First Strike 2004 - Martial Arts
tournament (May 19, 2004)
Alain, Lamma's Muay Thai Heavyweight
World Champion was fighting in a local tournament in Queen Elizabeth
Stadium, co-organised by Lamma's Island Gym. Several temporary (Nathan
Corbett) and permanent Lammaites were on stage and in the audience
first Muay Thai tournament in HK since 1984. Let's quote verbatim from
the brochure handed out to tournament visitors, full of noble sentiments;
some of them could even be described as unintentionally ironic:
HK Boxing Assoc. - Vision Statement:
or Muay Thai, a sport now revered
world-wide, as the most
efficient, artistic and exciting spectator sport and combat
discipline, first took root in Hong Kong in 1965. It was growing by
enviable proportions, but due to rather complex reasons - both
cultural and socio-political - a dark age set in at the end of 1984,
when ineffectual rules enforcing safety measures were imposed by the
then British colonial administration on all free-fight or kickboxing
Now, twenty years hence, Muay Thai and ring
sports are ready to make a comeback.
The Hong Kong Boxing Association proudly
presents The First Strike 2004 marking the beginning of a new
era, free from the constraints of back water policies.
Our objective is to revitalize this great sport
of our time, and to give our real stars a fighting chance.
The event is produced by our association, in
co-operation with our co-presenters
Khunchieng MuayThai Society and Fightin' Fit Gym. The
name Khunchieng needs little amplification for the countless local
fighing talents it has produced over the last twenty years. Our
friend Fightin' Fit is a world-class combat studio headed by
Shihan Pierre M. Ingrassia, 6th Dan hard-style Karate and
Kickboxing champion, who shares the same vision with our chairman,
Mr Alex Tsui: Hong Kong has all the attributes to be the
martial arts capital of the world - but only if we act in concert
and with dignity.
To begin with, all persons in the fight game
must conduct themselves with self-discipline and honour, so as
to establish public credibility, which will, in time, foster a
good culture we strongly propose that the diehard values below be
recognized by all of us in the community.
The ring belongs to true warriors.
Fighting is a game of honour - let no one
betray that noble faith.
Olympic spirit: the better man must be
adjudged the winner, but whoever fights with heart is to be hailed
brochure's Chinese-only fighter bios (translated by our Official Court
Translator, Samson the Naughty Tai Peng-uin). Very informative, but
try to be patient with all the hype and political incorrectness:
Alain N'Galani "Hong Kong's Ghostly Beast":
Without doubt, Alain N'Galani is a natural-born
Alain's skin is as black as the darkness of the
night. At 1.79m and over 98kg, his muscular body is as solid as steel
and his limbs are just as strong. He also moves just as quickly and
mystically as the black panther. Since settling in Hong Kong, he's
been going under the nickname of "Hong Kong's Ghostly Beast".
Originally born in Cameroon, Alain grew up with
a keen passion for the art of fighting and Kung Fu. A 6-time African
Champion in Freestyle Fighting, his expertise led to his employment
with the rebel army led by General Gaile of the Ivory Coast. When the
General came into power in 2001, Alain became the Ivory Coast
However, when the General was overthrown from
his presidency by internationally backed political force and
subsequently murdered, Alain found himself in exile, while his
personal safety wasn't guaranteed any more.
He fled the dark land of Africa for France, then
Asia, particularly Thailand, before finally settling in Hong Kong.
N'Galani, aged 28, has won all except 3 of his
27 fights. At a recent competition in Southern Thailand, he KOed all
three of his opponents within the first 2 rounds.
After settling in Hong Kong, he was trained by
renowned German kickboxing coach, Pierre Ingrassia, who also offered
Alain a job at the Fightin' Fit Centre.
Although his daily needs are met, Alain the
fighter belongs to the ring, where he can freely showcase his fighting
talents. In Hong Kong, however, the task is harder than one would
imagine. For starters, it is not easy to find another fighter his
size! Following Pierre's efforts, Hong Kong's Number 1 trainer Son
Ching extended his helping hand to sort that out by connecting with
other fighters and kickboxers on the Mainland. Until now, Alain has
already fought beautifully for several times. He has beaten the
Guangdong Heavyweight Boxing Champion Ma Sum and conquered the
Japanese Judo Champion. At the beginning of this year, Alain won the
title as the "South China King of Combat". As for his aspiring goal,
it is to win the K-1 Combat Championship in Tokyo, Japan, the highest
honour at the combat and fight scene around the world.
Today, China will send Fujian fighting expert,
Zhang Qing Jun, named "Tiger of Jiang Xu", to compete with Alain. This
will be a fight between the tiger of Southern China and the African
Nathan “Carnage” Corbett - temporary Lammaite
while he was preparing for this tournament:
Other than France and Germany, the new forces
of global combat fighting are Russia and Australia. The standards of
fighters are rising and their competitive style rivals that of
renowned Thai fighters.
Amongst the top Australian athletes is World
Muay Thai Committee (WMC) Medium to Heavyweight Champion, Nathan
Corbett - nicknamed “Carnage” for his ferocious style of fighting.
Nathan, aged 25, measures 1.83cm in height and
80kg in weight. He first began training in practical-style Karate
with a German-based Karate Champion, and then trained with the
current Thai S-1 “Prince’s Cup” Championship series, a
fellow-Australian nicknamed “Cowboy”.
Since he began training with “Cowboy”, he had
only lost 1 of his 25 fights. Nathan currently holds these titles:
1997, 1998, 1999: Australian Karate
Champion of Full Contact Karate
2000, 2001, 2002: Australian Champion
of Medium Weight Muay Thai Boxing and Australian Champion of
Medium-Heavyweight Muay Thai Boxing
2004: WMC Medium-Heavyweight Champion
To describe Nathan’s style of fighting, the
most appropriate word is “horrifying”. His attacked are fierce and
powerful. For opponents who lack preparation and concentration, it is
like they’re stepping on their journey of death…
Nathan’s nickname as “Carnage” came about in
2003, when he beat his opponent, the Canadian World Champion, Brown,
by inflicting maximum damage with just one punch that is as quick as
a lightning flash…
Fortune Chan -
Official Court Poet of Lamma.com.hk:
Drunken tears, sad and lonesome,
Missing the scent of the big boy's sweat.
Defending violence from a mid-west eyrie,
Visions of a place you just can’t forget.
Between the legs, dream of violence,
Men in shorts, muscles tight.
Long-lost Lamma, distant dreaming.
Oh, once more the sweat-drenched fight!
(click to enlarge)
Hong Kong's "The Panther", "Wolf Hunter" & "Goddess Victoria" pose with Nathan "Carnage" Corbett, from Australia. Photo by Martin Chan, SCMP
Queen Elizabeth Stadium heating up
Ring & ringside judges
Dramatic opening ceremony
Mandatory lion dance
Pierre & Alex Tsui in the limelight
Trophies awaiting the winners
Alain with panther mask doing the splits
The skimpily dressed number girls announcing the rounds
Too fast & furious for my camera: HK's "Goddess Victoria" vs. Thailand's "Wildcat". HK won.
"The Apeman" vs. "Iron Fists of Fujian"
Iron Fists clutching the trophy
1st intermission: RICE!
Singing one song only
zooming in on Lammaite Angela!
Mohammad "The Knee Assassin" Magomedov (Russia)
High-flying kick from Nathan "Carnage" Corbett
Nathan taking a little break
and now a little one-legged dancing
Who kicked first?
Nathan's the winner!
One more trophy for the world champion
Alain vs. "The Tiger of Jiang Xu" Zhang Qing Jun (Fujian)
Alain making a great start
All the number girls announcing round 4
Taking good care of Alain
Defending himself in a corner
Getting his second wind, fighting back!
Dropping to his knees, Alain can't go on any longer...
The Tiger defeats the Panther
The new Muay Thai Heavyweight Champion of China. Alain remains World Champion.