The other day I was telling you about Watching Muay Thai in Bangkok. I had an enjoyable afternoon at the Bangkok Boxing Stadium watching the matches. This is an alternative boxing stadium to Lumphini. The fights are just as good but it doesn’t have the big crowds. So, this means you can move around and observe the fights from different angles. In this blog today I want to share with you some of the pictures I took of the Wai Khru Ceremony which is called Ram Muay. At school, we have a Wai Khru Ceremony once a year where the students pay respect to their teachers. In a way, this Ram Muay is also how boxers pay respect to their trainers. They start by walking slowing around the ring in an anti-clockwise direction, paying respect to the four corners.
Next starts a kind of intricate ritual which is a cross between a warm-up session and a spiritual dance.
Around their head is a mong kon which is considered to be magical. They also often wear an armband of coloured material. This is called pra jiad.
The ram muay can go on for three or four minutes. Sometimes one fighter will finish early and has to hang around for the other to finish. Sometimes movements in the dance will be used to intimidate the other dancer. But, overall it is very graceful. Strange to see muscular men prancing around with flower garlands around their neck just before all hell breaks lose. Once the dance is finished, the fighters will go to speak to their trainers. He will maybe have last minute advice, but usually they both say a short prayer before the fight. He is trying to charge the magical powers to protect the fighter. He then takes off the mong kon headband. Then the fight is ready to start. I will share some videos of this with you later at our Thailand video blogs. I also have more Thai boxing pictures to show you on another day.