Muay Thai fans in Thailand has been familiar with the name “Suek One Songchai” or “S1 Championship” on television for over 3 decades. The program created by Thailand’s number one MuayThai promoter, Mr. Songchai Rattanasuban. Now it passes to the new hands of the next generation.
Pariyakorn Rattanasuban, “Madame Oh”, who is the youngest daughter of the three siblings in the family. She is the first and only female Muay Thai promoter in Thailand. She was also known by the name “Songchainoi” or “The Little Songchai” after her father’s name.
Madame Oh played an important role in the success of female Muay Thai tournament and now she becomes one of the top five promoters in the world.
As many people may think that this is her dream and obvious career because her father is the most famous promoter but the truth is she turns to this path because she wanted to help the family’s business.
“Actually, I haven’t thought about it that much and my father didn’t ask me to be his successor. I have been living with my parent all my life and seen their struggle from time to time, so I want to help them and the least I could do at that time was an accounting job which was a great way to learn the industry because I get to know everything from the smallest details.” She told the reporter.
“The idea of being a promoter started to kick off when I was a sophomore at Thammasat University. Before that, I was a kid who enjoys slow-life but later I found that my family suffers a loss from the business. I decided to focus on my study and try to graduate as soon as possible.”
“I graduated my bachelor degree in three and a half years as I planned, then I completed the master degree within a year. I was a twenty-three-year-old girl in a Muay Thai clan which made me feel complete nervous but I was not an arrogant person. I was surrounded by male fighters since I was a kid. I felt energized every time I went to see the fight. I like talking to everyone there, from the janitor to the chairman, so I knew exactly how each position in the business thinks which made me learn quicker.”
“There are all kind of the troubles you can think of but if you can find the root of the problems, they are not that difficult. However, nowadays, I feel tired because the economy is low. Sponsors are hard to find as they were in the past which the stadium was always packed.”
Now Madame Oh has more than 11 years of experience and she thinks that Muay Thai nowadays is in a critical time that needs to add new sports science and management to improve.
“Today, I can’t see any improvement in Muay Thai. I’m a 2nd generation. The 1st generation has already been battled hard and they are now older. I think I am the only one that sees Muay Thai as a knowledge in academic terms. There are no new ideas or any person that wants to change the way it has been. It always about gambling and fixed match which never helps Muay Thai’s future.”
She also thinks that the promoter nowadays has no responsibility and moral in organizing fighters. Some of them bring an inexperienced foreign fighter who has only 30 fights experience to fight against top Thai fighters who has more than 300 fights which can seriously damage Muay Thai more than adapting into a tournament like K-1.
“Personally, I think it just different sports. Muay Thai is much more severe so they change some rules and use a different name which is fine by me. What we can do is trying to keep Muay Thai as original as it can that it still reflects Thai culture and spirit. We have to do Wai Kru ceremony before the fight and also reward the fighter who uses beautiful Muay Thai move. Some people may find it not interesting but if we want to keep it in our hands we have to do it. Muay Thai is our legacy.”
She plans to build her own camp that use advanced training routine and higher quality equipment to train a future champion fighter in 5 years.
Translated from an interview >> https://www.thairath.co.th/content/521665