Nopstar over at My Muay Thai has written about smokers a few times in the recent past. For those who don't know, a smoker is an event where several gyms meet and pit their students against one another in short matches. Typically headgear and shinpads are worn to protect the fighters and smokers are used to determine if the participants are ready to advance to the amateur level. There are supposed to be no winners and losers or even judges. Smokers are supposed to be done in good faith, to see whose gym is doing what.
A little while ago in Cali someone got hurt at a smoker and the hosting gym didn't have an EMT crew on hand. The sh1t is hitting the fan in California over this. It seems that some seedy promoters were actually scheduling underground fights under the guise of smokers. There are always bad apples in the barrel.
My gym has never hosted or participated in a smoker. I am not sure if it is because MT in Wisconsin is so spread out, or if it just isn't something the head instructor is not interested in. I do know that a lot of the advanced guys will be fighting professionally next year.
If we ever hosted a smoker, I have a sneaky suspicion of what would happen. We would do very well. The instruction we receive, imho, is top notch. Every single person in the gym is in great shape. Like I said before, several of the guys and perhaps one girl will be fighting for money next year, either at Ho-Chunk Casino in Baraboo or in Milwaukee. I plan on being there for any of these fights as these people are my buddies now.
I sort of wish we could have a smoker or participate in one, but from what I have seen at the gym, I think the instructor has the right idea by just doing his thing.