CHIANGRAI TIMES – One of Canada’s most experienced and knowledgeable muay thai instructors has returned home to Canada on loan from his current homestead near Chiang Rai, Thailand to pass on some of his hard-earned tricks of the trade that have aided him in his journey to become the most experienced foreign fighter in Thailand.
Kru Jovan ‘Stinger’ Stojanovski has been maintaining a busy schedule in the work of his visit to Durham Region, including teaching seminars at both Ishi Gogyou Martial Arts in Whitby on April 14 and Pound for Pound MMA in Pickering on April 21. Also spending time helping competitors of muay mhai and MMA at Pound for Pound MMA, Rough House MMA and Shah Franco’s Martial Arts in Toronto, he is firmly rooted in the local martial arts community and is a valued asset to a lot of premier local teams who can get some of his limited time in the GTA.
“Some people look at muay thai and think of the film Bloodsport and that it is some killer sport run by the Mafia but that is untrue,” he said. “It is the national sport of Thailand and is sponsored by the king. It goes back thousands of years and it is a part of their culture. They are Buddhist and there’s positive Buddhist rituals that they adopt. It is an very respectful sport.”
Stojanovski spends much of his time as an ambassador of muay thai and, aside from regular visits to Canada, makes regular journeys to Australia and Europe to share his knowledge and passion for the sport and the closely knit culture of Thailand.
Stojanovski has competed before the king on his birthday with beloved competitor and Olympic gold medalist boxer, Somrak Khamsing, as well as squared off against the 2001 fighter of the year, Samkar Giat Monthep, at the prestigious Lumpine stadium in Bangkok, where only the best are invited to compete.
Possibly the most impressive of all, however, he is matches away, on Thai soil, from becoming the foreigner with the most professional fights ever in Thailand. He currently stands with 103 fights and, entering in to his 40s, is still in great shape and prepared to go.
Having said that, Stojanovski has a deadline to meet in setting the new record.
“I’m elderly for a Thai fighter but I have the bonus that I started late by their standards,” said Stojanovski. “My coach has 400 fights for example, so I don’t have as much wear and tear as lots of the fellows.”
One time his competition days are behind him, Stojanovski designs to continue to bring muay thai wherever he can and with relatives and lots of friends in the GTA, local martial artists hope to continue to reap the benefits of his teachings as he divides his time between Canada, his current home of Thailand, and the remainder of the world.
“I promised my spouse that I’d cease this year,” he said with a chuckle. “I’ve been lying to her for ten years so I better come tidy now.” – Mac Wilson