Where can you watch Thai boxing in Bangkok? One of the national sports in Thailand is Muay Thai, or kickboxing as it is known to foreigners. There are two stadiums in Bangkok where you can watch the real thing: Lumpini Boxing Stadium and Rajadmanern Stadium.
Lumpini Boxing Stadium
Tuesday & Friday – 6.30-10.30 p.m.
Sun, Mon, Wed – 6-10.30 p.m.
Ringside – 1,500 baht
Muay Thai originated as a self defence and developed to become a sport. It is well-known for its various types of forward and backward elbow strikes, Knee strikes, swing and reversing kicks, foot jabbing and all types of fist blows. A great deal of training and coaching is required to develop this skill.
In the old days, Thai traditional boxers “had their fists and the lower arms wrapped in strings and then soaked in a starchy liquid, granulated glassy material was sprinkled on to lend additional devastating effects. When dry and hard, the pair of dress fists becomes a deadly lethal weapon.” (Chaleo Manilerd 1980 : 23)
Thai boxers of today wear regular gloves and rattan headbands entering a ring with much ceremony – typical of Thai folk beliefs associated with martial sports. At every event of Thai boxing, there is a traditional musical band to provide traditional martial music for the fight. The band consists of Javanese pipe, a pair of two face drums and cymbals. Any tune can be played and varies with the phases of the fights. There is a tune for the ritual, for shadow boxing. During the fighting the piper can change the tune or the tempo to suit the action of the fighting.For physical protection, a Thai boxer wears boxing trunks with a protective cup sewn on inside to prevent injury from kicks and kneeing. As for spiritual protection, Thai boxers believe in all kinds of charms and talismans. That is the reason for wearing lustral thread around the head and rings of charms around the biceps. No woman is allowed to go into the canvas ring for fear that her influence should destroy the strength and skill of the boxers.
Information from: “Thai Studies Through Games” Book 2 by Assist. Prof. Wadee Kheourai.