Interview with Craig Buchanan: The Bullet Shoots with the Science
By Mike LNg
Craig “The Bullet” Buchanan is the current IKKC and WBC United States middle weight champion. Craig has an overall record of 16-3 and will be defending his WBC United States title won in January 2009 against IKF #3 ranked Kwame Stephens April 17th, 2010 In Primm Nevada on the WCK Muay Thai card. Craig trains his students at the Bullet Hole Training Center located in Victorville, California.
Most people may not know that you had a start in classical martial arts. What made you decide to choose a ring sport and martial art like Muay Thai?
I wanted to see if what I was learning was going to work in reality situations which led me to the ring of competitions.
How do you feel your roots in classical martial arts has impacted your style in Muay Thai?
It has given me the ability to adapt to adverse situations and added to my arsenal of weapons.
What sort of adjustments did you have to make for the transition from international rules kickboxing to Muay Thai?
I had to learn to deal with leg kicks, to learn how to deal with fighting in the clinch, and to watch for knees and elbows.
What in your opinion is the biggest differences between the American style of Muay Thai and the Thai style of Muay Thai?
The biggest difference is the way they throw knees and elbows to the head.
How do you feel the United States Muay Thai scene is developing compared to the rest of the world?
I feel the sport has evolved nicely. The scene is growing. The interest of outsiders is greater.
You have a unique job of teaching both conventional Muay Thai and Muay Thai for MMA. What are some of the things in Muay Thai you adapt specifically for MMA?
We focus on keeping most kicks to the waistline and below and being strong in the clinch to avoid the take down.
For a beginning student what’s the most important thing they should learn?
Discipline and patience.
Have you ever become good friends with former opponents?
Not necessarily good friends but I have gained a lot of respect for former opponents.
Who was your toughest opponent so far and what made them hardest to fight against?
John Hale from Manchester, England due to the fact that I fractured my right ulna in the third round of the fight and I still finished to take a victory.
What inspires you to fight?
Personal satisfaction and wanting to keep my skills at the top of the game, and the thrill of competition.
Do you prefer fighting with elbows or no elbows?
It doesn’t matter too much. When fighting with elbows you must be more alert on the inside.
Do you have a favorite technique in Muay Thai?
The one that works the best because all fighters are different.
Having fought under different rules how did you adapt to Full Rules Muay Thai?
Just had to be aware of the fact that you could fight inside and outside when in the clinch.
Who would be the dream fight for you if you could fight any opponent?
I don’t have a dream fight.
If you could get a rematch with any opponent who would it be?
It would have to be Malaipet because the first time we fought. I feel I did not lose the fight. My belt was taken from me on a bad decision.
Can you tell us about the challenge once issued to Duane Ludwig?
When Duane first came on to the scene, the challenge to compete with each other was made and denied. After the challenge I suffered a ruptured achilles tendon. Shortly after that he said he was willing to fight. Personally, I could care less. I’m not hungry for such a fight.
You are pretty involved in Civic and community service. Can you tell us about these activities?
I train a lot of law enforcement. I train a lot of military and I do projects with the local schools, churches, boy scouts and girl scouts.
What other sports do you follow other than Muay Thai?
I enjoy rock climbing, ice climbing, scuba diving, backpacking, and camping. When spending time on the couch, I enjoy watching football and NASCAR.
Do you have any words for your fans before closing?
Thank you for all of your support. Your respect and gratitude are very much appreciated. It is for the love of all my fans that makes me train so hard for a competition.
Much thanks to Craig Buchanan for granting the interview and his time in answering the questions. Craig will be defending his US WBC Muay Thai title against Kwame Stephens on the April 17th, 2010 WCK Muay Thai card. You can keep up with Craig and his gym at his official site. Thanks for reading!