It’s that time of year again—no, I don’t mean time for snow mixed with rain mixed with more snow, or whatever we’re calling this winter. It’s time for the Art of War, Ottawa’s most anticipated Muay Thai event of the year.
Back for its fourth installment on Saturday February 29, the Art of War brings together some of the best Muay Thai fighters from across North America to compete in one of Ottawa’s coolest venues, the Canadian War Museum’s LeBreton Gallery.
Capcity Fight Promotions has put together an intercontinental fight card for this year, featuring top notch fighters from Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
Either Amell’s lightning fast rear leg round-kick or Baldwin’s explosiveness could easily end this 60kg contest before you know it.
The main event pits Mexico’s Luis David Cruz-Hernández against Jordan Graham, who is arguably the best 63.5kg fighter in Canada. Cruz-Hernández is a multiple-time Mexican champion and is no stranger to fighting on world stages. Graham is becoming a household name in the Canadian Muay Thai community, having recently won gold fighting for Canada at the 2019 world championships. Look for a technical, powerful fight out of Graham and the characteristic toughness that makes Mexican fighters so famous from Cruz-Hernández.
The co-main event (and my pick for fight of the night) features the speedy American southpaw Austin Amell against Belleville’s Zach Baldwin. Hailing from Jacksonville, Florida, Amell has burst onto the scene, recently representing the red, white, and blue abroad. Baldwin is a veteran Art of War athlete, having fought in a thriller during last year’s event. If I have one thing to say about this fight, it’s “don’t blink.” Either Amell’s lightning fast rear leg round-kick or Baldwin’s explosiveness could easily end this 60kg contest before you know it.
The rest of the card is packed with local talent, like Tommy Liu from Ottawa Fight & Fitness, and Greg Pulham from the nearby Evolution Petawawa gym. These fights are especially exciting as Ottawans in attendance really show the love whenever some of the area’s best enter the ring.
Now, if you’re new to watching combat sports live, you might not really know what to expect during the Art of War. I’ve been to each event since its inception and let me tell you, there’s really something to be said about the spectacle. It’s gritty, it’s nerve-wracking, and it’s absolutely compelling.
If you don’t quite get what I mean, have a look at Obscura Creative’s beautiful highlight videos of past events. They know Ottawa’s local combat sports scene better than most, having worked with Capital Combat Parley, Ottawa’s best source for local martial arts news, and filming every Art of War event since its beginning.
Derek Price, Obscura Creative’s Director and Editor, told me that the Art of War “has a powerful aesthetic in both the fighters and the venue… Being surrounded by vehicles of war, combined with the strength of the fighters, lends to a one-of-a-kind event.”
He and his team said that attending the event gives spectators a window into the fighter’s personal stories, like Amy Reid’s, whose fight at last year’s Art of War was featured in Obscura Creative’s excellent docuseries, Vs.: Women in Combat Sports. Their videos give you a quick glimpse into why this event is so captivating to attend, and frankly, a feeling of what it must be like to fight in the ring.
Ultimately, though, if you really want to know what it’s like, your best bet is getting your tickets and taking it all in for yourself. I’m hoping Obscura Creative’s videos have piqued your interest in what has become Ottawa’s hottest combat sports event. If not—there’s always Capcity Promotion’s unmatchable hype video to get you ready for Saturday!
Sacha Hijazi and CapCity Fight Promotions are back, bringing you ART of WAR 4: Muay Thai at the Museum! Premium Muay Thai in a premium venue! CCP will be there! Don't you dare miss it! WOOOOOOO!
Posted by Capital Combat Parley on Monday, January 27, 2020
The Art of War IV happens on Saturday February 29, 2020, at the Canadian War Museum (1 Vimy Dr.). Tickets start at $40 and can be purchased online or at participating Muay Thai gyms across Ottawa. Doors open at 6pm; fights start at 7pm and runs until 11pm. Food and refreshments will be available. Tickets go fast, so don’t delay!