First, let’s make sure everybody knows how to say it. It’s pronounced, moy tie. As in it rhymes with boy tie. I mention this because if you’re not in the know, you’re likely to make a fool of yourself. I brought my neighbor’s family to my favorite dojo and watched as one of the children mispronounced Muay as Moo-ee and then another one of the children started calling out Ooo-ee Moo-ee, Oo-ee Moo-ee over and over again. I remember the two kids proceeded to laugh hysterically about it after-the-fact. Needless to say, the adults were mortified, the pupils were stunned into silence for a moment, while if I’m not mistaken the Kru and I gave a wry smile. I’ve also witnessed similar brouhaha’s in strictly adult settings. I had an uncle with a provincial attitude who, when he heard I was taking Muay Thai classes, said—and I’m not making this up—“Muay Thai? I thought that was a dish at that new Indian restaurant.”
Our slogan “Muay Thai, Americanized” is a nod to my own experience growing up in an average middle-class American suburb and learning Muay Thai with other kids my age. I’ve never been to Thailand, but I’ve watched Kickboxer at least a handful of times, along with plenty of other martial arts movies.
It’s also a nod to the times in which we live. We actually repurposed an old domain name with oddly spelled words to get a head start on our online presence. We have nothing but respect for any serious style of martial arts, but we also want to further normalize and demystify the martial arts as a great opportunity for kids who are interested in bettering themselves by learning the martial arts.