Khris Collins fights one of his competitors Zach Marques Photo credit: Jessie Fowler

The North Grenville Municipal Centre will play host to the area’s first Muay Thai Kickboxing competition at the end of June. Khris Collins has been training and competing in Muay Thai Kickboxing for the past ten years. He first got involved in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), which combines several different types of martial arts, including Muay Thai, when he was in college. Also called Thai Boxing, Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand and was developed thousands of years ago so farmers could defend their land from intruders from Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Malaysia. It is known as the art of eight limbs as, unlike traditional boxing, it uses the elbows and knees, along with the arms and legs.

Khris says a lot of training goes into preparing for each match. Training camps often last six to eight weeks to prepare for a six-minute fight. Participants train two to three hours a day, five days a week, using weights, springs, hitting pads, and sparing. Currently, Khris trains a group of about 15 students at the Kemptville Training Centre on Van Buren Street in Kemptville. Four of his students train competitively and will be showcasing their skills at a Muay Thai Kickboxing competition that Khris is organizing this spring. Competitors from Ottawa and the surrounding area are also being invited to compete.

This is the area’s first Muay Thai Kickboxing competition and Khris hopes that it will be a community event. He has already garnered sponsorship from several local businesses, including Du Soleil Tanning Studio, JM Automotive, Canucks Wildlife Services, Vape of Diamonds, Anytime Fitness Kemptville, Back In Motion, and R. Rose Automotive. “I want to keep it local and have businesses, athletics and sports all work together,” he says, adding that he is still looking for more sponsors for the event. “I’m willing to work with anyone who wants to work with me.”

Khris says Muay Thai has totally changed his life. He has seen lifelong friendships forged in the gym and the ring, and the sense of community that is created by the sport is unwavering. “It has helped change my life for the better,” he says. “I think it should be in everyone’s life.”

The Redneck Rumble Muay Thai Kickboxing Competition with be held on June 22 at the North Grenville Municipal Centre. Doors open at 5:00pm, with the first match starting at 6:00pm. Khris is hoping to have 12-14 matches, in total, throughout the evening.

Advanced tickets are $35, or $40 at the door. VIP ring-side tables of eight are also available upon request. Tickets are being sold at the Kemptville Training Centre, JM Automotive, Du Soleil Tanning, and Nakhon Thai.

For more information, or to become a part of the event, contact Khris Collins at 613-808-0971 or [email protected].

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