The Thais love their kickboxing alright. No doubt about that.
Muay Thai is one the most vicious and unforgiving martial arts discipline in the world. The sport has made international action heroes out of their fighters, like Ong-Bak. No other martial arts from Southeast Asia enjoys the same popularity outside the region as Muay Thai.
Thailand has Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior. Kuching only has Gu-Bak: Pork Chop Eater.
Devoted Muay Thai fighters go through a very punishing conditioning regime that hardens their arms and legs into steel pipe-like toughness. Their bodies so fit there's not even an ounce of fat left in them.
I had the opportunity to watch live Muay Thai action during my trip there. There's this stadium on Soi Bangla that promotes itself as "Best of the Best Muay Thai", so I thought don't play play - must be good.
This same stadium also claimed to have "real fights", as opposed to err... fake fights?
I paid 700 baht (bargained down from 1000 baht) for a ticket. I won't say it's the best RM70 I've ever spent but it is something I gotta experience at least once in my life.
One thing that struck me immediately was how very young these fighters start. The first match I witnessed was between at 12-year-old and a 13-year-old. Later in the night there's even an 8-year-old and a 9-year-old fighting.
Perhaps next time they might have two Thai babies slugging out each other when they're not sucking on their mommy's breasts.
The action in the ring was great. There's one match where we even witnessed a KO in Round One (see video later). However, the production value of the show is crap at best.
Every match is accompanied by a live band that plays some irritating music that sounds like a god-awful cross between Chinese opera music, and Kenny Sia singing karaoke.
As the night went on, it looks like the action OUTSIDE the ring is just as entertaining as the action inside the ring. These girls were just whooping and gyrating wildly throughout the night.
And I can't help but to do this. Just check out the video. ;)