Thai Boxing (Muay Thai)
Phuket Activities | Phuket activities and sports
One of the most interesting things to see in Phuket Island, Thailand is Thai Boxing. Thai boxing matches in Phuket Island, Thailand are very popular with the locals, although many western visitors feel that it is very violent.
There are many different boxing venues throughout Phuket Island, and many are located in Patong Beach. Thai boxing is a combination of martial arts and fighting with more emphasis being put on kicks than punches.
Thai boxing is very ritualistic. Prior to the match, you will witness the fighters performing the ram muay, a special dance where they wear a sacred headband given to them by their trainer. They perform a "wai khru" prior to the dance where they kneel and bow three times to their teacher. All of the pre-fight ritual is done to show respect to the boxer's teacher prior to the match.
Unlike Western boxing matches, Thai boxing only lasts five rounds. Each round is only three minutes and music is played during the fight. Also unlike Western boxing, there are no parts of the body that are off limits in a Thai boxing match. You will witness the fighters delivering high kicks to their opponent's neck, grabbing his head and pulling it down to meet a knee thrust, kicks to the head and face and knee hooks in the ribs. Thai boxers do wear a helmet that protects the front of their forehead.
Punching is considered a weak blow by Thai boxers, who only use their fists to mollify their opponent before they can deliver some sharp kicks. Fortunately, most matches in the tourist areas are held for show and are not lethal battles so it is unlikely that you will witness someone getting killed or severely injured during your visit. Authentic Thai boxing, however, has a large share of casualties as it is considered the most lethal of all hand to hand combat sports.
Thai boxing matches in Phuket Island, Thailand, are held on Friday evenings in Phuket Town at the large boxing statement in the town. There are many smaller venues in Patong Beach that hold boxing matches weekly as well. Those who want to witness extreme martial arts combat, are invited to attend.
Last Updated: 17 Oct 2011