Lumpinee Boxing Stadium
The Lumpinee Boxing Stadium is one of the most famous sporting arenas not only in Bangkok, but also in the whole of Thailand. It is primarily popular for organizing competitions in Thai boxing, or Muay Thai, with each professional boxer striving to participate at this venue.
Muay Thai is an ancient national martial art, which became famous throughout the world during the second half of the 20th century. It is believed to originate from older techniques, some of which are several thousand years old, although modern fighting techniques started to form only in the 16th century. The Thais have always been very serious about this martial art: the study of it was compulsory not only for warriors, but also for members of the royal family.
The techniques and the rules of Muay Thai have evolved over time. Thus, while a fight used to end with death or with very serious injuries to one of the fighters in the 19th century, a scoring system and rounds were introduced in the early 20th century to counter this, with chokes, throws and attacks on the fallen adversary prohibited at the same time. Nevertheless, the rules of Muay Thai still allow striking with fists, feet, shins, elbows and knees. That is why Muay Thai is nicknamed as “the art of eight limbs.”
The Muay Thai combat is a true ritual. It starts with a prayer - Wai Khru - and a ceremonial dance, which is called Ram Muay and during which the fighters put on the Mongkhon, a headband that is woven from 108 threads (the sacred number in Buddhism). The sportsmen also wear an amulet-armband known as Pra Jiad during the fight. In addition to these trinkets, a code of honor, which must be strictly complied with (breaking it will see the fighters lose points or even the whole fight) was developed for the competitors. Each bout must be accompanied by traditional Thai music. Despite the fact that female Thai boxing has surfaced, only men may participate in Muay Thai. Women are even not allowed be present in the ring.
One of stadium’s most famous champions is Dieselnoi Chor Thanasukarn, who held his title for four years running. Oddly, he had to end his career because he simply had no one left to fight, or was willing to fight him.
The Lumpinee Boxing Stadium is one of the few places in Thailand where betting is officially allowed. Fights take place every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.