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The first hit was the best


coolbluebahamut
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I'm not making this thread to complain about Muay Thai. Just giving my experiences and maybe get some input from others on them.

The first time I went to Thailand, we ended our trip in Phuket on the final night going to a Muay Thai show. There were four of us there, sitting in VIP seats, drinking bucket drinks, and it was maybe the best experience of the whole trip (first or second, given what also happened that night). I was never someone who liked sports before, but Muay Thai was just so awesome and I figured that if I ever got to live in Thailand for long periods of time, I would certainly catch a show once or twice a month.

The second time I went to Thailand, I went to Pattaya alone and bought a nice custom suit (I really lucked out and got an actual good suit made). I bought some tickets to a BIG show, one that was televised and everything. No VIP seats were available for purchase, but that wasn't a big deal. I showed up to the stadium in my suit, gave my ticket, and they drag me around a corner and give me the second best VIP seat. Like, right next to people who seemed actually important. I was pretty hyped.

Then the fight started and the fighters just... started clinching each other. For a long time. Over and over again. It felt like there weren't a lot of clean hits and the match went until it was called for points. Okay, weird, but surely that was just one fight. No, they were mostly all like that. Some didn't quite go until points were called, and there was of course the odd heavyweight white people match that end too quickly with a knockout, but mostly the night was a lot of people hugging each other.

My mind raced. I could swear my first Muay Thai show wasn't like that, but how could they be so different? Was my memory so flawed?

Then I went to a MUCH smaller gym show in Ko Samui. These fights were better than in Pattaya, but still felt very clinch-heavy. Best fight of the whole trip was between two kids, and I'll let others debate the possible wrongness of that whole situation.

So what gives? Were my experiences on my second trip weird outliers, or was I too drunk and hype the first time to notice the same things? In your experience, does Muay Thai feature *a lot* of clinching, or not so much? And how do you feel about that?

I'm realizing that as I post this I might well not even have the opportunity to see a show when I come up in April, but whatever. Gotta get that advanced membership.

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There was a time when there were quite a few rings around Pattaya to see live Muay Thai. I've never actually paid to go see a fight, they were all free while you were drinking. Don't remember too much clinching, they all seemed to be fighting each other. 3 rounders for the most part, so I guess no time for clinching. I too used to get a kick out of the huge Farang that would get his assed kicked by the Thai half his size. Speed is definitely a big factor in that sport.

Over the years I believe there was just 1 ring left at the entrance to WS, but it became just a big tourist attraction with the guys just putting on a little show, and then walking up to everyone in the crowd after the fight asking for a tip.

I'm guessing that in order to see the real thing anymore you have to go to Bangkok, or as you did find a local gym that is serious about it. 

Hopefully some guys on here that are involved in the local Muay Thai gym can give you more info. 

It's just my opinion. 

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46 minutes ago, WhiteThai said:

There was a time when there were quite a few rings around Pattaya to see live Muay Thai. I've never actually paid to go see a fight, they were all free while you were drinking. Don't remember too much clinching, they all seemed to be fighting each other. 3 rounders for the most part, so I guess no time for clinching. I too used to get a kick out of the huge Farang that would get his assed kicked by the Thai half his size. Speed is definitely a big factor in that sport.

Over the years I believe there was just 1 ring left at the entrance to WS, but it became just a big tourist attraction with the guys just putting on a little show, and then walking up to everyone in the crowd after the fight asking for a tip.

I'm guessing that in order to see the real thing anymore you have to go to Bangkok, or as you did find a local gym that is serious about it. 

Hopefully some guys on here that are involved in the local Muay Thai gym can give you more info. 

There is a big stadium on Sukhumvit opposite soi Khao noi and pre covid it was open at least 4 nights a week and televised nationally. There is a huge gym and residences for the boxers behind it. Pre covid it was full of tour buses with Chinese paying top dollar to watch with big crowds.

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4 hours ago, coolbluebahamut said:

I showed up to the stadium in my suit, gave my ticket, and they drag me around a corner and give me the second best VIP seat. Like, right next to people who seemed actually important.

Was that you in the Blue Suit ?

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54 minutes ago, Jebb said:

There is a big stadium on Sukhumvit opposite soi Khao noi and pre covid it was open at least 4 nights a week and televised nationally. There is a huge gym and residences for the boxers behind it. Pre covid it was full of tour buses with Chinese paying top dollar to watch with big crowds.

Now that you mention it, I do remember seeing some advertising for that place. Did you go see the fights there? How was it?

It's just my opinion. 

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1 hour ago, WhiteThai said:

Now that you mention it, I do remember seeing some advertising for that place. Did you go see the fights there? How was it?

A lot different to the comedy show at the start of Walking St.

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Clinching is a significant aspect of Muay Thai.  Here's an article explaining some of it The Muay Thai Clinch Inside And Out. Could be you just don't like that type of fighting and prefer boxing and kickboxing, fair enough.

I've been watching a lot of Muay Thai over the last year as I've got a lot of time of my hands with the pandemic and all. A lot of the big cards are streamed live on youtube/facebook and watching helps me get a little Thailand fix during the long wait for my next trip. Things just started up again last week after being shut down for a while with the recent lockdown.

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