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Leading by example

Leading by example

MMA: To lead by example is a mantra typified perfectly by Phuket-based Mixed Martial Arts instructor Alexis Plantard, who is charting the way for his legion of students at The Dojo at Blue Tree Phuket.

By Ben Tirebuck

Friday 7 October 2022, 10:00AM

Encouraging and guiding others through behaviour instead of words and inspiring to emulate action is something Alexis has certainly being doing in abundance of late.

French national Alexis is a fourth dan black belt in Judo and Jiu-Jitsu with 28 years’ experience practising martial arts who has won numerous accolades over the years. He established The Dojo at Blue Tree in Cherng Thalay at the start of 2020 and, under his stewardship, the pupils there have flourished.

In August 2021, a selection of pupils from the Dojo won an incredible 31 medals at two provincial tournaments held in Phuket. Last month, eight cadet and pre-cadet students participated at the National Jiu-Jitsu Championships where they amassed a total of 22 medals and secured the trophy for best national team.

Student Kenneth Thongsong, already selected to represent Thailand, competed at the World Judo Championships in Bosnia on Aug 26. He was defeated in the second round by Puchly Thomas of France, who eventually finished fifth, but it was an invaluable learning curve for the youngster.

However, it is fair to say that the students’ progress would not be possible without the guidance of Alexis, someone who very much leads by example.

On the weekend of Sept 24-26, he won the bronze medal in the men’s 90kg weight class at the Chiang Rai Thailand International Judo Championship, an impressive achievement given there were over 200 participants from 10 countries involved. After the Southeast Asian Games, it is considered the biggest regional tournament of its kind.

This came off the back of several tournaments Alexis had contested where he achieved impressive results. On the weekend of Sept 8-11 he finished in 9th position in the men’s 90kg at the Krakow World Championships in Poland, where almost 850 athletes from 60 countries competed.

On Sept 17 Alexis won a silver medal in the men’s 90kg at the Kazakh Kuresi Wrestling World Cup in Romania. With athletes from over 40 nations involved, Alexis beat competitors from Italy and Romania en route to the final showdown where he lost out to his opponent from Kazakhstan.

The following day at the Uzbek Kurash Wrestling Grand Prix, also held in Romania, Alexis finished in 5th place in the men’s open weight category, losing in the quarter-final to eventual silver medalist Dieudonné Dolassem from Cameroon, who had previously competed at the 2012 Olympic Games.

The US Open Judo Championship in July saw Alexis win 10 of his 13 contests to claim gold in the men’s 90kg class, bronze in the open weight category and gold in the team event for Europe. The tournament is the largest of its kind held in North Amercia.

Next up is the Laos International Judo Championships on Oct 15-16, the National Judo Cup in Bangkok on Oct 22-23 and the World Kurash Wrestling Championship in Pune, India on Nov 27.

He is clearly a commendable role model to his students. Whereas doing one’s best while striving to develop a strong team of students and champions is his core focus, Alexis is quick to point to the underlying objectives of the Dojo and the martial arts taught there.

“The moral code of martial arts is to teach kids how to become a good person,” he says.

“It’s not about actually getting a black belt but more so about how to conduct oneself with honour and respect under the code of a black belt.”

This was evident after his loss to Dieudonné Dolassem in Romania, a tough, experienced opponent who carried 10kg more weight than Alexis.

“I may not have got the result I wanted but the respect he paid me afterwards was fantastic,” commented Alexis. The two then shared a meal and discussed their bout.

“We may fight like warriors but it is a gentleman’s sport contested with a robust moral code and high regard for honour and respect between its athletes,” he added.

Alexis is very much a man who leads by example and his students at the Dojo Blue Tree Phuket are in very safe, capable hands moving forward.

Everyone and all ages are welcome at the Dojo Blue Tree Phuket. For further information visit their Facebook page.

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