By Ryan McKinnon

At 17 years of age, Ethan ‘Da Chef’ Cook is one of 5 athletes from the well-known Kalmsamrit Gym in Bowmanville who will be representing Canada at the Youth World Championships in August. With a record of 14-12, Ethan brings a wealth of experience to the 60kg division, and with his teammates at his side, you bet he will be showing up determined to bring gold back to Canadian soil as he makes a return to Bangkok this summer.

Ethan is relatively new to muaythai, starting only 5 years ago when he was 12. Like teammate Riley Foden, Ethan began his muaythai journey as a very shy kid. “I didn’t want to do it at all because I used to be a really shy, non-talkative kid, and in school I used to get picked on because of my size and my anti-social behaviour.” Ethan is yet another remarkable story of a young man who used muaythai to gain confidence in who he is as a person. Fast-forward from his first day at Kalsamrit, Ethan is no longer the shy kid who got picked on in school. Rather, he is a confident young man on a mission to capture gold in Thailand.

A multiple title holder in various organizations, including the Tri-Star Fight Series Champion, Ethan bears the fingerprints of Kalsamrit Gym in his fighting style. He is as tough as they come, in phenomenal shape, and knows when and how to push the action when his opponents get tired. He also possesses a whipping switch kick, can deliver power from both sides, and is great at managing distance. With just 5 years experience, Ethan continues to improve upon a well-established foundation of muaythai technique.

“To be a part of the national team is probably one of the biggest honours I’ve ever received, and has been my dream ever since I stepped foot in the gym.” When asked how he felt competing against the world’s top nak muay, Ethan replied, “I’m feeling really confident and ready because I’ve been to Thailand last year, and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I can’t wait to return.” Although Ethan fell short last year, he is not deterred one bit as he prepares to take on the world’s best in Bangkok.

Ethan has all of the skills to win gold this summer, and has a great team behind him. “My family supports my fighting completely. They are always there for me. The best part about muaythai is that I get to do all of this alongside my best friends because the people I train with are all family to me.” With his 4 teammates, Ethan is more ready than ever to add another piece of hardware to his impressive collection of muaythai awards. With Kalsamrit teammates to keep him sharp, and an unrivaled work ethic, Ethan Cook is in the best possible situation to accomplish another one of his muaythai dreams this summer.

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

© Muaythai Canada
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