Lesson in determination through muay thai in Curitiba

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Eric trains with Edinei Pedroso. Photo: Ivan Canello

World Strong Muay Thai academy is one of the most traditional in Brazil, having produced high-level athletes, among them Edval “Tico” Pedroso, Ariel Machado, and Kleverson Silva.

Team founder Edinei Pedroso teaches muay thai to everyone, regardless of the student’s level or objectives and nearly three months ago a very special student, Eric Santos, began attending class. This young man has a genetic problem and was born with a femur and his tibia is linked directly to his hip, and thus had to be amputated at birth.

Today Eric Santos, still only fourteen years of age, practices muay thai seven times a week and says he is adapting to it well.

“I train every day and I don’t feel I’ve had any trouble adapting. I swim, play ball, ride horses, do everything,” says Eric.

Asked whether he feels he is in any way prejudiced against for his handicap, he is adamant he isn’t.

“I’ve never been prejudiced against because of my condition, quite the contrary. Everyone around invites me to do a lot of cool stuff. In the future, I want to be a marine biologist, but I don’t want to give up muay thai. I want to train forever and, who knows, train other like my nine-year-old brother, who trains with me and Master Edinei,” said the determined Eric Santos in closing.

Check out the video of Eric Santos training.

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