Aida Looksaikongdin, also known as Kullanat Yoohanngoh, has carved an impressive path in the world of Muay Thai being a symbol of progress. Hailing from a family of fighters, Aida’s journey has been characterized by her trailblazing fights and dedication to the art of eight limbs.
Aida has defied gender norms and broken barriers. Her contribution to the sport gained historic significance in 2022 when she became the first female (Muay Ying) to compete in the prestigious Rajadamnern Stadium. Aida Looksaikongdin’s determination to fight under the same rules and conditions as her male counterparts has earned her respect within the sport. She became the face of a new era of equality in Muay Thai.
Beyond her experience in the ring, Aida’s personal journey has also been interwoven with another Muay Thai star; Rodtang Jitmuangnon. The two tied the knot in February of 2023. Aida Looksaikongdin is trying to build a legacy that stands as an inspiration for aspiring fighters.
Muay Ying Aida Looksaikongdin
Aida Looksaikongdin, birth name Kullanat Yoohanngoh, is a Muay Ying (Female Muay Thai striker) who trains at the Looksaikongdin alongside her family. The Looksaikongdin gym was built by her father Kru Nopparit Yohanngo just outside of Bangkok in 2007. Prior to being a coach, Nopparit sold chickens. The gym is located in the Min Buri district.
Fighting for Family
Kru Nopparit Yohanngo wanted to construct a Muay Thai training facility to teach his children, both sons and daughters, how to properly fight. In total, Aida has a total of 16 siblings. Of these children, five girls and four boys have earned acclaim with titles in Muay Thai and boxing. Kru Nopparit focuses on Muay Mat style of Muay Thai, which is focused on punching.
The motivation for founding a gym to train his children came from the fact that Kru Nopparit did not want any of them to turn to a possible life of crime. In an interview with LIFE, Kru Nopparit said:
“It was already a big problem in my youth. My friends who became junkies are all dead.”Kru Nopparit
On his training philosophy, Kru Nopparit spoke in an interview and explained:
“Boys are stronger and more athletic, but girls can make up for less strength by mastering the techniques … I’m not proud of their belts. I’m proud of their resolve and character. I don’t care if they win or lose. I just want them to do their best … Given a chance, women can be great fighters.”Kru Nopparit
All the siblings would spar with one another. Aida Looksaikongdin’s younger brother Phoobadin said in an interview, “When we were little and we sparred, my sisters easily beat me so I cried.”
Aida responded by saying, “Now he’s much stronger than us.”
Her brother, Sangarthit Looksaikongdin is one of the youngest boxing champions in WBA history with 11 victories to his name. And her sister, Duangdawnoi Looksaikongdin has acclaim in Muay Thai with a WPMF world title, a WMO world championship, a Pattaya Boxing world title, and an OPBF boxing silver medal with over 75 bouts in her record.
Aida Looksaikongdin in Muay Thai
Aida Looksaikongdin is a Muay Thai athlete with over 65 bouts to her name, a record of 8 victories, 15 losses, and 2 draws. Between 2018 and 2020 she earned three gold medals for amateur Muay Thai at the national level. Both Duangdawnoi and Aida Looksaikongdin are sponsored by Yokkao.
Trailblazer for Female Athletes
Aida Looksaikongdin left her mark in the world of Muay Thai for being a trailblazer and making history. Women were not allowed to compete in the prestigious Muay Thai stadiums in Bangkok since their founding over 70 years ago. In 2022, this entirely changed as the iconic Rajadamnern Stadium had its first women’s match. This historic moment featured Zahra Shokouhi facing Aida Looksaikongdin.
On making history as the first female (Muay Ying) to fight in Rajadamnern, Aida Looksaikongdin spoke to coconuts.co in an interview and explained:
“This fight means so much to me. It shows the world that I don’t have to be a man to box Muay Thai at this stadium. Anyone can, regardless of their gender. I feel so proud and honored. I’ve been at this stadium so many times to see men fight. But I never imagined that I would be boxing myself here today.”
When women were first allowed to compete in MMA in the USA, they had to fight with shorter rounds and slightly adjusted rules. But not women in Muay Thai. The Muay Ying athletes were allowed to compete with the same ruleset, same gloves, and same ring time as the men. On this, Aida Looksaikongdin added:
“It’s a good baby step for women to be able to fight under the same rules, same rounds, and same prize. I’m not asking for any favors. I just want the same rights [as the men].”
Being the first Thai woman to fight in the legendary Rajadamnern Stadium, Aida recognized how important this moment was. She was competing with something to prove. The Muay Ying athlete continued:
“People say we’re weaker, and we can’t fight like the men. That’s not true. We have the same patience, discipline, and ability that they do. And I believe that we can make the fights just as fun and enjoyable. This tournament is so important to me and my family, because it shows female boxers that they can dare dream big, just like I do.”Aida
After Aida had her initial match, Rajadamnern World Series (RWS Muay Thai) continued with this new tradition. Now, women fight weekly in Rajadamnern Stadium. The organization even has multiple tournaments featuring females in different weight categories. RWS boasts women from all over the world such as Spain, Turkey, Iran, and, of course, Thailand.
Muay Thai promoter Thainchai Pisitwuttinan discussed the change in Muay Thai which Aida was a key part of. The Thai fight promoter explained:
“It’s 2022, and the world has changed a lot. There are female boxers out there who are as competent as the male fighters. It’s time to adapt and allow women to enter the ring.”Thainchai Pisitwuttinan
Married to Rodtang
The Muay Ying athlete Aida Looksaikongdin is a historic trailblazer and comes from a family of fighters, additionally, she has earned gold in Muay Thai competition. Despite all of her success, she may be best known for being the wife of combat sports superstar Rodtang Jitmuangnon.
‘The Iron Man’ Rodtang Jitmuangnon currently holds the ONE Flyweight Muay Thai World Title and is a staple of the promotion ONE Championship. This Thai-born athlete has an esteemed fight record with over 270 victories to his name. Along the way, Rodtang picked up gold in the art of eight limbs and defended his world championship.
In his Muay Thai career, ‘The Iron Man’ has fought some very impressive names such as ‘Mighty Mouse’ Demetrious Johnson, Jonathan Haggerty, Saeksan Or. Kwanmuang, Rodlek Jaotalaytong, Chorfah Tor.Sangtiennoi, Petchdam Petchyindee Academy, among many, many others.
‘The Iron Man’ Rodtang Jitmuangnon began his combat sports career as a young boy, merely, 7 years old, but was looking to earn money for his family. The Thai-born athlete would have preferred to have played football but unfortunately it did not bring any income. Thus began his lifetime career in Muay Thai.
Rodtang and Aida Looksaikongdin got married in early 2023. Rodtang spoke to ONE in an interview and explained how they met. He said:
“I met Aida in 2020. We talked through messages and got closer until we decided to date each other. We once broke up because we didn’t understand each other. But when we both grew up, we talked to each other again and decided to begin again in our relationship until we were married,”Rodtang
On married life, Rodtang explained that he wants to be a family man. He added:
“I always wanted to live the married life and have a family because I’m getting older. I’ve been a fighter for a long time and I’m tired. You can’t stay in this career forever. As a fighter, time is limited for us in this career. I want to live the rest of my life with my happy family.”Rodtang
Rodtang also said that he wants to have children and open a new gym with his wife Aida Looksaikongdin. He explained:
“I want to have kids and enjoy a couple’s life. And if I can, I will have my own gym for our next generation of fighters. Of course, since I have a family now, I must have more determination. And I have an explicit goal to be a role model for my children. I want them to see dad as their idol.”Rodtang
Aida Looksaikongdin and Rodtang are frequently seen together. The couple can often be seen in television appearances, photoshoots, training together, sparring against one another, and even playing football together. Additionally, Rodtang, who once spent two weeks living as a Buddhist monk, converted to Islam for his wife.
From her humble beginnings at the Looksaikongdin gym to her historic feat at Rajadamnern Stadium, Aida Looksaikongdin’s journey has transcended the boundaries of gender and tradition. She is a trailblazer in the world of Muay Thai. Aida Looksaikongdin continues to make her mark alongside her husband Rodtang Jitmuangnon.
Timothy Wheaton is a combat sports writer who covers MMA, Kickboxing, and Muay Thai. Tim is the authority on kickboxing and combat sports journalist who has covered K-1, PRIDE FC, UFC, GLORY Kickboxing, Bellator, ONE Championship, and plenty more.