“Elbows, fists, and knees are part of the arsenal, although biting, spitting, hair pulling, and head butting are penalized”

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Always a good sign
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The drums signalled the start of the fighting

Thailand is famous for its Thai boxing or Muay Thai. As the title quote says, fists, elbows, knees and feet are used in hand-to-hand combat in this ancient martial art. Today, matches are fought in a boxing ring with five, 2-minute rounds. The cultural show at the Rose Garden Cultural Center included a full 2-round match that ended in a draw: both combatants won one round each.

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Muay Thai
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Muay Thai
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Muay Thai
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Muay Thai
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Muay Thai

Another fascinating part of the cultural show was the pole and arm guard fight. Going into it, my money would have been on the guy with the pole; the arm guards do not look fierce in the least. However, the combatant who wielded them knew his business and was victorious in the end.

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Pole and arm guard fight
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Pole and arm guard fight
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Pole and arm guard fight
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Pole and arm guard fight
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Pole and arm guard fight
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Pole and arm guard fight
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Pole and arm guard fight
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Pole and arm guard fight
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Pole and arm guard fight
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Pole and arm guard fight
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Pole and arm guard fight
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Pole and arm guard fight
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Pole and arm guard fight

The final fights demonstrated Thai sword skills. Traditionally, men and women both fought, side-by-side, to fend off invasions to Thailand. Indeed, the woman in this demonstration was formidable and won the day, even after being disarmed. It was fun to watch.

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Sword fight
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Sword fight
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Sword fight
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Sword fight
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Sword fight
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Sword fight

Title quote: E.M. Swift, “Sport in the Land of Sanuk,” Travelers’ Tales Thailand

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Sword fight
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Sword fight
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Sword fight
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Sword fight
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Sword fight

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