Tag Archive for wrath james white

VisionCon: The Muay Thai Demo

Wrath James White put on a Muay Thai demonstration Saturday morning at the con, and as I mentioned previously, he recruited me to hold the pads for him. In a nutshell, my job was to get beaten on a little.

Not in the face! Not in the face!

Not in the face! Not in the face!

Ass-whoopin’ jokes aside, it was a great demo. Wrath spent a lot of time discussing the distances between arts like karate and Muay Thai, covered some of his training, and even showed us his Ram Muay, the dance fighters perform before their matches. I was familiar with some of what he had to say, but a lot of it was new to me, especially the particulars of Muay Thai’s rules and culture, and for anyone interested in the martial arts, it was interesting stuff.

Then Wrath got to demonstrating why Muay Thai is referred to as the art of eight limbs; he started throwing punches, elbows, knees, and kicks my way.

You dont want to eat one of these

You don't want to eat one of these

I’ve held pads for plenty of guys before, but this was the first I’ve done so for a professional fighter. Even at 70% power, I had no question I’d be hurtin’ if I hadn’t been holding up those pads. I trusted Wrath not to miss the pads and take out a rib, but at the same time I made damn sure to keep those pads out where he needed them so I didn’t set myself up for injury. One of those knees could easily have knocked out teeth or cracked a rib.

Like a frickin freight train!

Like a frickin' freight train!

The flying knees were the strongest technique he showed off. I’m not a little dude, and if I stepped into the ring with Wrath we’d both be fighting in the heavyweight division. I even set myself into a front stance to brace against the knee. Nevertheless, those flying knees knocked me back a couple of steps with each blow. I can’t imagine the damage I’d have taken if he kept me in a tight clinch or pinned me against a turnbuckle or Octagon fence.

You can see a few more pics from the demo on my VisionCon Flickr set, and Jerrod Balzer has posted a some pictures on his blog.

The crowd enjoyed the presentation, and I felt like I learned something as well. In fact, afterward I asked Wrath a few more questions about applying a proper Muay Thai clinch, and I hope to show some of my friends at my karate school the technique.

Who knows, maybe I’ll even get an opportunity to apply it in a sparring match…

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

I Survived VisionCon

Or I could say Springfield, MO, survived VisionCon. The local HuHot staff almost got their heads kicked in by Brian Keene, Wrath James White and I, but that’s another story.

This year’s con was a bit bigger than last year’s, and as always the con staff and crowd was great to work with. I set up shop between Cullen Bunn and Russ Dickerson, and while we didn’t have a ton of shopping traffic, we moved some product and met a lot of people, and we generally had a blast.

I didn’t have an opportunity to take a lot of pictures this year, but Amanda from Geek Details shot me a link to her Flicker set of VisionCon photos. You’ll see many of the guests there (including my fat ass), as well as some shots of the nightlife. For example, you’ll see that old white guys like to stand and yap until you get a few drinks into them.

Saturday morning I volunteered to be a kicking dummy for Wrath’s Muay Thai demonstration. We’ve got a few pictures of that, which I’ll share separately.

The other big event on Saturday was the return of the infamous Gross-out Contest. Formerly a fixture of the World Horror Convention until it was killed a few years ago, the con staff graciously allowed to resurrect it given the attendance of former champions Cullen, Wrath, and Mark McLaughlin. Brian served as emcee and I sat in on the judges’ panel, and we had over 50 people sit in on the readings. More than a few of them almost lost their dinner as the champions and several first-time readers brought their worst to the mic, and in the end Cullen won his 5th title, Wrath came in 2nd, and S.D. Hintz took 3rd.

Unfortunately the bar couldn’t put together a decent boilermaker, but the beauty of a con like VisionCon is the people know how to put together a good room party. In addition to Cullen’s patented diet margaritas, we grabbed drinks with names like Mojo, Green Slime, Deception, and Rusty Bucket. They all go down easy, and if you’re not having fun at a con like this, you’re just not trying.

After two weekends in a row on the road, it’s good to be home. I’m still catching up on email and other writing business, but I’m feeling energized and eager to get some more writing done. Finding a new good review didn’t hurt, either. Thanks again to Dave and his staff for bringing me back this year, and thanks as well to all the folks who came to hang out with us (there are far too many of you to list!). I hope to be there again next year!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.