Muay Thai training worries

Ron Goninan and Phil Bennett.
Ron Goninan and Phil Bennett.

Two local longtime Wellington martial arts instructors have come together to voice their concerns over the state of the arts of the warrior.

Muay Thai champion instructor Phil Bennett and the highest ranked Westerner of White Crane Gongfu Ron Goninan say they are fearful for the future of real Martial Arts.

These two former rivals are so concerned about the future of the martial arts that they have put any past issues to bed so they can work together for the original spirit of the arts.

Bennett and Goninan feel the arts and their spirit are being commercialised and sold-out for a quick dollar.

They said they feel the real value of the arts for real-world self defense and the spirit and meaning are being watered down so they can me marketed and taught for financial gain.

Bennet said both he and Goninan have spent decades learning their respective martial arts systems and continue to learn every day as any true instructor does.

“We have dedicated ourselves to one martial arts system as we both know it’s not possible to learn or teach a second.

“You can simply not have enough hours in a day to master more than one martial art,” Bennet said.

Bennett has been training in Muay Thai for 37 years and is concerned how many are now ‘hopping on the bandwagon.’

He claimed many instructors are doing so purely so they can make money.

He is also concerned about how dangerous incorrect teaching of the art of Muay Thai could be to potential students.

“Yet these fake gyms will have one instructor teach everything from Muay Thai, MMA, several martial arts systems and everything in between.

“It’s a money making scam to fill their pockets and disgusts me. They do it purely for financial gain and have no concern for the well-being of their students. 

“They endanger them by teaching incorrect technique and give them a false sense of security which could lead to serious danger if they are ever confronted on the street and have to defend themselves.”

Goninan said real message they are trying to get across is that the ‘Johhny-come-lately’s’ are not even local.

“Wellington is always saying we should support our own and here Phil and I are, teaching real world, realistic Martial Arts not for money, fame or ego but because we truly care about the arts and the local community.”