Instructor Candidates under my Muay Thai University are required to become officials as a part of their education in becoming a Kru. I strongly feel that to know our sport, you must understand all aspects of it and officiating is an important part of the fight game. Without officials and promoters, there would be no legal events for fighters to showcase their skills. This is why we have partnered with the WKA to bring the officiating element to our well rounded curriculum. To learn more about the Muay Thai University CLICK HERE.
To understand Muay Thai, or any ring sport, one must understand officiating. I have had the honor in the last month to referee, judge, and inspect at 3 different fight shows in New York. Officials are the unsung heroes of the fight game, and that is done on purpose. Like the ninjas of feudal Japan, our job is to be invisible. As Brian Crenshaw, President of the World Kickboxing Association that governs New York professional Muay Thai would say, “We are not a part of the show.” If we are doing our jobs right, the event runs without a hitch, and no one even knows that we were there.
Like most people who participate in Martial Arts Ring Sports, Officiating is a passion driven job. Though the WKA staff get’s paid for our professional work, by no means can we quit our day jobs. Most of us are retired fighters and current coaches who have a passion for this sport. We want to continue to see Muay Thai, kickboxing and MMA grow and officiating is our way of giving back to the community that we came from.
I can personally say that I love officiating. It takes me back to my fighting days. There is nothing more thrilling than being up close and personal as these young men and women go at it in the pursuit of their dreams. I have told many of my friends and students that refereeing is like having the rush of actually fighting, without getting hit. More importantly however, is the thought of giving back to our community which has given me everything. Though we strive to be invisible, the fighters and coaches (for the most part) appreciate what we do for ring sports. Their support and approval is payment enough for me.