150 Years – Germany and Thailand: History is Always In the Making
This year, 2012, is a historical one for many reasons. We have just witnessed the amazing Olympic Games in London, Muaythai has launched its application to become IOC recognized, and this year also marks 150 years of diplomatic relations between Germany and Thailand. In order to celebrate this, a cultural exchange will take place between the two countries. The “Thailand VS Germany” gala event will take place on German soil on September 15th, sanctioned by the world governing body for Muaythai, the World Muaythai Council (WMC), and organised by Elite Boxing Germany in cooperation with the official German Muaythai member federation, Muaythai Bund Deutschland (MTBD).
A press conference was held inside the German Embassy at the beautiful residence of the German Ambassador, HE Mr. Rolf Schulze, representing the Federal Republic of Germany. Representing the WMC and the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur (IFMA) was HE General Pichtir Kullavanijaya, Privy Councillor to HM the King of Thailand, Dr. Sakchye Tapsuwan, President of IFMA and General Secretary of the WMC, and Mr. Stephan Fox, Vice President of the WMC, who was born in Germany and has experienced both cultures intensively through his Muaythai background.
HE Mr. Rolf Schulze made a moving speech about Thai-German relations and described how he is fascinated by the beauty of Muaythai, as the sport and martial art truly have become international. He promised his support for many Muaythai activities in the near future.
HE General Pichitr Kullavanijaya delivered a detailed speech on the history of Muaythai, and why it is so important to Thai people. He also explained the history of how Germany and Thailand first became close friends: In Thai history King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) spent a long period visiting Germany and several of his sons were also educated there. In turn, under King Rama V’s reign, many German experts were invited to Thailand to support the modernization of the country.
Dr. Tapsuwan thanked the Ambassador and German government for their support. He said that Germany is one of the founding members of the WMC and that the sport has grown there. He stated that he knew that the sport is recognized in many of Germany’s states and he very much hopes that soon Muaythai in Germany, as in many other countries, will be fully government recognized.
Mr. Fox, as a former Muaythai champion, talked about the similarities of Muaythai and his German upbringing, wherein the values of discipline, honour, respect and fair play gave him a solid framework for life. Due to both his remaining ties there and his current position as a sports administrator internationally, he is happy to see how the sport has grown in Germany and that German athletes have become household names in the sport.
The WMC also thanked the Foreign Ministry of Thailand for their support. Finally, Dr. Tapsuwan, on behalf of HE General Pichitr Kullavanijaya, presented the German Ambassador with an honourary mongkon, making him an official member of the world Muaythai community.