By Ryan McKinnon

From October 4th to the 8th, 2017, the Muaythai Pan American Championship will be held in Mexico City. Seven of Canada’s finest nak muay will be traveling with head coach Ajahn Suchart Yodkerepauprai, a legendary trainer of Muaythai champions, to challenge the best athletes in the Americas. With the support of our growing Muaythai community, our athletes will be offered the best opportunity to achieve another important milestone in their amateur careers.

Below is your Muaythai team this year:

  • 54 kg Yumiko Kawano (Krudar Muay Thai)
  • 57 kg Rob Xoumphonphakdy (Milton Muay Thai)
  • 60 kg Nigel Soreta (Siam No. 1 Muay Thai)
  • 67 kg Amin Almelik (Warrior Muay Thai)
  • 81 kg Turner Swan (Redemption Muay Thai)
  • 86 kg Ryan James (Drampton Muay Thai)
  • 91+ kg Noel Hussey (Oakville Muay Thai)

Each athlete on this list carries a story with them; a personal journey that they hold close to their heart. Each athlete has made sacrifices in their lives to pursue something that many people only dream about. If you’ve never fought, or even experienced what it’s like to train for a bout, it may be difficult to understand why a small financial donation can mean so much.

An athlete’s life is not for the weak. Every day they rise out of bed, and immediately feel the soreness that pulses throughout their bodies. The previous evening’s training session is immediately remembered before their feet hit the ground, and they head out the door to work.

We all have jobs. A lot of the work we do each day isn’t something we dreamed about doing as kids. For some of us, we do it because we have to. Sometimes we do it as a means to an end. We sacrifice a part of our identity in order to pursue the things that we couldn’t live without.

For every person on this list, Muaythai defines them. They have made enormous sacrifices to pursue a burning passion to compete at the highest level of competition. Time spent away from family and friends is hard on an athlete. Financial sacrifice can be the hardest. In an era where people are generally defined by the work they do, a small subset of people literally compete to be defined by the things they love.

In a sense, we are all athletes. When we leave our homes each day, we are on that proverbial ‘grind’ to make something happen. For our Canadian Pan American team of athletes, they are grinding it out at work and in the gym to represent their country at the highest stage of amateur competition. Take some time to research the athletes on this list. Each one of them has a compelling story that will inspire you. They are all competing for something both in and out of the ring, as people, and as athletes. Please support them by offering a small donation that will make a big difference in their lives and careers

Support the Team

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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