Muay Thai: Peace, at Last
Michael Goodison, author
Michael Goodison is a writer and a fighter, and in Muay Thai: Peace, At Last, he documents his travelling adventure to Thailand. Battling an ever-present disinterest with the western way of living, Michael throws off the shackles and dares to live, confronting killer cobras and conversing with Buddhist monks as he prepares for a professional fight in one of the most violent martial arts in the world: Muay Thai. From elephants lumbering along the lush mountainsides to the rowdy backpacking scene of northern Thailand, and culminating in an adrenaline-thumping confrontation, Peace, At Last is escapism in its purest form, transporting the reader to a world of misadventure, intrigue, culture, and violence.
Australian Goodison (All Is Fair in Love and War) narrates the month he spent in Chiang Mai, Thailand, studying and training in Muay Thai, “the most brutal, most effective martial art in the world.” Stating that his central philosophy is “to be surrounded by the madness of life,” he picks Thailand not only because of what he sees as its “melting pot of heritage, violence, culture and visitors,” but also because he is able to participate in an actual stadium fight, which he headlines due to the novelty of his being a “farang” (foreigner). Goodison describes travels through the area, as well as sharing his intense training regimen, which is where he shines, describing the fight tactics of Muay Thai in what he clearly shows is “an exceptionally technical art form.” His description of the final stadium fight is powerful—“imagine getting hit on the bones of your forearms by somebody swinging a baseball bat.” Goodison’s writing can rely too heavily on clichés (“Loneliness is the price of rebellion”), but he effectively describes how the fight gave him a sense of inner peace. This is a powerful narrative of a physical and spiritual journey that also illuminates a fascinating martial art. (BookLife)