Extreme Muay Thai hit the stratosphere when one contestant was carried out on a stretcher while another suffered a broken nose
So why am I calling video this video Extreme Muay Thai when I’ve already done a Double Knockout video from all the first rate action I’ve witnessed from my front row seat at Pattaya Max Stadium? First off in all 7 fights the action was unrelentingly furious. Secondly these 7 fights produced more than the usual amount of copious blood. Third’s the music. My pal, Big Daddy, called the whole scenario here as a disco with a lot of fighting thrown in.
For me Extreme Muay Thai must have better music
With that in mind, I decided to break tradition by stripping all that wining, god awful Thai sound that seems to be de rigour for Muay Thai. So I injected what I’m calling Jack’s special musical brew over the original sound tracks.
You might not like this video’s break from tradition. But that’s just one more reason why I’m calling what you are about to experience Extreme Muay Thai video.
Extreme Muay Thai video is for the high end viewer
I also took this video production to the limit by setting my Nikon at 60 frames a second. And then I outputted the video at 30 frames a second to make it more appealing to audiences whose eyes are accustomed to watch video at 30 frames a second.
I took another series of videos with my new Panasonic Lx10. I shot them in 4 k at a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels at 100 megabytes per second. The 4 k results from this camera will be my next you tube video.
Nikon Glass makes all the difference
But that new Nikon 24 by 70 2.8 lens is sheer magic when it’s parred with my Nikon D750 SLR. The new Panasonic LX10 with its 1.4 Leica lens is excellent. But there’s nothing like shooting with very heavy, quite expensive Nikon gear. But this Nikon Lens? The colors that come from it. And the almost 3 D effect. It’s so good and so expensive that I recommend to those who take their photography seriously, to sell the family car, sell the kids and rent out your wife.
The last reason I’m calling this Extreme Muay Thai video, is that I am not keeping the typical internet smart phone user in mind at all. All that resolution and excellent equipment is best experienced when viewed on a 55 inch television for a monitor. And since sound is so important to me, I created it so that it could be best heard on a surround sound system with excellent speakers and a powerful amp.
I’m shooting fight video while Big Daddy and I are sitting ringside at the Max Muaythai Pattaya Stadium watching 7 fights.
I’m concentrating on getting the video with my Nikon D750. Who’s winning? Where the prettiest girls are sitting? Which fighter is tiring the most? Big Daddy is fully aware of what’s going on. while I’m lost trying to get everything right with my camera.
The Nikon D750 is capable of shooting fight video of 4 k at 24 million pixels.
My lenses are the best that money can buy. But the camera is very complicated. There’s an entire 500 page book on how to focus the Nikon D750. I t’s that complex. Which is why I’ve been practicing shooting low light video for over two months now. Usually in the confines of my condo with the lights turned off. So what’s going to give me the best results tonight?
Shooting fight video is easy for the professionals with the Fight Channel
Shooting fight video is a real challenge. And there’s no way that I can compete against what’s already being done here at Max Muaythai Pattaya stadium. There’s a robotic video camera circling over the ring that has a completely unobstructed view of the ring. It can zoom right over the heads of the fighters. And it can veer far away for a perfect bird’s eye view. There’s also two or three videographers who specialize in professional videography. They use heavy specialized movie cameras that are built for one purpose only. This being shooting movie quality video to be shown on international television. The fights they are videoing tonight are being shown across the world on the Fight Channel. There’s no way I can compete against those guys. As for that terribly expensive overhead robotic camera. There’s just no way.
But what I can do is, I can take you to the heart of the action the way the Fight Channel will never do. The sound is so loud here that the floors shake. The decibel level is so high that the distortion’s almost unbearable. To reproduce all that audible mayhem on the Fight Channel would be horrific bad taste. But try and tell that to the fans here. The speakers might be distorting as the stadium’s floor creates a mini earthquake. But it’s all pretty exciting.
There’s a huge movie screen way off to my left. This screen reproduces whatever the production managers want to show their live audience. The profiles of each fighter as he’s being introduced by the M.C. are displayed here. These include the weight and height and record of each fighter. As to be expected so is selected video footage of the actual fights. Sometimes the footage is in slow motion whenever a knockdown occurs. Then there’s all the pretty girls up in the stands. Especially the Chinese and Thai women showing off for the video cameras as they dance to the music.
Most of the books on video technique will tell you that real videographers shoot in manual only. But if I try that, there’s no way that I can manually focus as fast as these fighters move. One moment the two fighters are just ten feet in front of me. Two seconds later they are thirty feet away. I cannot change the focus fast enough because my eyes are not up to this kind of challenge. Perhaps if I change my f-stop to f-10, I can get enough depth of field to keep the fighters in focus. But I know I’m too close to try that.
I cannot manually focus accurately and fast enough to change my target from the two fighters in the ring to a very sexy girl way up in the stands dancing for the Max Muaythai t.v. cameras. So I must go with automatic focusing. But which mode should I use? And at what speed or aperture setting?
Program mode is no good for shooting fight video.
And shooting with my Nikon 24-70 mm lens at 2.8 provides hardly any depth of field. I’m not doing very well at 2.8 which is what this lens excels at. But not when I’m shooting two fast moving fighters who are all over the ring.
instead of single server mode to that the Nikon could use all 51 focus points. But that didn’t work very well either. The problem was the camera would oftentimes focus in on the ropes instead of the fighters who oftentimes were twenty feet away from my focus point. The robotic camera circling overhead did not have this problem.
At first I set my focusing for a 4 point group focus mode. Theoretically this should work. I could set the little rectangle of 4 points between the ropes to zero in on the fighters instead of the English announcers sitting right in front of us. Would this work? I wouldn’t know until I processed my video the next day. So I shot a couple fights in group focus mode. Then I shot a couple more fights using automatic continuous focus mode using 24 focus points in a narrow horizontal pattern. Theoretically this might work just as well because I could zero the horizonal rectangle so that none of the 24 focus points rested on the ropes or the English ring announcers sitting in front of me.
What aperture should I be using for shooting fight video ?
I tried shooting at F-7, then F-10 aperture to get good depth of field in case the camera was not up to focusing fast enough to keep up with the two fighters. But it seemed to me that I might be getting my best overall results shooting at around an F5 aperture which should let in plenty of light while still giving me a reasonable dept of field in case my focusing was sightly off.
But I also wanted to get a lot of digital stills. This meant going from live view to viewfinder mode. Trouble was, and I found this out too late. Shooting in automatic 24 point mode I ended up focusing on nearby objects instead of the fighters. Not always but often enough. I was also shooting in aperture mode so my shutter speed was oftentimes not quite fast enough to stop the action. The obvious answer to this problem was to start shooting in speed mode at 1/500th or even 1/1000th of a second.
So here I was, going from live view aperture priority mode at f5 while doing video to shutter priority mode and also having the change my focus mode. That’s a lot of fast changing adjustments to be making for shooting fight video
Now if I was really serious about shooting fight video, I’d be buying myself another Nikon D750 body
which I could set up for video while I kept the other camera body adjusted for shooting digital stills at say 1/1000th of a second. But no one’s paying me to do this. And no matter what I do I will never be able to compete with that robotic overhead movie camera let alone two or three video guys all covering for each other. There’s just no way I can shoot video at the same time I’m shooting digital stills.
Shooting fight video of these seven fights ended up being a real mish mash of modes and techniques. But I’m still nowhere close to where I want to end up doing. One of my best friends keeps telling me that I need to go mirror less which will have a lot fewer focusing issues. Shooting full auto with my Panasonic LX7 and its leica lens is like shooting fish in a barrel. But I have some terrific lenses for my Nikon D750. There’s nothing like what I can get with these lenses if I have everything dialed in just right.
We saw the Tunisian whirlwind Fadi Khaled, put on one of the most exciting Muay Thai performances ever, from ringside, at Pattaya Max Muay Thai Stadium.
An hour later, I would be videoing the unforgettable Jonathan Lecat Dorian Price double knockout, a fight that’s destined to become one of the most memorable classics of all time.
You’d expect the preliminary bout between Fadi Khaled and Nueamek Sityaymeaw to fade away into the obscure dustbins of ring forgetathons. How could I even think about putting the two videos up side by side on you tube? Am I out of my mind?
I’ve thought about that before. Many times. I am out of my mind. No, I’m not. Although both Khaled and Nueamek have far less than perfect records as Muay Thai boxers, this was in its own right a classic fight.
I had never seen either boxer fight before. But here I’m coining a new nickname, a moniker that should live on as the Tunisian whirlwind Fadi Khaled to extol the Tunisian whirlwind as a fighting man’s fighter. And because I think Fadi embodies even more than what Muay Thai boxing is all about. For me Fadi represents the true spirit of mano a mano fighting the same way Harry Greb did nearly 100 years ago.
Harry Greb the Pittsburgh Whirlwind
Enshrined for nearly a century as the Pittsburgh whirlwind in boxing legend, Harry Greb was perhaps the greatest middleweight of all time. This is saying a lot due to so many outstanding Middleweights who one could easily call, the greatest Middleweight in the history of the ring. Men like Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard, and the most devastating Middleweight puncher of all time, Gennadi Golovkin. And yet there’s not a single film of Harry Greb’s epic fights. He once beat the unbeatable future Heavy weight champion, Gene Tunney in a historic bloodbath that began a series of epic encounters between the two finest boxing tacticians the ring had ever seen.
But Greb was a true Middleweight, whose normal weight stood at around 160 pounds. Whereas Tunney wound up as the undefeated heavyweight champion of the world at 190. As for Jack Dempsey who was quite possibly the hardest puncher of all time, some have said that Tunney could never beat the Manassas Mauler in his prime. Others have claimed that Tunney was so good that Jack Dempsey could never have beat him.
We will never know the answer of whether a much younger Jack Dempsey could have defeated Tunney or not.
It is well known, however, that Greb totally dominated Dempsey as Dempsey’s sparring partner. Even though Dempsey outweighed the five foot eight Greb by 30 pounds, several times the pair almost met in the ring.
Greb would wind up fighting 298 professional fights, yet not one of them survives today on video.
A Boxing Legend for all time
Greb remains today as one of boxing legend’s most unforgettable mystery men of all time. His untimely death at 32 on the operating table when he failed to wake up from the anesthetic hasn’t hurt his enigmatic image. But although the movie cameras never captured him in a real fight, there still exists at least one video of him training.
Back to the Tunisian whirlwind Fadi Khaled
Which bring us to Fadi Khaled. Here you see him in training in Thailand.
At 140 pounds Khaled punches and kicks above his weight. But unlike Harry Greb, we have Khaled actually fighting in the ring.
The Tunisian whirlwind Fadi Khaled is all over his opponent
In this bout against Nueamek Sityaymeaw the Tunisian whirlwind Fadi Khaled demonstrates a full range of devastating martial arts weapons, including a full array of powerful kicks along with the punching power of a light heavy weight. Keep in mind that this little guy weighs just 140 pounds while light heavyweights are between 168 and 175 pounds. Notice too, how he flings his entire torso into the body of his opponent.
Big Daddy sitting next to me, put it this way, “I really don’t like the looks of him, but you gotta give him credit. He’s a very good fighter.”
I’ll give him more than that. This Tunisian whirlwind Fadi Khaled represents what true fighting is all about. I’m sure Harry Greb would concur.
If you are interested in learning more about Harry Greb check this out.
Big Daddy and I are ringside for the epic Jonathan Lecat Dorian Price double knockout at the Pattaya Max Muay Thai stadium when the unfathomable happens.
Both of us being American, we favor the American fighter, Dorian Price over the Frenchman. My pal, Big Daddy, who had once been a professional wrestler on international t.v. wasn’t missing a moment of this unforgettable classic. Whereas I was missing just about everything. I was too overwhelmed with shooting the video with my Nikon D750 trying to get everything just right. I had the perfect lens for this event.
The Jonathan Lecat Dorian Price double knockout makes international headlines
This fight, this stadium, this one of a kind epic, is big stuff. It just made U.S. Today. And to think that I only have to drive 20 minutes on my motorcycle to cover these great fights. Ironically, I just bought a new lens for my Nikon D750, a Nikon 2.8 24-70 mm that costs as much as my latest motorcycle. The pictures this lens and camera can get are unworldly. They are that good. And the primary reason for getting it was to get an edge covering these fights. Two weeks later, a one in a million chance occurs–the Jonathan Lecat Dorian Price double knockout
I was so involved with my camera work that I didn’t even know that Lecat was winning until the Dorian Price double knockout occurred.
Shooting video, especially in low light, is extremely challenging. For days on end I’ve been practicing, and I have yet to get the results I should be getting. But tonight I think I hit the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. But I still never got to see the fight until I started editing my video. I was that preoccupied. As far as I had been concerned I had videoed the two fighters tripping each other up. Then both had gone down together in a heap with neither fighter taking a major punch.
I take picture taking and doing video that seriously. And since Dorian Price ended up winning I had thought him to be the dominant fighter. Only later while editing my video, did I realize that Jonathon Lecat had been beating the hell out of Dorian when the once in a million double knockdown occurred. A hundred years from now, this fight will be forever immortalized as the Jonathan Lecat Dorian Price double knockout.
I had seen the two fighters go down. About 30 seconds later, the American was able to rise to his feet while the Frenchman remained comatose, dead to the world. “In all my years following wrestling and boxing I’ve never seen this before,” Big Daddy, screamed at me. “I have never ever seen a double knockdown.”
Big Daddy was an international televised professional wrestler
Well, Big Daddy might have been one of the Assassins appearing on television as a professional wrestler, but I had always been a boxer. And I didn’t have the slightest idea of what Big Daddy meant by a double knockout. The concept was impossible for me to grasp. The whole idea of Muhammed Ali and George Foreman knocking each other out in a single second or two was unimaginable. But here it was, the Jonathan Lecat Dorian Price double knockout preserved for eternity in my video.
While I was a wanna be college boxing idol
And although I never fought professionally, I had been in more fights than I could count while growing up. Although I had been in several street fights as an adult, I wasn’t really into street fights. But I sure loved putting the gloves on to box strictly for fun. Boxing was my sport. Always had been and always will. In my fifties I kept a platform bag setup and heavy bag in my private gym that I had created from a one car garage. In college I was the best boxer in my dormitory which selected me to fight the best boxer from another dormitory. That wasn’t much of a fight. The gloves were huge and well padded so neither of us were very successful at getting through the other boxer’s guard. But it wasn’t long after that that I had a very short lived time of glory.
Jack Corbett, promising university Middleweight makes the front page of the Chicago Tribune
I was in the dormitory study room, when a couple of my dorm mates brought in a copy of the Chicago tribune. There I was on the front sports page of the Chicago Tribune. The newspaper had devoted an entire paragraph about me, extolling me as an exciting middleweight boxer from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. “This would be one of the most exciting Golden Gloves tournaments in Chicago’s History”, the Tribune had printed. And it was because of exciting young boxers like me, a college boy, who’d soon be fighting in a sport that was devoid of College men.
But it was all a big joke–on me
I was foolish enough to go along with it all. Most of the guys in my dorm got very excited about one of their own fighting for the glory of Lawrence University in the Chicago Golden Gloves. Suddenly there was a lot of talk about hiring a tour bus to take everyone down to Chicago to watch me tantalize the Chicago crowds with my blazing speed. It turned out that one of the Freshmen in my class, Scott Lewis, had gotten an application for the Golden Gloves and had signed me up as a joke.
I would have done it. And my classmates were just crazy enough to get up enough money for a tour bus. Then one of the Lawrence wrestlers got a hold of me in the gym while I was suiting up for a Cross Country team practice run.
Jerry Nightingale star Lawrence University wrestler saves me from myself
I still remember exactly how he looked at me and his exact position as he explained the facts of life. Jerry Nightingale was a black guy from Chicago. He was a welterweight, weighing 145 pounds or so, which was about 15 pounds less than me. Jerry was extremely quick and agile. Which is why he had won most of his matches. Not only was Jerry a very good wrestler, he was also the epitome of cool.
They are going to kill you in Chicago if you compete in the Golden Gloves
“You go down to Chicago and they are going to kill you,” Jerry warned.
“Why do you think that?” I asked. “I’m fast. And I’ve got an excellent punch. I think I have a good chance of winning the first round or two in the elimination.”
“These guys in the Golden Gloves are from the ghetto. They’re poor. Most of them are uneducated. The only way out for many of them is fighting. They will really hurt you if you go in the ring with them,”
Jerry Nightingale becomes my Guardian Angel
I sure as hell respected Jerry Nightingale. He was a fine athlete. He had a good head on his shoulders and he was a good guy. Although I really enjoyed boxing, and was faster than nearly everyone else, the prospect of fighting even faster guys who would relish cutting my face to ribbons wasn’t appealing. I immediately banished the thought of tour buses and of being the school idol out of my game plan.
For me, boxing is still the king of all sports
Now I’m an old guy. But I’m still running 12 kilometers in the sweltering heat along Pattaya Beach. I can do it, but I’m exhausted by the time I finish.
But God, I sure love boxing. Even if I’m not doing it anymore. I’m an avid fan of top boxers like Andre Ward, Sergei Kovalev, and Gennadi Golotkin. I can hardly wait for the Andre Ward Kovalev rematch. I’ve got a few Russian friends now, not to mention a few other Russians I don’t know who I run into at the Centara Hotel physical fitness center. Russians take exercise seriously. Or at least a sizable percentage of them do. That’s why the Soviet Union usually won more gold medals than the U.S. did in the Olympic.
There was more to it than those Communists boarding their best athletes like cattle in modern gulag training camps where they fed them steroids every day. Russians are tough and they pride themselves on their athletic ability. I think they always were this way. Which is one of the reasons they could defeat the U.S. in the Olympics during the bad old days of the U.S.S.R. There were also more Soviets than Americans to choose from to field all those Olympic teams. Since the breakup of the U.S.S.R. Russia now has a population of only 140 million compared to 325 million Americans. But I do like having the Russians around because they take fitness as seriously as I do.
Big Daddy and I are still fighters in our hearts
So here we are, Big Daddy and I, among all our friends who really enjoy fighting. We are at the right spot to experience first hand that one in a million fight when both boxers go down for the count in this Jonathan Lecat Dorian Price double knockout classic for the ages. We have already seen another top notch fight between the Tunisian Fadi Khaled and Nueamek Sitjaymeaw of Thailand.
Living here in Thailand I get to experience first hand what the Fight Channel broadcasts on international television. My condo’s only 20 minutes from the new Pattaya Max stadium. It is no secret that many Muay Thai top events come out of Bangkok. But I’ve just learned that the Pattaya Max Muay Thai stadium is handling just as many top ranked fights. This stadium has a seating capacity of nearly 3000. The men in front of us are doing the international English television broadcasts that are seen worldwide.
But back to the Jonathan Lecat Dorian Price double knockout. Dorian Price won the fight. Barely. But when they meet again, I’m betting on the Frenchman. It promises to be a great fight. But it’s going to take years for anything to measure up to this Jonathan Lechat Dorian Price double knockout classic.
I shot this Nikon D750 Thai boxing video at the Max Muay Thai Stadium Pattaya using a Nikon 28 by 70 2.8 lens. This is the same lens I used shooting digital stills of strippers and feature entertainers with a Nikon D-1 X.
The Nikon D750 has awesome video potential
Weighing in at a full 2.2 pounds on that professional Nikon SLR with a powerful flash–this was a lot of weight to be carrying around on one’s neck all night long. So I understand how the Nikon 28 by 70 2.8 lens earned its nickname, “The Beast”. The lens was also very expensive. But I noticed that this lens almost produced a three dimensional effect that lesser lenses were incapable of achieving.
My new Nikon D750 camera is an awesome piece of equipment. Its resolution is four times greater than my old Nikon D1x. Although it can function as a point and shoot, it has so many features that it would take me a lifetime to master them. My main problem was that I could never shoot decent video with it. Yet this camera had outstanding video capabilities according to all the photography reviews I had read. I just couldn’t get it to change its focus when I went from short range to long range subjects. But my little Panasonic LX-7 with its superb Leica lens came through every time.
But so far shooting video with it has ended in abject failure
All my video experiments with the Nikon D750 wound up in failure. Then I found a one and a half minute video on you tube that pointed out a very important step I had never taken. Suddenly all my focusing problems seemed to go away. And tonight I was going with Big Daddy to the Max Muay Thai Pattaya Stadium. There would be sufficient light at the stadium for accurate focusing of the camera. While in the ring there would be a lot of fast moving action to challenge the camera’s focusing ability in video mode.
The Nikon D750 Thai boxing video vindicates the camera’s potential
For the first time my Nikon D750’s video performed up to expectations. The Thai boxers were all over the ring, moving from its opposite side to only a few feet away from me. Big Daddy and I had first row seats. Being so close to the fighters did pose two challenges, however. There was a post right in front of me, which would obscure my subjects from my camera whenever they moved behind it. The second challenge was the ring’s ropes. I’m sure that my camera was constantly focusing on the ropes instead of the fighters. I could at least edit out those portions of the video that had the two fighters going at each other behind the post. But there was no way getting around having to shoot between the ropes that formed the perimeter of the ring. The camera would often tend to focus on the nearest object.
Overall, I think the results were outstanding. The twin stereo speakers in the Nikon D750 reproduces very strong audio bass. I think that the series of 20 odd digital stills at the end of the video show that there is really nothing like a good SLR camera when it comes to zeroing in on the action. Nikon D750 Thai boxing