Thaiboxing

Thai boxing is the most characteristic and the most famous sport in Thailand. During matches the boxers is using usual boxing gloves. But they have no shoes on their feet. Gloves were first introduced 50 years ago. Earlier you wrapped strips of hemp around boxers' hands and sometimes you put in broken glass between layers to increase the stroke effect. The rules are very different compared to regular boxing, because the impact and shock from knees, arms, legs and kicks are allowed. Thai boxing relies more on agility than strength, which can have western boxing to appear stiff and heavy. That is not to say that Thai boxing is less hard, on the contrary a punch or kick in the genitals has just as much effect when it comes to knock down anyone with an uppercut!

The numerous attacks and defences can give the game a touch of dance performance whilst looking violent. The enthusiastic spectators know all the boxers, and the betting is buzzing in the air during the matches. There is great interest among Thai people and there is probably very few young men who didn’t  try the Thai boxing and the dream of a career in the sport is huge.

Preparations for the games will help to increase the interest and the many rituals before a game is followed very closely in the audience. When the two boxers is in the ring, it starts complaining music. Both boxers wearing a "Mongkon" a narrow ribbon, on the head and sometimes lucky amulets tied around the arms. The two combatants kneel with their hands together at the same time as the head descends to the floor three times to pay tribute to his teacher and pray for victory and protection. Then they perform a remarkable boxing dance in slow motion to quiet music.

The judges call for the boxers, they shake hands, the music gets faster and the tension rises while the first round starts. A match consists of three rounds of three minutes each with two minute break between rounds. During the match the excited crowd cheer on the boxers.

A match evening typically includes six different matches of which the fifth is the main game, you want to sit at ringside it will cost you, but can of course be worth every Bath.