookies was watching Andrea and Omid represent the
Lanna brand of Muay Thai with technical precision and focus.

Andrea, the 68-lbs ball of happiness and energy, fought fourth on the card.
Andrea is one of the most talented athletes in Lannaʼs growing youth program. He has
been very active recently, participating in Kru Crawleyʼs event last month, and
Southsideʼs TBA fundraiser only a few weeks prior. He played in a hockey tournament
earlier on Saturday. Most kids go home and play video games. But not Andrea. He
showed up to York ready to work hard and entertain the fans. One of the greatest
compliments Andrea received was how well he listened to his coaches, Kru Jordan and
Tyler McKinnon. He did a great job using his footwork to create dominant angles of
attack, and his clinch was excellent! Andrea made his coaches very proud, and all of the
fans said they canʼt wait to see him in the ring again. Good work Andrea!!!

Omid from Lanna MMA Muay Thai Demo Fight
16 Year Old Omid of Lanna MMA after his 4th Muay Thai Demo Fight

Omid Youssufi fought 13th on the demo fight card, but it had the energy of a main
event. Like Andrea, Omid has also been very active recently. A few weeks prior, Omid
impressed the audience at Southside with his explosive counter fighting and mix of
technique against a seasoned amateur Nak Muay from Siam No. 1.

Omid came into the demo on Saturday determined to improve upon his last
performance at Southside. Taking on a shorter, stockier southpaw from North Training
Academy, Omid had to make adjustments immediately to deal with his opponentʼs
unorthodox fighting style. His opponent was unprepared for the Muay Thai clinch, which
Omid exploited at every opportunity. When the pressure was on, Omid was able to stay
focused and implement his game plan against an opponent that consistently tried to
take him out of his comfort zone.

One of the most incredible things Omid did that night was stay calm and focused,
trust his Muay Thai, and trust his coaches advice. After round 1, Omid ran away with the
fight, scoring as many as 3 standing 8 counts. His knees were perfectly placed, his
technique was pinpoint, and his determination was unbreakable. Once again, every
single coach, fan, and fighter approached the Lanna coaching staff to share their
compliments with Omidʼs performance. What he did isnʼt easy for a young fighter. He
demonstrated that he is a leader, and can hang in situations that would break most

The eyes of the local Muay Thai community are fixed on Lanna MMA. Our
fighters have been absolutely killing it at events recently. This is all thanks to the hard
work of Kru Jordan and every instructor in the school who are committed to getting the
best out of each athlete, and to the fighters who have bought into the competition team
program, showing up each day to work their hardest. With the provincials only two
weeks away, and the TBAs in late June, Lanna MMA is positioned to bring home some
serious hardware before the halfway point of 2017.

A big thank you to Kru Jen and the York Muay Thai family for hosting an
outstanding event, and to everyone who came out to support their Lanna fighters.
Please schedule time on June 10th to attend the Provincial tournament at Woodbine,
and cheer on your fighters. 2017 is shaping up to be the most successful year in
Lannaʼs 10 year history. We are all excited for what the future holds.

Making A Comeback: How to Return Safely Return to Muay Thai Kickboxing & Martial Arts Training Following an Injury

By Ryan McKinnon

How To Safely get back to training Muay Thai Kickboxing, Boxing, Martial Arts, or Circuit Training After An Injury
How To Safely get back to training Muay Thai Kickboxing, Boxing, Martial Arts, or Circuit Training After An Injury

Youʼve been sidelined for weeks after suffering an injury in your muay thai kickboxing and martial arts training. You underwent physio, and have finally received your doctorʼs blessing to return to Training. Now what? How do you get back in the game without making the same mistake? This article will cover how to make a comeback and avoid the pitfalls that put most people on the self imposed disabled list.

Ego check. The first thing to do is check your ego. Chances are it was your hardheaded
determination and unwillingness to listen to your body that caused your injury in
the first place. You need to slow down, and take your time as you attempt to reach your
previous fitness level. Your first day back to Muay Thai Kickboxing and Martial Arts training wonʼt be glorious. It will probably feel somewhat discouraging as you try to reach your previous rep numbers. You have to letall of that go. You are coming in as a brand new, smarter, person. You have to learn from your previous mistakes, and use that newfound knowledge to create a better version of the person that was injured. Typically, we only focus on our bodies when they are injured. Now is the best time to adopt a new relationship with your body.

Do your exercises. A lot of injuries stem from a weakness in the body.
Overdeveloped muscles put strain on smaller muscles that were ignored in your
previous training regimen. If you went to physio, which I highly recommend, the doctors
probably identified a deficiency in your anatomy, and have given you exercises to help
strengthen the weak areas. You need to make that a priority. Before you begin a Muay Thai Kickboxing or Martial Arts workout, make sure to set time aside to work on the problem areas. Training our strengths is easy. The hard work comes from training our weaknesses. But thatʼs what makes a better muay thai kickboxing athlete & martial artist, and is a valuable lesson that can be applied to our lives outside the dojo. Train your weaknesses more often.

Listen to your coach. Your coach is a coach for a reason. Tell them about your
injury, and allow them to create a training plan for you that is tailored to improving your
weak areas and get you back into killer shape. A good coach will monitor your progress,
and provide insight into when you can push yourself, and when you need to take a rest.
Donʼt ignore your coachʼs advice. They have seen many students injure themselves,
and have relevant experience that will benefit you if youʼre willing to listen. Make sure to disclose how youʼre feeling that day before you begin a workout. Not doing so may
result in you going back to the doctor. Avoid repeating the injury cycle by communicating with your coaching staff.

Eat better. Eating anti-inflammatory foods are always a good idea. Processed
foods inflame the body, especially our joints. When our bodies are inflamed, we feel
sluggish and immobile. Talk to your coach or a nutritionist about a diet that fits your
lifestyle. Alternatively, educate yourself about anti-inflammatory foods. Make a meal
plan. Prepare your meals in advance to avoid mistakes, and exercise discipline with
your diet.

Go to sleep! Rest is one of the most neglected aspects of an athleteʼs lifestyle.
Athletes are typically high energy people that are always keeping themselves busy.
Therefore, athletes and martial artists rarely set time aside for adequate rest. If youʼre an active person,you need 6-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. Your body heals itself when youʼre sleeping. If youʼre healing from injury, you definitely need sleep. Avoid drinking alcohol,caffeinated beverages, and sugary drinks before bed so you can rest comfortably. Invest 30 minutes to stretch your body out before bed. Meditate or take 5 minutes to quietly visualize what you will accomplish tomorrow. Make the time before you go to bed a peaceful ritual. It will have amazing benefits when it comes to healing your body after an injury.

Stay focused. Some days will be very discouraging. You will beat yourself up
mentally for allowing yourself to get injured. You will watch other athletes surpass you in skill level. You will reflect back on the shape you were in before you got injured. All of
this may depress you, and cause you to go off track. You need to stay focused on your
goals, mainly to avoid injuring yourself again. This has to become a priority. Focus on
being better each day, and you will. Itʼs not always about the numbers. Itʼs about
knowing yourself, and being able to improve where you can.
Coming back from injury is one of the toughest things a Muay Thai Kickboxing athletes and Martial Artist can do. It requires a specific attitude that is committed to improvement, and free of ego. If you follow the above mentioned training tips, you will stay in the gym longer, and out of the doctorʼs office. Before you know it, you will be better than you were before you injured yourself, only more educated about your own body. Stay focused and committed on
your goals.

Ryan McKinnon is the host of The Bloody Ballet Podcast, and writes articles for his own
website, He is also a Muay Thai instructor at Follow him @thebloodyballet on Facebook and Instagram


Stephen Strotmeyer PhD Seminar at Lanna MMA: 5 Takeaways From The Muay Thai Clinch

By Ryan McKinnon

Awesome Muay Thai Clinch Seminar with Stephen Strotmeyer
The Lanna with Kru Stephen Strotmeyer after his Muay Thai Clinch Seminar

One of the biggest elements in Muay Thai that separates it from kickboxing is the
use of the ʻmuay thai clinchʼ. Muay Thai Clinching must be developed just like any other weapon in your
arsenal. Some people see the clinch and think it looks easy to figure out. This couldnʼt
be further from the truth. It requires a certain measure of timing, precision and leverage
to sweep, or off balance your opponent. Stephen Strotmeyer of Pittsburgh Muay Thai
visited Lanna MMA last Saturday to share his knowledge of the Muay Thai clinch with us. Here are
a few takeaways from that seminar.

1. Balance: The major goal of the Muay Thai clinch is to off balance your opponent, thereby putting
them in a disadvantageous position where you can either sweep or strike your
opponent. Getting to that place is much harder than it sounds. If you yourself do not
have a strong base, much like a base in BJJ, you will be at the receiving end of a
throw. Finding your center of gravity, and learning to use it against your opponents
requires practice and patience.

2. Hand position: Thereʼs a saying in BJJ, “Position before submission.” The same rule
applies for hand positioning in the clinch. A lot of fighters struggle desperately to
move their opponents with brute strength. While strength is an asset, it is less
important that leverage. Correct hand positioning not only make you appear stronger,
it will make your life so much easier when you need to get your opponent off balance.

3. Variation in hand positioning: You hand position is dependent on what youʼre trying to
accomplish. Do you need to turn your opponent to the left or right? Are you
attempting a sweep? Making space for a knee? Landing an elbow? Turning your
opponent into the ropes? You must practice various hand positions in the Muay Thai clinch, not
just 50/50 control.

4. Timing: Timing is everything in life. In the Muay Thai clinch, you must be patient, and await your
moment to take advantage of your opponentʼs poor hand positioning and balance.
There are ways to get them to that place. Learning proper timing requires lots of
drilling. The more you drill, the more you will become aware of the perfect time to take
advantage of a small window of opportunity.

5. Ringcraft: Stephen brought us into the ring to show how different Muay Thai clinching is against
the ropes versus a wide open space. There are numerous tricks to employ when your
back is against the ropes, or when you have your opponent against the ropes. You
will find yourself in these circumstances often in a fight, so it is important to put
yourself in various situations in the clinch to know how to respond, so that you are not
a fish out of water when the time comes. Just like in BJJ, you should put yourself in
bad positions, not just the easy ones, to figure out how to escape, or turn the tide in
your favour.

Some of these takeaways may seem vague. You might be reading this and
thinking, “I know how to clinch.” No you donʼt. Learning to clinch in Muay Thai requires daily
cultivation of skill. You must practice all of the hand positions, and partner up with
people of different sizes, experience levels, and strength in order to find out how good
your Muay Thai clinch really is. Stephenʼs seminar taught me a lot about my own awareness of
leverage, timing, stance, and hand positioning. I am excited to take the things I learned
and add them to my game immediately.

A big thank you to Stephen Strotmeyer for sharing his time and knowledge with
those who participated on Saturday. As is the case with any seminar, if you can take
away one thing from the time you spent with Stephen, then you learned something
valuable. Furthermore, you must practice that thing all the time in order to make it a true
weapon in your game. You want it to feel as natural as breathing. Have fun with your
new skill!

Stephen Strotmeyer PhD Muay Thai  Seminar at Lanna MMA

Saturday April 8th, 2017 at 1pm! Only $20!

By Ryan McKinnon
Stephen Strotmeyer Muay Thai Seminar at Lanna MMA
Stephen Strotmeyer Muay Thai Seminar at Lanna MMA

I love Muay Thai. It is practical, yet complex. Playful, yet punishing. I have spent
almost 10 years learning and applying the sport. The more I learn, the more I realize
how much I have to learn. For some people, this is disheartening. But thatʼs a matter of
perspective. For as long as youʼre on this earth, youʼll never answer every question. The
best you can do is pursue the answers that mean the most to you. The same goes for
Muay Thai, and all martial arts for that matter. We will never be perfect. Thatʼs not the
point. As the old cliche states, “The journey is more important than the destination.” In
the spirit of that quote, please come out to Lanna on Saturday April 8th, 2017 for
Stephen Strotmeyerʼs seminar as part of your journey to becoming a better Muay Thai
Stephen has dedicated his life to Muay Thai, both in and out of the gym. He is
the head instructor of Pittsburgh Muay Thai, and has published his PhD thesis on the
epidemiology of Muay Thai related injuries. He is a Muay Thai philosopher, former
fighter, and trainer of fighters. He knows his craft, and continues to sharpen his skills
each day. You can look him up online, listen to interviews with him, and watch video.
He has real world experience to share with students of any skill level. The major
focus of the seminar this weekend is clinching and infighting, two aspects of Muay Thai
that go largely ignored. Many of us love smashing pads, and thatʼs awesome. There is
nothing like the crack of leather from a swing kick, or the heavy thud of a well placed
knee. But hitting pads is a very small part of our training.
Clinching is a big part of Muay Thaiʼs identity. Fights can be won with superior
clinch, and IQ of the clinch. If youʼre not clinching, youʼre not doing Muay Thai. The
same goes for infighting and the use of elbows, which is especially important against
taller fighters who utilize their reach well. When we spar or clinch with a taller fighter,
sometimes we get stuck at the end of their jab or teep, and begin to lose confidence in
our abilities. If their clinch game is strong, weʼre basically screwed at both ranges. This
seminar will be a great experience for fighters who want to level up their game.
Stephen Strotmeyer has dedicated his life and work to learning this beautiful
martial art, and he wants to share some of his knowledge with us. Please take some
time on Saturday to join your Lanna MMA family for a seminar that you wonʼt forget. It
will enhance your sparring and your overall knowledge of the sport on your journey to
becoming a better martial artist.

5 Characteristics of Mentally Strong Martial Artists

Students working Muay Thai,, Kickboxing, MMA, Boxing and BJJ at Lanna MMA in North York Vaughan Ontario
Students working Muay Thai,, Kickboxing, MMA, Boxing and BJJ at Lanna MMA in North York Vaughan Ontario


We all know Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Boxing, BJJ and MMA are physically demanding sports. They all take a large amount of cardio, conditioning, strength, and power. The training in all of these sports allows for us to work on all of those things almost every time we train. Something that is often overlooked in these sports, is the mental toughness required to make it as a fighter or even make it through a session. Since Muay Thai, boxing, BJJ, and MMA all push you to your physical limits, it’d be no surprise to learn that it can push you to your mental limits as well. The character-building these sports do can help you in your everyday life – from not getting a job, to losing a friendship, or with going through anything difficult. Muay Thai, Boxing, BJJ and MMA will undoubtedly make you a mentally tougher person.

Here are a few characteristics that you will develop throughout your training in these sports, which will all contribute to your mental toughness!


Do you believe in yourself and your abilities? Do you never take “no” for an answer? Do you quiet your fears and keep going in spite of them?

Confident people often command rooms and their own lives. People who are self-confident believe they can achieve whatever success they want, and don’t let anything or anyone stand in their way. As someone who trains in Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Boxing, BJJ and MMA, you might have felt like you weren’t the “greatest,” in the room at some point in time. However, a confident person knows that they could be! As you train more and more, you will become more confident in your abilities and those abilities along with your confidence will contribute to your overall mental toughness. Confident people know nothing can stop them!

Embracing Failure (and learning from it)

Failure. We’ve all experienced failure one way or another, at some point in our lives. The thing that mentally tough people do with failure, is simply embrace it and learn from it. People who are mentally strong, don’t give up after a loss, or after something doesn’t go their way. People who are mentally tough persevere no matter what obstacles are in the way. Accept that failures will happen in both life and in the gym. There will be days, fights, and training sessions that are harder than others. A mentally tough person simply keeps going.


When we think of a mentally tough person, we often don’t attribute patience as a characteristic that goes along with it. However, in difficult times patience is often required to get through it. This is especially true in Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Boxing, BJJ and MMA. In these sports, no one can be great overnight. You have to learn and perfect your stance, movements, combinations, and various techniques. This requires an abundance of patience of time. A mentally tough person does the work required and know they will get there eventually. They don’t run before they walk. They listen and learn from their peers and trainers and keep going despite any difficulties or obstacles.


Having control is an amazing quality to have in your everyday life. Someone who has control will believe that they have the power to shape their own destiny. Someone with control, is not affected by minor (or sometimes major) ups and downs of life. This quality becomes even more important in Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Boxing, BJJ and MMA. People with a strong sense of control are more relaxed in everyday life and this translates on the mat or in the ring. Being controlled helps you to stay calm, allowing you to think clearer and work better under pressure, which is extremely important as a fighter.


Having a winning attitude will work wonders in your life and in the gym. When mentally tough people feel good about themselves and others, it radiates through everything they do. Positive and optimistic people often have a way of lighting a room up! This is why positivity is so important, it not only helps the person being positive, but it helps others as well. This quality also translates well into Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Boxing, BJJ and MMA. There are so many perks to being positive and optimistic. Firstly, it makes others enjoy working and training alongside of you. It also encourages and fosters an environment where everybody feels good. Additionally, it sets a standard that nothing can bring anyone else down. Who doesn’t want that in the gym or their lives?

Some people are born mentally tough, and some of us aren’t. However, it is something we can all benefit from, in the gym and in our lives. The good part about it, is we can all work on it! Mental toughness is something that can be developed over time (just like we do in training). Start by using these 5 characteristics as markers and focus on each of them little by little and you will be a tough person, inside and out, in no time!

Lanna Strong: Tyya and Brenda Shine at SheFights Female Muay Thai Event
By Ryan McKinnon

Shefights: Female Muay Thai Event in Toronto Ontario
Shefights: Female Muay Thai Event in Toronto Ontario

On Saturday March 11th, 2017, 26 of North Americaʼs best up-and-coming female Muay Thai
fighters entertained a sold out Toronto Estonian House at 358 Broadview Avenue in
Toronto to support the movement of International Womenʼs Day. It was an outstanding
event with an equally outstanding purpose. Two of Lanna MMAʼs female muay thai athletes really stood
out amongst a roster of exceptionally gifted fighters. Tyya Emberly and Brenda Vargas
both met some of the muay thai toughest competition in their young careers, and demonstrated
amazing Muay Thai technique to secure wins, impress the audience, and gain some
new fans.

Tyya Emberley

Tyya looking happy after winning her Muay Thai Fight in SheFights Female Muay Thai Event
Tyya looking happy after winning her Muay Thai Fight in SheFights Female Muay Thai Event

Lannas Tyya Emberley fought Yueyao Zhong from Ayothaya Muay Thai in the 51 to 54kg weight
class. Zhong had competed against Brenda a few weeks prior at the Ayothaya
demonstration fights, and narrowly got the better of Brenda by scoring more frequently in
rounds 1 and 2. This was a great matchup for Tyya who already had an idea of what to
expect from Zhong. Tyya immediately established a pace for herself that was fast and
consistent. She is very good at throwing multiple strikes, which gave Zhong some
trouble in terms of how she could anticipate what Tyya would do next. Tyya also made
excellent use of distance. She knew what weapons to throw at different ranges, and
managed to stay just out of range from Zhongʼs more powerful attacks.

The one thing Tyya does very well that we could all learn from is her use of
angles and her variety of attacks. There were moments in the fight where Tyya would
throw combinations with her hands, then slide laterally to land a kick. Many young
fighters only think linearly (forward and back), but forget about using the entire ring to
land strikes. Tyya did this exceptionally well.

Tyyaʼs muay thai clinch was stronger than Zhongʼs. She made sure to stay busy in the
clinch by improving her hand and head position, and using elbows when the
opportunities presented themselves. Many fighters use the clinch as a rest period. This
was not the case for Tyya, who made every second count as she marched into a 3
round unanimous decision victory. She made excellent use of her Muay Thai by
throwing all of her weapons in different ways, and vey often. She did Lanna proud in her
victory on Saturday.

Brenda Vargas

Brenda after winning her Muay Thai Fight at She Fights Female Muay Thai Fight Card in Toronto

Brenda Vargas met one of the toughest female Nak Muayʼs in the GTA in Effie Chan
from Southside. Chan is known as a pressure fighter. Most of her opponents spend the
entire fight on the ropes, trying to manage Chanʼs high volume of well placed strikes.
Brenda made the intelligent decision to stand right in front of Effie, meeting her intensity
with her own. In Brendaʼs last two fights, she spent a little too much time fighting off her
back foot, making it difficult to initiate attacks. This was certainly not the case on
Saturday. If Brenda did lean back to throw a teep, she would move forward immediately
after, turning her defense into offense. This may have taken Chan out of her comfort
zone, which allowed Brenda to take round 1 decisively.

Round 2 was a little closer, as Chan poured on the offense. She stunned Brenda
a few times, but this didnʼt stop her from imposing her will on Effie. Brenda continued to
move forward, and made Effie work harder than she ever has to score points.
! Round 3 is where Brenda dug deep to edge out her split decision victory. She hit
Chan with everything she had. She landed elbows in the clinch, and made really good
use of her southpaw cross and rear kick. She had Effie backed up a few times in that
round, which forced Effie to rush forward. As she did, Brenda landed a beautiful teep
that put Chan on the mat. That simple technique may have won her the round and the
fight in the eyes of the judges. It was Brendaʼs tenacity and heart that won her the fight,
a host of support from the fans, and Fight of The Night honours.

It was a successful night for Lanna MMA. All of the fans, coaches, officials and
fighters had nothing but positive things to say for our team and fighters. It was a proud
moment for the coaching staff who have worked hard to prepare our girls for such an
amazing event. A big thank you goes out to everyone from the Lanna family for making
the trip downtown and showing support for our fighters. It was the yelling and screaming
from our corner of the venue that helped our girls dig a little deeper to win their fights.

Next weekend Kevon Singh will be representing the school at the Mitsubishi Cup
Muay Thai card at Pound4Pound in Pickering. Please come out to the event, and bring that same level
of support and intensity for one of Lannaʼs top Muay Thai fighters.

Tony Manoharan Muay Thai Seminar at Lanna MMA: 5 Tactical Takeaways

By Ryan McKinnon

Tony Manoharan Muay Thai Seminar at Lanna MMA Group Picture
Tony Manoharan Muay Thai Seminar at Lanna MMA Group Picture

Last Saturdayʼs Muay Thai seminar with Tony Manoharan hosted at Lanna MMA was a real
success. Both the turnout of athletes and the overall energy was extremely high.
Beginner and intermediate fighters got a first hand account of a professional fighters
mental approach to the strategy and tactics of a fight. Tony was exceptionally gracious
with his time, adding an extra 30 minutes to the seminar. He was clear in his approach
to the techniques, and spent an equal amount of time with each pair of students. For
myself, I was able to take away a bunch of amazing things from listening and watching
Tony. I will limit them to the top 5 takeaways that I will add to my Muay Thai game.

1. Distance: One of the major differences youʼll notice immediately when comparing an
amateur to a pro is the use of distance. An amateur Nak Muay hasnʼt developed the
body awareness and footwork to distance themselves from their opponentʼs attacks.
When you watch a pro, they know exactly how far away they need to be from an
attack to ensure that their counter attack lands effectively. For example, when an
opponent kicks, many beginner boxers move so far out of range that theyʼve missed
an opportunity to strike back. Tony stressed the importance of maintaining a balanced
Muay Thai stance, and using correct footwork and body positioning to make a
counterattack more likely.

2. Timing: When you watch amateur Thai boxers compete early in their careers, youʼll
notice that when the pressure is on, they abandon some of their fundamental Muay
Thai principles, and engage in a toe to toe war. Muay Thai is all about waiting for an
opening, and using precise timing to land strikes. Effective leg kicks are example of
using timing. Waiting for an opponent to place weight on their lead leg is the
opportune time to strike. Sometimes fighters kick either too early or too late, making
the strike ineffective. Tony taught everyone some great drills to demonstrate how
effective timing scores points and damage.

3. Points before power: Knocking someone out is a lot harder than people think. It
requires a high level of IQ and timing. Most beginner fighters spend so much energy
looking for a knockout, they forget that the fight can be won scoring points. 3 judges
are watching your every move. Win them over, and you win the fight. Not every strike
has to be with power. Striking with accuracy and speed has the advantage of
throwing your opponent off balance and interrupting their rhythm, thereby creating an
opening for the power shot. Looking for ways to distract and deceive your opponent
with less powerful attacks will pay off over the course of the fight. Even if you donʼt
get the KO, youʼve landed enough strikes to win by decision.

4. Keep striking: Muay Thai is somewhat like baseball. In baseball, if you get on base 3
times out of every 10 at bats you end up in the Hall of Fame. In Muay Thai, landing 3
out of 10 strikes is a good round. Beginner fighters throw too many single and double
combinations, and then stop. Tony emphasized the importance of throwing multiple
combinations, and continuing to throw even if you miss. The more you throw, the
higher your chances of scoring and creating openings for more effective techniques.
It is a hard concept to grasp, and requires experience. Tony showed us a really great
boxing drill to help fighters learn to continue throwing combos even when they miss.

5. Keep drilling: The only way to be a successful martial artist is by drilling techniques
constantly with a partner. Drill slowly and in real time. Make it as real as possible so
that it translates into sparring. This is often overlooked by beginner fighters who
choose to hit pads more than anything else. Drilling might seem boring, but it is an
essential part of a fighterʼs daily training diet. None of what Tony taught has any value
if it isnʼt practiced every day.

Tony shared so much with the class that it is impossible to list everything in one
article. The above 5 points highlight some of the major keys to becoming a successful
fighter. If you want to know the specifics of what Tony taught youʼll have to invest in one
of his future seminars. Follow Tony on instagram and facebook to stay up to date with
his coaching and future seminar appearances. Thanks again Tony for sharing over 10
years of professional experience with everyone.

What is BJJ? How will BJJ benefit me? 



What is BJJ?

What is BJJ? Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is more than just a sport, and more than just a martial art. It is a combination of all of these things and it’s benefits can often change someone’s entire life. I know what you’re thinking. It looks really fun and interesting, but it might not be for me. I’m here to change your mind! BJJ is for everybody – women, men, and children. Before I explain HOW it will change your life, let’s start off with the basics and a little bit of BJJ history.

“Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a martial art, combat sport, and a self defence system that focuses on grappling, and in particular ground fighting.

BJJ was formed from Kodokan Judo ground fighting fundamentals that were taught to Carlos Gracie by Master Mitsuyo Maeda. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu eventually came to be its own art through the experimentations, practices, and adaptation from the Judo knowledge of Carlos and Helio Gracie, who then passed their knowledge onto their family.
BJJ emphasises getting an opponent to the ground, gaining superior positioning and applying numerous chokes, holds, locks and joint manipulations to defeat them. By using leverage and proper technique, BJJ promotes the concept that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger assailant.”

Who wouldn’t benefit from that? Women, men, and even children can use and apply techniques learned in BJJ to everyday life. Here, we’re going to discuss some major key benefits of training in BJJ. There are two key areas BJJ will improve. These are physical benefits and mental benefits. Here, I will break down a few key aspects of both.

Physical Benefits of Training in BJJ

What are the physical benefits of training BJJ? Self-defence is one of the major benefits of training in BJJ, and a skill that literally EVERYONE can benefit from. BJJ was created for smaller people to level the playing field against bigger opponents. This is something that can be useful in potentially dangerous everyday situations. BJJ is great and practical for this because it allows you to neutralize a fight (even in an everyday situation) without ever having to throw a punch.

Furthermore, many techniques taught in BJJ are practical ways in how to deal with “real life” street danger. These techniques include: clinching an attacker while on your feet, defending yourself on the ground off your back, defending chokes, when and how to apply over hooks and under hooks, and escaping someone who might grab you from behind. It might feel like you won’t ever need to know these self-defence methods, and maybe you won’t ever have to use them – but why take the risk? Learning these techniques can potentially save yours or someone else’s life one day.

Additionally, BJJ is great for someone who wants to improve their overall physical health. For example, BJJ will improve your cardio game easily, especially if you are not interested in traditional methods like running. Additionally, you will be improving and expanding on muscles you have probably never used before. Your warm-ups, drills, and rolling will give you an all-around body workout like no other! Many people say you can feel the physical difference in just a matter of a few weeks when you first start training in BJJ.

The Mental Benefits of Training in BJJ

What are the mental benefits of training BJJ? BJJ will definitely improve your ability to critically think and problem solve.There are so many techniques within BJJ and everyone eventually develops their own unique style that uses said techniques. Training in BJJ, you have to learn and think critically of how to overcome your opponent and their techniques all in the heat of the moment of a training (or sparring) session. This will inevitably help you become a better critical thinking under pressure and out of it. Additionally, you often have to think under pressure – a tactic that once you’ve mastered you can apply to any every day situation. Anyone can use this at any time, in school, at work, in your relationships and friendships etc.

Another very important area BJJ will improve is your self-esteem and confidence. Overcoming challenges is always crucial to building your self-esteem. BJJ, like many other martial arts, will improve your confidence without you even noticing. Your confidence will grow exponentially when learning and mastering techniques that started out as foreign to you. Learning the techniques in BJJ will take time. You will fail and re-fail time and time again before getting it right. Eventually, you will get it! This type of perseverance is a self-esteem builder. This will undoubtedly translate to you becoming for confident not only inside the gym, but outside of it too. It will teach you how to have the mental strength to fail and keep going, something that will happen time and time again outside of the gym.

As you can see, BJJ will improve many areas of your life. Training in BJJ will give you practical knowledge you can use both inside and outside of the gym. Who wouldn’t want to be more confident, healthy, calmer, have the ability to work under pressure and deal with real life street danger? These benefits can apply to anyone, anywhere! Find out if BJJ is for you by trying a class out today! You can try out a free BJJ class here!


Muay Thai Demo Fight Night at Lanna MMA: Snow Couldnʼt Stop The Show
By Ryan McKinnon

Lanna MMA Inhouse Demo Fights Feb 10
Lanna MMA Inhouse Demo Fights Feb 10

Things got a little worrisome on Friday February 10th, 2017 when a sudden and
heavy blast of snow hit North York, threatening to put a damper on Lanna MMAʼs first
Muay Thai demonstration event of the year. As the snow continued to fall only an hour
before showtime, gyms, coaches, and fighters slowly began to trickle in, giving hope
that the event would still be successful.

Jordan and the Lanna staff had to work quickly to conduct weigh-ins, get the
crowd settled, and host the pre-fight fighterʼs meeting. Out of the 11 gyms invited to be a
part of the event, only 2 schools were forced to cancel. Perhaps the biggest
commitment to the eveningʼs event came from Loyalist MMA who made the trek all the
way from Belleville to showcase two of their female fighters. At just after 8 pm, the show
began, with 150 attendees from around the GTA gathering under the bright lights of
Lanna MMA to watch some of Ontarioʼs up-and-comers throw down.

Team Lanna had 6 fighters that participated in the event. Brenda Vargas took on
Carly “The Mayor of Munchkin Town” Rutter from Loyalist in a 3 round battle
showcasing some very slick Muay Thai. Carly showed true heart and gameness by
standing in front of Brenda and landing some nice combinations with her hands.
Brenda, who fought only two weeks prior in an event at Ayothaya Muay Thai, made
significant improvements in her southpaw Muay Thai game by creating more distance
and using her rear kick-cross combination with more precision.

Tyson made his ring debut that evening when he took on Tristan from TKMT.
Tysonʼs completion of a full Ram Muay Wai Kru before his demo fight both shocked and
pumped up everyone in attendance. He showed real heart and aggression, impressing
everyone with his willingness to stand right in front of Tristan, who did a great job
countering Tysonʼs hands with his lead hook.

Omid also made his ring debut when he took on fellow training partner Alex,
who has 1 demo fight with Lanna. Both fighters did an excellent job showcasing their
developing Muay Thai skills, and fought with excellent composure, which is something
that isnʼt normally characteristic of beginner athletes. These two young men really
impressed the crowd and their coaches by sticking to their Muay Thai, and fighting
intelligently. Alex did a great job by using the ropes and his lead teep to counter the
forward moving style of Omid, who used the entire ring to set up a variety of different

Leon and Alberto both had their work cut out for them on Friday. Justin from
Toronto Savate stayed right in front of Leon for the entire demo fight, timing his hands, and
throwing counters and sweeps when the opportunities presented themselves. Leon,
who is always exciting to watch, didnʼt back down from his challenge and fought with
real determination. Alberto took on a very athletic fighter in Mamadou from TKMT,
proving to be a real challenge for him. A sweep and an accidental foul early in the first
round didnʼt discourage Alberto from rising to the occasion, earning Mamadouʼs respect
for his power. An unfortunate TKO to Alberto cut his night short, but not without earning
the admiration of his teammates, and especially the crowd and other athletes in
attendance. We look forward to seeing Alberto bounce back from this learning
experience, and continue to evolve at Lanna.

Perhaps fight of the night honours can be awarded to Allan from Southside and
Charles from TKMT. Southside is well respected for their stable of well conditioned
fighters, who always fight with excellent technique and true heart, while TKMT has 3
locations in the city to draw some exceptional talent from. Allan did everything he could
to keep Charles from getting inside with his strong clinch and attacks to the body. Allan
hit the mat a few times in his fight, but got up with the heart of a champion and scored
some longer range weapons against Charles during 6 minutes of nonstop action.

Given that the night began with everyone being on edge due to the weather,
everything worked itself out. The night couldnʼt have been a success without the
participation of all of the schools and competitors that braved the inclement conditions
to be a part of the show. A huge thanks goes out to TKMT, Ayothaya, Southside, TKMT,
York MT, Toronto Savate, Loyalist, Kombat Arts, and Olympia MMA for their gigantic
contribution to the eveningʼs success. And a big thank you especially goes to the entire
Lanna MMA staff and students for doing their part to keep the night going smoothly and
representing the school in a positive light, which has always been the standard.

All of the upcoming amateur events in the province can be found on Muay Thai
Ontarioʼs homepage at We look forward to seeing everyone
at future events and the rest of Lanna MMAʼs demonstrations for the rest of 2017. This
event certainly set a great pace.

LANNA MMA © 2016. All rights reserved.