Petchmorakot Petchyindee Academy may be a world-class martial artist, but he has not forgotten where he has come from, or how to honor his family.
The multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion – who returns to action against Giorgio “The Doctor” Petrosyan at ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY on 12 July – has dedicated his life to his sport, but recently, he took an extended break to fulfill a promise to his family.
The 25-year-old left his home in Ubon Ratchathani at a young age to live and train in Bangkok, but he returned after his last ONE Super Series match in May to go through a rite of passage.
Multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion Petchmorakot heads to Kuala Lumpur on 12 July for the biggest bout of his career — a ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix REMATCH against Giorgio "The Doctor" Petrosyan!
Multiple-time Muay Thai World Champion Petchmorakot heads to Kuala Lumpur on 12 July for the biggest bout of his career — a ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix REMATCH against Giorgio "The Doctor" Petrosyan!????: Kuala Lumpur | 12 July | 6PM | ONE: MASTERS OF DESTINY????: Get your tickets at ???? http://bit.ly/onemastersofdestiny19????: Check local listings for global TV broadcast????: Watch on the ONE Super App ???? http://bit.ly/ONESuperApp ????????: Prelims LIVE on Facebook | Prelims + 2 Main-Card bouts LIVE on Twitter
Posted by ONE Championship on Friday, 28 June 2019
In Thai culture, it is customary for young men to enter the monkhood to show gratitude to their loved ones and learn skills to become a better man.
It is a practice that is seen to bring great honor to their families, and though some men may ordain as novice monks many times throughout their lives, becoming a fully-ordained monk is reserved for men over the age of 20, and is usually a once-in-a-lifetime event.
With his busy competition schedule, it was hard for Petchmorakot to find the time to go through with the practice, but he had long made the commitment to return to his village and do it for his mother and father, so he was determined to fulfill his promise – even in the middle of ONE Championship’s US$1 million tournament.
“It is my obligation to my parents – something I have wanted to do for a long time,” he explains.
“This year I am 25, which is a very inauspicious year for Thai men. My family felt it was best for me to ordain now to ward off any bad luck.”
The process begins with a two-day ceremony, and the festivities started with Petchmorakot entering the first phase of the monkhood known as nak. In a sacrifice of vanity, friends and family joined together to shave off the featherweight athlete’s hair and eyebrows.
10 things you never knew about Muay Thai World Champion Petchmorakot! ????: Kuala Lumpur | 12 July | 6PM | ONE: MASTERS…
Dressed in a white robe, Petchmorakot stayed in the nak phase for an entire day in preparation to enter the monkhood and was paraded through the village in the back of a pick-up truck as a form of celebration.
Joined together by well over a hundred guests, the festivities were marked by an abundance of home-cooked food and a traditional morlam concert in the evening.
After a very long day, that saw the festivities go well into the early hours of the morning, it was soon time for Petchmorkat to officially enter the monkhood. Before the sun rose, he left his possessions behind and embarked on a brand new chapter in his life.
Once he arrived at the temple, the sacred ritual began as the resident monks welcomed him with a long series of chants in the ancient Pali scripture until he was ready to don the orange robes.
Life at the temple was a far cry from the arduous training schedule he has stuck to for more than 15 years in “the art of eight limbs,” but Petchmorakot was determined to embrace the practices and make the most of his time in monkhood.
Powerful Petchmorakot looks to add another highlight reel moment to his impressive resume on 12 July against Giorgio…
“At the very beginning, it was a little difficult to adjust. Monks eat at 8am and sometimes at 11am. After that, it is only drinks. I was really hungry at first, but got used to it quickly,” he explains.
“We spent a lot of time in meditation and doing chores at the temple. It made me feel a lot more relaxed and at peace because I was finally able to do this for my family.”
The process was also made easier because of the support of two of his closest colleagues at Petchyindee Academy.
First, the teammate he grew up with, Petchdam “The Baby Shark” Petchyindee Academy, also returned home to ordain. They were not together, but knowing one of his friends was going through the same thing was a comfort to Petchmorakot.
“Even though we were at separate temples, it was great to go through this with a friend,” Petchmorakot adds.
The gym’s managing director at Petchyindee Academy, Nuttadaj Vachirarattanawong – also known as Boat Yindee – was on hand to participate in the ceremonies of both of his young charges.
They were both also grateful to have the support of a senior figure they both respect greatly.
ไม่ว่าอะไรจะเกิดขึ้นผมจะยืนเคียงข้างหลวงพี่ทั้งสอง บวชให้สบายใจ ทุกสิ่งที่เราคิดดีทำดีจะนำพาแต่ความสำเร็จมาหาพวกเรา สาธุ อนุโมทนาบุญครั้งยิ่งใหญ่ ????
“I was really happy and honored to have my manager there. It is a long way from Bangkok, and meant a lot to me that he could come,” Petchmorakot says.
Petchmorakot spent a little more than two weeks at the temple, and his immersion in the monkhood put him at peace, which he believes may help him as an athlete, as well as in his everyday life.
Ahead of his ONE Featherweight Kickboxing World Grand Prix quarterfinal rematch against Petrosyan in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the Thai hero feels recharged and focused ahead of his main event assignment.
“I think the greatest lesson I learned was to think and speak gradually,” he explains.
“My body feels great! It was a great experience for me, but I am ready to get back into the ring.”