"Pay attention. Isn’t that what a good movie should make you do? You pay attention because you suspect you will see something or feel something you never have. A good movie will advance your consciousness, take you to a place you never have visited."

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"Win. Lose. Forgive. offers a glimpse into the heart of Muay Thai, as much a spiritual discipline as a sport, in which the hands, feet, elbows and knees are used to brutal effect."

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"'Win. Lose. Forgive.... explores the interlocking lives of three men and their pious infatuation with Thailand's national sport."

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"Win. Lose. Forgive." is a short film (run-time 27 minutes) that offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of Muay Thai and the lessons it teaches.

The film features legends of Muay Thai: fighter and trainer Jongsanan "Woodenman", Monlit Sitpohdaeng (voted Muay Thai Coach of the Year 2010 in Thailand), and Ben Brown, student of Jongsanan and Monlit and owner/trainer at PHAS3 Martial Arts.

The film captures a powerful ethic embraced by those with deep roots in Muay Thai and the spirituality gained through this brutal sport known as the "Art of 8 Limbs." 

The documentary was filmed in December 2012 at El Nino Training Center in San Francisco, California and at Wat Buddhanusorn Thai Theravadan Buddhist Temple in Fremont, California.

The film was directed, filmed and edited by the incredibly talented Mer Aldao. The film was produced by Kurt Hoffmann at Abra Marketing in conjunction with PHAS3.

The film was completed in May 2013 and premiered at 3rd St. Cinema in Santa Rosa, California on Saturday, July 20th, 2013.

"Win. Lose. Forgive." Soundtrack
Custom music was created for the film. We started with the ambient, percussive sounds of training captured during the filming and then added cello, traditional Thai music played on khim that was recorded at the buddhist temple, and finally samples of Jongsanan, Monlit and Ben from the film. The result is a truly unique work of music that captures the spirit of "Win. Lose. Forgive."
Purchase the soundtrack »

Where to Order/Watch
The "Win. Lose. Forgive." soundtrack can be purchased on iTunes or CD baby. >>

Watch "Win. Lose. Forgive." on:
Vimeo at
YouTube at

© 2013 All Rights Reserved, Abra Marketing,
Win. Lose. Forgive TM is a protected Trademark of the film "Win. Lose. Forgive." 


Directed and Filmed by Mer Aldao

Mer Aldao, Film Director - Mer is a passionate young Latin-American filmmaker and storyteller. She travels the world hunting deep stories, and becoming part of the stories she tells. Her upcoming project will take her to the most isolated places in South America to connect with native communities. 

A note from Kurt Hoffmann: When I first met Mer for another project, I told her about a concept I had for the creative direction. She said she had had the same concept. I said, oh that's perfect. That's our concept then! She immediately said, no, that means it's too obvious.  This gives a glimpse into the great creativity this amazing, young director brings to her craft. 

At many points during the development of "Win. Lose. Forgive." Mer would send a draft of something. Her version would be very different from what I had in mind and my first reaction would be, "oh, we'll change that." But as I'd sit with her idea, re-watch it a few times, and suddenly I knew it was perfect. It wouldn't be right any other way.

See Mer's latest project at

See more of Mer's work

Special Thanks to:

• Gilbert Melendez and all of the trainers and fighters at El Nino Training Center
• Woodenman Muay Thai

Appearing in the film:

Jongsanan “Woodenman”
Monlit Sitphodaeng
Ben Brown

Wat Buddhanusorn Temple:
• Phra Videsdhammakavi (Ajahn Prasert)
• Phra Maha Anan, Sirikudtho
• Phra Maha Songkan, Kanissaro

Ceremony Participants:
• Malisa Wongsengam
• Christina Nguyen

Produced by:

Kurt Hoffmann Abra Marketing in conjunction with PHAS3 Martial Arts Training Center, Gear & Apparel


• Produced by Neil Raphael
• Cello played by Suellen Primost
• Cello recorded by BZ Lewis at Studio 132, Oakland

• Temple music played on khim by Miss Suknisa Woraprayoon

Filmed December 2012 at:

El Nino Training Center

San Francisco, California

Wat Buddhanusorn
Thai Theravadan Buddhist Temple

Fremont, California


Jongsanan “Woodenman”
Against many odds, Jongsanan fought his way out of poverty in rural Thailand. He began fighting at the age of 11 but was not accepted onto the team, instead working as a supporter carrying spit buckets for other fighters and training himself in his own time. At a fight a few years later, a member of his team was too sick to fight and he was forced to fill in. Fully expected to lose, he unbelievably won that fight, sparking a career that ultimately included becoming 2-time winner of the illustrious Lumpinee Championship, 2-time ISKA World Champion, IFK Champion, Strikeforce World Champion and many other accomplishments. Today, he is a highly sought-after coach, training many respected fighters from El Niño Training Center in San Francisco.

Monlit Sitphodaeng
Because Muay Thai training is such a difficult lifestyle, most affluent people from Thailand choose an easier path. But despite coming from relative wealth, Monlit’s love for the sport has carried him through his life, even after an injury ended his fighting career in 1982. He went into coaching and has since trained many championship fighters, including Jongsanan. Monlit Sitphodaeng was voted the Best Trainer in Thailand in 2010 and travels the world to provide Muay Thai training.

Ben Brown
Ben began training in karate under his father at the age of 5, in a family devoted to martial arts. As he grew up, he explored multiple disciplines, ultimately fully devoting himself to Muay Thai after training in Thailand. Upon returning to the U.S., he was determined to find the best Muay Thai coach, which lead him to the legendary Jongsanan “Woodenman”. In 1999 he started training students out of his garage and has since built that effort Ben Browninto a successful training center, gear and apparel line. In 2012, he became the only coach in North America to be Certified by Jongsanan. His school, PHAS3 Martial Arts, has a policy of accepting anyone interested in learning Muay Thai, from beginners to the most competitive fighters. He still drives to San Francisco every week to train with Jongsanan.


All of the music in "Win. Lose. Forgive" was custom made.

"Win. Lose. Forgive." Soundtrack - I had an idea early on to create music from the percussive sounds of training we captured at El Niño during filming and combine that with something lighter across the top to mirror the spirituality that arises from this brutal sport. We only needed a few parts for the film, but what Neil created - mixing clips from the soundtrack with the amazing pieces Suellen recorded and Suknisa’s khim - was so incredible, we couldn’t help but want to hear more. So a soundtrack was created to accompany the film. Ten songs from and inspired by the film "Win. Lose. Forgive." are available.

In addition to the musicians below, the music features the voices of the Muay Thai teachers featured in the film:

• Jongsanan "Woodenman"
• Monlit Sitphodaeng
• Ben Brown

Neil Raphael - Producer
Neil Raphael (aka Raph) ProducerDJ and producer Neil Raphael (aka "Raph") draws on musical inspiration from around the globe, often blending heavy beats of hip hop and electronica with more traditional and worldly textures.

Note from Kurt Hoffmann: as noted, I had a concept for the music for the film. I've been working with Neil on my personal music projects and I knowing his talent is what gave me the confidence this concept could be achieved. Even with that confidence though, Neil blew all of us away at every turn.

Suellen Primost - Cellist
Suellen Primost is a seasoned, classically trained cellist, a sound healer and recording artist, known for her versatility across musical genres (classical, jazz, pop, folk, Celtic, Turkish, ambient) and for her soulful expressiveness. Suellen Primost, Cellist on "Win.Lose.Forgive."A fluent improviser, Suellen has, in addition to her symphonic work, collaborated extensively throughout her career with movie directors, sound healers, poets, actors, dancerss, visual artists, jazz legends and other gifted musicians from around the world.

Note from Kurt: What an unbelievable experience to work with Suellen. Certainly one of great experiences of this project was being at the recording studio in Oakland with Sensei (Ben Brown) witnessing Suellen do her work. It was awe-inspiring to see the creative ideas coming out of her and through that beautiful cello.

Learn more about cellist Suellen Primost.

Suknisa, Woraprayoon, player of the khim in "Win. Lose. Forgive."Suknisa Woraprayoon - player of the khim
Suknisa was a student visiting from Thailand as part of a Volunteer Teacher program at Wat Buddhanasorn buddhist temple. In one of the many unplanned moments that created "Win. Lose. Forgive.", Suknisa was at the temple when Mer and I arrived early for the shoot that day. The head monk, Phra Videsdhammakavi (Ajahn Prasert), asked her to demonstrate some traditional Thai music, played on the khim, a hammered dulcimer from Thailand. Mer and I could not believe the beauty of this music and the perfect opportunity to incorporate this into the film.

Click here to purchase the "Win. Lose. Forgive." soundtrack.

"Win. Lose. Forgive."

Music from and Inspired by the Film

Track Listing
1. Make a Choice and Make it Happen 1:32

2. Are You Going to be Better than You Were Yesterday? 2:02

3. You’re Bigger than You Thought You Were 3:57

4. Win. Lose. Forgive. 4:12

5. Fighter 3:53
ft. Jongsanan “Woodenman”

6. What’s More Intimate Than That? 2:03

7. Muay Thai is Life 3:49
ft. Monlit Sitpohdaeng, Ben Brown, Jongsanan “Woodenman”

8. To Look Deep Inside Yourself 1:32

9. Mr. Brown 5:32

10. How Far We Have to Go 3:30
ft. Ben Brown, Jongsanan “Woodenman”

The soundtrack is available for digital download online through CD Baby and iTunes through Alien Feedings records.

A special note about track 9:
Near the end of production on the soundtrack, we had 9 songs and I really wanted to have ten to round out the project. Neil and I were brainstorming on what the concept should be. I was at PHAS3 after class one day and Sensei's (Ben Brown's) dad came in. Sensei kept calling him "Mr. Brown" and I heard one of the student's ask him why he called his Dad "Mr. Brown." Sensei said because it was because of his Dad that all of this (the school) was here. And so whenever they were in the school, he treated him as his teacher, his Sensei, and called him Mr. Brown.

This film is a lot about teachers: those who make great sacrifice to learn and become the best they can at something, and take the calling to pass it along.