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.