The Journey of Muay Thai
Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu has trained in Thailand and competed over 250 times. When she began training and learning the art of Muay Thai, she admits that she never had any intent to compete. Since beginning training with the legendary Master K in his basement in her hometown of New Jersey, Sylvie has documented every step she has taken in Muay Thai through her own website, 8 Limbs. 12 years and 250 fights later, Sylvie’s journey is an absolutely fascinating one and her goals are big enough to scare anyone. She sits down with Whitney Tuna for episode 8 of A Champion’s Mind.
Training with Master K was an incredible starting point for Sylvie. But in 2010, he suffered a serious health scare and Sylvie decided to honour what he had already shown her and inspired her with by pursuing a career of competing in Muay Thai in the motherland of Thailand. The decision to move to Thailand was heavily influenced by a previous visit to test the waters and Sylvie says once she experienced the training, the food and the people, she knew that she had to live there. It was around that time that she started to document her journey through her website which was funded generously by people who believed in the same path and wanted to follow her on the journey.
The move to Thailand was planned to last for 6 months but so far it has continued on for 8 years with Sylvie still residing there today. After amassing an incredible 80 bouts in her first two years of living and training out of Lanna Muay Thai in Chiang Mai, Sylvie and her husband decided to pack up and head to Pattaya and train at Petchrungruang. A move Sylvie says had a massively positive impact on her Muay Thai career. Whilst her career blossomed, so did her ability to document it. Sylvie was presented with the Awakening Journalist of the Year and the Awakening Fighter of the Year awards. Documenting her training sessions with the legends of Muay Thai in Thailand as well as sharing who they are as people has given Sylvie worldwide notoriety.
Sylvie currently holds the record for the most amount of bouts in Thailand by a westerner. With 250 in the bank already, its impressive to hear she aims to surpass Len Wickwar’s record of 471 bouts before she retires which confirms she has no intention of slowing down anytime soon. So much so, she has a trajectory of fights planned out for the public to see on her website which sees her surpass the record in September of 2028. Sylvie has an incredible journey that she shares with Whitney on the podcast and her idea of what it takes to be a true champion is incredibly inspiring and very well thought out.