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Muay Thai (Thai Boxing)

Thai boxing or Mauy Thai is very popular sports in Bangkok with most major bouts held at either the Lumpini or Rachadamnoen stadium. This brutal but graceful martial art has been practiced in Thailand for centuries.

Past kings are said to be champion fighters and on of them, King Naresuan, introduced the sport as part of military training in the 16th century.  Due to the high incidence of deaths during combat, the sport was banned in the 1920s but reintroduced soon after under the more safety-conscious Queensbury rules.  Bouts consist of three to five minute rounds during which the fighters use every part of the body (except the head) to bludgeon the opponent into defeat.  Before the bout begins, a graceful and mesmerizing ritual dance named Ram-Muay is performed by both fighters to placate the spirits and show respect to the art and its teachers.  Bouts are extremely boisterous, noisy affairs and should be witnessed for spectacle alone.  Be warned though, this isn't the performance similar to the WWF, here the blows are hard and the blood real.

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