MMA World Champ Thanh Le shares his knowledge with Next Generation Martial Arts in Thibodaux
MMA World Champ Thanh Le seminar at Next Generation Martial Arts in Thibodaux.
Thanh taught a veteran level seminar despite his lack of experience running them. His technique and articulation made his teaching some of the best I have personally run across in my 20+ years of martial arts training. We at Next Generation Martial Arts, and surrounding academies want to thank you once again for coming teach us. Ultimately, we would like to thank you for staying true to your Louisiana roots and not forgetting where you came from.
Brief History on MMA in Louisiana and Thanh's rise to becoming a champion
In the late 90's and early 00's we had guys like Rich Clementi and Tim Credeur paving the way for MMA in Louisiana. The knowledge brought back from their experiences helped the next generation of martial artist thrive. Since those early years, martial arts in Louisiana has grown exponentially, especially in South Louisiana. Those two individuals opened academies that produced dozens of training facilities, countless UFC fighters, and MMA world Champions from their teaching. Dustin Poirier is well known for his success in the UFC, winning the lightweight title, but there's a lesser known guy as accomplished in terms of title achievements and that's ONE FC featherweight champ Thanh Le.
Thahn's father Master Le, owned and operated an academy in Metairie Louisiana called Moon College Taekwondo. Under his father's tutelage both Thanh and his brother Vinh grew up training Taekwondo. It was part of their daily lives, and likely viewed as another form of education, and part of that education was learning to compete. They competed in taekwondo tournaments in small towns like Chauvin and Berwick, Louisiana to sharpen their skills. Thanh competed on the National level and was even invited to train with the Olympic TKD team. We say all this to make a point that long before Thanh the "fighter" existed, his father was building him and Vinh into "martial artist".
His success in TKD tournaments showed his potential and at some point he got interested in competing in MMA. As an amateur he fought on local shows, correcting any glaring weaknesses in his game before turning pro in 2013. Where he quickly showcased his striking ability by earning knockouts in 3 of his first 4 wins. His talent eventually caught the eye of UFC president Dana White and the UFC staff at the Ultimate Fighter 22 tryouts, earning himself a spot during that season. It was during this time where he started to get some exposure and was on the UFC radar. In July of 2017 he once again found himself on the stage for the UFC on Dana White's Contender Series. Once again, Thanh ko'ed his opponent. Unfortunately he did not receive a UFC contact. This would become some what of a blessing in disguise as we'll see, so continue reading.
After not receiving a contract from DWCS, Thanh found himself in the Legacy Fighting Alliance for a short stint where he won their featherweight title. It was during this time where Thanh realized he had an opportunity to make a move to another Major MMA organization or continue trying to fight his way into the UFC.
Closing in on 33 years of age Thanh decided it was best to take his talents to Asia's "ONE Fighting Championships". ONE FC is the biggest Mixed Martial Arts organization globally but it does not get much exposure in America. Martial Arts in Asia is still more rooted to values that are dear to martial artists. They follow an unspoken code that is lost to the American audience. ONE FC is less of a "Promotion" in terms of promoting fights to sell tickets for profit. They seem to rely on the values of martial arts as their "Promotion". Which is a great fit for individuals like Thanh, "Martial Artist".
Thanh would quickly gain popularity in ONE by doing what he does best, Knocking People Out! He would rack up three straight knock out wins over ONE contenders earning a title shot against Martin Nguyen.
His fight against Martin was highly competitive and even after suffering a broken finger in the opening round, Thanh found a way to batter Martin in the third round earning a TKO and the title of ONE FC featherweight champion. At 35 years old, Thanh accomplished a major world championship in Mixed Martial Arts.
Watch the full fight here >>>>>https://youtu.be/4R14G9k861Q?si=w6sB2SDAd782UxUu
Thanh's accomplishments in MMA are often overlooked since he fights overseas. In all honesty, it's pretty cool being the guy that flys under the radar going unnoticed. Guy's like him stay more true to the purity of a Martial Arts because of it. They don't get caught up in the world of Hollywood which often results in "selling their souls" so to speak. Once Thanh is finished fighting, he will look back knowing that he's done his father proud. Master Le raised young boys into young men, then men into martial artist. Well done sir, and Thank You for raising such contributing members to society!
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