THAILAND: Muay Thai

Let’s start with a short intro video about Muay Thai, including a bit of history and how the fights work:

I’d also strongly recommend this beautiful documentary with Wisarut Wat Suksiriwararak, a former fighter and now coach in northern Thailand. His concern for the future of the sport comes from its overpopularity – the commercialization of it is starting to divorce Muay Thai from its traditional and historical roots.

Muay Thai really became internationally famous in the 80s with the fight between Muay Thai champion Changpuek Kietsongrit vs. American kickboxer Rick Roufus. Somewhat unfairly, many of the normal Muay Thai moves like elbows and grappling were not allowed in the fight, while all kickboxing moves were allowed. Despite this, the American, who had been bragging beforehand, had to be taken out of the ring in a stretcher.

And if you’re interested in a bit of a Muay Thai workout at home – here’s a great one with Ajahn Suchart, former Northern Thailand Champion, who moved to Canada in the late 80s to start teaching here. It’s a hell of a workout, I was feeling it in my abs the next day!

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