Muay Thai and the Legend of Nai Khanom Tom

It would be remiss of me not to post about anything cultural, mythological, or historical. Since I finished my segment on my recent trip to Italy, I decided to go with something outside of Europe, and ended up choosing Muay Thai almost randomly. I won’t pretend to know a lot about the topic, but there are some interesting stories to tell here.

If anyone reading this does knows anything about Muay Thai, feel free to comment or even provide links to good resources, if you’d like.

The story I’d like to highlight is the legend of Nai Khanom Tom. It takes place in 1774. Burma had previously invaded Thailand, and Nai Khanom Tom was amongst the prisoners gained from that invasion.

In 1774, though, during a festival, the King of Burma had a Burmese fighter practicing  lethwei (though I am seeing different sources refer to this with different names) take on Nai Khanom Tom. When the latter won, the Burmese were uncertain if it was because of better fighting or because the ritual he performed before engaging in the fight, similar to a dance, put his opponent off balance.

So Nai Khanom Tom took on nine more Burmese fighters and won, gaining his freedom in the process.

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