The afternoon after the Thai cooking class presented an action packed (literally) day ahead of us. This was time for some Muay Thai (Thai Kick Boxing) lessons at Sor. Vorapin boxer training center, hidden in a small alley near the famous Khao San Road.
The roots of Muay Thai can be traced back to the 18th century. According to the Thai folklore, in 1767 AD, the ancient Siamese capital of Ayutthaya Kingdom fell to the invading Burmese army. Thousands of Siamese were taken prisoners and marched back to Burma as war booty, many Muay Boran (martial artists) among them.
In 1774, the emperor of Burma decided to hold a seven day religious festival in Rangoon. The festival included many forms of entertainment and martial arts were among them. The emperor wanted to see how the Muay Boran would fare against the Burmese boxers, and Nai Khanomtom was selected as the first to fight the Burmese champion. In the first match, he pummeled his Burmese opponent within minutes. The king then asked him if he could fight nine other champions of Burmese boxing. Nai Khanomtom defeated them all, and no one dared to challenge him after that.
The hugely impressed king freed Nai Khanomtom and bid him farewell with gifts. To this date, 17th March is celebrated as the National Muay Boran Day in his honor.
Muay Thai Boxing is a form of unarmed combat sport with a lot of physical and mental discipline. It is known as “the art of eight limbs” as it combines the use of fists, elbows, knees, shins and feet. To begin with, we were first geared in comfortable clothing and boxing gloves. Then started some warm up exercises. We practised some moves – high kicks, punches and elbow hits. We even tried punching and kicking the punching bag which was a little painful. After some practice we had a one on one fight session on the ring where we learned to kick harder and even block opponents in case of attacks. It was a real fun 2 hour session which we spent sweating it out. The training ended with some stretching exercises to cool down the aching muscles.
The day ended with some chic shopping at the Khao San Road also known as the Hippie Market. Colourful clothes, shoes, scarves and hair-do, you can find it all here and that too at an amazing price. It was a fulfilling day and we went back to the hotel looking forward to what the next day had in store for us.
This trip and the Muay Thai lesson was courtesy the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).