What is Leduc Lethwei and who is Dave Leduc?

Lethwei or Burmese Barenuckle Boxing is a full contact combat sport from Myanmar. The use of fists, elbows, knees, and feet, but more surprisingly, the head makes it a very unusual martial art. Although disallowed in many combat sports, in Lethwei, the use of headbutt is encouraged. This is the reason it is also known as “The Art of 9 Limbs.”

Once overshadowed by Muay Thai, its combat sports “less brutal” cousin, Lethwei is now enjoying a healthy revival mainly because of its ambassador and current World Lethwei Champion, Dave Leduc. Additionally, with its fame comes a proportional rise in interest in the culture of Myanmar itself.

Following his first title win back in 2016, Leduc said in an interview:

I have so much vision for this sport. I see Lethwei doing the same for Myanmar as what Muay Thai has done for Thailand.

Dave “The Nomad” Leduc, is a Canadian Lethwei fighter who competes in the World Lethwei Championship. He is the current openweight Lethwei World Champion and current WLC Cruiserweight World Champion. He is nicknamed “The Nomad” because of his continuous  travels around the world to learn martial arts. 

Dave Leduc is the current undefeated Lethwei openweight World Champion. In 2016, he became the first non Burmese to ever win the prestigious Lethwei Golden Belt in over a thousand years of history.

Two days following this historic win, Leduc & his wife Irina Terehova got married in a traditional Burmese wedding ceremony in Yangon, broadcasted live on national television watched by over 30 million people.

In 2017, he pioneered Lethwei in Japan alongside the International Lethwei Federation Japan (ILFJ) and went on to capture the “Lethwei in Japan” Openweight World Title in Tokyo.

Dave now competes exclusively in the largest bareknuckle organization in the world, the World Lethwei Championship (WLC) where he won the inaugural Cruiserweight World Title in 2019.

He’s known for his powerful elbows, evasiveness, incredible endurance and is widely regarded as a master of the headbutt.

Dave spends his time outside of the ring with his wife helping the children of Myanmar and traveling the world teaching his seminars.

In 2019, he founded Leduc Lethwei as a way to teach the world about the Art of 9 Limbs via his online academy.