Personnel at HMS Collingwood set themselves a gruelling task to raise money for charity and also raise awareness of the martial art of Muay Thai.

Their aim was to complete 100 rounds of Muay Thai to raise money for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, as part of its Twickenham 100 campaign which celebrates the 100th Army v Navy rugby match.

Back row (L-R): Stu Sharp, Allen West, Gary Gregory, LPT Aaron Snowdon, Stephen Kerry, Martin Allatt, Mike Fairhurst. Front row (L-R): LH Daniel Cahalin, LH Scott Knockton, LH Tom Bullivant, Ross Greig.

The team of nine cycled through the bouts, each undertaking two before resting and encouraging their fellow team-mates in the ring.

Before the attempt began, Muay Thai Master Gary Gregory gave a traditional Thai blessing to the fighters, the gym and the ring, a ritual that helps the fighters to focus and prepare.  Thai music plays throughout the bouts, traditionally invoking the spirits of the fighters’ ancestors.

Muay Thai itself is a martial art that involves the entire body, using punches, kicks, elbows and knees to gain points against an opponent. Throws are also allowed and these can achieve high scores, providing the fighter does not use their hip to floor their opponent.  The sport is open to both sexes with an age range of approximately 18 to 30 years of age. However, in Thailand, combatants can start as young as four or five but tend to finish their careers earlier at about 25 years old.

Commander Perry Stowell, Officer in Charge of Warfare Support at HMS Collingwood, was also there to lend his support to the cause and commented: “Muay Thai encourages discipline, fitness and fighting spirit, with the emphasis on ‘spirit’, leading to respect and understanding of your opponent. These are great Naval qualities that we can use.”

The group completed 100 gruelling rounds, raising an impressive total of £713.71 for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year and which helps and supports sailors, marines and their families for life.

Photo (L-R): Ross Greig and Mike Fairhurst in the ring

Inspired to take part in Twickenham100?