By Ryan McKinnon

With a record of 16-5, Cole “Big Mac’ MacInnis of OAMA not only has the requisite experience to medal at the World Youth Championships, he has the pedigree. Cole’s mother trained in Jiu-Jitsu, and his father was a student of Ajahn Bob Carver in Ottawa. Here is one young man from a martial arts family who has extra support from a host of world class coaches, and his 8 Canadian teammates as they take on the rest of the world in Bangkok.

Cole grew up playing traditional Canadian sports like hockey, soccer, and baseball, but claims he lacked the passion for these sports that other kids had. Having parents who participated in martial arts, he was encouraged to try both BJJ and Muaythai. “I immediately fell in love with Muaythai,” said Cole. Fast forward a few years, and he is representing Canada in the Junior 16-17 63.5kg division. Cole ranks his silver medal win in Italy at the WKF World Championships last November as his biggest accomplishment to date. Hopefully he will be adding a medal at the World Junior Championships to his list of impressive accomplishments.

“I never planned on being a fighter, but Kru Jeff Harrison saw something in me, and convinced my parents to let me fight.” Cole competes out of OAMA, which is home to some of Canada’s most successful nak muay, both in amateur and professional competition. He comes from a great lineage of muaythai fighters and coaches, which include Ajahn Burklerk Pinsinchai, who was Kru Jeff’s coach in Thailand. Cole is currently in Thailand to prepare for the World Junior Championships with his coaches and Ajahn Burklerk. You can see the DNA imprinted in Cole’s muaythai style. Burklerk is known for his clinch, defensive skills, and ability to control a bout by setting the pace he wants. Cole demonstrates many of the same skills. He is a tough athlete with a good clinch, and powerful knees. The time he’s spending in Thailand in advance of his World Junior Championship debut is a testament to his passion for the sport.

“I am humbled by the opportunity to represent my country and proud that I was selected to do so. I am excited to be traveling to Bangkok to fight! I hope to learn and grow through the exposure to Muay Thai in its birthplace.” Never one to back down from a challenge, Cole feels ready to take on the World’s best in his division this August. Alongside his teammates and world class coaches like Ajahn Burklerk, Cole has positioned himself as one of the top athletes in his division at the World Youth Games in Bangkok, beginning August 3rd. His family and friends are already extremely proud of his muaythai career, and excited to watch him represent himself and his country with passion and sportsmanship. Chok dee Cole!

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Ryan McKinnon is the host of The Bloody Ballet Podcast and website, found at www.thebloodyballet.com. He is a regular blog contributor to www.lannamma.com and www.mississaugaelite.com. You can find him coaching 5 days a week at the Mississauga Elite Training Center.

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