Or Muay Thai fighters as they are more commonly called are at the heart of the Thai nation, in the hearts of the people, on the channels of the TV, on the walls of young kids walls, these warriors are revered throughout the kingdom.
Trained from a young age and often thrown into their first fight at an age of 10 these boys are battle hardened well before they reach puberty.
There are many traditions in the training of the young fighters to become battled warriors, many of these are diet based but the most well known is that ancient art of kicking banana trees. These young warriors once were trained to increase the size of their tibia and fibula by causing micro fractures in the bones which would later calcify and actually grow in diameter. Once this process has been practiced for years the fighters kicks are stronger and more destructive. In ancient times fighters were instructed to kick banana tree trunks, in modern times fighters use regular punching bags (which sometimes can be more dense than banana trees).
Sitting on the edge of the ring watching two warriors throw punches, kicks, elbows and knees wildly at one another a certain respect fills your body as this sport is unlike other martial arts, it resembles the body of kickboxing yet it has a certain “bare knuckle” feeling to it. Humid sweat and bursts of blood erupt from the malee filling the air as punches land their marks and knees split unprotected ribs, a primal order of brauns and brains fills the air.
From the edge of the ring you will notice a focus and dedication in the fighters, they seem to see nothing but each other, the roar of the crowd, the bright lights shining down on the ring, the announcements on the fight cutting through the air, nothing matters to these warriors other than each other. The experience of seeing a real Muay Thai fight is unlike anything you have ever seen, inside the well trodden arena there is gambling, screaming, beer drinking, comfortable sofas that surround the immediate perimeter of the ring and best of all plenty of fights. Order a beer from the vending booth, take a seat ringside and kick off your shoes take in a breath of the hot, excited air, the ensuing battles are to begin shortly.
The Ao Nang Krabi Stadium can house a maximum of 2,000 visitors at any single fight, but usually spectator numbers are limited to only 100-200 so there is plenty of space to move around and see the fight from the perfect vantage point.
Fights are weekly on Monday and Friday nights and start at 9pm.
A typical fight night will feature 9 separate fights which start from the younger (8-10 year old kids) fighters and end with the older fighters.
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