Beautiful Boxer

For those of you interested in a good movie, Beautiful Boxer is pretty nice. It’s a Thai film about Nong Toom, the Muay Thai boxer who eventually got a sex change in 1999.

Saw the movie at NTU last night and Nong Toom, the director, and Art the guy who plays her in the movie (looks like a Thai Brad Pitt) were there to talk with us.

It’s a fun film. I think it comes out in theaters on March 24, hopefully with English subtitles.

I think you will like it.

L-R: Art, star of movie; Director; Nong Toom

WOW!!! That guy in the middle looks just like a woman!

Was he able to compete in the women’s division? What was his record after the operation?

Nong Toom is on the right, silly. She’s a model/actress in Bangkok now. Tall, slim, pretty, I think she’s only 25 or so.

When she was still boxing, near the end of her career she started taking hormone pills and lost a few fights. But the actor who plays her in the film is actually a Muay Thai boxer by training, top five in the >120 category I think.

I have already seen this movie too. I thought the paradox of someone using the ultimate macho sport (i.e. Muay Thai) in order to achieve femininity was very interesting.

Definitely worth a watch

Has anyone confirmed English subtitles on the film? I had read it would be in Thai with Chinese subs, which I can’t read fast enough. I’d still go see it, but I was hoping to have English.

Funk500, I love your picture of Beardy!

I’ve heard of that movie a long time ago but never thought I’d be able to see it here.

Recently I went to my local Blockbuster’s video and rented it. There were English subtitles.

There’s quite an interesting follow on to that story.

[quote]Kickboxing and a Kiss
As a boxer Nong Tum had three trademarks: his mastery over traditional, ancient moves, and his tendency to wear make-up in the ring and bestow a victory kiss upon the loser at the end of a match.[/quote]

One of the things I really, really dig about Muay Thai is the wai khru, or ram muay the fighters do before the fight. The ones I love the most are those that have spun off from Nong Toom’s.

[quote]Ram Muay is the way to show respect to the teachers and the trainers. Also, in past muay Thai was usually fought in front of the King, so Ram Muay was also to apologize to the King for the brutality in fighting.

The fighter first performs the Wai Khru, circling the ring three times before kneeling and bowing three times as a sign of respect to god and man. He also bows to Buddha to ask for protection for himself and his opponent and for an honourable fight.

The fighter then performs the Ram Muay, whose simple movements demonstrate a fighter’s control and style. Each fighter performs the Ram Muay on each side of the ring to demonstrate his prowess to the audience. The Ram Muay is a personal ritual, ranging from the very complex to the very simple, and often contains clues about who trained the fighter and where the fighter is from.[/quote]

Here’s a vid of a fairly simple one. I love watcjing the different styles of these.

Nong Toom developed his own (he was still a bloke then) ram muay involving gestures like mimicking putting on make up and so on. It’s becme very ppopular with other blokes following in her steps to become women through the financial rewards of muay Thai. It’s causing quite a stink in the more conservative body that controls Thai boxing.

Oh, and since women are not allowed into a proper muay Thai ring, Nooom is now working as a trainer. He honours that aspect of the trafition and says he won’t fight againm despite the rise in female muay Thai.

By the way, although the fighting is hard core, they’re not out to bite ears off. Here’s the code a muay Thai fighter has to adhere to, If they don’t, they can never again fight in legit matches. They tale the respecting each other bit very, very seriously.

[quote]I will ensure that I am clean, strong and behave with honesty and integrity.
I will not bully those weaker than myself.
I will undertake good deeds to the benefit of others and be loyal to the nation
I will avoid causing trouble of any kind.
We will be united and help one another whenever possible.[/quote]


[quote]Kickboxing and a Kiss
As a boxer Nong Tum had three trademarks: his mastery over traditional, ancient moves, and his tendency to wear make-up in the ring and bestow a victory kiss upon the loser at the end of a match.[/quote]

In the movie (or interview? – I forget) she said she did that as a way of saying sorry to them. ‘Sorry for beating the doodoo out of you. I feel so bad. Mmmmua’