Wednesday, November 4, 2015

PCP's Movie Pick for November: Blessed with Venom (2011)

For those few of you who don't know who he is, John Wayne Parr is an Australian Muay Thai fighter who has been around the block. He's a 9 time professional world champion and has pretty serious list of murderers on his fight resume. He's fought Thai legends like Orono Por.Muang Ubon, Yodsanklai Fairtex, and Buakaw Por Pramuk, as well as tough foreigners like Jean-Charles Skarbowsky, Mike Zambidis, Marco Pique, and Cosmo Alexandre. He's been fighting for over 20 years and has amassed over 120 fights in this amount of time. His style was not always the prettiest to look at, and his results were mixed, but regardless he always shows up to fight.

 Blessed with Venom (2011)

"I don't think it matters if you win or lose. They're more worried about if you're going to stand there toe-to-toe, and get cut, and get hurt, but keep coming forward and keep trying your hardest. That's worth more than winning."

"So many foreigners....would get the tiniest nick and they would pretty much quit on their stools....Whereas I'd watch the Thais and they would have half their head missing and couldn't get out there fast enough to try and redeem themselves."

 Blessed with Venom is a documentary about Parr's career that was released in 2011 and circulated around various film festivals. It gained more popularity earlier this year when Parr got the rights to the film and put it up on his YouTube channel in it's entirety (That's right, this is a free one). It follows the early stages of his career coming up as a professional fighter in Thailand in the 90s. It's an inside look into the training and fights from Parr's perspective directly. He talks the viewer through several fights, including his battles with Yodsanklai Fairtex. He visits the camps that he trained at in Thailand, reunites with his old trainers, and elaborates on the hard conditions that he lived through in order to become a world class Muay Thai fighter. He also gives a tour of the old Lumpinee stadium while reminiscing about his times fighting there. You will definitely feel soft watching this movie.

 Prior to watching this documentary I was not the biggest fan of JWP as a fighter. I knew he was a tough guy, but I didn't see his style as something that I would want to emulate in my own training. But after watching Blessed with Venom, I have significantly more respect tor him. His will is unbreakable, and he will fight hard through anything in order to blast his opponent. He's also an exceedingly likeable, down-to-earth guy, so I didn't mind spending an hour-and-a-half listening to him narrate the story of his career and give an inside-source explanation into fighting on the world stage while undergoing his own personal trials and tribulations.

 Full Movie:

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