Muay Thai Boxing at the Gr.and Muay Thai Boxing Stadium & Gym Hua Hin
The experience of being a Muay Thai boxer is not on the ‘bucket list’ for most of us. Although not considered a brutal sport, with tradition and sportsmanship taking pride of place, it’s still hand-to-hand combat. The chances are that even the winner will bare the ‘scars of war’. Our trip to the Grand Muay Thai Boxing Stadium in Hua Hin was to witness Cha-Am’s ‘Rick the Brick’ tick off that item.It’s 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) time in the ring. The banner was ready and the team ‘anthem’ (a crude version of Pink Floyd’s; ‘Another Brick Rick in the Wall’) was practised in the minibus en route. ‘Rick the Brick’??? To Rick’s embarrassment this is a name he’s probably stuck with for life. He can thank his local support team for that!
Rick is a tall, strong and healthy looking Dutchman. A real ‘gentle giant’, who was outwardly calm and relaxed. His only stated concern was that he had no idea of the strengths or weaknesses of his opponent; his experience, height or weight. Just an Englishman named James. Rick was finding it hard to conjure up some aggression towards someone he couldn’t visualise. Physically the combatants were evenly matched, although Rick’s big disadvantage was a thirty year age difference. Rick is a very youthful 55 year old, with James a mere 25 years of age. This was probably the main factor leading to James being awarded the narrow points decision after three rounds. He was just a little more nimble on his feet and Rick a little more exposed.
The contest could not have been described as classical Muay Thai, with the boxers following the Marquiss of Queensbury Rules rather than Muay Thai with the use of feet being a feature. More like a good old fashioned ‘slug fest’ now enshrined on YouTube. Check out the action (Rick in the blue shorts) at: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=iVL1i6UhRaU. At the conclusion Rick, sporting some minor facial swelling, described himself as….…… .“satisfied”. Winning was not the aim, just achieving his ambition without disgrace.
Mission accomplished! ‘Gentleman Jim’ was also a gracious sport and the two were able to ‘grin and bare it’ with a post-fight beer; no malice remaining. The Grand Muay Thai Boxing Stadium holds competitive boxing every Wednesday and Friday night from 9 PM. The first bouts are likely to be young boxers (around 10 or 12 years old), followed by some women’s bouts before the main events. If you are thinking about trying your luck as a boxer, you’ll need to show that you’re ready and able at a recognised gym which may negotiate a contest. If you only want to be a spectator, just go along.
Table bookings can be made to ensure a ringside seat. Drinks are available inside at reasonable prices. 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. Cost: Standard entry tickets are 500THB. Contact: Phone 0811 907 778