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]