Thugs forced to fight pro Muay Thai fighters as punishment

Local thugs forced to fight pro Muay Thai fighters as punishment during Thai New Year festival


Songkran, or the Thai New Year, is held annually between April 13-15. It is also known as the water-throwing festival because the tradition of washing Buddhist statues for good fortune has evolved into a tradition of throwing water on other people as well. In other words, it’s like a giant free-for-all water fight throughout the country!

Naturally, by human nature not all of the citizens are well-behaved, and the festival always leads to some fights and drunken brawls between irresponsible revelers. This year, however, it looks like the ingenious idea of one politician in Buriram City may stop local gang members from stirring up more trouble at future festivals…and it might just shock you. 

Buriram City is located in the eponymous northeast province of Thailand. While the local residents look forward to the New Year’s festival as a chance to cool down during the hottest month of the year, one local politician was fed up by the inevitable destruction caused by young gang members year after year. So he gave them an ultimatum: at the opening ceremony of the event, he declared, “This time, whoever disrupts the festival will be forced to fight three rounds with a pro Muay Thai fighter.”  

Muay Thai, or Thai kickboxing as it’s known internationally, is a full-contact martial art which requires intense physical and mental discipline. With that in mind, you’d think that the threat of having to get into the ring with a pro fighter would strike fear into the hearts of the local thugs, but apparently none of them took the politician’s words at face value because, sure enough, several hours after the start of the festival five “disturbers of the peace” were seized by event staff. They were then dragged over to a special ring set up in the center of the event area, whereupon they were forced to go up against professional Muay Thai fighters.

So how do you think the fights turned out? Make a prediction and then watch the video below to see for yourself:

▼(The thugs even got to choose which pro they wanted to fight against)

▼The announcement at the opening ceremony about the unique punishment this year

As you can see, the fighters certainly didn’t go easy on them, and their own physical strength proved to be no match for the seasoned pros. It must have been a bit embarrassing with thousands of spectators looking on, but they did bring it upon themselves. Maybe this will teach them not to disrupt the fun at future festivals.

While this spectacle may have been amusing for some, in reality there is a much darker side to the destruction caused by irresponsible parties. According to an announcement made by the Thai police the other day, 2,926 people were injured and 277 people were killed in just five days during this year’s festival. If you participate in the festival in the future, make sure to be aware of your surroundings at all times and play responsibly to avoid escalation of needless violence.

There’s some brief video evidence of the handful of young rapscallions that got pinched doing dumb stuff, and the law apparently even allows them to pick the fighter that will administer the beating. I wonder, though, if there are special circumstances. Do non-Thai folk have to get punch-kicked by an equally farang fighter, like Jean-Charles Skarbowsky? And what if you completely wreck house on a temple, does the Thai government bring in Buakaw to destroy your face? Do famous people have to fight Tony Jaa?

I know this is essentially “Bully Beatdown” except real, which makes it fantastic. I hope this concept spreads throughout the rest of the world, and in a few months, “The People’s Court” and “Friday Night Fights” can merge into one show.

Source: Itai News & Via RocketNews

The life cycle of Muay Thai Fighter

From The Farms Of Isaan To The Stadiums Of Bangkok:

The Life Cycle of Muay Thai Fighters In Thailand

“We build them, you break them.  Then they come home…”

Meet CIA…

muay thai fighter

Notable opponents:
  • Saiyok Sit. Samprayak
  • Gungwan Lek Petchindee
  • Duanbley Sit. O Ubon

Where he has fought:

  • Lumpini
  • Rajadamnern
  • Assawindam [Channel 9]
  • Channel 7, Japan

Biggest purse:

  • 2,000 USD

He showed up at our gym about a month ago; Mr. Dit had arranged for him to fight Channel 9 fighter Saiyok in the main event of his promotion.  With just a little over a week of training, he finished the fight victoriously in a third round TKO of the veteran.  From there he was scheduled to fight two more times, a total of three fights in one month.

Saiyok Muay Thai

CIA in His Most Recent Victory Against Saiyok in Nakhon Ratchasima Province

It was apparent the first day that he showed up that he was good.  Not just technically but mentally: he knew exactly what he needed to do to win and most importantly, get paid. His two other fights fell through, and now he is having trouble finding fights.

In Isaan especially, gamblers control the match ups.  If your team has no money to bet, then there is no fight.  Purse and side bet are agreed upon before the fight takes place; the side bet is an equal amount that each team must match.  Other bets with other odds will take place outside of the ring too, but sitting with the ring announcer is the side bet where in the winner will take it all home.

We were told from the two gyms that had pulled their fighters that CIA was too good.  More so, what the issue is here is not that he is too good, but that he is too focused on the fights at hand.  A lot of fighters up here save their best for Lumpini and Rajadamnern and don’t want to take overly difficult fights with people such as CIA because there is little to gain in the smaller venues.  In Bangkok, fighters are only allowed to fight every twenty-one days.  Although in the West that seems like a lot, the majority of these fighters are making less than the Thai minimal wage.  An above average fighter who fights regularly in Bangkok can make about 500 to 1000 USD per fight, and then the gym will take forty percent of that.  Fighting every twenty-one days is also dependent on if they can actually get fights that often; injuries, bad performance, and family problems all factor in.  Therefore, a lot of fighters will come back home and fight a few times before their scheduled matches in Bangkok.  It is a vicious cycle because it wears fighters down and makes it very difficult for them to ever reach their prime.

boom watthanaya muay thai

CIA and Boom Whattanaya Boxing Sparring at Giatbundit Gym

After checking out our gym out and being able to train with Boom (who shares his exceptional work ethic), CIA wants to fight again in Bangkok— but it isn’t that easy to go back.  First, you need a fighter’s license, which only a registered gym can apply for on your behalf.  Second, a gym won’t get you a fighter’s license unless a contract is signed.  CIA was part of Petacklownueng (a prominent police owned camp in Bangkok) and even though his contract and license are expired, he is still required to get an excusal letter from his old gym before officially becoming part of our gym. Fighters in Thailand are extremely loyal to their gym, and in some cases are also scared of their managers.  Asking for such a letter is no easy feat and the gyms can refuse or take a very long time to process the said letter.  Furthermore, it is dependent on the owner as to whether he will focus his time on CIA or the younger up and comers; nothing is guaranteed.

CIA has made it clear that he is done with living and training in Bangkok, for him it is not about leaving his gym but about being close to home again.  Whether he will make it back into Bangkok, only time will tell.  If not, Isaan will take him back again.  Once his spirit and body are broken, he will fight again and the announcer will says things like “once a great fighter, he now works to put food on the table, no shame, sabai-sabai” as I have heard them say time and time again of the many broken fighters who once entered the big rings of Thailand and now come back to compete at temple fairs making a means one fight at a time…

This all got me thinking of the cycle of fighters in Thailand.  It is widely accepted that the majority of fighters in Thailand, as well as the best, come from Isaan.  They are made here at the temple fairs, beginning their careers for a mere three dollars per fight.  From here some are sent, and some are sold into the big gyms in Bangkok.  Getting into a big gym can be a dream for some and a nightmare for others.  Training, eating, and sleeping all in the same location.  Some fighters describe it has being similar to the military.  At such gyms, there are only a few top guys that really get taken care of; the rest are just lumped together much like soldiers.

There are hundreds of fighters that regularly compete at Channel 7 stadium, Lumpini, Rajadamnern, Omnoi, Assawindom, One Songchai etc.  These guys aren’t part of the one percent like Saenchai, and see very little of their hard work truly paying off.  Even champions still struggle to make ends meet, especially those from Lumpini and Rajadamnern which although more prestigious, have less opportunity for sponsorships in comparison to Channel 7.  There is also a drastic cut in pay when you go from the top to the bottom and most fighters are not prepared for their imminent ‘retirement’ from weight cutting and the big arenas of Bangkok.

Some make it out alive and are able buy a car or build a house, but most come back here mere shadows of their glory days fighting for food.


Just last week, we received a call from a friend who had made it to one of the top gyms in Bangkok who was not only fighting regularly on Channel 7, but was also nominated for fighter of the year in 2013.  He asked if he could come stay with us and if we could get him fights.  In some cases when fighters come back here ,they are not leaving their gyms on good terms, and for that reason I am withholding his name.  Fighting in Isaan, no fighter’s license is required.  You can fight often, but there is no opportunity to move up unless you are in good standing and have the paperwork ready.  As for my friend, hopefully he can tough it out in Bangkok, but if not, we are always here and always will be.


Companies that failed, naming their products

These 19 Asian companies FAILED so hard at naming their food!!

These are just wrong…

For global companies, it’s important to plan product names well enough so embarrassing typos can be avoided.  Unfortunately, these companies didn’t think their foodstuff names all the way through, so some vital pieces got lost in translation.

“Tastes Like Grandma’s!” and “Tastes Like Grandma” have two very different meanings. Cannibalism isn’t nearly as tasty as Grandma’s homemade jam. If you ever plan on selling food overseas, make sure to translate the name forwards and backwards. You don’t want to advertise rape or cannibalism, no matter how quickly you’d get featured on the nightly news.

Share these hilarious food name fails with others, it’ll make them laugh!!


21 Signs You’ve Spent Too Much Time In Thailand

Well technically, you could never, ever spend too much time in Thailand. The country is chock-full of intricate temples, pristine islands, and mysterious caverns.

Here’s how to tell if you’re turning the corner from Thai tourist to Thai local.

1. You prefer motorbikes to minivans. In Thailand, you don’t have soccer moms: you have fearless and intrepid moto-moms who fit their entire families (babies included!) onto one gas-powered bike. No seatbelts? No problem. Continue reading

Kru Leigh’s – Thailand Trip (01.11.13)

Kru Leigh Edlin, Paul Kirk & Luke Brooks – Thailand Trip

Story to follow…

Stepping out for Chao Phraya Muay Thai on Monday 11th November, Leigh Edlin will be fighting against a Thai opponent in Chiang Mai Thailand.

11th November 2013
Leigh Edlin (Lanna Muay Thai) v Cheulong (Chaiyang)
At the Liokroh Boxing Stadium (Chiang Mai)


Pictures so far!

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From Kru Shaun Boland

For my Nak Rian, Nak Muay and friend…

Stepping out for Chao Phraya Muay Thai on Monday 11th November, Leigh Edlin will be fighting against a Thai opponent in Chiang Mai Thailand.

Leigh’s current record stands at 15 fights with a total of 13 wins (10 by KO) 1 loss 1 draw. He holds WMTO Midlands area, IKF English, IKF British, ISKA British, ISKA Commonwealth & ISKA European title belts and has fought Thai nationals twice before in Thailand winning both by KO.

Leigh has been my student, Fighter, senior instructor (For Chao Phraya & Chao Phraya Lincoln) and friend for over 11 years now and we have journeyed together through our training and passion, not just for Muay Thai , but in Thai History, culture and Buddhism.

As his teacher I am honoured and proud to have him as a student and as his friend I am equally honoured. I personally wish him Chok Dee (Good luck) for this fight (it is only the second time out of 15 that I have not been by his side for a fight).

I have written this and put up the photographs of our journey together so far, may we be blessed and continue our journey for many more years – With respect and heart felt love.