‘The Training Gave Me Courage’ – How Seksan Went From Bullied Kid To ‘The Man Who Yields To No One’
Seksan Or Kwanmuang has become one the most popular Muay Thai fighters in the world – and that could explode even further in his next outing.
Following an electrifying 6-0 run in the ONE Friday Fights event series, Seksan will make his U.S. primetime debut on November 3 against Johan Estupinan at ONE Fight Night 16: Haggerty vs. Andrade on Prime Video.
Although he entered the world’s largest martial arts organization with a long list of accolades in Muay Thai, the 34-year-old slugger has reached a new level of recognition internationally thanks to his consistently thrilling performances.
Ahead of his return to action at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, find out how a bullied child from a rural area became a multiple-time World Champion known as “The Man Who Yields To No One.”
Starting Muay Thai To Beat The Bullies
It’s hard to imagine now, but the young Seksan had a difficult time growing up in Nakhon Si Thammarat province.
As a child, the Thai legend was bullied in school, and this was the catalyst for his start in Muay Thai at the age of 9.
He recalled his introduction to “the art of eight limbs”:
“I went to school when I was young and got bullied. I came home crying, and my dad asked me what had happened. I said I was bullied and cried. So, he put me in Muay Thai training from that day. He taught me, and I have trained from that day until now.”
Seksan didn’t know it then, but that early exposure to Muay Thai helped forge the attributes that have made him a star.
When he started competing, he was happy to have some spare money to treat himself and help his parents, but it snowballed into something much more significant:
“The training gave me courage and showed me to have no fear. I liked it.
“When I fought, I earned money to buy snacks and to give to my parents. I have been fighting since then.”
Making It In The Big City
After building a name for himself regionally, Seksan took a major step in order to further his career.
At age 15, he left his home for Bangkok to chase success in Muay Thai, but the transition was a painful one for the country boy.
“At first, I cried every day. I could only call my parents and cry all the time. I cried during training, in the bedroom, even when I took a shower. I cried a lot when I was young.
“It took me months to adjust to Bangkok. I had never been away from my family, so it took many months for me to get used to it.”
Eventually, Seksan acclimatized to the different environment.
With plenty of support from his coaches and the more experienced fighters at the gym, he grew accustomed to his new life, motivated by his reasons for moving there in the first place:
“I stopped crying because my trainers and my seniors gave me advice about training and told me to be patient because I was fighting for my family and my future.”
Becoming ‘The Man Who Yields To No One’
Seksan went on to achieve a tremendous amount of success on the elite Bangkok circuit, competing for the biggest titles in the most prestigious stadiums.
He earned four World Championships – including Rajadamnern Stadium and WBC Muay Thai World Titles – as well as his inimitable nickname, “The Man Who Yields To No One.”
Looking back, he detailed that incredible rise:
“In 2011, I received the prize for Fight of the Year at Rajadamnern. I was knocked down twice in that fight, but I got one knockdown back and finally won by knockout. From then, I fought with an aggressive style and yielded to none – that’s when I got the nickname.
“Receiving the Rajadamnern Stadium Muay Thai World Title [in 2018] motivated me, as it is one of the most renowned belts. It was a good time in my life.”
Success is not always a straight line, though, and Seksan found this out as he hit various skids during a career that has reached almost 300 contests.
As a result, he learned the value of keeping loved ones close because they were the ones who were always there to support him:
“When I was losing many fights in a row, I felt down sometimes. But I still had my parents and family to encourage me.
“They motivated me to come back up and fight again. I had good encouragement, and that turned me back to a winning streak.”
Changing His Life In ONE
Seksan’s unrivaled entertainment and skill earned him a place on the ONE Championship roster with the inauguration of ONE Friday Fights at the beginning of 2023.
Since then, “The Man Who Yields To No One” has gone from strength to strength, adding six straight wins to his resume, earning a six-figure contract with ONE, and taking home five performance bonuses for his courageous efforts.
It’s a sequence of events that has unexpectedly changed his life. Seksan was close to hanging up his gloves, but he’s instead made the most of his new platform to become a global superstar and secure his future.
The 34-year-old added:
“My motivation is my family. Both of my kids and my parents. My [ONE] bouts changed my family’s life a lot. They can live a better and more comfortable life.
“I have savings for both my kids for college, I have money for my parents. More importantly, I bought a house in Nakhon Si Thammarat. I’ve been very successful with ONE.
“I was thinking about stopping fighting at the age of 34 or 35. I never thought I would get this much money. I feel so happy.”