Saturday, October 24, 2009

Muay thai

As soon as we landed in Thailand I started getting excited about catching a muay thai kickboxing fight.  As chance would have it we ended up on a beach with one of the best muay thai training camps in South East Asia… Horizon Muay Thai Camp.  Over the past few weeks we ended up befriending some of the fighters and trainers at the camp, partying with them, and yesterday finally had the opportunity to head up to a fight at Thongsala Arena with them.  The highlight for me was being able to root on the only farang (foreigner) fighting that night, Izy the Aussie from Horizon, as he took on a local in the third match.  Each fight night card includes about seven bouts of five rounds each at three minutes per round.  Winners are determined by scoring or ten count knockout very similar to boxing.  It seems there are loose weight classes and fighters are matched up based on relative experience and win history, just not as strict as boxing.  The real difference here is that boxers may only fight twenty times through their semi and professional careers.  With fights practically every night somewhere on these islands the muay thai fighters here have hundreds of notches in their belts and Izy’s opponent for the bout having marked around 400 fights.  I am told these fighters earn around 2,000Baht or $60USD per fight which is about a months wage for many Thai locals so the economics are a strong incentive to get back into the ring as often as possible.  Tonight was Izy’s second fight since he arrived in Thailand a month earlier, and would result in his second victory by knockout.  This is a major accomplishment as the locals do not like to loose to a farang and they are a scrappy bunch and tough as the rock Koh Phanghan was founded on.  The head trainer Pu’s goodbye to me as I left the beach to go crash in my bungalow at 2am that night with everyone still drinking and celebrating the Horizon win on the beach: “Be careful tonight… remember, I can kill you in your dreams”.  He may be right, he may be wrong, but I made sure to bless the spirits before I fell asleep that night.


1 comment:

  1. Evan, amazing pics. Really enjoying reading the blog and following you and cousin Teya across the world! Many thanks for allowing me to live vicariously while working on dissertation proposal . . .

    -Sean B-T