About Lake Norman Muay Thai in Mooresville

Founded in March 2016, Lake Norman Muay Thai’s mission is to educate and instill passion for the art of Muay Thai.  Headed by Kru J.T. Smith and Assistant Kru Matt Riter, Lake Norman Muay Thai has grown and continues to grow through authentic Muay Thai training coupled with a welcoming atmosphere from all of its members.

In addition to the wealth of information and instruction that is a constant at Lake Norman Muay Thai from its instructors and senior members, Lake Norman Muay Thai also rotates in special instructors from in and around the Carolinas to demonstrate variations of technique training and execution.  This offers members the opportunity to learn from different teaching styles.

Lake Norman Muay Thai is committed to helping its members reach their goals with Muay Thai.  Whether it is learning self-defense, getting in shape or competing, we will help you reach your goals.

We recently added Brazilian JiuJitsu for those who want more ground fighting and grappling with our third degree Gracie Black Belt Professor Joe Hurst, all levels of experience are welcome on the mats with our growing Jiu Jitsu team!

Kru Smith training with Ajarn Pek in Thailand

Kru J.T. Smith

Kru J.T. Smith has been involved in the martial arts for over 32 years.  After obtaining his black belt in 1987, he began training in kickboxing.  This led him into Muay Thai where he trained under Ajarn Rick Davis of Statesville, North Carolina and Ajarn Pek of Bangkok, Thailand.

Kru Smith has competed in full contact fights on both an amateur and professional level all over the world, including: Canada, Austria, and Thailand.  The majority of fights were on the east coast and he has over sixty fights under his belt.

Also a certified defensive tactics instructor with the state of North Carolina, Kru Smith has trained new law enforcement officers how to defend themselves and make safe and effective arrests for nearly fifteen years.

The art of Muay Thai has been very rewarding to him and has given Kru Smith confidence he would never have had from traditional martial arts.

Though no longer an active competitive fighter, Kru Smith’s intent is to stay involved and give back to this wonderful martial art that has been so rewarding to him.  As an instructor, Kru Smith continues to share the art of Muay Thai.

In February of 2017, the Kingdom of Thailand’s Ministry of Education conferred the official title of Thai Boxing Trainer to Kru Smith.  He is now a Certified Instructor in Muay Thai from the birthplace of this great martial art, the Kingdom of Thailand.

Assistant Kru Matt Riter

Kru Matt Riter began training Muay Thai in 2000 under Ajarn Rick Davis of Statesville, North Carolina. In 2003, he earned his black prajeed. Kru Riter fought several Muay Thai and Kickboxing matches throughout the southeast including North Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia. He fought for regional titles and won an amateur US title in 2003. Muay Thai has been very beneficial for Kru Riter, giving him self-confidence, respect, and humility. Currently he enjoys training and sharing his knowledge with others.

Professor Joe Hurst

The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu program at Lake Norman Muay Thai is taught by world renowned martial artist Joe Hurst. Professor Hurst, an IBJJF certified third degree black belt, has over twenty-five years of experience. Personally trained by the Gracie family in Brazil, he has competed in many events all over the world. Joe has made this art his life, training hundreds of people and spreading the amazing art of Jiu Jitsu.


Professor Hurst has trained the US Secret Service, NC Highway Patrol, local law enforcement & SWAT teams for over 20 years.