What connects Muay Thai with Thailand
The sport – martial arts Muay Thai is extremely popular in Thailand and, along with Sepak Takraw to the national sport.
Every weekend in Thailand there are live broadcasts from Muay Thai on various TV channels (TV7, Mcot, Channel 3, etc.). These are usually watch in groups by the older generation. They gather in local bars, gardens, or garage huts specially prepared for Muay Thai TV. You can pretend that when the Olympics come on TV in Europe and your country has a game. So, everyone is sitting together and excited. In addition to the exciting fights, it is also about betting. In general, gambling such as casinos or betting stakes is prohibited in Thailand. But it is an old tradition and it is not communicated publicly. Again, the police close their eyes. Usually, small amounts of money such as 100 – 500 baht are involved. But everything that is prohibited remains exciting and there are also wagers that go over 1 million baht. We’ll get to that later in another part, where we take a closer look at the fights in the stadium.
Due to the weekly broadcasts on TV, the fighters are also a kind of national hero and the best of the best become Thailand’s legends. A good fighter in Thailand is also relatively well financially. It’s not like a top football, tennis or golf player, but they usually earn more than the average fortune (13500 baht) of the Thai population. However, the salary alone is usually not the motivation, but much more about honour and passion. Most of the fighters grew up in a Muay Thai family. And how part of a Muay Thai Fighter grows up, we will go into in part 2.