Russian Muaythai Federation

Muaythai is one of the most spectacular martial arts. This sport is maximally close to the bout between two fighters as it is the most ancient martial arts, which keeps numerous traditions of continuity.

Dmitry Putilin
President of the Russian Muaythai Federation

After the fall of the iron curtain in the Soviet Union our countrymen came to Thailand where they saw the beauty and entertainment of muaythai. The new type of martial arts captivated Russians so much that they decided to develop it in this country. Thus, in 1990 in Novosibirsk there appeared the first muaythai club. Oleg Terekhov was engaged in training and Sergey Zayashnikov headed the club.

In 1996 they founded the Russian Muaythai Federation (RMF), which was headed by Sergey Zhukov until 2007, who is now an honorary President of RMF.

In 1996 muaythai was recognized in Russia as official sport. The Russian Muaythai Federation was recognized by the Olympic Committee of Russia. An important event of that year was the signing of the agreement with the State Committee of the Russian Federation for Physical Training and Tourism, according to the terms of which the Federation was delegated the rights for the development of this sport on the territory of the Russian Federation. Thus, muaythai got a new impetus in its development.

The first big success of Russian muaythai fighters came very quickly. In 1998 in Spain at the first European Championship the national team of Russian was one of the leaders among 32 countries. Among the winners from Russia were Abdulakh Gusniev and Abdulnasyr Medjidov (both from Makhachkala). In 2000 the champions of Europe in muaythai became Grigory Drozd (Prokopievsk), who was the first Honored master of sports in muaythai and Sergey Matkin (Chelyabinsk).

In 2001 the national team of Russia won the second team place at the World Championship and after that in 2004 and 2006 Russian sportsmen improved their positions and became first as a team. Since that time at international competitions in muaythai – world and European Championships – the national team of Russia has always been among the medalists as a team. The following results can serve as an example: European Championship-2008 (Poland) – 1st team place, European Championship-2009 (Latvia) – 1st team place, European Championship-2010 (Italy) – 2nd team place, European Championship-2011(Turkey) – 3d team place, European Championship-2012 (Turkey) – 1st team place, World Championship-2009 (Russia) – 1st team place.

Russian muaythai fighters successfully perform not only on the amateur but on the professional ring as well. Thus, multi-time World and European champion Artem Levin is a two-time winner of the prestigious professional tournament It's Showtime.

During its whole history in Russia there existed two main centers for the development of muaythai – Kuzbass and Dagestan. The sportsmen from these regions have been contesting for gold medals during many years.

The Republic of Dagestan is one of the main centers of muaythai development in Russia. During its 16-year history muaythai in Dagestan has covered a really evolutionary road. At the emergence of this sport in Dagestan was Zainalbek Zainalbekov (Honored coach of Russia in muaythai). His pupils not only showed top results at competitions but continued the existing tradition: after the end of their careers they trained new muaythai fighters. Among Zainalbekov's pupils are Ramazan Ramazanov, Muslim Abdullaev, Abdullakh Gusniev, Magomed Ismailov and other.

The level of muaythai development in Kuzbass region is also superb. These are exactly Kuzbass muaythai fighters who for today are among the best sportsmen. From the amateurs there grow real stars of the world muaythai. Sportsmen are trained by 16 coaches, 3 of whom Vitaly Yu. Iliyn, Sergey Yu. Kuimov and Vitaly V. Miller are Honored coaches of Russia.

In his time Vitaly Iliyn was one of the best muaythai fighters of the country and having finished his career in the ring he started successful coaching career. In 2008 Vitaly Iliyn headed the national team in muaythai.

The Kuzbass Muaythai Federation, founded in 2003, is engaged in the development of this sport in the region. The chairperson of the Federation is Sergey Yu. Busygin. Since 2003 the Federation has been organizing and hosting local, All-Russia and international competitions.

The sportsmen were so successful thanks to the support of the private company Stroyservis (Director General Dmitry N. Nikolaev), who for many years has been the general sponsor of the Kuzbass Muaythai Federation. Thanks to the support of the company this sport got a powerful impetus for the development in the region. Not long ago the company became the general sponsor of the Russian Muaythai Federation as well, thus promoting the development of the sport in the whole country. Dmitry N. Nikolaev is Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Russian Muaythai Federation.

Today muaythai is being successfully developed already in 52 regions of Russia. With every passing year the geography of muaythai is extending its borders and on the map of Russia there emerge new towns, in which there live the lovers of the muaythai martial arts.

For the time being the Russian Muaythai Federation has done tremendous work on the development of muaythai in this country. They open new clubs and gyms for muaythai; ever more young people are involved in this sport. Sportsmen possess the opportunity not only to train in comfortable and equipped gyms but go for training abroad, in particular, to the birth place of muaythai – Thailand. Muaythai is tremendously popular not only with sportsmen but with ordinary people as well, who come to gyms or fitness centers to maintain their physical shape, train their strength and spirit.

The Russian Muaythai Federation is actively cooperating with other organizations. Its long-term cooperation with the Russian Union of Martial Arts can serve as an example of it. The goals and objectives of the two large sports structures are similar enough: upbringing of spiritually and physically sound generation of Russian citizens, advocacy of the healthy way of life, engagement in physical training and sports, provision for top sports results of Russian sportsmen both in the country and abroad.

In 2010 in Beijing they held First World Martial Arts Games under the auspices of the international organization Sportaccord and patronage of the IOC. In the muaythai competitions there took part 6 Russian sportsmen, 4 of whom won medals (gold – Artem Levin, silver – Artem Valhitov, Bronze – Garik Kalashyan and Igor Petrov). Dmitry Medvedev, President of Russia, personally congratulated the winners and medalists of the World Games in China.

Muaythai is not an Olympic sport. But the idea on the inclusion of this sport in the Olympic family is promoted by the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur (IFMA). Russia also supports this idea and does its best in this respect.

The Russian Muaythai Federation is a successfully and purposefully functioning organization with clear structure. Since 2010 the Federation has been headed by Dmitry A. Putilin. As the President Mr. Putilin governs the work of the Federation, represents it in the state organs and organizations. The development of muaythai is organized according to the territorial principle: Central zone (Vice-President Maxim Vinogradov), Southern zone (Vice-President Abdulnasyr Medjidov), Ural and Privolzhskaya zone (Vice-President Oleg Terekhov), the zone of Siberia and Far East (Vice-President Sergey Busygin).

The refereeing at the All-Russia competitions is ensured by the panel of judges: Chairperson – Konstantin Zhdanov (international category referee, Chelyabinsk), Deputy Chairperson in Ural and Privolzhskaya zone – Vilen Musin (international category referee, Ufa), Deputy Chairperson in Siberia and Far East – Sergey Kuimov (international category referee, Prokopievsk), Deputy Chairperson in the South and North Caucasus – Murad Magomedov (international category referee, Makhachkala), Deputy Chairperson in the Center and North-West – Alexander Smirnov (All-Russia category referee, Kstovo).

It is also necessary to mention the names of those people whose enthusiasm helped to create and develop domestic muaythai: Yuriy Chukhnin (Vladimir), Alexander Nechiporuk (Chelaybinsk), Shikhshabek Zainalbekov (Rostov-on-Don), Yuriy Belousov (Kaliningrad), Nikolay Sergejev (Angarsk), Alexander Kotenkov (Yekaterinburg), Dmitry Storozhev (Sochi), Sergey Stafejev (Novosibirsk), Oleg Kudrinskiy (Omsk), Dmitry Tropin (Novosibirsk), Ramil Kurmantaev (St. Petersburg) and many other.

Despite the work done and impressive results achieved in the relatively short time today the Russian Muaythai Federation faces not less serious and simultaneously interesting tasks. Today one thing is clear: muaythain in Russia should exist and exist with gold medals.


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