K or Kumron Vaitayanon ... grew
up about 45 minutes outside of Bangkok, in the
city of Prapradang, his father was the city mayor.
At the age of eight, Master K asked his mother
to buy him a heavy bag so he could practice Muay
Thai. His mother, being aware of the whims of
children, didn't want to buy him a heavy bag
only to see it hanging unused after a short time.
However, she gave Master K a large sack of rice.
Master K, disgusted but determined, hung the
sack of rice and started kicking. It wasn't until
he had kicked his way through several sacks of
rice that his mother bought him his first heavy
K trained himself through most of
his childhood, getting lessons now and then
from a succession of trainers. When Master
K was 13 years old, the middle school he was
attending had a Muay Thai tournament. Master
K had to fight three times in one day, but
he won all his fights, and became champion
of his school. Shortly after that, his cousin
began to train him on a regular basis. Master
K's cousin was a professional Muay Thai Bantamweight
champion, his fight name was "Singh
Ro.So.Po.". It was the cousin
who set-up Master K's first official professional
K recalls being nervous about
the first fight. Mostly, however, he was
excited about getting a chance to prove himself
in the ring. At the sound of the bell for
the first round, Master K and his opponent
came out throwing push kicks, jabs, and other
techniques with moderate power, each fighter
testing out the other. When Master K gained
confidence, he took a step forward with his
rear foot and suddenly he struck his adversary
with a front-leg round kick. Foot and shin
wrapped around his opponent's neck, Master
K dropped him to the mat. Master K was surprised
to see his foe lying there without any attempts
to get up. To day, Master K laughs when he
remembers how angry he got and how he yelled
at his downed opponent, "Get
up! That was just my left leg, I haven't
kicked you with my right leg! I haven't kicked
you with my strong leg yet!" It
was on that day that Master K came to realize
that his left leg was his strong leg. So,
from then on, Master K used that as an advantage,
fighting with his strong leg forward.
K worked very hard to develop all
weapons of the eight limbs. Master K became
well known for the power of his elbows, over
half of his wins were knock outs from elbow
techniques. It was not long into his professional
career that Master K became known as "I
Sawk Kwan" which means "Mr.
Axe Elbow". Master K's propensity
for elbows also led to his motto "elbow
Kru Thawil Sunthornthama
Master K went on to have over 75 fights before he retired.
In his last fight, Master K had fought in an event that featured many
other big-name fighters. After the night's fights, the audience would
pick the best fighters of the evening, and that fighter would be awarded
a trophy. Master K had fought a tough fighter but had won his match.
At the end of the evening, the crowd acclaimed him as the best fighter.
It was a major victory for Master K, opening opportunities for more
important bouts. Master K did not take anymore fights after that, instead,
he chose to retire and devote his time to pursuing his career in public
relation and photography, then he became chief of public relation of
the Government Savings Bank of Thailand for 23 years. In 1970, the
bank sent him to the United States in order to study public relations
and advertising in New York During his 2-year stay; Master K did demonstrations
of Muay Thai around the New York/New Jersey area. Before he returned
to Thailand, he met Nat Fleischer, the editor of "The Ring" magazine.
Back then, Nat Fleischer was the only person respected worldwide
to recognize champion boxers from around the globe.