I Heard A Crack: Observations On Muay Thai
The blaring rhythmic drone of traditional Thai music crackles out of the speakers. The smell of spilt whisky and beer is strong as two pre-pubescents bow in prayer on the floor of the ring. This is Muay Thai, Thailands national sport, poetically referred to as The Art of Eight Limbs. Moments later the fighters are bombarding one another with fists, shins, elbows and knees. The sport is renowned for its brutality and grace, its steeped in ancient traditions and laced with Buddhist beliefs. Beyond the ring Muay Thai is a way of life filled with constant studying, training and drills. Fighters will devote their entire life to the sport, often living in the training camps. To be a champion you have to start early. Kids as young as 10 racked up 100 fights can be found boxing in competitive bouts across the nation, each intending to be revered as a great champion.