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Noel Francis T.

PE 138- Mauy Thai

The documentary showcased different sides of Muay Thai other than being a sport. It showed
Muay Thai as a means living, a dream, and a culture. Three boxers in the documentary – Gong
Prai, Boon Term, and Sam Sheridan, represented these aspects of Muay Thai.

The 13-year-old boxer Gong Prai represented Muay Thai as a living. Gong Prai lives in a village
inhabited by drug addicts and criminals in Thailand. He comes from a poor family that does not
have enough money to support his education. Muay Thai became a way for Gong Prai to earn
money for his education and family. The narrator of the documentary even said that what Gong
Prai earn’s in one fight is what his parents earn in a year. Surely, Muay Thai has become a means
of living for Gong Prai. It supports his parents, his family, and his studies. Not only that, it
supports the fight against drug addiction in their community because Muay Thai stirs children
away from vices and bad influences due to its heavy work-out regimen.

The next aspect is Muay Thai as a dream. Barred by cultural norms, Boon Term wasn’t able to
live her dream until she was a grown up. Boon Term always dreamt about being a boxer. But
however whenever she touched the ring, the adults would tell her to go away because Muay Thai
isn’t for girls. It was only until when she was grown up that she found out that women can now
become boxers. The governing body of Muay Thai finally drafted a rule allowing women to
become boxers given that they play on a separate ring. This moved Boon Term enough for her to
leave her family in pursuit of her dream of becoming a boxer. She vigorously trained at the gym
until she was ready to do her fight.

From the most unlikely source, an American named Sam Sheridan represents Muay Thai as a
culture. What better way to experience a culture than by embracing the unfamiliarity and
peculiarity of it? Sam Sheridan experiences the Muay Thai as a culture by living in the Muay
Thai training camp for 5 months and training under a legendary boxer. He started out from zero
knowledge of Muay Thai. Training almost everyday, he moved his way up until he was able to
participate in an official fight. He also performed the pre-fighting ritual of Muay Thai – the Wai
Kru. Sam Sheridan immersed himself into a totally unfamiliar culture through Muay Thai.

After watching the documentary, I felt motivated to doing Muay Thai. It makes the martial art
even more interesting. However, the watching the boxers spar on the ring made me a bit scared,
nonetheless the overall impact of the documentary was that it made me become more interested
in Muay Thai. I was already very much interested by the uniqueness and challenge that Muay
Thai has on its form. Now, being motivated with the movie, I hope I will be able to have more
efficient practices in order to defend and live up to the awesomeness of Muay Thai.

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