So much has been written about this man that to write about his accomplishments in Martial Arts world wide would be to simply rehash that’s that’s already been written and likely, it’s been written, by far better qualified people than I.
No; what I want to do is to get a feel for the 19 year old young man that left Thailand and would go onto conquer Europe, USA, Australia and South Africa. You know after being in business for 25 years I know the difficulty and challenges you can face let alone learning a new language, a new culture and then selling a new idea and making that idea comply with the laws of the land or having those laws changed to adopt the new Martial Art of Muay Thai we know today. By way of example those of you old enough to remember will recall Muay Thai rules in the UK initially would only allow knees to the body and no elbows at all. Kicking was allowed.
Grand Master Toddy has been the catalyst of change, the go to man for commentary on evolving rules, improving fighters, trainer of champions, part time movie star, subject to umpteen documentaries and tv news stories and so how did a nineteen year old landing in London with £50 in his pocket not only survive but thrive in this environment – 1970’s UK. What was his motivation? where did his belief in himself come from? Would the 19 year old recognise the man today? What advise would the man today give to the 19 year old today?
You know nine years ago, I’m sure my son will not mind my saying so, and sat in an old Ford Anglia at a historic car fair in West Lancashire with my son James, I said, “find the sat nav?” and so he began his search. I say this because like most kids of his generation they cannot imagine a world without technology. Whereas I recall that age vividly and how simply using the home telephone would cause a diplomatic outage on the home front. Why do I mention this but to graphically portray not only how different things where technologically but economically. Working class people were living week to week in the UK and so how does a Thai man find himself driving an American Camero sports car, left hand drive, in the UK within a very short few years of arrival? Not easy now but in 1970’s UK!
I wanted to shine a light on the journey not his destination and the motivations of the man and how he overcome his problems to enable others to learn by way of his example. Like most people in life as we get older we realise and see things in a new light and revealed to me was a man that was always teaching lessons in how to live your life and find purpose and that Muay Thai was one of his tools of choice. Did you listen and open your eyes is a question I find myself asking more and more!
What follows is a series of videos taken at Toddy’s Health & Well-being, Phetchaburi Thailand and his home in which I was kindly invited to live as part of his household and to share with you, filmed over several days, to capture his important journey. I hope you Enjoy!