Inspiring Pinoys

Global Muay Thai Star

Belle Piccio
Belle Piccio | Jun 20, 2013

Muay Thai is Thailand's official sport. It is a combat sport that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques.

The word "muay" derives from the Sanskrit "mavya" which means "to bind together". Muay Thai is referred to as the "Art of Eight Limbs" or the "Science of Eight Limbs" because it makes use of punches, kicks, elbows and knee strikes, thus using eight "points of contact", as opposed to "two points" (fists) in boxing and "four points" (hands and feet) used in other more regulated combat sports, such as kickboxing and savate. A practitioner of muay Thai is known as a "nak muay".

Did you know that an 8-time Muay Thai World Champion is a Filipino?


Vince Soberano; photo from


His name is Vincent Soberano, Muay Thai fight name: Vince Soberano Kaewsamrit.

Vincent Soberano is an 8-time Muay Thai World Champion. To summarize, here are the list of awards to his name:

  • World Muay Thai Lightweight Champion (2008, 2007)
  • King's Cup World Champion (2007)
  • Queen's Cup World Champion (2007)
  • World Muay Thai Welterweight Champion (1996, 1995, 1994)
  • World Muay Thai Lightweight Champion (1994)
  • World Kickboxing Welterweight Champion (1994)
  • United States Kickboxing Welterweight Champion (1993, 1992, 1991)
  • North American Kickboxing Welterweight Champion (1993, 1992)
  • California State Kickboxing Lightweight Champion (1990, 1989, 1988)


Vince Soberano at the top; photo from


Adjarn Vince Soberano received his official certification as Master Instructor (Adjarn) from Kaewsamrit Gym on January 22, 2009. He is also the only licensed and authorized promoter for the World Professional Muay Thai Federation (WPMF) and the Professional Boxing Association of Thailand in China.


Adjarn Vince Soberano (Beijing, China), Gold Band (9th Khan), December 26, 2008; photo from Muay Thai (China) FB page


Adjarn Vince has more than 30 years experience in martial arts and Muay Thai. He was one of the most successful promoters of Muay Thai in the United States in the mid-1980s and early 90s. Now he is a successful pioneer of Muay Thai Fitness systems in mainland China, with the Black Tiger Muay Thai Worldwide Headquarters in Beijing, China.


Vince Soberano at the right during the 2007 Queen’s Cup; photo from Muay Thai (China) FB page


He has also fought and won several titles including the California State, U.S. and World championship titles in various events sanctioned by IKF, WPMF, WKBA, IKBA, IKBL and IMTA.

Vince has trained under some of the greatest legends of kickboxing and Muay Thai such as Benny "The Jet" Urquidez, Saeksan Janjira, Den Muangsurin and Coban "The Cruncher" Lookmaesaethong. Vince trains and fights for Kaewsamrit Gym in Bangkok, Thailand, home of world champions like Anuwat, Rittijak and Wanmario.


1995: Trained and fought under Muay Thai legend and world champion, Coban Lookmaesaethong; photo from


Adjarn Vince has successfully taught hundreds of students around the world and trained numerous kickboxing champions in the U.S. His school, Black Tiger Thai Boxing Gym in San Diego, is one of the oldest legitimate Muay Thai schools in San Diego County. Established in 1992, it has produced numerous world-class fighters and champions. In addition, he is also a pioneer of MMA in Southern California where he competed in and promoted mixed martial arts events in the early 90s.


Vince Soberano during in one of his training sessions in preparation for the Fall 2013 fight; photo from Muay Thai (China) FB page


Before Muay Thai

Vincent Soberano, born as Vincent Patrick Esteban Casa Soberano, is a Filipino-American, with Bacolod City as his home province and roots.

He is born in Bacolod City, Neg. Occ., an alumnus of University of St. La Salle Grade School '77 and High School '81. He is also a De La Salle Alumni Association 2011 Sports Hall of Fame Awardee during the Centennial World Congress - One La Salle Night of Excellence held at De La Salle Santiago Zobel.

Soberano's family immigrated to the United States in 1984 from the Philippines. His parents settled in New York together with his 2 younger sisters and a younger brother. His father was a lawyer and a diplomat, and his mother is a retired research scientist. But, Vince went to stay in San Diego, California.

For about 15 years, Vince had been in the software engineering industry. He has 2 U.S. patents for wireless software technologies which he invented and developed. Vince, a software engineer by trade, was the Senior Director of Software Development for an Engineering company with centers in the United States, United Kingdom and China.

He moved to Beijing, China in 2004 to run an outsourcing office and started his own software consulting company in 2005.


Vince Soberano; photo from


But, the lure of the ring never faded that he finally made him quit his job after being sent by the company to open its China office. Tired of shadow boxing in his office, Vince looked for a place to teach the art he had practiced since his childhood. Now he has several schools in Beijing that teach the art he loves the most, Muay Thai.


Beijing Black Tiger Power Sports and Culture Co., Ltd. is the parent company of Black Tiger Fight Club & Fitness Studios, the first and only foreign-owned 100% English-speaking Martial Fitness chain of studios in China. Founded by Muay Thai master and world champion, Vince Soberano and staffed with a team of expert trainers and certified instructors.



His Visit in the Philippines

In 2010, Filipino-American Vince Soberano visited Manila to help promote "Muay Thai" in the Philippines.

"I wanna tell everyone that Thai boxing is a growing sport," Vince said. He has already won 8 Muay Thai world titles and is the biggest advocate of the sport in China.

He added that, "as a Filipino, I've established the sport in China..." Vince is not only proud of his achievements but he also said that he always look back to his roots. "I'm not just promoting the sport but also the fact that I'm Filipino," he said.


Master Vince’s trophies and championship belts on display at the Black Tiger Club gym; photo from Muay Thai (China) FB page


Vince Soberano has a Muay Thai gym back in China. He said that the establishment does not only promote the sport as a fighting system but also a way to get fit. He also owns a company, Hero Entertainment, which promotes Muay Thai through a show called Battlefield X.


The training floor of the Black Tiger Club Hero, the home of Muay Thai China; photo from Muay Thai (China) FB page



Posted at the DLSAA Hall of Fame, here's what you'll find:


Vincent Soberano; photo from USLS University Alumni Relations Office & Alumni Association



Vincent Casa Soberano



"for reaping multiple world championships in Muay Thai and Kickboxing, and for his contributions to the promotion of combat sports"


As founder and chief executive of Hero Entertainment Co. Ltd., an angel funded start-up sports entertainment and media company, Vince Soberano has been an ardent supporter of combat sports and mixed martial arts. Hero Entertainment is the promoter of the hit "Battlefield X" fight shown in Beijing, China.

Before delving into the world of sports entertainment business, Soberano was an 8-time world Muay Thai champion, and world and United States kickboxing champion in the welterweight and lightweight classes. His championship streak is one of the longest for any athlete in any sport, stretching from the late 1990s up to the late 2000s.

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