It is generally agreed that Muay Thai began as a close quarters battlefield combat to defend the land and people from early invasion threats. Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand and often referred to as the sport of kings.
This physical and mental discipline is known as “the art of eight limbs” because it combines the use of fists, elbows, knees, shins and requires physical fitness that makes the trained full contact fighter very efficient. The 1930’s Muay Thai was codified and today’s rules and regulations were introduced. Rope bindings of the arms and hands were abandoned and gloves took their place.
This innovation was also in response to the growing success of Thai Boxers in international boxing. Hua Hin’s Pone Kingpetch became Thailand’s first world boxing champion title (Queensberry Rules not Muay Thai) by defeating Pascual Pérez of Argentina in 1960 for the world flyweight championship. His statue near the Hua Hin Railway Station celebrates this achievement. Muay Thai spread widely internationally in the twentieth century with extensive TV coverage. It has its enthusiasts and practitioners in the Americas, Australia, Japan, Europe, as well as in many other countries around the world. So You Want To Be A Muay Thai Boxer?
The experience of being a Muay Thai boxer is on the ‘bucket list’ for some visitors to Thailand, including ladies. That may be somewhat surprising; it’s not generally considered to be a brutal sport, with tradition and sportsmanship taking pride of place, but it’s still hand-tohand combat. The chances are that even the winner will show the ‘scars of war’. However most are just thinking about losing weight, as self-defense or to improve stamina. Perhaps some sparring with other trainees without ever becoming too competitive. It’s also a way to have a very active holiday with a Thai difference. If you are thinking about trying your luck as a real boxer, you’ll need to show that you’re ready and able at a recognised gym which may negotiate a contest. ‘Rick the Brick’ In Action Becoming a Muay Thai boxer has been on the bucket list of Rick De Bies for some time; just ‘something he wanted to do’. After months of preparation at the Chock Dee Cha-Am Gym, Rick was ready to rumble in his first (and probably last) Muay Thai match.
Our trip to the Grand Muay Thai Boxing Stadium in Hua Hin was to witness Cha-Am’s ‘Rick the Brick’) as his supporters dubbed him) in Muay Thai action. Rick is a tall, strong and healthy looking Dutchman. A real ‘gentle giant’, who was outwardly calm and relaxed, although admitting just before the event that he was feeling a somewhat nervous. He had no idea of the strengths or weaknesses of his opponent; his experience, height or weight. All he had seen or knew was from a poster showing ‘Roshan’ alongside a Sri Lankan flag; apparently his opponent was arriving in Thailand just a few days before the bout.
At the conclusion Rick was the winner after his opponent, perhaps a little underprepared, ‘threw in the towel’ after three rounds. Sporting some minor facial swelling, Rick described himself as ………….……. “satisfied”. Winning was not the aim, just achieving his ambition without disgrace. Mission more then accomplished! . Our thanks to Rick and Chok Dee gym operators Rosalie and Kru Phot for allowing Hua Hin Today to follow Rick’s progress to victory. You’ll find more information on their facebook page: www.facebook.com/chokdeechaam Muay Thai Boxing Matches Where: Grand Muay Thai Boxing Stadium & Gym, next to the Hua Hin Grand Market, off Petchakasem Road near the San Paulo Hospital. When: Every Friday and Wednesday night from 9.00 PM. OR Where: Thai Boxing Garden and Gym; 20/23 Poonsuk Road Hua Hin
When: Every Tuesday & Saturday starting at 9 PM.